It’s often said that today’s coin market has two tiers: the best, and
then the rest.
The success of Stack’s Bowers and Sotheby’s Sept. 30 auction of the
D. Brent Pogue Collection where 105 coins sold for more than $26
million showed that collectors are still buying the best in force.
Most of the coins were purchased directly by collectors or through
dealer intermediaries buying on behalf of collectors, rather than by
dealers looking to buy for inventory.
Like in the first Pogue auction earlier this year, few of these
coins will likely return to market quickly as they were placed in
strong collector hands.
The retail prices for coins in the Pogue sale don’t usually
correspond to printed price guides because of the uniqueness of the
coins and their nearly uniformly high quality for the grades. There
are coins in the collection that likely couldn’t be found anywhere
else, for any price.
Take an 1804 Capped Bust gold $5 half eagle, Normal 8 Over Large 8
variety, graded Mint State 64 by Professional Coin Grading Service
that sold for $94,000. It’s a rare coin in this grade, but the Pogue
example was special. It has a unique look, described in the Pogue
catalog as, “One of the most beautiful early half eagles extant, this
specimen is without a doubt the most colorful, rich with deep magenta
and coppery tones on the right side of the obverse, framed with orange
and translucent ice blue on both sides that embrace deepest golden
Called, “A spectacle and a prize,” it last traded at auction in 2004
at American Numismatic Rarities’ sale of the Oliver Jung Collection
where it brought $48,300.
Connect with Coin World:
New owners for the Greysheet
Dealers and collectors alike are curious as to what direction The
Coin Dealer Newsletter (the Greysheet) and its related
publications that track the wholesale markets will take under the new
ownership of John Feigenbaum and his partners. In the Sept. 11
Greysheet, Feigenbaum wrote that the new owners won’t rush into
changes, but will move pricing more in line with auction results and marketplace.
For the Certified Coin Dealer Newsletter (the Bluesheet), the
publishers are now reporting on the sight unseen market not at the
“lowest of the low” price, but rather “a reliable price for which
average quality PCGS & NGC [Numismatic Guaranty Corp.] coins have
Like it or not, auctions are now a primary way that collectors buy
coins, and as Coin World’s Coin Values prices the retail
market, Greysheet tracks the wholesale market, and we both look to
auctions as a factor that informs our pricing.
Few if any of the Pogue coins will sell at levels near the
Greysheet. That is fine, because these are not coins that are traded
at the wholesale level. They are sold directly to collectors. Most
Pogue results will even surpass Coin World’s Coin Values, which
provides retail prices for coins that are solid for the grade, but not
necessarily the finest-possible examples within a given grade.
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