WHAT A CHOPPY MISERABLE YEAR 2018 WAS
Nothing came easy in 2018. We’d had mini rolls of strong sales, then we would plunge in the depths of would we ever sell any more coins? Unexpectedly November was our worst month in years. Even with all that happened we are proud to say Legend Numismatics sold $37,000,000.00 in rare coins (auction rep NOT included) and was solidly profitable. Our sister company, Legend Auctions was also profitable and sold nearly $30,000,000.00 in rare coins. Those numbers represent a lot of coins and an awful lot of hard work. We expect Legend Auctions to grow in 2019 while Legend Numismatics shrinks a little.
Legend Numismatics did have 6 people who spent OVER $1,000,000.00 each (aahh the good old days -in 2012 we had 10+Mr Simpson buying strong). In 2018 only 2 collectors spent over $5,000,000.00 each exclusively with us. As much as we are thankful for working with the big guys, we make very little money off them. In addition, in general 2018 was a horrible year to have a big inventory. We have to pay top dollar to beat every one out to buy the very best coins. We can’t work from an empty pot. This back fires if the coins do not sell in 30 days as we usually end up selling some and losing money. Less then 10 years ago this did not happen. Today, with too much information around, we can’t even go to big auctions to buy for inventory as the prices are plastered all over. Only when we can buy deals can we have a great offering and make a reasonable profit (now 8-10% if we are lucky). In 2018 there were not many deals to surface. With prices being cheaper collectors elected to either hold their coins or place them into auctions (which is why Legend Auctions is growing at a strong pace).
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2019
Sadly, it does not look like either Laura or George will be retiring in 2019. However, each will be limiting their work time and work loads. After 40 years in the business Legend and with the amount of customers it services, the numbers are at numbers beyond what we ever though they could be. Laura tired to back out over a year ago, could not do it. She could not abandon projects or customers (we have customers who have been around with us for 35 years). Her other problem, not only is she a copper weenie, she is just a plain coin weenie. That forces us to stay around for sure! George is still suffering light effects of the heart attack he had 2 years ago and he needs to take it easy. We may be older and battered, but we are still at the top of our game!
We like the fact there is new leadership at PCGS. While Hall and Willis were great (we do consider Don Willis a good friend), they were kind of in denial and let things slip. The new CEO Joe Orlando and the President Brett Charville are clearly out to restore full customer confidence. Good luck to them, they have many fires to put out-including all the damage gradeflation has caused. Its now an open topic as to how much it has hurt the hobby. Legend Numismatics suffered greatly not just by seeing too many over graded coins, but by the loss of collectors because of it. Hopefully they will attack the worst area of damage-coin doctors. If they can make even small dents in all this, we strongly believe the future of the coin market will be strong and will grow again. Legend is taking their word and believes in them currently. Lets see what they do in 2019-we do have optimism.
For 2019 our biggest and only worry-finding nice, fresh, and high end coins to sell (at any price point). Unless people have to raise money or have held their coins for a very long time, they generally do not need to sell. On our level we see more “wise guys” who like to float their coins out at unreasonable prices to see if they sell. Obviously we get frustrated and cannot buy those coins. Currently, it is a very tough market if you do not deal in circ collector material (which happens to be strong). At least gold is quietly sneaking up. It really does not have the effect on rare coins it used too, but it still is a positive that can make many generics go away. As the forever gold bugs we are, we have long felt generics fell to hard and are too cheap.
For Legend Numismatics we are not really going to change our business model in 2019. We have no plans to sell out or bring anyone new in. In our best ever year (2008) we did $100 million in sales ($40 million was one deal), so at today’s numbers, we can handle things. We still are out to build the very best sets for your money (they do not have to be #1) and handle only the very BEST coins on the market (preferably PCGS CAC). In 2019 we do plan on buying more NGC CAC coins. We still get infuriated as others just lie or make false claims about what they sell. We actually handle the true great coins and have proven it by all the great collections we have built.
Last: we are not 100% sure what 2019 will be like in the coin market. We are worried the FUN could be a “dead cat bounce”. But then its a matter of what is fresh and is of real quality to be had at the show (so far, no one has called us with anything). We know the 1792/1793 copper in the FUN sale is stupid crazy fresh and is awesome. We’re coming in locked and loaded for those. Coins like that will be expensive. BUT if you have something similar, and try to sell it 3 months later, it could be like a dead weight. So we do still see it a being a choppy market. There is the chance that the stock market ran many people off and they are now seeking hard assets. That would be known for sure at FUN and for a short time after. We still are seeing a new person or two, not any crowds or steady stream. We’re kind of holding our breath it all goes positive. To us really cool coins, still are really cool!
LEGEND RARE COIN AUCTIONS
We have our Regency 30 sale now live. Check it out and bid. It closes January 27th in a stand alone sale in Beverly Hills. No, we are not splitting from our long time partners PCGS. It was just bad scheduling and we needed to do this sale. In all our years, this sale is at least twice the size of nearest January Sale we’ve ever had. The sale is highlighted by the Maybach PCGS MS65 Buffalo Nickel set-a set that had been off the market for 15-20 years! That is fresh! We are one of the few auctions houses who can continually say we have several other real top end quality coins in the sale as well.
Legend Auctions will not be satisified until we have the perfect sales and customer service. We did recognize a few problems in 2018 and we are working hard to improve them. Also, we hear everyone about the images, we are working hardest on those to make the images reliable and accurate. Even though the rope a dope Internet Only sales use no descriptions, we have NO plans to stop doing descriptions (we have two real bourse floor type numismatists on staff) with every coin or stop printing our gorgeous catalogs. We started this auction company to be different. We are keeping our word!
Our motto: A happy buyer makes for a happy seller.
We will have the highlights for lot viewing at the FUN Sale. Please ask.
Last, at this sale, PCGS will be accepting submissions at our auction lot viewing Friday and Saturday. Want to submit before Long Beach? can’t beat this!
WE ARE TAKING CONSIGNMENTS FOR MARCH NOW
Here is a hint, a long time Legend customer is consigning a major collection of Proof Type to March. Included will be several MONSTER totally MATCHED ORIGINAL PROOF SETS-ALL PCGS , ALL CAC, several are PRE 1900. OMG!! We’re going to break this collection up into two sessions. We also have some small but wild PR Gold coins consigned already.
Your coins do NOT get lost in our sales. Legend Rare Coin Auctions and Legend Numismatics may not have 1 million + names, but we do by far and away have one of the most powerful customer bases in the hobby! We always reach record prices in our sales on items that are worthy.
Contact Jessica Berkman: jessica@legendauctions, Julie Abrams: julie@legendauctions, or Greg Cohen Senior Numisamtist: firstname.lastname@example.org. They will craft the perfection package to help you maximize your return.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, OR WISH TO ORDER, EMAIL US: email@example.com. WE WILL NOT CHECK PHONE MESSAGES UNTIL 9 AM JANUARY 2ND.