Michael Bugeja

Online Coin Auctions

Michael Bugeja

Michael Bugeja, a coin collector since childhood, is a professor at Iowa State University and also a former member of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. He is a nationally known author, journalist and educator.

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Exciting Fox Valley Auction; But Bid Carefully!


One of the major regional auctions by Fox Valley Coins, the Greater Chicago Coin Show, will take place Friday, Feb. 26, at the Illinois Convention Center. You can bid on coins there or via Proxibid, which is carrying the catalog on its website.

I have bid via Proxibid in many Fox Valley Coin auctions and think highly about the company, with some caveats for hobbyists who have not encountered its Internet catalog. First and foremost, if you have the numismatic skill, you can score some fantastic bargains. There are uncertified lots in every denomination, including the ever-popular Morgan dollar. Here is a scarce 1895-S with a current bid at this writing of $650. (Expect that to go for $1000+.)

The auction has rare gold and silver coins holdered by the major companies, including these rarities:
  • 1838 Gobrecht Silver Dollar (J-85 Restrike) NGC PF65 with a mintage of 4-7 pieces and a current bid of $30,500
  • 1863 $5 Gold PR64DCAM PCGS with a CAC sticker, mintage 30, and a current bid of $23,000.
There are also hundreds of more affordable coins, slabbed and uncertified. You need to know more about the latter.

Fox Valley doesn't note flaws in its online descriptions. Its photos are good, but Internet pictures sometimes aren't the best when it comes to coins with natural luster ... or ones that have been dipped. You will have to excel at online numismatics to detect rim bumps, alterations, PVC damage and other problematic details.

I want your online auction dollar to go as far as possible. So before placing an Internet bid, inspect the coin carefully for any flaws and, if you see one, bid accordingly. If you don't possess sufficient numismatic knowledge, at least not yet, then bid on certified lots by PCGS, NGC, ANACS and ICG.

Also, understand that Fox Valley charges a 20% buyer's premium and factor that into any bid, along with shipping, because your credit card will be charged and you cannot reverse charges once you commit to a sale.

 


 
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