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Coin Show

Next Monthly Coin Show

Coin Show - Monthly Notes for September 2020

In October the Greater Atlanta Coin Show will occur unless we are forced to close by state, county, local, hotel or COVID-19 officials.

The show will fill the bourse with dealers and their treasures such as coins, currency, bullion, exonumia, scripophily, semi-precious stones, jewelry and other intriguing items.

Most of our regular dealers have returned to the show, but a few remain out due to health concerns. For those spots, we will have visiting dealers and their displays to fill the missing spots.

All visitors to the show are welcome whether buying, selling, trading or just looking at the many different items. Also, people can bring items to have the dealers provide free verbal appraisals.

IMPORTANT:  Masks WILL BE REQUIRED to enter the show due to the continued concern about the virus situation.

Visit the next Greater Atlanta Coin Show on Sunday, October 11, 2020 in the Joe Mack Wilson ballroom to buy, sell, trade or just browse among the many items on display.
Dealers and visitors filled the September 2020 Greater Atlanta Coin Show to enjoy the  bourse with its displays of numismatics and collectibles on tables spread apart for social distancing.

As always, we appreciate all the people that helped make the September show a busy and fun place to spend a few hours. The visitors and dealers are at the top of the appreciation list with our security and the hotel's staff being right there as well. We thank one and all for your support.

For a late, but still, summer day in September, the weather provided a nice day with pleasant temperatures and some of that remaining summer humidity to keep it a little bit sticky as well. The skies were mostly sunny with a small threat of rain throughout the day. It was a great day to be out and visiting a coin show.
Once again, the hotel provided us with all of the ballroom space, which made it easier to practice social distancing throughout the bourse.

As for the hotel, they still have reduced staff, though this month, they did have girls' softball teams staying in their rooms. We hope people continue to provide them business.

As for the show, it was a busy day. Some visitors commented they heard about the show on the radio. We also noticed the AJC included our event in their events section.  We certainly appreciate both the radio show and the AJC letting people know about events in the area. And, of course, welcome to those who attended after hearing/seeing those announcements.
For added safety, we began requiring masks at the September show and will continue to do so until further notice. Yes, they are irritating to wear, and it's difficult to understand people's speech through the mask. But, our position is if there's a chance that wearing a mask can help prevent sickness, then let's do it.

Like last month, the show's dealers and attendees spent time discussing the metals and their price fluctuations. Haven't they been interesting to watch? Neither gold nor silver prices are as high as they were, yet they still continue to bounce up and down frequently.

Of course, in addition to browsing, buying and selling, people can bring numismatic items to the show for a free verbal appraisal. Some people decide to sell their items, while others can be disappointed and choose to keep their collectibles.

Since the show was too busy for taking images of items on the bourse, let's have a short discussion about expectations of the value of numismatic collectibles.

Exorbitant Coin Prices on the Internet

In short, we've begun to encounter a number of people, not familiar with numismatics, that have found exorbitant prices on the internet for regular pocket change coins. As a result, they want to sell their pocket change to a dealer for the same exorbitant amount they saw on the internet.

There are many reputable dealers with web sites and/or eBay stores selling collectible coins, currency and bullion items. Some have shops on Amazon, too.

Generally, the competition on these sites keeps the price points at market rates.

However, there are sites showing numismatic items for sale at unrealistic prices.

There is another platform, similar in business to eBay, called Etsy, that has begun to allow the sale of coins.
Etsy began as an arts and crafts market, an online craft fair if you will, several years ago. As their business grew, they began to branch out and allow other items to be sold on their platform.

Like eBay, Etsy is a platform that allows individuals and small businesses to post their products and assign their own prices to those products.

Unfortunately, some unscrupulous people have posted regular pocket change coins on this site at very large prices.

For example, a quick search for coins on Etsy found a 1975 Jefferson Nickel coin listed at $1200.00. The pictures of the coin show wear with many dings and scratches and no definition on Monticello's steps. In other words, a normal circulated coin that could easily be found in pocket change.
Now, a comparable search on the PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) Price Guide shows this coin in a Mint State 66 (almost perfect) grade as being worth $20.

Looking at this person's Etsy store finds many more heavily circulated coins that can regularly be seen in pocket change with prices well into four and even five digits. They do have some older coins no longer in circulation, but again, their prices are far above the numismatic market for comparable coins in those conditions.

As another example, this particular shop shows a circulated 1969-D Lincoln Cent coin for $10,000.00. Yes, ten thousand dollars. The PCGS Price Guide has this coin listed in single digits, unless it's a high grade red, meaning it looks like it just came off the mint's production.
Unfortunately, during these times of virus concerns, there are still people that are not working and are looking for ways to make money.

They see this site, look in their pockets and think they can "sell" their pocket change for significant amounts of money. It gets their hopes up only to be let down when a coin dealer tells them their pocket change is worth its face value. Furthermore, they get upset that the dealers will not honor that price they found on the internet.

Sadly, this particular shop on Etsy is not the only one to present heavily circulated coins with high prices.

On the other hand, there are shops on Etsy selling interesting coin items, though a numismatic purist would be horrified, such as Lincoln Cent earrings with holes drilled into them to accommodate the jewelry wires.
This particular store also shows a coin that seems exorbitant, a 1969-S Double Die Obverse Lincoln Cent for $10,000.

But, if you look at the PCGS Price Guide, the 1969-S DDO prices range from $13,000 for an MS-35 to $126,000 for an MS-64 Red coin.

Now, that particular Etsy shop's coin is not graded, but in their images, the doubling can be seen rather easily.

At $10,000, that could be a potentially fair price depending on the grade.

For me, though, if I'm going to spend five digits for something, I would want to see the actual product and make sure I'm getting what I think I'm getting. There are just too many stories of bait and switch on internet purchased items.
Mainly, this discussion was intended as a caution to people to be very careful of the prices you see for numismatic items on the internet.

Make sure you look at multiple sites to compare prices. Also, it's good to use the PCGS and NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation) price guides to help understand the value of items. CAUTION, though, their price guides represent certified and graded coins, not coins in regular hobby holders or no holders at all.

Even for graded coins, their guides are just "guides." Actual market prices can differ, higher or lower.

As for the prices for easily found pocket change, remember the adage, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true."

There are definitely instances of people finding a rare coin in pocket change, but the word is "rare," which corresponds to special characteristics to make the coin valuable.
A badly scarred circulated coin just doesn't equate to a "rare" find unless it has some type of special characteristics.

Just because the shop on Etsy wants $1200 for a 1975 Jefferson Nickel coin doesn't mean the numismatic market will pay $1200 for a heavily circulated 1975 nickel coin.

And, just because it's on the internet does not make it so. The internet is a valuable tool for information, however there is much misinformation on the internet as well.

People should research different sites and compare the results. In the case of researching coins, currency and bullion, make sure a couple of the sites are reputably known in the numismatist community.

Now, stepping down off the soap box.

For next month's summary, we hope to have images from the bourse.