US Coins

Dix Noonan Webb institutes changes with auction format, schedule

Press release from Dix Noonan Webb:



A major change in the way that the vast majority of bidders choose to do business has resulted in Dix Noonan Webb, the London-based international coins and medals specialists, introducing a new system for running auctions and making cataloguing available.

The changes will see a switch from two-day quarterly sales to one-day monthly auctions while new online Preview Catalogues will enable prospective buyers to look at items coming up for sale much sooner.

“This is a step-change in the way that we do business,” says Pierce Noonan, a director of Dix Noonan Webb, which this year marks the 25th anniversary of its foundation. “This is being led by what most of our customers want and the way that people have increasingly chosen to do business with us.”

“A tipping point in the way that people bid was reached last year,” says Noonan. In DNW’s sale of orders, decorations and medals on 11 December 2014 only 47 lots out of 643 – just 7.4% - were bought by bidders in the room. “People are choosing not to attend the sale to do their bidding, so saving themselves time and expense,” he adds.

“We would need an auction room the size of a West End theatre to accommodate all our online bidders.”

DNW stresses that it will continue to hold traditional auctions and that printed catalogues will still be available for anybody who wants them. But it has invested a great deal in these changes, which will come into effect immediately. In the past, sales of orders, decorations and medals were held in March, June, September and December. However the next two will be on 25 February and 25 March 2015. 

Although the February auction will be sold entirely online the days when internet sales contained only lower value lots are now over. DNW will be offering a Conspicuous Gallantry Cross – Britain’s highest combat bravery award after the Victoria Cross – estimated at £100,000 to £120,000 in the auction. The March sale will be both online and in a saleroom and will include a magnificent collection of medals and memorabilia relating to the Battle of Waterloo – 2015 is the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s final defeat.

“We will have one-day monthly sales of either coins or medals rather than two-day quarterly auctions, which will ensure that vendors are paid more quickly”, says Noonan. “All sales will continue to be conducted by an auctioneer in real time. However we have introduced a bidding system that gives maximum control to our customers. Commission bids can be changed or withdrawn right up to the moment that the lot is actually being sold. Our bespoke live bidding system has proved a huge success with clients.”

In the past potential bidders had to wait until an entire catalogue went online or the printed version arrived to find out what was in a forthcoming auction. Now, once lots have been catalogued and illustrations added, they will go online in a Preview Catalogue enabling clients to see what is coming up for sale sooner. “This will double at least the time that people have to budget and do their own research into lots,” says Noonan.

Every lot in the Preview Catalogue and the complete online catalogue will be illustrated and the images can be blown up so that they can be examined in minute detail. The five lots with the highest estimates will be listed as highlights – changing as more valuable items come online – and saleroom notices will be posted alongside lots immediately. Potential bidders can put lots they are interested in into their online ‘cabinet’ even before they have been given catalogue numbers. Once complete, the full catalogue can be downloaded for free.

Dix Noonan Webb Ltd is one of the world’s leading specialist auctioneers and valuers of coins, tokens, medals, militaria and paper money of all types. Established in 1990, the company boasts over 250 years' combined experience in this field and stages regular auctions throughout the year.

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