Hot Topics

Journal entries from the founder of Legend Numismatics, Laura Sperber, help you stay current with the real happenings of numismatics.  A former ANA Board Member, Laura has handled close to $1 billion worth of rare coins to date and has assembled many of the greatest collections ever. Her views and opinions are as "inside" as you can get. Warning: ALL her Hot Topics articles are pretty blunt!

Really? Try Reading And Not Writing! 

AN APOLOGY TO MONKEYS

First, I must sincerely apologize for over doing my last Hot Topics. I have had too many zoo keepers and primate handlers email me. So I apologize to all the REAL monkeys of the world. I do very much like monkeys. I especially respect the ones that give up themselves for research. I will never compare them to the chat-room creatures again.

MY RESUME

Started full time in coins in 1978.

Worked the bourse floor until 1986. Started Legend Numismatics-a company devoted to selling to collectors.

Have handled close to $1 billion worth of rare coins.

Was personally picked by the late Jack Lee to buy the entire DMPL side of his Morgan set.

I am the exclusive agent for 6 of the unquestionable TOP collectors today.

Exclusively built the following world class collections with collectors: ALL the Law Collections-MS+PR 3CS #1, H.01 MS #1, MS +PR Barber Dimes formerly #1. The Legend Collections 1794-1883 Dollars. The entire Simpson Collection (which includes numerous finest #1 sets and major rarities)-soon to be the worlds most valuable collection, the Shalor Collection of spectacular colored Commems-including ALL Pan Pac patterns and proofs! The Legend set of PR 3CS #1 all time and it includes the 1851. Was the sole dealer for the JFS Commems, Morgans, and MS Seated Dollars (all now sold). Five world class major Type Sets (NONE are registered-but you’d know many of the famous coins). The Coronet Collection of MS Morgans and the Sunset Hill Collection of Proof Morgans. The Far East Eagle PR $10 Indian set. A GEM 1793 1C set (yes I really am building one). The JEU PR 67 10C-50C Proof Barber Collection. Just to name a few!

Sold more $1 million dollar coins privately then any one-and sold them to 10 different people! Last one sold: our 3rd 1927D $20 PCGS MS66 for $2 million!

Graded and sold the Dakota Collection of Walkers and Morgans-over 10,000 GEM coins (average value $200.00)!

In 2014 became an ANA Board member.

Created Legend Numismatic Rare Coin Auctions that has been a success from day 1.

Of course doing all that listed above plus the fact I can navigate every major auction (and am one of the biggest auction buyers at every major firm) and bourse pretty darn well should give me ironclad street cred for making factual comments about the hobby. Apparently NOT! Sadly, no one wants to hear the truths.

Sadly, no one involved in coins wants to face reality. The last major issue I brought to the forefront: coin doctoring. Of course the coin docs and their collector buds who knew no better screamed bloody murder. I had to tolerate ridiculous trash talk on chat-rooms by people who have no skin in the game. I stayed my course. In the end, I helped make the PNG adopt a coin doctoring By Law. And coin doctoring actually has decreased some. Few dealers would stand up and publicly comment on the subject. Shame on them. This hobby has headed for some serious troubles if we didn’t attack coin doctoring. We still have more work to be done, but at least it is a topic in progress.

Now, I see the lack of grading skills by a “dummied up” large group of dealers as the next big issue. Of course the chat-room geniuses had to distort my message. I clearly stated there ARE many dealers who can grade. The fact is, MANY (but NOT all) other dealers out there CAN NOT grade (and you would be shocked at who). They just look at plastic and look up sight-unseen bids. Even some crack out guys actually can’t grade (yes, this is true they just look for a certain “look”). Even worse, dealers today are learning about coins on the bourse floors that are dreck or residue. The worst areas are Morgan Dollars and Saints-the worst areas of gradeflation. Ok, where will we be in 10 years? How pathetic will coins look? Its these dealers who can’t grade that will create the new standards. You don’t understand why things like Saints have dropped so radically in value? Just wait. If you don’t believe me, go to a major show and look how some major dealers look at coins. They just don’t look at the coins anymore.

I have been disgusted with several top collections I have seen put together by wannabes. In the end, I am looking at a bunch of plastic. I see puttied coins and over-graded coins in these sets. Do they not know anything? No, its not the grading services-they will have a certain % of off coins. Its the fact the ‘off” coins are the only ones these dealers have access too and they know no better. How would you like to be the collector who had to trust them? A DISCLAIMER: I am NOT seeking business here. Nor I am knocking dealers and collectors who CAN grade.

Hopefully by now my message is clear. We need some kind of dealer education-qualifications. The grading standard WILL decrease as the newer players learn from others who just do not know. This topic has to be brought out front. We need everyone to start thinking about it. I never had more supportive emails on any subject then this. Yet again, the dealers are moaning. I am told through multiple sources the dealers really growling-are the exact ones who can not grade!

Nowhere here do I talk about the value of coins where the problems occur. I am not saying buy only expensive coins at all. I am NOT saying buy CAC coins. The grading issue does NOT involve values or beans-it involves coins and incompetent dealers!

THE CHATROOMS

I have been calling them a cesspool of mis-information and harassment forever. I saw more garbage written about my last Hot Topics than good suggestions (you really had to dig for them). Too bad virtually NONE of the authors of the tripe know me in any way. They seem intent on creating this persona I am not. Here are direct quotes that I will respond too (of course everyone hides their names) concerning my last Hot topics:

All I hear is whining…

Try reading the article.

Don’t forget the magic beans. I am wondering whether this is her hidden agenda

LOLl! Will you share your drugs?

Sounds like she wants you to believe that if buy a slab that doesn’t have a CAC sticker, you are at risk of buying an over-graded coin. Sounds like this hot topic is a self serving rant.

This is purely a statement by someone who is clueless to my message.

I realize the author is a horse’s derriere.

Classy. And you think there are no problems in the hobby???You feel important now?

transparent marketing fluff and not much more, about what I have come to expect.

This loser said the same thing about my attacks on coin doctors. You really think I need more biz? NOT!

Gee, another self serving rant. Color me shocked. Everyone’s an idiot except Laura, no one can grade except Laura, PNG and ANA would be better off if they only would do things Laura’s way. Nothing new here.

Isn’t there a cut off for happy hour?

I have never understood the mentality of knocking your competition like Legend does!

Please..Dealers who can not grade are NOT my competition. If anything they are a threat to everyone. Wake up.

So even if they appear to have been typed by a dyslexic orangutan, they seem to serve their intended purpose well.

I hope all the zookeepers call you!  Helps make the point about who trolls chat-rooms. Bet this guy never bought a real coin.

I would say roughly 80 pounds overweight. She needs an exercise program and better diet.

So classy yet again. I am fine in my own skin. The loser who wrote this probably is allowed out of their cell for 2-3 hours a day only.

She went on for a long time about the guy that slammed her a few years back. I never saw the outcome, did it ever go to court?

Held up by the NJ courts-still. We WILL win easily. He has offered to settle. But he blew it by showing up at ANA and buying coins for cash…..How did this end up in a discussion of my last Hot Topics anyway???

If she would say something about all the good she sees in the hobby as well as her hopes and aspirations for it as an ANA officer we would all be better off. >>

I am so angry about all the bad I see. You are not the person who sees the small collector (actually or any collector) work hard to enjoy the hobby only to be burned by greedy non caring dealers. I see this happen way too much. This actually was one of the few fair statements.

What a shocker. I wonder how her fellow bourse room participants view this.

Only the ones who can’t grade are crabby. I couldn’t careless about them. I insulted none of my fellow competent dealers.

LAST COMMENTS

I will not stop writing about the serious ills I see in the hobby. I want nothing but the best for it and I want a bright future for everyone. Too bad some people do not want to hear or accept reality.

As of this time, I have NO suggestions to teach the dealers who can’t grade how too. Hello PNG??I know when I was starting out I picked the best people  and hung around them and let them mentor me. I wanted to learn from the best. Today I see the blind leading the blind. I just know this is a serious problem that is growing.

BTW, when did I quit the ANA? I didn’t walk away in a huff. I realized I failed what the ANA needed of me-I could not commit the time. I promised Jeff Garrett (who I more then support for Prez) I will be back.

IF YOU DO NOT LIKE WHAT I WRITE, WHY DO YOU READ THE ARTICLES? JUST MOVE ON AND LET THE PEOPLE WHO CARE CLEAN THINGS UP.  I’m sure the same boo birds who have nothing constructive to comment will. 

If you have any comments, please feel free to email me: lsperber1@hotmail.com

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