Capitol Coin Wins “Best Auction” a Second Time

7Best Coin Auction

Capitol Coin Auction has won our award for “Best Coin Auction” on the Proxibid portal, garnering “Best Shipping,” “Best Photography,” and “Value Added” honors with honorable mentions in “Best Descriptions” and “Best Consignments.” This is the second year in a row that Capitol Coin Auction has won the top honor.

A close second, once again, was Leonard Auction. It won “Best Consignments” with honorable mentions in “Value-Added,” “Best Photography” and “Best Descriptions.”

Star Coin and Currency made a great showing this year, winning “Best Timed Auction” with honorable mentions in “Most Improved,” “Best Descriptions” and “Best Shipping.”

Southwest Bullion and Coin also had a particularly successful year in our rankings, winning the competitive “Best Descriptions” category and honorable mentions in “Most Improved” and “Best Photography.”

SilverTowne Auctions won “Best Shipping” and had honorable mentions in “Best Descriptions,” “Value-Added” and “Best Consignments.”

Meares Auction won “Most Improved” and had honorable mentions in “Best Shipping” and “Best Consignments.”

Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction had honorable mentions in the important categories of “Best Photography,” “Best Descriptions,” “Best Consignments” and “Value-Added.”

The houses above are runners-up in our “Best Coin Auction” category.

We also praise and recommend our other houses that placed in our various competitions, including:

  • Back to the Past Collectibles
  • Black and Gold Auctions
  • Braden Auction Services
  • Decatur Coin and Jewelry
  • Engstrom Auctions
  • Five Star Auction
  • Fox Valley Coins
  • Gary Ryther Auctioneers
  • Heuckman Auction
  • Jewelry Exchange
  • Kaufman Realty and Auction
  • McKee Coins
  • Midwest Coins
  • Rolling M Auction
  • Schultz Auctioneers
  • Western Auction

We encourage all of the houses named above to continue improving in the spirit of service, competition and community that all auctioneers and numismatists share, serving our clients and memberships. Continue to embrace the ethics of both the National Auctioneers Association and the American Numismatic Association.

We also thank Proxibid for its Internet options, quality control and customer service and all houses specializing in coins. We encourage them to visit these award-winning houses above. We know there are some houses that we missed in our rankings; as always, our experience may differ from yours and you should consider these award-winners our favorites. In sum, 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 26000 views since inception.

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.

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Capitol Coin Auction Wins … “Best Value-Added”

best value added

Value-added considerations are found mostly in terms of service, which every buyer should read before placing a bid in a Proxibid Auction. Capitol Coin Auction’s terms of service are among the fairest on the portal. We know. We patronize Brad Lisembee’s sessions and have dealt with him for years, mainly because of his standards.

Speaking of standards, we will do a post soon on new ones for auction houses to be included in our Honor Roll pages, which we recently updated. We seldom bid in auctions that lack any of those 10 standards for online coin bidding. (NOTE: If we missed your auction house in our revision of this page, please notify us at this email address.)

We strongly encourage any coin buyer to read terms of service before placing any bid in a Proxibid auction. Bidders and auctioneers alike should read the Unified User Agreement. Contrary to what some auctioneers believe, all sales of coins are NOT final if they are counterfeit.

The Unified User Agreement specifically states:

  • If, within a reasonable amount of time, Buyer gives notice in writing to Seller that the lot so sold is a counterfeit and after such notice the Buyer returns the lot to Seller in the same condition as when sold, and establishes to the satisfaction of Seller that the returned lot is in fact a counterfeit, Seller as agent for the consignor will rescind the sale and refund the purchase price.

Capitol Coin Auction, and honorable mention houses listed here, abide by clauses of that agreement. Here are a few excerpts from their terms of service.

Capitol Coin Auction

Sales are final with no returns except for reason of authenticity (proof of non-authenticity is required by PCGS or NGC). … We go to great efforts to ensure that all lots are described accurately and thoroughly, and that detailed photos are provided to assist our bidders. We strictly safeguard access to your information, and all of our employees and contractors have been trained on safeguarding measures and the importance of confidentiality of our customers’ personal information. Personal information that has been collected about you will be safeguarded by us and will be destroyed if not needed. We will NEVER sell, disclose or otherwise provide any of your personal information to third parties, except as required by law.

Jewelry Exchange

Written descriptions of all items are true to our knowledge. Material identified as gold, silver or platinum is guaranteed to be the material described. Gemstones, including diamonds, are guaranteed to be authentic. Branded merchandise is guaranteed to be authentic. When any item is graded, every attempt is made to grade conservatively. … We will do our best to address any question or concern that arises.

Leonard Auction

REFUND POLICY (Coin & Currency Lots): Leonard Auction, Inc. guarantees all items to be genuine (authentic) as to date and mintmark. If a successful bidder has questions as to the authenticity of a lot, the bidder must contact Leonard Auction, Inc. within three (3) calendar days of receipt of the lot. Items removed from their original, heat-sealed Leonard Auction, Inc. holder, MAY NOT BE RETURNED for any reason. No lot may be returned because of a variance in opinion with regards to Items encapsulated and authenticated by a third-party grading service MAY NOT BE RETURNED for any reason.

SilverTowne Auction

Internet buyers are entitled to a return within 3 days of receipt of items. In order to return an item, we must be notified of your intent to return within that 3-day period. We can be reached at 419-943-2612. Items returned will be shipped at buyer’s expense. All returns are subject to a restocking fee of 15% of the purchase price with a minimum charge of $10.

Star Coin and Currency

Our auction house has chosen not to view or have access to bidder maximum pre-bids. We also do not allow or bid on lots to increase amounts. All our auctions are $1 start, absolute, no reserve auctions. All items sell to the highest bidder. Return policy: If an item is not materially the same as pictured and/or described in the auction contact us. We are here to make your auction experience a positive one. Privacy: Any personal data we collect is used solely for processing an invoice.

Weaver Coin and Currency Auction

Tiered Buyer Premium: 5% Gold $20 or other 1 oz Gold 12% Total Hammer Price $2500.00 or higher 13% Total Hammer Price $1500.00-2499.00 14% Total Hammer Price $500.00-1499.00 15% Total Hammer Price Under $500.00. … Items are sold “AS IS”, “WHERE IS” with no guarantees of any kind except for the authenticity of US coins. We will accept returns on counterfeit coins (which we never intend to sell without identifying as a copy) or if we made an error in denomination description. Return requests must be made within 5 days of receipt of the coins. Any coin removed from the original packaging or holder is considered sold & may not be returned.

We congratulate Capitol Coin Auction and our Honorable Mention houses for their emphasis on customer service as expressly noted in their service terms.

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.

Leonard Auction Wins … “Best Consignment”

3Best Consignments_Leonard

Leonard Auction, operated by John Leonard of Addison, Ill., has won the category of “Best Consignments,” based not only on the caliber of rarities but also on raw coins that actually grade as described with PCGS or NGC. Fox Valley Coins was a very close second with its Nov. 23, 2013 auction featuring some of the best coins we had seen all year.

Western Auction won the category in 2013 and also in 2012, tying in that year with James Peterson Auction. This year both of those companies were included in Honorable Mention along with Fox Valley Coins, SilverTowne Auctions, Capitol Coin Auction, Kaufman Realty and Auctions, Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, and Decatur Coin and Jewelry.

To give you an example of coins that John Leonard routinely offers, look at this slate of brilliant gold coins augmenting top-notch raw key date silver lots.

leonard_consignments

Some of Proxiblog’s acquisitions from Leonard have been profiled in Coin World, as in this piece.

Among the best auctions in 2013 on Proxibid was the Nov. 23 session by Fox Valley Coins. See this slate of Morgans as an example:

FoxValley

The condition of coins in that auction had the look of “age,” lots stored away for decades in some vault or bank box. Bidding was frenetic, with almost every cherry lot selling at retail; or above.

Meares Auction Group also came close to winning with recent bankruptcy auctions. Darron Meares, auctioneer, also has some of the best terms of service on the portal, with low buyer’s premiums.

SilverTowne Auctions consistently offers some of the best lots on Proxibid. It holds more coin auctions than any other company on the portal and thus was a very strong contender.

And our long-time favorite, Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, continues to impress us with frequent quality auctions, innovations and new directions.

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.

Capitol Coin Auction wins … “Best Photography”

2Best Photography

Capitol Coin Auction does many things right, but perhaps what it does best is combine excellent digital photography with accurate numismatic descriptions.

Only a relative handful of Proxibid auction houses showcase exemplary coin photography that captures detail, luster and color. Capitol Coin Auction does that better than anyone else on the portal. Here’s an example:

photo_capitol

(This coin, by the way, graded MS65 at PCGS, certification 28957041.)

Compare the above photo with this one below, all too typical on the portal, purportedly showcasing another toned 1880s Morgan dollar:

photo_bad

Now more than ever, sharp expandable photos of obverse, reverse and close-ups of any flaw or variety will be essential on Proxibid because sellers are being rated–not only by us but by Proxibid itself! Auction houses that have gotten away with poor descriptions and blurry photos will be noted as such. In the end, the better the photo the less an auction house has to worry about the numismatic description, although both are indicators of excellence.

Last year’s winner in Best Photography was Key Date Coins, which has not held a recent auction. (We miss you, Eddie Caven!)

Here are photos from Honorable Mention houses in this year’s TOP Awards, showing detail, device and condition (click to expand):

Decatur Coin and Jewelry

photo_decatur


Western Auction

photo_western


Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction

photo_weaver


Leonard Auction

photo_leonard


Southwest Bullion and Coin

photo_southwest


Those wishing to improve their photography should visit this post in Coin Update News.

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.

Southwest Bullion and Coin Wins … “Best Descriptions”

1Best Descriptions

Southwest Bullion and Coin, operated by Justin Quinn–a top-ranked house through much of 2013 on Proxiblog–has won the category of “Best Descriptions,” based on numismatic knowledge–especially the ability to identify flaws and rarities in consignments and to honor basic ethical tenets with regard to value.

As was the case last year, this was a hotly contested competition, as you will see in the Honorable Mentions category, with seven houses also cited for best practices in descriptions. Capitol Coin Auction won this category last year and was a very close contender again this year mainly because of the grading prowess of Auctioneer Brian Lisembee. SilverTowne Auction, a previous winner, also was a strong contender.

Other Honorable Mentions are Jewelry Exchange, Decatur Coin and Jewelry, Leonard Auction, Star Coin and Currency, and Weaver Auction.

Click and expand the picture below to see how Justin Quinn describes value in this ANACS-graded coin.

southwest

Southwest’s accuracy in descriptions led to three separate posts last year:

As noted previously, several Honorable Mention houses came close to winning this year. SilverTowne’s Dave Nauert and Rick Howard continue with succinct and accurate descriptions of flaws as well as highlights for each coin. John Leonard of Leonard Auction is a conservative and respected numismatist; Dave Weaver of Weaver Auction is combining better photos with accurate descriptions; and Jim Haver of Star Coin and Currency does similarly with weekly auctions.

Finally, Dave Bluestein is so skilled in descriptions that he co-hosts a radio show “In the Money” in San Antonio.

Accurate numismatic descriptions are mandatory in Proxibid auctions because online viewers cannot always discern flaws in coins. These houses are aware of that and go the extra mile because the pay-off is return customers.

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.

Update Your Email and Network Socially for Bidder Interaction

Some auction houses on Proxibid do not include their email addresses, thus eliminating bidder interaction that typically means more and higher bids. Other auction houses are savvy enough to add an “info” account to their email services, engaging bidders and ensuring return sales. The auction business is changing as more bidders migrate online. Would you ignore onsite sellers who stop at your house to see lots? Don’t ignore Internet bidders. Instead, correspond with them on your site and on social networks.

update email


Recently Garrison Auctioneers sent us an excellent example of how to open an information channel with your bidders and ensure that your messages are being received rather than trashed by browser settings. The photo above features text that reaches out to the Internet audience. You should be doing the same.

Engstrom Auction, Weaver Auction, SilverTowne Auctions, Leonard Auction and nearly all of our top-ranked houses have been doing this for years. It’s time for you to do the same, if you want online sales to increase.

Decatur Coin and Jewelry not only interacts with online bidders but also uses social networks, again as many of our top houses do. See example below.

decatur_facebook

When Decatur Coin and Jewelry sends an email, it reminds bidders to “like them” on Facebook. (We did!)

The auctioneering business is changing rapidly. We have been at the forefront of advising you on best practices. Pay heed, and buyers will pay you back with compliments and bids.

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.

Seller Asks About Descriptions: Installment #2


best_practice

A new coin seller on Proxibid asked us pertinent questions about best practices, and we promised to share our opinion and to solicit yours in the comment section. Auctioneers look to this site for recommendations on how to sell, ship and improve their services. The more you and we share, the more bidders will be drawn to our sites. We will treat each question as a post running throughout the week. Scroll down to view previous questions and answers. Here is installment two.

QUESTION:What do you look for in descriptions?

PROXIBLOG: Rule #1: Lot descriptions must match photos and titles. Too often, especially with new sellers, they do not.

Rule #2: The title should carry the date and denomination of the coin along with a condition descriptor. Do not use the Sheldon Scale (0-70) if you are not an experienced numismatist. Use “Good (G),” “Very Good, (VG)” “Fine (F),” “Extra Fine (XF),” “Almost Uncirculated (AU),” “Uncirculated (Unc.),” “Brilliant Uncirculated (BU).”

Rule #3: The lot description should cite PCGS values for PCGS Coins, NGC Values for NGC Coins, and Redbook or Coin World Values for ANACS and ICG. Be careful about assigning any dollar value to raw coins or lots slabbed by bottom-tier companies. Never cite PCGS Values for raw coins or coins holdered by any other company.

Rule #4: Note any flaws: rim bumps and dents, holes, scratches, cleaning, dipping, etc. If you don’t know how to identify these flaws, bone up on the skill with our “Find the Flaw” series on Proxiblog. (Type “Find the Flaw” in our search box for results.)

Rule #5: Check out our top houses to view examples of some of the best lot descriptions on the portal. For a primer, we recommend SilverTowne, Decatur Coin, Weaver Auction, Southwest Bullion, Capitol Coin Auction, and Leonard Auction.

Next installment: Any insight on shipping and packing?

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.)

basemetal

One Big Booyah to Kaufman Coin Auction for identifying a base metal replica being passed off as a genuine 8 Reale Silver Crown.


competitors are

One Big Boo to his house for proclaiming “We Are Not In the Shipping Business!” News flash: Your competitors are. Consignors do consider these notices to bidders, and the wise auction house realizes that. In the Internet age, service comes first, and that includes shipping.


decatur description
Booyah Decatur Coins! for some of the best numismatic lot descriptions on the portal. Click photo to expand and see how much attention Decatur puts into each lot description, using it as an educational tool. That keeps bidders reading … and bidding!


leonard_details

Booyah Leonard Auction! Top house Leonard Auction not only ranks among the best numismatic graders on the portal but always includes the word “Details” if there is a flaw in the coin, helping buyers bid with confidence.


melt

Boo! to this unnamed auction house valuing a silver melt Morgan worth $22 as being worth $1000. Where is this house pulling down numbers from?


norev

Boo! to this house for noting that the reverse of the coin is toned (but we won’t show it).


polished

Booyah SilverTowne Auction! for always noting when a coin has been polished or damaged.


quality

Booyah McKee Coins! for jam-packing information into a short description, including values and condition and state of devices.



RitMar Exchange_Varieties

Booyah RitMar Exchange! for accurate numismatic descriptions, including varieties. Way to go!


succinct

Booyah Weaver Auction! for more succinct, accurate numismatic descriptions–not to mention good photos and great customer service!


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.

Get Catalogs Up at Least a Week Prior to Sale!

nocatalog
We are flummoxed by auction houses that wait until the last minute (typically day or two) before posting their catalogs. Likewise, we are impressed by houses like Capitol Coin Auction and SilverTowne that post their catalogs months or weeks in advance. The latter take advantage of free advertising in the Coins and Currency category of Proxibid.

The photo above is for one of our favorite auction houses with a Proxibid session four days from the writing of this post. It still doesn’t have a catalog. Also, this house is known by frequent bidders to be very slow in shipping coins. Probably only one person is assigned to do the entire auction from photos to shipping. Too bad. The company is losing out to early bird posters like Weaver Signature Coin and Currency.


True, there are risks posting catalogs too early, especially if your house is selling bullion with reserves or consignor-set opening bids. Silver and gold prices change daily and so those opening bids might not apply weeks in advance. However, late posting does not apply to auction houses that do not see maximum bids or allow shill bidding and that feature choice consignments. You’re simply missing out on an opportunity to showcase those consignments so that bidders like us can decide where to spend our hard-earned auction dollars.

On occasion, with our favorite houses such as Western Auction, for instance, we will email the auction house and ask when the next catalog is expected to be posted, so that we can budget accordingly.

We’re not alone. There are major buyers, bidders and resellers who target favorite houses and who bypass others with tardy catalogs.

If you’re going to pay Proxibid and APN fees, and print catalogs and advertise your sessions, you should be prompt in posting catalogs to keep pace with growing and intense competition on the portal as new companies like Tangible Investments and Decatur Coin and Jewelry–and veteran ones like Meares Auction Group, Leonard Auction and Gary Ryther, among others–set new standards in the Coin and Currency category.

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, More Than 40,000 Views!

Competition among coin-selling houses on Proxibid continues to be intense, with more houses making small enhancements that result in big gains with online bidders. For the first time ever in our rankings, three houses–Southwest Bullion and Coin, Capitol Coin Auctions, and Decatur Coin and Jewelry–earned perfect 25-point scores based primarily on low or zero percent buyer’s fee with accurate numismatic descriptions, sharp photography and quick, inexpensive shipping. Other top-house standbys continue to focus on continuous improvement, indicating that standards are rising with consignments across the portal in the coin and currency category.

SilverTowne Auctions, Leonard Auction, Weaver Auction, Western Auction, Gary Ryther Auctions, Meares Auction, Engstrom Auction, Star Coin and Currency, and Jewelry Exchange, focus on the basics and earn our respect as our favorite houses. Each has innovated a component of their auction. Consignments continue to be cherry.

What passes for second-tier in our rankings would have been top houses a year ago–yet another indicator of improvement on the portal. In fact, we’re excited when any of them schedule an auction because we admire their customer service and consignments. Each of these houses has something special to offer the bidder and consignor, for that matter!

We also commend other companies on our list that may still need a little work on photography, shipping or lot descriptions.

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 took a break in August to welcome students back to campus. 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.

Our audience keeps growing! On Aug. 23, 2013, we surpassed 40,000 views!

views

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.