Archive | May, 2012

Coins: Breaking a Date Roll

29 May

Coins: Breaking a Date Roll

The question I’d like us to ponder is when a date roll breaks, what is optimal for maximizing value?  I believe there is a mathematical model for this.  What does the model look like?  I have a theory, but we’ll look at it another day.  For the meantime, let’s bring to light a few possible decisions while allowing you to determine optimization of value with the discussion of roll-breaking analyses.

A good question to ask is whether the roll is a common date, scarce date, or rare date; let’s assume that these are the only categories of availability.

If the roll is of a common date, it probably won’t matter if the roll is broken and submitted for grading.  Once the roll is submitted for grading the grades are put on the population report.  When the coins hit the market, the roll is unlikely to affect prices.

If the roll is a scarce date, we are getting warmer with importance.  One roll of a scarce date could yield a change in wholesale and retail prices for the date.  The change would likely be a touch downward.

If the roll is a rare date discovery, the breakup of the roll could be a bit tricky; the coins could be metered out one or a few at a time.  They could be graded all at once or one to a few at a time.

A Couple of other Necessary Considerations

1. Once submitted for grading, coins go on the population report of whatever grading service they are submitted to and can only be removed from the “pop” report .

2. Do you tell other dealers about the roll or do you show only one to a few of the coins of the roll to other dealers?

3. Do you attempt to locate a collector, or two collectors, who would maybe pay a premium for the intact roll? Unlikely, I don’t know if this has ever happened or would happen; the thought seems contrary to the common manner in which a roll would be divided to maximize sale value.

4. Do you sell the coins in auction or sell them privately?  How many do you sell at a time?

5. Do you sell one every six months, grade one every six months?  Do you sell one, once per year; grade one, once per year?

Thank you for writing with meaningful remarks and additional questions.

-The Numismatic Enthusiast


A National Money Show to Remember

14 May


My trip to Casa Bonita over the weekend was more exciting than the ANA’s National Money Show last week held in Denver, Colorado, May 10-12.  The sweat beads down my forehead from the hottest dining room ever were more welcoming to my body than the sore knees and feet from the concrete slabbed convention center floor.  The physical and emotional pain would have been worth it had there been an awesome coin in the room.

The coolest coins in the room were at the Stack’s Bowers table where being displayed were a few of the pieces from the Battle Born Collection of Carson City coins.  The complete set of 111 coins will be up for auction at the ANA’s World’s Fair of Money come August in Philadelphia.

Bill Bugert gave a very good presentation for forty five minutes on Carson City Seated Half Dollars.  He spoke about die marriages, how he estimates surviving populations of each date, and suggestions for putting CC half dollar sets together.

While on the show floor, I asked for prices on well over a hundred different coins and trade tokens and actually purchased fewer than 5% of the coins I was interested in.  In dealer cases and in backup boxes, in regular inventory and newps, I dug for and yet purchased far fewer coins than I had expected.

Reasonable counteroffers were made, yet most mid-size and smaller dealers seemed more interested in continuing their year-round mobile museum that they trek to shows in hopes of retail buyers.

Retail asking prices are just fine for coins that are deserving, but most of the coins that were on the bourse floor were the ones that nobody wants.  They are common coins, over graded, cleaned, damaged etc.  Some of the seemingly derogatory descriptions mentioned are okay for coins since I believe that there is a buyer for every item, but the prices being asked for such material at the show were outside of most budgets.

Show attendees appeared to make little noise on the bourse floor on Thursday and Friday.  From my estimates between 125 and 150 collectors and part-time dealers were lined up outside of the convention hall doors right before ten o’clock Thursday morning, May 9.  Is that a lot?  I didn’t think so.

With dealer setup held on Wednesday afternoon, some dealers had left the show for home by Friday afternoon.  In regard to future ANA shows, Dave Harper wrote that the ANA voted to discontinue the Autumn ANA show schedule starting as soon as 2013.  He thinks that the Spring show could follow suit.

Is this termination of Fall ANA shows a big surprise?  Is the elimination a big loss?  There are so many national and regional shows across the country already and this show is not the first show to recently be eliminated, the longtime Santa Clara Coin Expo was recently discontinued in California.

Clearly, my analysis of last week’s show is subjective to my mind only.  If you went to the show, share your thoughts with me.  If you appreciated my debriefing of the show, please leave me a comment.  Thank you!

Shopping a Coin Around: Buyer and Seller

1 May


From the perspective of The Numismatic Enthusiast, Buyer: 

A young man (probably mid-twenties) walks into our store and asks what we would pay for his liberty half eagle.  It’s a common date, I grade the coin ms61 or ms62 and I offer $385 at the time.  I can sell the coin raw for about $405, at the time, wholesale.  If we had a customer to sell it to, which we didn’t, we could have made maybe $30 instead of $20.  The thing is nobody ever comes into the store asking for a BU or CU quality liberty half eagle.  For one thing, the Indian fives are way more popular and nowadays many customers ask for the coin to be PCGS or NGC certified, even for a common bullion type coin like this. 

The customer tells me I can get more for this item at another shop down the street.  That may be, but let’s say he is offered the same exact price ($385) down the street, what is the chance that he will actually take the time to walk or drive back down to us to sell the half eagle for the same price that I just offered??  My guess is he will just sell the coin in the place where he received the most recent offer and not waste any more of his time, that’s rational. 

Maybe it is best to make the second or third offer.  On an item like this, does the twenty dollars make a difference?  You decide.  Should I get upset?  No, I should, however, reevaluate the situation and try a different approach next time.  The seller/shopper of an item should, however, try to be clear in their intentions saying something like, “Good afternoon, I am shopping around for offers on this coin or collectible and would like to see what you would pay for this,” something like that. 

At this time, the potential buyer can then make a judgment of whether the item is worth making an offer on or whether there can possibly be another nontraditional manner in which to handle the situation.  Example, “May I make the second offer?…Would you go ahead and get some other offers and come back to see me last?  I’ll make the last offer<– Nobody ever said that business was pretty.  Many dealers and collectors across an array of professional fields do this, it’s a common scenario.  As the potential buyer, you ask yourself the question: Play or pass? And what could be the repercussions of each?

I encourage you to share a moment with me that this post reminds you of.  Have a great day!


David Bozsik

The Numismatic Enthusiast