I recently received an email from a new collector with a subject line that was similar to the quotation that I titled this blog. At first I thought the question was obnoxious. Then I pondered it a little and realized that it was actually a pretty good question after all. So why is my current on-line inventory so small? I can give you the standard ten word answer but since this is my forum and I'm assuming you actually care about these things I'm going to give you the long, drawn-out multi-part answer.
I own considerably more coins than what you see for sale at any point in time on my website. Colns that aren't on www.raregoldcoins.com
might not be listed for a number of reasons. They may be out at PCGS or NGC being graded. They might be at CAC awaiting a blessing from John Albanese. I may have decided to sell them somewhere else other than my website (sometimes for stealthy reasons and sometimes not) or I may have offered them directly to a collector with whom I have an established relationship with.
There are a small number of boutique retail operations (of which I proudly count myself as one) that handle really nice, really rare coins. I'm guessing that most of them are experiencing the shortage of good coins to buy right now that I am. I've already explained, ad nauseum, my reasoning for the current Coin Drought and I won't repeat my reasons here. But I'd be wary of any firm right now with hundreds and hundreds of seemingly cool coins in stock at this point in time. If you are a choosy, fussy buyer like I am, there is no way that you'll have a ton of good coins in stock right now.
Even if we weren't in the midst of Coindroughtapoolza I'd still never have what would be considered a vast, deep inventory. The coins that I specialize in are genuinely rare and that fact, coupled with my personal fussiness, means that I am likely to pass on 95+% of the coins that I see in other dealer's inventories. I promise you that for every Charlotte half eagle in Extremely Fine or Dahlonega quarter eagle in About Uncirculated that I pull the trigger on and buy, I've passed on alot of other pieces that aren't "DWN Quality."
I have always been attracted to rarity and there are not many common or semi-scarce coins that I will buy. This has changed a bit in recent years as I've had to expand my definition of what makes a coin cool enough for me to write a check for it. As an example, No Motto Philadelphia gold coinage has become interesting to me in recent years. The main reasons why this is are that a) the coins are actually available from time to time b) they seem like really good values and c) choice, original examples with nice color and surfaces are more plentiful than, say Charlotte or Dahlonega coins of this era which are often vile and not interesting to me at any price.
There's another reason why I don't want 500 coins in stock at any given time. I am very controlling when it comes to inventory control (sorry for the bad pun...) and I want to know about every coin that I own. I can always tell you what I paid for a coin, where it was bought, its pedigree and anything else interesting about it; without having to look up this information on my computer or having to refer to a spreadsheet. If I had hundreds or thousands of coins I obviously would not be able to do this. As a collector this might not be important to you. But I think it's kind of neat to deal with someone who is really aware of every coin that he owns.
Another reason why I don't list a ton of coins on my website is that I want it to be very user-friendly and easy to navigate. If I had a thousand coins listed at any given time on www.raregoldcoins.com it would become far less simple and elegant to use than it currently is. There is a reason why it is easy to find things on my site. I deliberately don't want you to have to click three links and pull down two scroll-bars just to find Liberty Head quarter eagles. I've designed the site to be exactly what I personally want when I'm looking for things on the web. And there's nothing I had more than cluttered, confusing websites.
So for those of you who want to be overwhelmed by coins on a website, you've come to the wrong place. If you value quality over quantity, I think you'll find my site to be the number one resources for rare United States gold coinage. I look forward to your visits to the site and welcome feedback to make your experience(s) more enjoyable.