Values and Slant Photos

It’s an old numismatic trick that plays out even better online: Show at a slant to highlight luster an otherwise bag-marked, flawed common silver coin and claim it is gem. Bidders: Don’t be fooled by auction houses that do this (intentionally or otherwise). Auctioneers: Sooner or later, your buyers will figure this out when they receive the coins and provide feedback to Proxibid.


value3

The coin depicted above is supposed to be a gem, MS65 or MS66, 1885 Morgan dollar worth the inflated range the auctioneer lists on the description-$150-$400. The lot is photographed on the slant to highlight luster, catch the bidder’s eye with that feature, and distract from flaws (and there are many bagmarks and hairlines here), making this at best an MS62 uncirculated coin worth $50.

The auctioneer has inflated the grade almost 10-fold.

Compare the above photographed lot with one below by Dave Weaver of Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, one of our top houses for three years running.

18850_weaver

This is an MS62 Morgan. A gouge near the eye prevents it from MS63 with a shot at 64.
18850_weaver_gouge

Photographed at a slant, the gouge would disappear, concealed by reflection of luster.

The point is, you can see the bagmarks and hairlines with a straight-on photo so you can bid accordingly. Anything else is suspect. We never bid on silver coins photographed at a slant. Neither should you unless you trust the auctioneer and his lot description and know what you are buying because you can decipher condition.

We bid with confidence in Weaver auctions as well as our top ones in the right sidebar because they photograph well and describe condition accurately.

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.)


weaverbox

Booyah Weaver Auction! for noting certificate of authenticity and box container on US Mint Products. You can deduct 25% or more without both from the current value. If you bid on the coin, plan to submit it to PCGS or NGC to regain your investment … and then some. That’s what we do.



1940S_noproof

Boo! to this auction house not only for hyping the grade of the coin but also calling it a proof, when it has a mint mark “S” and when all proofs then were made in Philadelphia.


1942_noproof

Boo again! to the same house for calling a mint state cent a proof and for hyping the grade this time to MS70. (If you’re calling something a proof, you might as well go for it with the right designation, PF70.)


hyped

Another Boo! to this house for allowing a bottom-tier slab to label a 1954 Quarter Dollar MS70. CoinFacts shows no coins in the ms68 category, let alone MS70.


howitsdone

Booyah SilverTowne Auctions! for correctly identifying both damage, rarity and BG number for authentic California gold. See CoinFacts insert on survival rate: 200.


exjewelry

Booyah Rolling M Auctions! for describing ex-jewelry on this gold lot.


mistakes

Boo! to this house for mis-identifying the year and the grade. It’s an 1886 (O or P). Why? Because the house only provides an obverse photo. Three strikes and you’re out: Boo! Boo! Boo!


munda_mintage

Booyah Munda Auction! for providing the mintage on a scarce coin. Wish more houses would do that!


pinscratch

Booyah Jewelry Exchange! for noting a pin scratch on this lot, which too often is difficult to see in online photography.


rim
Booyah! to SilverTowne again for noting another easily overlooked flaw–a rim dent. Noting flaws brings trust and return customers.


ryther_repros

Booyah Gary Ryther Auction! for making sure in the lot description and photo that everyone knows these are reproductions.

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.

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.

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.

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.