Going into Long Beach week, I was reasonably certain there was no way that this was going to be a good show. Unlike past Fall Long Beach conventions, this one was only a month after the year’s largest show (the Denver ANA). Gold had taken a terrible beating in the last month and prices for generics had dropped considerably. And many dealers had real cash flow considerations, having recently spent large amounts of cash at the ANA auctions. The recently concluded Long Beach was not an especially memorable show. But, then again, it seems that the last five or six editions of this once-blazing venue have become non-events. On an overall scale from A to F I would rank this edition of Long Beach as a C+. The good news is that it finished on a somewhat upbeat note. The first day and a half was s-l-o-w. Friday was the best day for me at the show. I sold a number of older coins and finally found a few things of interest to buy.
I hate to sound like a broken record but, as usual, there was not a lot of fresh material around to buy. I beat the bushes and was able to find some pretty interesting stuff. Some of the highlights of my new purchases at the show are as follows:
*A complete set of New Orleans gold dollars in MS61 to MS64 grades *An NGC AU55 US Assay Office $50 Slug *An interesting and varied group of New Orleans gold coinage ranging in price from $1,000 to $7,500 *A group of early half eagles including an 1806 in NGC MS63 and an 1813 in NGC MS62
While nearly every dealer I’ve talked to in the past few days admits the market has slowed down, I sure didn’t see the “blood in the streets” that one might have expected. No one is panic selling (at least yet) and I sure as heck don’t see much interesting material coming on the market. In fact, I had a chance to view the coming attractions for three future sales and saw almost nothing of interest.
So what we now have is a supposedly slow market but one with nothing really interesting for sale. I would suggest this means that the market just might not be as slow as we think. You’ll know that things are really slowing down when, as an example, a nice early gold that was an easy sale in the early part of the year becomes harder to sell (at lower levels than before). I, for one, see no lack of interest in certain key areas of the market.
One really interesting market area right now is Three Dollar gold pieces. Prices have clearly dropped on these coins in the past month, especially for common dates in higher grades. But I still see a strong level of demand for rare dates in all grades and I am still an enthusiastic buyer of good coins in this series. If you are a collector of Threes, I urge you to check out the coins I am offering for sale in the upcoming edition of Coin World. In the last few weeks I have quietly sold a number of pieces from a world-class collection of Threes and I still have some incredible pieces available including a number of Finest Known and Condition Census pieces.
I also invite you to check the inventory listings on my website as I have already listed descriptions and images of many of my new purchases from Long Beach. I’d like to blow my own horn for a second and state for the record that no other coin dealer (at least any I know of) has their new purchases up and described as quickly and efficiently as DWN.