May 2006 Long Beach Show Forecast

This should be a very active week for the numismatic industry. The week kicks off with auctions being conducted by both Goldberg and Superior. The Goldberg sale contains an interesting group of high grade Charlotte and Dahlonega gold coinage. The Superior sale is also interesting as it contains some nice fresh early gold (including a splendid 1821 half eagle graded MS62 and pedigreed to the Eliasberg collection) and a run of Proof gold ranging in grade from PR60 to PR65.

Heritage has their usual 5000+ lot sale beginning on Wednesday. There is a considerable amount of gold being offered including some fresh Carson City material, a run of nice Indian Head eagles, a superb set of Commemorative gold plus plenty of other coins in all shapes and sizes.

I do find it interesting that despite the very hot coin market, most of the auctions that are being held these days contains lots and lots and lots of boring, generic United States gold. One really has to wonder, what will it take to get some interesting fresh material out on the market?

The Long Beach show opens on Wednesday. I expect it will be a decent show with some relatively active trading. As usual, most dealers will leave disappointed as they will not be able to buy nearly enough interesting fresh material to satisfy the demands of their customers. A key to the show will be if PCGS and NGC decide to “make” any coins. If the Gods of Grading open the gates, then the show could actually be quite strong. If they are tight, expect much grumbling from dealers.

I have had a very busy past week. I sold two major classic rarities which I will describe in greater detail in the near future. I have also secured a great run of better date Three Dollar gold pieces in circulated grades. If you have a want list for Threes, make sure I know what you need as I expect many (if not most) of these coins to sell at Long Beach.

Someone asked me the other day why the Long Beach shows seem to have lost some of the sparkle they had in the 1990’s. I would have to say the answer is twofold. When California enacted their brutal new tax laws a few years ago, the show seemed to have been dealt a blow from which it has not fully recovered. I also think the whole Long Beach week is too heavily front-loaded. There are just two many auctions that take place before and during the show and this seems to act as a diluting agent. Between Bowers & Merena, Goldberg, Superior and Heritage there are well over 10,000 auction lots being sold in California and this has to take away some of the sizzle.

I am still available for auction representation at the Heritage auction but if you wish to have me bid for you, call me by Wednesday. As I mentioned above, I am looking at the gold lots on Wednesday (and possibly Thursday) and the sale takes place on Friday. The best way to reach me is by email at