Allen and Marshall Shoutout

allen and Marshall shoutout

Viewers of Proxiblog often see posts about self-slabbed and bottom-tier coins hyped by auctioneers to be worth thousands rather than pennies. Often our Honor Roll auctioneers set the record straight in their lot descriptions about these typically overgraded coins.

Suffice to say we had never heard of “Premier Certified Coins.” But we have heard of price guides.

Retail price for a 1909 VDB Red MS67 is $1350. Value of a 1943 MS68 steel cent is $2650.

Even without a blow-up photo, we see hairlines on the 1909 VDB above and spots on the 1943. Our value? About $25 for both coins, and that’s retail.

Kudos to Allen and Marshall for this lot description: “Draw your own conclusions on the grading.”

Which we just did here!

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.

New Rankings, 51,000 Views; Proxiblog Takes Hiatus

Top six houses profiled here all offer something special to the coin buyer on Proxibid. Proxiblog, which continues to gain viewers worldwide, will be on hiatus to return Sept. 1, 2014. If you believe we are offering a valuable free service, posting every weekday–more than 700 posts since our inception, with 10,000+ photos–then please consider making a donation to our scholarship fund.


Capitol Coin Auction and Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction tie for first place in our rankings. They do everything right, from accurate numismatic descriptions to vivid photography.

Look at the care that Capitol takes with each lot description, this one showcasing a collection in which every coin therein is graded by auctioneer Brad Lisembee (click to expand photo):

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Same holds for Dave Weaver who accurately describes condition of each lot in his auctions. Here’s an example:

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John Leonard of Leonard Auction upholds the same standards as Lisembee and Weaver, providing excellent photos and descriptions. In our view he ranks among the most knowledgeable auctioneers on the Proxibid portal. A screenshot from his most recent auction:

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For sheer number of auctions on Proxibid and the vast array of consignments–you’re apt to find almost any type coin here–few rival SilverTowne Auctions. From rare gold to tokens to slabbed coins and rarities, SilverTowne has it covered:

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Best service terms on Proxibid, in addition to sharp photos and low low low buyer’s premium, goes to Meares Auction. Darron Meares is an experienced auctioneer who strives for superior customer service in all of his dealings. Take a look:

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Most improved is Back to the Past auction. C. Scott Lovejoy worked with us for weeks to perfect photography. Take a look at this half dollar reverse in which full bell lines are easily seen. Can your auction provide the same detailed digital photography? Would that several on Proxibid could. See the evidence:

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Our rankings this month featured most of our old standbys. Several of our favorite houses–Southwest Bullion, Western Auction, Krueger and Krueger–are low in our rankings only because they have not offered an online Proxibid session in the recent past. We value their operations so very much. Also this month one house was dropped because of sale of replica California gold. Two houses were added, A New Day Auction and Allen and Marshall Auctioneers. Concerning the latter, we were impressed with this lot description on bottom-tier holders:

allen and Marshall shoutout

As we always note, our rankings are just that–ours. These are favorite houses. Your experience may differ from ours.

As for Proxibid, we surpassed 50,000 views last month. We approached 15,000 views in the past year. The map below shows our global reach.

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We will be reconfiguring and updating our website during the summer. We also are in the process of kindling a new numismatic book, available soon on our site, for online coin auctions, featuring best practices for selling on Proxibid and eBay. We hope you will download a copy when it becomes available. We hope that you find our site helpful.

If so, please consider making a donation to our scholarship fund, which is why we share our numismatic knowledge with Proxibid auctioneers and buyers, helping defray student debt to ensure the next generation of auction bidders.

Thank you for visiting our site.

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.


Boos & Booyahs: Best & Bad Auctioneer Lot Descriptions

It’s important 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 bad auctioneer lot descriptions and praises the best in recent auctions. (Be sure to click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions below.)


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Booyah BidAlot Auction! for noting that this U.S. Mint product comes without a box. It is important to state that with Mint products, especially GSA dollars.



cleanednot67rim

Boo! to this auction house for stating that this coin is MS67 when it clearly has been cleaned, is porous (right field) with rim damage (3 o’clock).


leonard_cleaning

Booyah Leonard Auction! for noting cleaning. Leonard Auction ranks among our favorites because of the honesty of the owner, John Leonard, coupled with his numismatic knowledge. He’s one of the best on Proxibid, period.


openingbid

Boo! to this unnamed auction house that really isn’t an auction but an online “Buy It Now” company that ensures with opening bids and 18% buyer’s fee that it will never lose money for any coin it sells on Proxibid. Recommendation: Bidders are better off on eBay.


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Booyah Braden Auction! for noting significant flaws in this lot, including plugging and polishing. Now, if the company only provided photos of obverse and reverse, it might have a shot at our favorite auction rankings.


replica

Boo! to another auction house for calling this a restrike when it is a copy and most probably only gold-plated. A restrike uses the same dies as the original. We guarantee that the US Mint didn’t have “COPY” when it struck the real coin in 1849.


restored_A new day
Booyah A New Day Auctions! for identifying acid restored Buffalo nickels. Watch for a post about this in the future.


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Booyah SilverTowne Auction! for noting rim damage on its coins. Would that more houses did the same!


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Booyah! Jewelry Exchange for noting a scratch on this coin. Hard to see in the photo but glad to see in the lot description. Truth brings return customers. Hiding the truth brings dispute resolutions.


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Booyah Star Coin and Currency! for noting that these Confederate dollars as replicas. We’ve seen copies on Proxibid not designated as such. Yet another example of Best Practice!


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. Tomorrow we will showcase the best lot descriptions. 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.

Charge Consignors for Reserves

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One of our top-ranked auctioneers recently held a session on Proxibid, offering coins slabbed by ICG–a good, but not the best–holdering company. Reserves were set at PCGS levels. We knew the result. Those coins were not going to sell and auctioneer Darren Meares was going to have to foot the bill.


In this case, we’ll let email correspondence speak for itself:

PROXIBLOG: APRIL 23, 2:35 p.m.

Just a note for your consignor with high reserves on ICG coins. Typically, ICG coins grade down two notches, sometimes one, rarely crossover, with PCGS. The result of the reserves is I stopped bidding. Cases in point: On your mercury dimes graded ms67FB, I bid $35 and did not meet the reserve. Bidders do take chances on ICG coins. But here’s the reality: an MS66 or MS66FB ranges from $25-35. So bidders like me look at the coins and decide the chances of crossover. This, for example, is a horrendous ICG coin. The reverse looks stained:

icg


MEARES: APRIL 23, 2:35 p.m.

I am in agreement… that is one reason I put the disclaimer on the lot prior to all of the graded coins. He is one of our larger consignors and I have done my best to tell him about buying from these non-traditional grading companies. I will be dropping the reserves on these lots – I do hate reserves, but sometimes you get stuck with them to keep consignors.


PROXIBLOG: MAY 1, 8:45 a.m. I admire the note you put on your auction yesterday about top holdering companies. I also see that your consignor had 37 passed and about 10 sold. I know how hard auctioneers like you work on behalf of your consignors. Your consignor in this case is a fortunate man.



MEARES, MAY 1, 8:57 a.m.
: I am rewriting my terms for consignors in the next few weeks. One of the main points is no reserves on coins from ‘other than major graders’. They will all be sold to the highest bidder. … I’m thinking of also adding a no-sale fee for the ones that do have reserves attached.


We concur. Consignors who insist on high reserves should be held via contract to pay fees for items that do not sell. As Darron puts it, “It takes the same amount of time and effort to sell a coin as it does to try and meet a reserve price.”

We think an 8% of value fee is fair for lots with reserves that do not sell.

What do you think?

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.

New Rankings, 2000 Views per Month

Proxiblog’s Coin and Currency category did not add any new auctions to our favorite sellers list; however, a half dozen or so improved so that a full 16 houses earned a 24.5 out of 25, showing continuing improvement.


Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction takes the top spot again this month with SilverTowne a close second, thanks to a dazzling array of quality rarities. Both Weaver Auction and SilverTowne provide good descriptions, quick shipping, and regular auctions.

Weaver has slightly better photos, earning that house the sole 25-point best ranking.

Leonard, Capitol, Meares and Fox Valley all boast great photos, consignments, service and descriptions. In most cases, houses failed to score a full 25 points because of problems with photos or higher than average buyer’s premiums.

Rounding out the top 10 are Back to the Past, Star Coin and Currency, Certified Rare Coin Auctions and Five Star Auction.

It should be noted that some of our favorite houses are not offering as many auctions on Proxibid. Those are dropping in the rankings because of that. But we’re always on the lookout for their return.

Also keep in mind that our favorite houses are just that–ours. Your experience may differ from ours.

As for Proxiblog, we have exceeded 50,000 page views. In the past month, we surpassed 1820 views worldwide. We’re increasingly global with top views from the USA, Britain, Canada, India, Russia, Germany, Australia and the Philippines. Once again, the most accessed post was California Gold, real, replica and fake. That post averages between 50-100 views per month.

We continue to provide best practices and numismatic knowledge to our viewers for free. Please consider making a donation. We post every weekday and do this for educational purposes, informing viewers about numismatics as well as funding scholarships for Iowa State University students.

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 to the Iowa State Foundation 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.


Use “replica” when selling fake California gold

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We continue our fight against fake California fractional coins, especially when they are described as 19th century gold. The above replica is not from California and not minted in 1853. Calling it a “token” without the qualifier “replica” is inaccurate. As such, this lot is a SNAD (“significantly not as described”).

The replica above was described as “1853 CA Gold Token, 1/2, BU.” These replicas have been plaguing numismatics since the 19th century when the U.S. government began to crack down on them. California gold replicas are plentiful today, and the temptation is to offer them as authentic. When we spotted this one on Proxibid, the bid already was at $22. See photo below.

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That bid is about $20 more than the replica is worth.

Conversely, John Leonard at Leonard Auction–one of the most ethical auctioneers on the portal–knows how to describe these offerings. See screenshot below (click to expand):

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Leonard calls them replica tokens worth about $1-2 each. He is selling them as one lot and provides a clear photo of the reverse, showing the dreaded “bear” (which signifies a replica or counterfeit).

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We advise not to offer these fakes. Don’t obfuscate the matter, either, by calling them gold tokens or gold souvenirs. Using the word “gold” without testing the lot for the metal also is spurious. Most of these are brass or brass with gold plate. If you test for gold, note the karat.

For more information about real, replica and fake California gold, click on the most popular Proxibid post viewed more than 1000 times since 2012.

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.

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):

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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):

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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.

Consignor hypes coins, auctioneer lists at own risk

hyped

Auctioneers who allow consignors to grade coins have an obligation to set the record straight. We seldom bid in this auction because we disapprove of its continuously hyped grades. Grading is subjective–to a point. Imagine a beat-up 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab worth about $5,000 with a sale price of $65,000. That’s the level of exageration here.


Expand the photo above to see coin after coin listed at MS68. The photos are subpar, so you cannot truly grade these coins, although we see bag marks in several and washed out (dipped?) luster in others. We can’t be sure because of the poor quality photo; but we can be relatively sure that these are common uncirculated Morgans at best worth anywhere from silver melt to $100.

When we see auctioneers stating “Consignor’s Estimated Grade” in an auction that schedules weekly coin sessions on Proxibid, we expect the auctioneer to know something about coins and counter hyped descriptions by sellers. And please, no more–we’re auctioneers, not coin dealer excuses; if you’re scheduling regular coin events on Proxibid, guess what? You’re a coin dealer.

To see how to grade and describe coins, visit archived sessions by Capitol Coin Auction, SilverTowne and Leonard Auction.

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.

Boos & Booyahs: Best & Bad Auctioneer Lot Descriptions

It’s important 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 bad auctioneer lot descriptions and praises the best in recent auctions. (Click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions below.)


braden_ding

Booyah Braden Auction Service! for noting that this silver half dollar has obverse damage. Any detail that distracts from value should be noted, even if seemingly obvious in the photo.


sewn_repair

Booyah Weaver Auction! for noting that two halves of a torn currency were sewn together in a repair. Dave Weaver’s lot descriptions are among the best on Proxibid!


silvertowne_mark

Another Booyah to top-house SilverTowne Auction for noting damage on coins. This one is particularly helpful because it is difficult to see in the photo.


ryther_scratched

Booyah Gary Ryther Auctioneers! for noting another hard-to-see scratch on an Indian-head semi-key coin.


badphotos

Boo! to this house for awful photography. If you want to sell online, you had better master numismatic picture-taking, combining that with accurate descriptions.


not1882O

Boo! to this house for getting the description wrong. It’s not the scarce 1882-O Morgan but the common 1883-O one. When bidders see this common mistake, use the “report this item” Proxibid link so that the auctioneer can fix the mis-identification.


rim

Booyah Antiques and Estate Auctioneers! not only for acknowledging a rim problem but providing a good photo to document it.


detailed_inventory

Booyah Leonard Auction! for providing detailed description on an item that has various components, noting face value, various silver weights, denominations and more.


nokeydate

Boo! to this house for claiming the 1909 vdb is a “key date.” Key dates in the Lincoln Wheat Cent category are 1909-S vdb, 1909-S, 1914-D, 1922 plain, and 1931-S.


gold_not

Boo! to another auction house for calling the 1880-S, a very common Morgan dollar, a “key date.” Key dates for the Morgan series are 1881-CC, 1885-CC, 1889-CC, 1893-CC, 1893-S, 1895 Proof, and 1895-S.


polished
Booyah Munda Auction! for noting that this lot is polished. Often polished coins appear to be mint state when they are, in fact, rendered silver melt by polishing and alternation.


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. Tomorrow we will showcase the best lot descriptions. 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.

Consign to Proxiblog sponsor: Leonard Auction

leonardauction

In our recent award series, Leonard Auction and Appraisers won the “Best Consignment” category for a reason. Take a look at this page on John Leonard’s website to understand why this auction house won the category and, over the years, has earned our trust–both as buyer and consignor.

(Expand the photo above to read about consignment deadlines and payouts for Leonard Auction’s Feb. 16 auction on Proxibid.)


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Leonard Auction is always seeking choice coin consignments, especially holdered and raw gold and silver coins and rarities. Read about John Leonard’s evaluation and consignment policies–among the most professional in the business–by clicking here.

Leonard Auction, located in Addison, Ill., is a premiere Chicago auction house and estate liquidation firm that does just about everything right. You will be working with an auction house that puts customer service first, gets great consignments, describes lots numismatically and depicts them brilliantly for the Internet bidder.

Leonard Auction also has detailed consignment policies that secure some of the best coin lots on the Proxibid portal. The company not only knows numismatics but also protects buyers, as this post illustrates, noting the Leonard policy on coin authenticity and emphasizing why Leonard Auction ranks among the most trusted on Proxibid.

Leonard Auction has a reputation for experience, integrity, and superior technology–core values of founder and appraiser John Leonard–that propelled his house to the top echelon of auctioneering. As far as numismatics go, Leonard Auction is the only house we have reviewed to earn an A+ for conservatively grading raw coins. See this post for proof.

John Leonard conducts a series of auctions each month, generally on the third weekend. His Friday night Coin & Currency auction features 300-400 lots of high-end collectible coins, currency, gold, silver, platinum and stamps.

The company’s onsite house has more than 8000 square feet of showroom and office space. As the picture below shows, it is a first-class facility for appraisals and lot inspection.

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You can download his consignment form here.

Proxiblog has consigned coins with Leonard Auction in the past and so knows from experience that the auction house relies on advertising, marketing and onsite and floor competition to reach wholesale and often retail levels for lots in addition to sell-throughs.

Leonard Auction uses full color catalogs, advertising and select mailing lists, Internet marketing and online/onsite auction previews.

We thank Leonard Auction for contributing to Proxiblog’s scholarship fund to help ease student debt and create the next generation of auction-house bidders!