WHAT A LONG STRANGE YEAR
We can not remember in our 40 years of being full time coin dealers a more turbulent year. What makes it even more crazy-Legend Numismatics was close to a record year of sales. Every month was feast or famine. In December, we totally ran out of coins and our sales slumped to a horrifying number UNDER $1 million dollars.
Not everyone had a turbulent year like we did. Any one who was a marketer, sold widgets, or NON CAC coins probably had a good year. Overall, the coin market seemed very good.
Our ONLY problem was the severe lack of coins. Top PCGS CAC piece are IMPOSSIBLE to find. The severe lack of coins really started hitting us at the ANA Show. Even though we really do have Wants Lists totaling OVER $20 million, we found very few coins on those lists. We can’t scream it loud enough that most collectors and dealers need to wake up to the stark reality that the great coins are now one and done into that huge black hole of collectors. All year we were scrambling to find a $20 1907 HR WE PCGS MS66 or better. Its commoner then a FE. With all our contacts we never found one. So just think about how hard it is to complete a SUPERB GEM MS Shield Nickel or even a Bust Half Dime set today. It keeps us up at nights worrying what the lack of coins could eventually do to the market (at least Legends market). Of course we there is no accurate pricing which makes the mess worse.
We had two huge spurts of finding coins. March/April (Pogue and Blue Moon) and then around ANA (we had a multi million dollar secret deal come in). Those were record months for us. The way this year went, after any record business transacted, we did not break even, we gave back. OUCH! 2018 we are starting with a huge FUN Sale and a world class million dollar plus Early Copper Offering (stay tuned). However, we are already sweating out what will come to market beyond FUN that we could use. Do know, that while we may sound gloom and doom, its only for us. Collectors are sitting on real value-and in many cases value beyond what they might think. Sadly, the only way this real value is being unlocked, is via auction. We are not being offered the mega deals we used to.
As a dealer, we can’t go bid in auctions and buy to stock to gain new business. When we need a coin for our Want Lists, we’re in a competition with collectors who these days are very aggressive. Plus, we got smacked pretty good a few times in 2017 stretching to buy the coins we like on spec only to have to end up losing money to free up cash flow. The business changed boldly for us and many dealers in 2017. Even though collectors still seem to think dealers always take shots at people, NO! We can state with confidence, dealers normal retail mark ups are the LOWEST they have ever been. Retailing coins in 1989 you could make 15% easy. Then a few years it dropped to 12%. Then it was a struggle at 10%. Today we average LESS then 10% mark ups. Thank all the sales date available for that and fewer coins being available out side of major auctions. With the extremely limited supply of coins, we’re certain 2018 will make margins even tighter for dealers.
It is our very strong opinion 2018 will finally be when the rubber band of no pricing on coins breaks. Every day we shake our heads how cheap many coins have become overall (like MS Seated and even some Bust coins). The dreck does seem to have dragged down the better coins to a degree. Demand is only growing (which makes some declining prices a mystery). Last year Legend picked up a few big customers- including a few who are the top collectors and are brand new to the hobby! In our world its all about top quality (not so much top pops). We expect see a continued widening gap between dreck and real GEM CAC coins. In 2017 we saw HUGE disparities start to happen (example: $20 Saints MS66 NO CAC $2,000.00, with CAC $3,500.00). We think in a few areas coins could actually double up fully over dreck. To their credit, PCGS has really held the line tight for the last several months in all areas. It is our strong opinion, if they continue to do so, the 5%-10% of lesser coins (vs the total they have graded) that we cry about gradeflation over, will disappear and ALL prices will firm. Some dealers and even some collectors are having a hard time currently understanding there are no more lock upgrades on older holders.
2018 FOR LEGEND
We are finally really going to slow it all down. In 2017 we started to slow, but around ANA activity became so strong we had little choice but to ramp up. We even had in a few big wholesale deals. Big mistake to work them as we made very little money and are ending the year totally burnt out. However in 2018, we will be doing less shows (Laura will hit 2 million miles in February while George is still recovering from his heart attack) and we will be working a tighter schedule over all (more time off). Most collectors really will not notice the changes we will make save for the size of our offerings on the web which will be smaller. There will be no changes in communication (we really are 24/7). While Legend Auctions will still attend every show, the principals of Legend will do 2 out of 3 Long Beaches. At the ANA show, no more gigantic tables, no more 8 day marathons. Of course we will still do every major auction and represent people. We’re kind of going back to our roots and just offering a handful of really quality pieces and mostly still try to fill Want Lists. Most of our business has shifted from shows to the internet and private one on one sales anyway.
LEGEND RARE COIN AUCTIONS
Our Regency 25 sale is now live! The sale closes January 24th in Las Vegas at the PCGS Invitational Show with a live sale. Due to popular demand, we will be having a special showing of the auction lots in NYC during the NYC International show. See the auction web site for more details. Do not hesitate to email or call us with any questions, the office will be open next Wed-Friday.
ALL LOTS WILL BE AT THE FUN SHOW-however we are only allowed to display the highlights.
As everyone has now come to expect, we have about 350 really select lots in the sale. The highlight collection is a nearly complete set of MS 3CS called the Ipswich Collection. Some coins just have fabulous colors! There is also the second finest 5C 1918/7 PCGS MS65+ and a REAL GEM $20 1920 PCGS MS65 (not CAC-but it is a REAL MS65).
Legend Rare Coin Auctions wishes to send a heart felt thank you to everyone who helped make 2017 a really successful year. We sold nearly $20,000,000.00 between out Regency and Premier Sessions sales. THOUSANDS of NEW bidders registered with us and have now become great friends. We added two new staff members to lessen the stressful administrative issues that would build up and make all transactions much more efficient. For the auction company, 2017 was an exhausting and good year.
We want to make this very clear, Legend Rare Coin Auctions is and will always be a boutique. We do not want to be a Heritage or Stacks. The reason LRCA was started so that the customers of Legend with all their cool coins can sell them safely in an auction setting and keep them within the Legend family. From time to to time (as situations arise) we will expand the auction and hold two sessions as needed (we had been planning to do that in May for a special collection). We do NOT believe in ever having sales that run to midnight or have sales where you have to look through 4500 coins to find a handful of cool pieces. In 2018 we are holding a November Regency Sale and not a major Regency in December like we always did (too much craziness with our lone required quarterly sale always happening in January) so we can serve our customers better. Instead in December, we probably will hold a 200 lot Monthly sale-with full viewing at the Las Vegas Invitational.
We are stepping up our Monthly Sales in the months when we have no Regency Sales. You might see us offer 200 lots. We are still tweaking the Monthly platform to perfection. These sales actually are the fastest growing area of the company. Our goal is to make them mini Regency Sales-with out the expensive classic rarities or caalogs. The amount of eye balls and bidders to them has dramatically increased in 2017. We just could not stand to see these other Internet Sales places flood the market with stuff and even more insulting, have lousy images and no descriptions (we provide FULL services and full descriptions).
In 2018 we are striving to provide an ever better auction experience in BOTH buying and selling. Our commitment to excellence is unwavering.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR WISH TO ORDER, PLEASE EMAIL US: firstname.lastname@example.org. WE WILL NOT BE CHECKING OUR PHONE MESSAGES UNTIL WEDNESDAY 9 AM