New Badge and Partnership

A handful of our top houses received what they deserved, and that is, a new gold-ribbon Preferred Partner badge for the highest levels of ethics and service.

Several Proxiblog houses have received the gold-ribbon badge, including Jewelry Exchange, Midwest Coins, Weaver’s Signature Coin and Currency Auction, Meares Auction Group, and K&K Auction (Krause), among others.

We believe the badge system is important to frictionless bidding on the portal. We especially like this new badge because it highlights service and ethics, two key components in our own rankings.

“Our badging system was born out of two necessities,” says Jason Nielsen, Proxibid’s quality control officer. “Our buyers want to be able to easily identify those sellers who excelled in specific areas, and our sellers who excel in specific areas want to be showcased on the site. The Preferred Partner badge highlights those sellers who meet the highest standard of service and who have formed a strategic partnership with Proxibid.”

The strategic partnership means that the auction company has signed an exclusive contract with Proxibid. This strategic partnership provides the auction company with perks others don’t receive such as access to a Client Services Manager, more auction management tools and special discounts.

The only badge left now is one for photography, the most important component for successful online bidding.

Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.

Nearly 20,000 Views, New Rankings!

Proxiblog’s audience keeps growing with close to 20,000 views worldwide in the past year, as bidders register to read about top coin auction houses. Speaking of which, after points were tallied for consignments, photography, lot descriptions, buyers’ fees, customer service, shipping and numismatic knowledge, we were as surprised as you might be in discovering 5 houses tied for highest scores. Listed alphabetically, they are Capitol Coin Auction, Key Date Coins, Silvertowne Auctions, Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, and Western Auction.

Note: Regular postings to begin on Sunday, Aug. 5.

Beginning next week, we will do spotlight features on each of these houses, noting what makes them so special–including what practices they follow–so that bidders and auctioneers can benefit from our reviews.

Making her debut in our top rankings is Debra Johnson of Auctions Unlimited, which has one of the lowest buyer’s fees on Proxibid at 10% and which also dropped transparency notices. Midwest Coins also did likewise, and we’re happy to include this fine Iowa house in our rankings. Braden Auction Service also enters our top houses in the sidebar to the right.

While the competition in the Coins and Currency page on Proxibid continued to grow, Proxiblog’s audience also grew in the same five-month time period. Our audience is closing in on 20,000 views. The United States, by far, provided most of that audience; however, Proxiblog’s popularity is growing in Canada, Philippines, India, the United Kingdom and Australia.

The most accessed articles were “California Gold, real, replica and fake” and “Beware Dipped Coins.”

The most popular pages were “Boos and Booyahs!” and “Honor Roll.”

In the past five months we also had 18 total sponsors, with several sponsoring Proxiblog for several weeks and donating funds to our scholarship account. Sponsors include:

We thank these auction companies and numismatic publications for sponsoring Proxiblog’s scholarship fund to help ease student debt and create the next generation of auction-house bidders! If you would like to sponsor a week’s worth of Proxiblog, email mjbugeja@yahoo.com

Proxiblog Will Return in August

Typically at this time of year Proxiblog takes a few weeks off to recharge our numismatic batteries. You can explore our dozens of articles and more than 250 posts. Meanwhile, we would like to thank our sponsors who have been donating funds to our scholarship account to offset student debt. (If you have college-age children, or are interested in the quality of education, you should read about our concern by clicking here.)

We appreciate our sponsors!


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Auctions Unlimited


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Capitol Coin Auction


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Click Coins


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Engstrom Auction


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GreatCollections


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GWS Auctions


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Kaufman Auction


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Key Date Coins


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Krause Auctioneering


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James Peterson Auction


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Leonard Auction


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Matthew Bullock Auctioneers


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Scott Auctions


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SilverTowne Auctions


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This Week in Coins


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Western Auction


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We thank these auction companies and numismatic publications for sponsoring Proxiblog’s scholarship fund to help ease student debt and create the next generation of auction-house bidders! If you would like to sponsor a week’s worth of Proxiblog, email mjbugeja@yahoo.com

More Viewers, New Rankings

As Proxiblog grew yet again to 18,000+ views since inception, and more than 4,000 in the past three months, competition in the Coin and Currency page of Proxibid has heated up significantly with top houses improving photography, lowering buyer’s fees and securing top consignments.

As far as audience goes, most views came from the United States followed by Canada, India, United Kingdom and the Philippines, with viewers from 60 other countries logging in at one time or another in the second quarter of 2012.

The five-part series on Proxibid vs. eBay by far was the most viewed item on the site followed by our Articles and Boos and Booyahs pages.

Moreover, several auction companies have donated $1000 for scholarships for the next generation of bidders, including Auctions Unlimited, ClickCoins, Coin Update, Engstrom Auction, GreatCollections, Kaufman Realty and Auctions, James Peterson Company, Key Date Coins, Krause Auctioneering, Leonard Auction, Matthew Bullock Auctioneers, Scott Auctions, Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, and Western Auction.

Those and other houses are featured on our popular “On the Block” page.

Several of those houses also vied for top spots on our rankings. We judge companies by sharp and expandable photos, quick and inexpensive shipping, accurate lot descriptions, reasonable buyers’ fees, customer service and quality consignments.

Competition has never been keener. Silvertowne Auctions, which recently instituted timed auctions to accompany its several live sessions per month, held on to first-place status, but just barely, with five other auction houses only one point behind, essentially tied in second-place.

Rising toward the top was Southwest Bullion with its zero percent buyers’ fee, good photos, flat-rate quick shipping and numismatically savvy lot descriptions.

Consistently excellent sessions with choice consignments were held by innovative houses Weaver, Western and Key Date Coins. New to the top 10 is Capitol Coin Auctions, which lowered buyers’ fees and features some of the top consignments on the portal with numismatic lot descriptions, superior photography (among the best on the portal) and excellent service.

Leonard Auction shares many of the same attributes as Capitol. Six of the top 10 companies are run by auctioneers, and four by coin dealers.

Although several new houses are coming online in the Coins and Currency pages, including ones with 10% or lower buyers’ fees and flat-rate shipping, the rest of our top 20 have been competing now for months, with Honor Roll standards and cherry consignments. Fox Valley Coins makes its first appearance on our top rankings list.

Finally, you’ll note on top of the sidebar rankings an important observation concerning our criteria. Auction houses in our top 20 do not see maximum bids or allow ghost-bidding by auctioneers or employees. All rankings are based on Proxiblog buying experience to establish informed opinion. While other bidders’ experience may differ from ours or our mini-reviews, and while all such reviews are in part subjective, we wanted our bidders to know that we are ranking companies based on actual buying on the portal.

Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.

Happy 1st Birthday to Us! Proxiblog surpasses 15000 views in 6 months!

We will let this map speak for itself–click to expand–showing 3400 views in the past six weeks with 15000 worldwide views in the past six months. We thank our auctioneers, our sponsors and Proxibid bidders.

In one year we have posted 200 articles and 450 photos. Our worldwide viewership is growing in Canada, Great Britain, India, the Philippines, and Australia.

We have advocated successfully for transparency notices, counterfeit detection, quality photos on both sides of the coin, accurate lot descriptions and so much more.

There is a virtual book in Online Auctioneering on our Articles Page. Our most popular page is “Boos and Booyahs.

We also have raised more than $1000 in the past six weeks for our scholarship fund!

We want to thank our scholarship sponsors, which include Weaver Auction, Western Auction, Key Date Coins, Scott Auctions, Leonard Auction, GreatCollections, ClickCoins, Coin Update News, Engstrom Auction, James Peterson Auction and Krause Auctioneering. If you would like to sponsor a week’s worth of Proxiblog, email us

Also, we now list 90 auction houses on our Honor Roll page. When we launched this site in May 2011, we only had 11 such houses, an indication of the competition that exists now on the portal.

Finally, we want to thank all of our viewers, our auctioneers, bidders and Proxibid employees who patronize our site. We rely on you and appreciate you more than you know, as you are contributing mightily to the hobby and helping auction houses and coin dealers transition to the Internet.

Proxiblog Goes International: New Rankings and Sponsors

In as much as Proxibid registers bidders from around the world, small wonder that Proxiblog–which covers the portal’s coin auctions–also should go global. Click picture to expand, and you will see where our 1500-plus views came from in the first 21 days of March.

Our site has logged 13,000 views in the past six months. What does this mean for those who follow our blog?

First of all, those who have sponsored a week’s posts on Proxiblog–GreatCollections, Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, Western Auction, James Peterson, Krause Auctioneering, Leonard Auction and Scott Auctions, to name a few–are getting their “donation’s worth.” Companies that sponsor our site for a week simply visit this link and typically make a tax-deductible donation from $10-$1000.

This week we will feature our first numismatic publication, Coin Update, as official sponsor.

Our most popular posts include “Boos and Booyahs,” “Articles” page (a virtual text in online auctioneering), and the series on “Consignor Viewing and Maximum Bid” policies.

All the while we have been keeping track of coin auctions, sparking new rankings in the right sidebar. Several of these auction companies are thriving because of ever better consignments, sharper expandable photos, inexpensive shipping and monthly specials.

All meet our Honor Roll standards of 15% or lower buyer’s fee. These houses also typically invest in APN clearance and schedule regular coin auctions, in some cases, a half dozen or more per month.

Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction remains doggedly in first place, primarily because Dave and Cheryl Weaver surprise us each month, be it with snappy online advertisements, shipping specials, expert photography, accurate lot descriptions, and low online buyer’s fees (10%, with occasional discounts on gold).

Western Auction continues to hold on to second place with superior consignments, photography and quick, inexpensive shipping.

We’ve seen continuous improvement in Meares and Rolling M. Auctions, with Engstrom Auctions gearing up for more enhancements in the coming weeks, soliciting bidder feedback–nice touch, that!

Other top-ranked houses typically do not see prebids or allow consignor bidding. We still include those in our rankings because of our own transparency about that, especially our top-viewed series on the topic, as referenced above.

If you are an auctioneer, we hope you will continue to visit Proxiblog for best practices. If you are a bidder, we hope that you will find our posts informative on how and where to spend your numismatic money. And if you are a sponsor, or would like to become one, we thank you on behalf of college students, easing their debt with scholarships and ensuring the next generation of bidders.

Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.

Proxiblog Grows: more views, new sponsors, updated rankings

Proxiblog’s success is due in part to companies and bidders who visit our site (11,200 views in 3 months!), debate policy, compete in the auctioneering tradition and show their generosity by sponsoring scholarships to ease student debt.

We are honored to serve you! And you have served us, as well, sharing your knowledge and interacting with others on our site.

Our Honor Rolls now boast 80 auction houses, up from 11 in 10 months. Best of all, photography has improved significantly across the portal!

Our most popular page remains “Boos and Booyahs!” with our “Articles” page (a veritable book about online auctioneering) a close second. Most of our viewers are from the United States with Canada and Great Britain, second and third. We have posted 147 articles and more than 300 photographs, and nearly 100 of our viewers have sent comments.

Viewers who self-identify are mostly auctioneers and their employees along with bidders, hobbyists and Proxibid blog subscribers.

Rankings have changed dramatically since last month, with Weaver Auction and Western Auction in a dead heat for first place. Meares, Engstrom, Rolling M., and Krause have broken into the top 10 with newcomer Bennett, featuring the lowest buyer’s fees.

Finally, in the past month, we have purchased our own domain, proxiblog.org, with the org representing a non-profit. We bring you content, buy from and consign to your auctions, to help with student scholarships. And you have answered the call with sponsorships!

We especially appreciate the scholarship support from Weaver Coin and Currency Auction, GreatCollections, Key Date Coins, Western Auction and Leonard Auction.

John Leonard company’s is this week’s sponsor (with a post about that on Friday).

We thank our viewers for helping make Proxiblog a success!

Boos & Booyahs: Best & Bad Auctioneer Lot Descriptions

It’s more important now than ever to be in sync with the Proxibid technology to showcase your photos, hone your lot descriptions, and highlight your consignments for top bids on the leading portal! In the latest installment, Proxiblog laments and compliments best and bad auctioneer lot descriptions during the past week. We will name the best, but you will have to search Proxibid for the bad. (Click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions below.)

Booyah Silvertowne Auction! for noting rim dings and the advisory to bid accordingly. We appreciate your numismatic skill and integrity.


Boo! to this unnamed auction house for mistaking a brass souvenir token for California fractional gold. Beware of bears. Some are gold (about $10-15 dollars worth) but most often are plated. If you see a bear and not a denomination, you can bet your token is a trinket.


Boo! to this unnamed auction house that doesn’t note scratches on the coin but that are plainly visible when the photo is expanded.


Boo! to this unnamed but knowledgeable auctioneer who only shows the box of a GSA 1880-CC dollar, which has multiple varieties. This house has great consignments but continues to take occasional shortcuts on photos. Nothing is more important than good photos of obverse and reverse if you hope to get ever higher bids on Internet.


Booyah Kaufman Auctioneering! for noting cleaning, one of those flaws that often digital photography cannot capture. By noting cleaning, you ensure proper bids and avoid hassles of complaint afterward.


Boo! to this unnamed auction house that hypes a consignor’s MS64 as gem-plus (MS66). We see too much of this. Check out this article to learn what is and what is not a “gem” coin.


Booyah Jewelry Exchange! for noting several flaws in this coin that are not readily apparent in the photograph, once again establishing trust that brings return coin buyers to a particular house’s auctions on Proxibid.


Booyah Midwest Coins! for lowering the buyer’s fee on gold, the best way to stimulate competition and make a strong sale.


Booyah Shamrock Auction Service! for noting damage to a coin, the kind again that might be overlooked in the typical digital photograph, establishing standards for this house and ensuring return customers.


A very small Boo! to this unnamed auction house that makes a typo in the description of a gold coin. Typos can cost, especially when you mistake a gold coin for a copper cent!


Booyah Weaver Coin Auction! not only for noting the cleaning of coins but also their VAM designations. (VAMs are varieties that bring premiums. For more information, see the Vam World’s site


Viewers can point us to other candidates for our “Boos & Booyahs!” series. Just leave a comment but follow our rules–all in good fun as a way to inspire accurate lot descriptions on Proxibid.

Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.

Weaver Auction wins “Best on Proxiblog” Award

Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, an Easton, MO, firm, won our highest “Best Coin Auction” Award, garnering a “Best Photography” honor as well as Honorable Mentions for consignments and for lot descriptions.

Check out the home page for Weaver Auction and you can see some of our past praise for this remarkable house. A special hallmark of Dave and Cheryl Weaver is exceptional customer service. We have dealt with dozens of auctioneers in the past several years but few as conscientious as the Weavers.

They have held our “top auction house” ranking (see the listing to the right) for months, mainly because the Weavers are never satisfied with success but keep innovating and experimenting for the optimal configuration for superior Proxibid sessions. They took our advice and instituted a low buyer’s fee for gold–as low as 5% for double eagles. Now they are competing directly with Western Auction with a low buyer’s fee of 10%. They ship inexpensively and photograph expertly. They make use of Proxibid multimedia so online bidders can share in the excitement of their onsite sessions. Dave is a numismatic expert; Cheryl, a communications specialist.

We have done several features on this national-caliber house, including this article on buyer’s fees, this one on Internet advertising, and this illuminating “On the Block.”

What we found remarkable in the past year was the Weavers’ ability to take and learn from constructive criticism. For example, once we made a critical reference to titles in lot descriptions, and rather than send a snippy email, they thanked Proxiblog for the advice.

In life as well as in auctioneering, the Weavers have a lot to teach us. They learn from mistakes and are courageous enough to innovate in the spirit of continuous improvement.

Those qualities also exist in our Honorable Mentions in this category.

We applaud:

  • Capitol Coin Auctions, “with over 35 years of experience in collecting, investing, and grading rare coins.” Capitol also won Honorable Mentions in our “Best Consignments” and “Best Descriptions” categories for a total of three honorable mentions.
  • Key Date Coins with a reputation for “always fast and low shipping and handling cost.” Key Date Coins also won our “Most Improved House” Award in addition to Honorable Mentions in “Best Photography” and “Best Descriptions” for a total of four honors.
  • Leonard Auction, “with a reputation for experience, unsurpassed integrity, and superior technology.” Leonard Auction also won Honorable Mentions in our “Best Consignments,” “Best Photography,” and “Best Descriptions” categories for a total of four honorable mentions.
  • Scott Auctions, noted for its experience and generous service to the auctioneering profession. Scott Auctions also won our “Best Shipping Award” for a total of two honors.
  • Silvertowne Auctions, known for grading expertise and national reputation in numismatics. Silvertowne won our “Best Lot Descriptions” Award plus an Honorable Mention in our “Best Shipping” category for a total of three honors.
  • Western Auction, “whose family includes principal auctioneer David Zwonitzer, his father Mel Zwonitzer, Dave’s sons Daniel and Ty and Dave’s wife Kym. Together the family has more than 80 years auctioneering experience.” Western Auction also won our “Best Consignment Award” plus an Honorable Mention in our “Best Photography” category for a total of three honors.

We wish to congratulate all of our other “TOP Award” winners: James Peterson Auctions (tie: “Best Consignments”) and Matthew Bullock Auctioneers (tie: “Best Photography” and “Best Timed Auction”).

We also send kudos to those with Honorable Mentions, including Arneson Auction, Auctions Unlimited, Chaparral Auction, Culpeper Auction, Engstrom Auctions, Gaston and Sheehan Auctioneers, Hall’s Auction, Krause Auctioneering, Meares Auction, Midwest Coins, Poinsett Auction, Rolling M. Auctions, Schultz Auctioneering and Silver Trades.

We also thank Proxibid houses specializing in coins and encourage them to visit these award-winning houses. We know there are some houses that we missed in our rankings, but we did the best job we could with the available data and hope that you will continue visiting our site and interacting with our clientele, now exceeding 8300.

Finally, consider making a donation to our Scholarship Account. (See details on top of the “Rankings” sidebar to the right.) We will continue publishing Proxiblog free of charge and covering Proxibid and the online coin auction industry. Won’t you consider making a voluntary donation to offset tuition expenses for our college students?

Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.

Scott Auctions wins “Best Shipping” honor

Scott Auctions, a Stephens City, Va., firm, has won Proxiblog’s “Best Shipping” Award, combining great consignments–see his archived Jan. 2, 2012 auction–with $10 flat-rate shipping for all winning bids.

Other auctions have adopted the same shipping policy, but owner Scott Strosnider was among the first to use it for coins, knowing how most winning lots can be sent inexpensively insured with adequate postage through the U.S. Post Office.

Another reason we favored Scott’s house in this close competition is his generosity as one of our most experienced auctioneers. You may not know that he regularly gives advice to other Proxibid houses, sharing his expertise willingly without fear of competition.

Scott’s father, auctioneer Leon W. Strosnider, called auctions for more than four decades. Scott learned the trade from his dad as a child “running clerk sheets and then as leading Ringman. He learned it inside out and from the ground up.”

His auction house was one of our original Honor Roll companies with buyer’s fees of 15%, good photography and, of course, quality shipping.

Why not send Scott a congratulatory note, especially auctioneers who have benefited from his counsel? He’s a gentleman who would appreciate that.

Once again, Scott Strosnider had stiff competition from these Honorable Mention companies: Arneson Auctions, Key Date Coins, Krause Auctioneering, Meares Auction and Silvertowne Auctions.

Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.