Silvertowne wins “Best Descriptions”

Silvertowne Auctions, operated by Rick Howard of Leipsic, Ohio, in partnership with SilverTowne Coins of Winchester, IN, is a first-class house featuring several Proxibid coin auctions per month.

This was a close competition, as you will see in the Honorable Mentions category, with several houses named whose auctioneers also are expert numismatists. The chief reason we chose Silvertowne has to do with 74-year-old Larry Fuller whose official title is “online auction specialist.” Larry has been a collector and dealer for more than 50 years. His philosophy in writing lot descriptions is an accurate grade.

In an upcoming article in Coin World, Larry states, “When I was a dealer, if I sold a coin, I felt I should be ready to buy it back at the same grade.”

Fuller believes that reliable grading and accurate lot descriptions are key in attracting return customers online. He is noted for short, crisp descriptions with information you can rely on. Here’s an example: “RARE!!! THIS IS NOT THE CHEAP D/D. THIS IS THE COIN WITH A D WELL SOUTH OF OTHER D.”

Why not send Larry Fuller a congratulatory note?

Several Honorable Mention houses gave Fuller a run for his “money,” literally. They include tiptop lot descriptions based on numismatic knowledge, a regular feature of Capitol Coin Auction, Key Date Coins, Leonard Auction, Silver Trades and Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction.

We also congratulate Silvertowne and thank our runners-up for sharing their numismatic knowledge supported by fine photography, a component in our analysis.

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.

Altered Coins on Proxibid

This is a short post that exposes the bad and the good on Proxibid.

In the past month we have received four lots of doctored, dipped and ungradable coins. In two cases, we believe, the auctioneers oft-stated exclamations that they are not coin experts resulted in coin doctors sending them fraudulent consignments. That, coupled with acceptable (for Proxibid) but still substandard photography, hid the alterations.

In another case, we believe, the way an auctioneer photographs coins is to blame as he typically shoots coins against a black background with strong lightning, a technique that unintentionally hides dipping.

We no longer will purchase any coins from him or those who sell, even once, altered coins, as their judgment cannot be trusted, especially with their all-sales-final terms of service.

Some of the doctored coins were so skillfully done that they escaped our detection. As we frequently resell coins to Proxibid auctioneers, we sent them to one of our top houses and, in our view, the best grader in the business, Larry Fuller from Silvertowne Auctions.

He returned the coins to me with a note. See for yourself.

See why we keep advocating for sharp photos and better terms of service on Proxibid that allow for returns of fraudulent (and often criminally liable) sale of altered coins.

We will post in the coming weeks an article from Coin Update News discussing these issues in detail. Stay tuned.

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.