Approaching 50,000 Views, Two Houses Soar!

Proxiblog’s Coin and Currency category remains relatively stable with the top 15 or so houses featuring excellent consignments, quality photos and excellent customer service. Back to the Past Collectibles soared into the top 10 by upgrading its photography. We wish one or two other favorite houses at the bottom of our rankings also felt the same way.


Capitol Coin Auction remains in the top slot. If you bid in its March 1, 2014 auction, you know why. Top lots. Accurate numismatic descriptions. Sharp photography. Low buyers’ premium. Great customer service. It’s difficult to beat Brad Lisembee who has perfected the online coin trade.

SilverTowne Auction continues to amaze us with auction after auction with high standards across the board. Leonard Auction is known for top-quality consistency. Meares Auction consistently improves from consignments to photography.

Also holding steady or trading top places with the best coin auctions on the portal are Certified Rare Coin Auctions, Meares Auction, Star Coin and Currency, Southwest Bullion, Western Auction, Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, Gary Ryther Auctioneers, Jewelry Exchange, Fox Valley Coins and Krueger and Krueger.

Two houses catapulted into our top 10. Spencer Auction holds infrequent sessions, but when it does, it features top coins, low buyer’s fee, excellent customer service and great consignments. Same can be said about Back to the Past Collectibles with a 10% buyer’s premium. It broke into the top 10 because C. Scott Lovejoy worked diligently, consulting with us, to perfect his photography. Below is an example (click to expand):

124

You can even see the metal flow on a 2000-year-old coin. Photography is essential in the online bidding world. Watch for a post about Lovejoy’s enhancements later this week!

We hate to call out houses for lack of improvement, even if they are among our favorites. One house in particular has attempted to improve photos but not enough to tell varieties and flaws. If it did, it would be in our top 10. The house does a great marketing job and scores exceptionally high sales because of it. So it may feel no need to improve. We find ourselves bidding on slabbed coins only because we cannot see which coins are dipped. Because we suspect many of the lots are from coin dealers, we are doubly cautious.

As for Proxiblog, we have exceeded 600 posts and are approaching 50,000 page views. We’re increasingly global with top views from the USA, Britain, Canada, India, Russia, Germany, Australia and the Philippines.

Top view again goes to our post popular post: California Gold, real, replica and fake, closing in on 100 views per week.

We continue to provide best practices and numismatic knowledge to our viewers for free. Fortunately, we have several of our top houses donating funds to our scholarship account. You can also buy our Basic Coin Design book on Kindle. We are extremely grateful. Won’t you consider making a tax-deductible donation so that we can continue publishing? Thank you for your consideration!

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.


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More Than 16,000 Views in 2013!

Competition among coin-selling houses on Proxibid continues to be intense with very little difference in services among our top dozen or so houses. All in our rankings offer quality coins, ship reasonably and post expandable photos of obverse and reverse. We welcome back K&K Auction Service, which is running coin auctions again. Krueger and Krueger Auction, one of our favorites, no longer sees maximum bids and so appears in our rankings. And Certified Rare Coin Auctions makes its first appearance with stunning coins. That said, Capitol Coin Auction still leads the pack with detailed lot descriptions, accurate grading, low buyer’s fee, quick shipping and fine numismatic photography and consignments–excellent on all levels.

SilverTowne Auctions, Leonard Auction, Weaver Auction, Gary Ryther Auctions, Meares Auction, Star Coin and Currency, and Fox Valley Coins rank among the top 10 in our assessment. But so many more listed on the right sidebar are offering fine consignments, good customer service and other features. Among the most difficult categories to master, however, are sharp numismatic photography that captures luster and color in addition to accurate lot descriptions about grade and condition.

As we always note in our rankings, these are based on our experience and should be considered Proxiblog’s favorite houses. Your experience may differ from ours.

As for Proxiblog, we are pleased that our viewership keeps improving, with more than 16,500 views worldwide in 2013. We provide this blog for free to raise scholarship money via our online account with the Iowa State Foundation and via our numismatic work, Basic Coin Design, on Amazon Kindle.

See the countries that visit our site in the screenshot below (click to expand):

16000views

As for individual posts, the most accessed article remains “California Gold: Real, Replica and Fake,” which enjoyed 2058 views in 2013.

See this screenshot for other top posts (click to expand):

topposts

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 Uses “Early Bird” Alert

One of the best, most innovative and consistent coin auctions on the Proxibid portal is Weaver Signature Coin and Currency whose owners, Dave and Cheryl Weaver, always seem to find new ways to engage bidders. We have profiled them previously with online advertising, tiered bidding, best practices, budget auctions, accurate grading, concise descriptions and more. Today we laud them for “early bird” bidding.



earlybird

We encourage early bird bidding for rare coins, but not bullion. The price of the latter can vary daily, and so you’re better to attend a live auction or place maximums on the day of the auction. However, if you are selling rare coins, get that catalog up as early as possible (good advertising principle) and then alert your early bird regulars as the Weavers have done.

For an additional enticement, give a 2% discount for all who register and place bids by a certain date. We remember Kurt Krueger of Krueger and Krueger Auctions doing this a few years ago in his first auction to lure bidders away from other Proxibid events.

Krueger Auctions, by the way, has just held two massive events on Proxibid. Like Dave and Cheryl Weaver, Kurt got his catalogs up weeks in advance. Bidding kept getting stronger each day and then topped out with a few buyer wars for cherry lots.

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.

Grading Krueger & Krueger Auction

krueger

We will run occasional grading checks on Proxibid auctions so you can see how we bid based on condition. These coins are from Krueger Auction’s March 17 session. We grade on PCGS standards as found on Photograde, admittedly more conservative than grading of most auctioneers but still the standard in numismatics. Click pictures below to expand.

We call a coin:

    gem_details

    “GEM” if will grade at NGC or PCGS at the MS65 level. We see a staple scratch above the date on Lady Liberty’s neck. We call this Gem Details.


    choiceBU

    “CHOICE UNCIRCULATED” if will grade at NGC or PCGS at the MS63-64 level. We see too many dings and bagmarks and so call it MS62. Consider this a judgment call.


    AU_58

    CHOICE ALMOST UNCIRCULATED” if it would grade AU58 (essentially a slider–or one that could be mistaken for mint state). We agree with this grade. This is the rare three-legged buffalo nickel. To tell if genuine, always look at the field below the buffalo’s private part. You should see a slight rise in the field. This is an authentic coin.


    ef45

    EXTRA FINE” if it would grade EF40-45. We agree that this is an EF45, but see evidence of pitting. Hence, we won’t bid.


    VF35

    VERY FINE” if it would grade F20-35. We agree with this grade but see slight evidence of cleaning. We may do a low-ball bid.


    f12

    FINE” if it would grade F12-15. We agree with this grade.


    VG10

    VERY GOOD” if it would grade VG8-10. We call this Good 6 because of wear at 2 o’clock and an old cleaning. Again, another judgment call.


    G6

    GOOD” if the coin would grade G4-6. We say G4 on this rather than G6, yet another judgment call on our part.


    valueadded

    VALUE ADDED” if the auctioneer describes a condition apart from grade. Kurt Krueger notes this coin as porosity.


    valueadded1

    VALUE ADDED” if the auctioneer explains how to authenticate a coin, as we did above with the three-legged nickel. Kurt Krueger notes a key diagnostic on this valuable coin.


    valueadded2

    VALUE ADDED” if the auctioneer describes a condition apart from grade or otherwise relates an anecdote about a lot. Kurt Krueger does both here.


    Generally, in our subjective but nonetheless expert opinion, we feel Krueger & Krueger is a good grader whose lots come close to our judgment calls. This stands in contrast to many auction houses on Proxibid. Kurt Krueger also describes coins numismatically and adds value by noting condition apart from the grade. Sometimes an old cleaning may be missed; sometimes we disagree on a grade within a point or so; but that’s a trifle, as grading is subjective to a degree.

    As noted, grading is in part subjective, and is difficult to do via online photographs. Our designations are based on how we bid and why. Thus, the overall grade on John Leonard’s grading based on our criteria: A-.

    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.