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

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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.

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 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.)

> One Big Booyah to GWS Auctions for noting that the slab of this coin may have been tampered with. We know unscrupulous persons routinely open, extract and replace coins without breaking holders and even re-glue so that evidence is concealed. But it is not always easy to tell. Sometimes people try to crack open coins for resubmission and decide against that halfway through the process. Brigitte Kruse alerts the bidding audience that the slab has damage, advising to bid accordingly.


One Big Booyah to BidAlot Coin Auction for noting that this coin is holdered by a bottom-tier slabber, also advising to bid accordingly. We have seen some auctioneers quote MS66 and higher Red Book retail prices for basic silver melt coins.


Boo! to this unnamed auctioneer who hypes one of the bottom-tier slabs, claiming that the common 1900-O Morgan is rare and that this may be a good deal when the buyer is close to being cheated in our estimation. Don’t pretend to know coins when you do this.


Booyah! to Larry Fuller at Silvertowne Auctions for not only exposing the bottom-tier slab but also for giving a truer grade. These hyped slabs give the hobby a bad name; Larry makes it all better.


Boo! to this unnamed auction house for hyping what looks like a $50 Morgan as super-rare and perhaps worth the ridiculous price of $6000 on the flip. We wish Proxibid would create a badge for laughable lot descriptions. But this really isn’t a laughing matter, especially if a bidder is a novice and falls for this untrustworthy hype.


Boo! to this auctioneer who showcases a 1922 No D cent whose reverse has three types–two cheap, one rare. When are auction houses on Proxibid ever going to learn that we need photos of obverse and reverse?


Boo! to this unnamed auction house for failing to show the reverse of purported California gold, without which we cannot discern genuine from replica with a price difference in the hundreds!


Boo! YET AGAIN to another unnamed auction house for failing to show the reverse of purported California gold. It may be gold, and that just might make it a counterfeit, which violates the Proxibid user agreement. For more information about California gold, click here.


One Big Booyah! to Scott Strosnider at Scott Auctions for noting a coin might be buffed and therefore damaged and not worth a high bid. Scott’s known for integrity. This is just one example.


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.

We Applaud Proxibid’s Quality Control Badges

Increasingly online portals whose entire livelihood relies on the Internet audience will have to exert greater quality control over auction houses catering to onsite audiences or taking numismatic shortcuts. To combat those and other negative attributes–and to keep up with eBay’s ever stricter quality controls–Proxibid has tolled out quality control badges noting APN Clearance, Shipping Policies, Low Buyer’s Premium, Lot Description Accuracy, and Complaint Rate

APN Clearance is as important as ever in using credit card purchases with ease and security. (Watch for a post on the downside of using PayPal.) Shipping, Low Buyer’s Premium, Lot Description Accuracy and Complaint Rate have been quality control issues that Proxiblog has monitored since launching this site in May 2011.

We now are approaching 20,000 views because of our focus on quality control for both auctioneer and bidder, in addition to our numismatic knowledge as a buyer and seller on Proxibid.

We applaud Jason Nielson, quality control exec, and his Proxibid team for instituting these much-needed badges. And one more thing: Because Proxibid now is covering with badges much of what we covered in our Honor Roll page, we now will include superior houses with higher than 15% buyer’s fees in our sidebar rankings. We’re putting a greater emphasis on quality of consignments, shipping, customer service and lack of transparency notices. Watch for a post on that in the near future.

Our reasoning is simple: While we advocate for low buyer’s fees, some of the best numismatic catalogs are being posted by Leonard Auction, Capitol Coin Auction, Scott Auctions, Fox Valley and others. They will qualify for our Best on Proxibid rankings.

Beginning next week, however, we will exclude from our sidebar rankings all auctions that see maximum bids or allow auctioneer/consignor bidding. There is just no place for either. Auctioneers should know grey sheet values. If a bid doesn’t reach it, they can pass on it. An auctioneer should NEVER ghost-bid (raise the bid even though no buyer has). And finally, a house can allow a consignor to bid on an item, but if the consignor wins, he bought it, meaning he has to pay both consignor and buyer fees. That will discourage shell-bidding entirely.

We’ll end with photos of each badge and the Proxibid description:





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.

These Houses Can Grade!

This is the second installment about the need for coin auctioneers to understand grading. The first listed the Do’s and Don’ts of grading. This cites houses that described raw coins so accurately that PCGS, the most rigorous holdering company in the business, agreed with their grades when Proxiblog sent the coins in for authentication.

Silvertowne: 1880-CC. Lot desccribed coin as MS62-63; coin returned by PCGS, MS62.


Matthew Bullock Auctioneers: 1883-O MS64DMPL; coin returned by PCGS, MS64DMPL.


Leonard Auction: 1903 PCGS Old Green Holder, MS64, possible upgrade; coin returned by PCGS, MS65.


Capitol Coin Auction: 1885-O, rainbow color, MS63; coin returned by PCGS MS63.


Fox Valley Coins: 1991-CC, MS64; coin returned by PCGS, MS64.


We have had similar luck with certain auctions sending to NGC, among them, Manor Auctions, Kreuger and Kreuger, Key Date Coins and Engstrom Auction. We have come close on occasion at NGC or PCGS (within a point) with Western, Weaver, Arneson, Meares, Scott and Kaufman 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.

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.