Northeast's Blog

Any wine drinkers here? New!
01/24/2020

The following was posted by Chris.

Check out this find at a wine store near me this past weekend. Mercury Head Cabernet. Really high star rating, but also really expensive. I couldn't help myself and had to buy it. (Then explain to my wife when I brought it home that this nice wine is NOT for drinking!)


Happy Thanksgiving! New!
11/27/2019

From all of us here at Northeast, we wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!


1943 Coppers that Popularized Numismatics New!
11/08/2019

The Lutes and Wing Set:

1943 Coppers that Popularized Numismatics

A miracle was forged from America’s darkest years of conflict. During World War II, the United States Mint altered Lincoln cent production to suit the needs of a desperate nation, but transition was not seamless. The result was a spectacular numismatic legend. The 1943 cent should only have been struck from steel, yet a rare few were accidently made using copper planchets. Pocket-change discoveries of the error would hit like bolts of lightning across the country as millions lusted for the pride, money, and fame they would bring. But just twenty-six examples of this enigmatic off-metal issue ever materialized. Two are here today, united together in a unique, special-purpose NGC holder.

Ignited by the attack on Pearl Harbor, our country was whipped into a frenzy of patriotic fervor. In 1942, alternatives to the copper cent were explored to save materials necessary for war. Cent production waned in the latter months of that year, as copper was diverted from the Mint to munitions factories for use in jacketed bullets and brass shell casings. The coining presses remained silent until February 12th, 1943 (Lincoln’s birthday), when Mint Director Nellie Tayloe Ross ordered production of steel cents at the Philadelphia Mint. Along with the scrap drives, strict rationing, frequent blackouts, and war bonds came a new type of coin.

Conflict ended in 1945, and American GIs returned home to enjoy the postwar boom. Amidst the excitement, one Massachusetts high schooler’s chance discovery left the nation shocked. Seventeen-year-old Don Lutes Jr. of Pittsfield had found a 1943-dated copper cent in his cafeteria change. The Treasury Department denied his discovery, writing that “copper pennies were not struck in 1943,” but renowned numismatist Walter Breen would confirm the authenticity of Lutes’ coin. Lutes had struck the jackpot with his unique error. He received hefty offers for the 1943 copper—including an enticing $10,000—but refused to sell. Lutes finally parted ways with his discovery last year, and Northeast Numismatics acquired the coin.

The public was enthralled by Lutes’ story. People across the country from all walks of life began to feverishly search for their own ‘golden ticket’ 1943 copper. Rumors circulated that Henry Ford would trade a brand-new sedan for one of the errors. Ambitious marketers exploited the situation by selling copper-plated 1943 steel cents as novelties, creating a plague of false flag discoveries that continues today. Each discovery of a genuine example was highly publicized by the media. All the enthusiasm helped contribute to numismatics’ golden age of the 1950s and 1960s, when the ‘hobby of kings’ became as much a part of American life as baseball and barbecues.

Don Lutes was not the first collector to find a 1943 copper cent. Fourteen-year-old Kenneth S. Wing Jr. of Long Beach, California identified a 1943-S (San Francisco Mint) example in circulation during 1944. Wing did not publicize his find, and its existence remained essentially unknown to the numismatic community for many years. Wing was told privately in a 1948 meeting with the Superintendent of the San Francisco Mint that his find was likely genuine, yet the Treasury refused to recognize its authenticity. Smithsonian Curator Vladimir Clain-Stefanelli wrote in 1957 that “The authenticity of this piece is in my opinion beyond doubt.” In 2008, Wing’s family sold the coin to an Orange County dealer, and Northeast Numismatics recently purchased it at auction.

Our NGC two-coin set, containing both the Lutes and Wing specimens, is immensely significant. There are only nineteen known 1943 coppers from Philadelphia and six from San Francisco. Obtaining specimens from both mints is a daunting challenge for even the most deep-pocketed of collectors. A single 1943 Denver copper is known to exist. It became the most valuable Lincoln cent ever after selling in 2010 for a record $1.7 million and will likely not be available again for a very long time. In addition, both the Lutes and Wing specimens are discovery coins -- the first of their kind to publicly surface (a highly desirable fact for collectors). Both coins are exceptionally well-preserved, showcasing minor handling that is consistent with the grade along with rich, glossy chocolate-brown surfaces.

At the heart of the lore that propelled the 1943 copper cent to its celebrity status, these two coins popularized numismatics. They transcend our hobby and would serve as the keystone of any first-rate collection.

Written by Benjamin Simpson


Happy Halloween! New!
10/31/2019
There is 1 comment on this post.

Hard at work...

Chris would like to give a special Halloween shout-out to his friend Dave in CA.

 

Nintendo anyone?

Comments:
Created by: PAT___BIGAPPLE on 10/31/2019

WOW! The Northeast TEAM is the Best...they are a real 'hoooowl'...
And..."may you have a fang-tastic evening, ghoul-friends! :)

LOL! Thank you, Pat!  You too.


Coin World Thought Leaders Video New!
10/17/2019

This video was shot at the ANA World's Fair of Money in August of this year.


What's the deal with hairlines? New!
10/02/2019

The following was written by Brian:

Yes, I'm asking that question in my very best Jerry Seinfeld voice. Hairlines on coins can be a somewhat confusing topic.

Here's how a typical conversation can go with my boss:

Me: Do you think this would grade proof 63?
Tom: No, too many hairlines. Looks like it would grade proof 62. 

Me: Okay, how about this coin? What do you think it would grade?
Tom: I think it would 'no grade'. It would likely go into a Details holder. Too many hairlines. 

Ummm, excuse me?

Are we saying some hairlines are better than others? Are not all hairlines created equal? What's The Deal With Hairlines Anyway?

Hairlines are basically tiny, usually shallow, incuse scratches on the surface of the coin from handling, a small amount of circulation or cleaning. 

Let's be clear - hairlines are never inherently a good thing, but they *are* acceptable in some cases and not in others. It all boils down to how the hairlines were created. One way is via cleaning a coin (this is the less than acceptable manner, btw). We all know cleaning coins is bad, right? Ok, good, just making sure we're on the same page. Cleaning, as we know, diminishes the luster of a coin. Dimished luster decreases the eye appeal of the coin. Decreased eye appeal lowers the value of the coin (although you can definitely score a better date coin for less $ if you don't mind the cleaning). Here's an example of a harshly cleaned coin that exhibits plenty of hairline scratches and thus would not be considered worthy of grading:

With proof coins, the extent of hairlines is one of the main determinants in grading. You probably won't find much in the way of hairlines on high grade proofs, but you might see a good amount on lower grade examples. Here is a coin graded Proof 61. As you can see, a good amount of hairlines are present, but that is a result of basic handling, album slidemarks, etc.

Please keep in mind that because of the immensely varying degrees, the assesment of hairlines and grade assignments are best left to the experts at the third party grading companies. Please also keep in mind that none of this has to do with die polish, which (and you can thank me later) we'll get into next time. Thanks for reading. 


Our biggest and smallest coins New!
09/24/2019
There is 1 comment on this post.

A Swedish 2 Daler and a German 1/32 Ducat. Wow!

 

Comments:
Created by: Panda on 09/24/2019

Lol


Can mintage figures change years later? New!
09/19/2019
There are 2 comments on this post.

The following was written by Tom:

Seeing a couple of recent articles on E-Sylum reminds me of something I noticed years ago in the way that proof mintages have been reported in the Red Book and the way they are reported now. Look at an old Red Book and you will note that the mintage figures reported for business strikes do not distinguish whether the amount listed includes proofs or not. Next, compare any given coin's mintage figures in early editions with more recent ones, and you'll see that all business strike mintages are lower - by the amount of the proof mintages. So the mintages did not really change; they are simply reported more accurately today.

There are, however, instances where some mintages did truly change (sort of)...

Take the case of an 1879 quarter in proof which early editions of the Red Book report at 250. Back in the day (in the early 1970’s) when I was first traveling to coin shows, it was well known that something was wrong with this mintage figure. There were way too many on the market; pretty much an equal amount of the 1870 as other comparable years of the era. We would advertise them as “the lowest reported mintage figures” of the series, which at 250 pieces simply did not compare with all others from 1858 to 1891 - those with much higher published figures. Who were we to question the Red Book's reporting? Well at some point this figure was indeed questioned and now the figure listed is 1100 proofs. So, were 850 pieces suddenly minted over a century later? Was a hoard discovered? No, of course not.

As another example, this past week we had a client interested in an 1858 Seated Dollar in proof that is on the market, and he mentioned there were 210 pieces minted. Correcting him (or so I thought), I said there were only 80 pieces (it takes a real old-time coin weenie to remember random mintages). Later, I was curious if this might be a case of changing mintages. Sure enough, the 80 piece number I recalled was correct in my ‘early Red Book mindk' only to be changed to what is now considered more accurate - 210 as reported in recent editions.

The reporting of mintage figures in the 19th century, proofs in particular, was not always accurate. Through research, new information comes to light and new documents discovered. Though mintage figures do not technically change, they do become more reliable and accurate.
 

Comments:
Created by: Panda on 09/20/2019

I think the more reliable way to compare mintages is PCGS/NGC population report.

Created by: LNCS on 09/19/2019

However, I also found some more number changes in the Red Book related to Proof 1913 Nickels.

Mintages first appeared in the 16th edition (1963), the numbers were unchanged through 1966 and showed: *2,594

The asterisk indicated this was the total for both Type 1 and Type 2.

From 1967 - 1974, the number changed to *3,034 (also for a total for both Type 1 and Type 2)

Starting in 1975, they listed the numbers for each

1,520 Type 1
1,514 Type 2

Which totals the 3,034 that was listed from 1967-1974.

What is interesting is going through these daily totals in the Mint daily records as they do indicate the number of proofs.

They also have a specific entry for the total Type 1 numbers, showing the last day of delivery was May 9th.
These numbers are 20,992,000 regular coinage and 1,520 proofs.

The daily break down is:

Mar 5: 1,000
Mar 20: 300
May 4: 220
Total: 1,520

For Type 2, the daily break down is:

May 27: 250
Oct 14: 110
Nov 20: 285
Dec 2: 233
Dec 24: 196
Total:1,074

If you add these (1,520 and 1,074) you get 2,594, which is the number in the 1963-1966 editions.

I wonder where the other 440 came from?


Numismatically Themed Chuck Norris Jokes New!
07/24/2019

We are reviving this blog post from several years ago because, well, it's funny. And we welcome your participation!

Some of you are probably familiar with the popular Chuck Norris jokes. Ones like these: 

Chuck Norris sleeps with a pillow under his gun. 
or 
Chuck Norris was an only child...eventually. 

Well, one evening (years ago) after work a few of us here met for Mai Tais at the Chinese restaurant below our (at the time) office. We began scratching out some coin-related Chuck Norris jokes. Easy to do after a potent Mai Tai. For those who appreciate the regular Chuck Norris jokes, we invite you to read on and add any that you can come up with. 

*Chuck Norris' coins consistently grade MS71. 
*All of Chuck Norris' coins come back from CAC with a platinum sticker. 
*Chuck Norris doesn't submit to PCGS or NGC. They submit to him. 
*Chuck Norris made the Seated Liberty stand up. 
*The Sheldon Scale is being changed to suit Chuck Norris. Gem coins are no longer MS65; they are CS65, or Chuck State 65. 
*If Chuck Norris doesn't get the grades he wants, it's the graders who end up in the body bags, not the coins. 
*Poorly struck coins are actually just coins that Chuck Norris squeezed too tightly.

*The Greysheet Ask price is irrelevant to Chuck Norris because Chuck Norris never asks for anything. 
*Chuck Norris achieved the number one Registry Set ranking for Morgan Dollars even though he's never bought a Morgan Dollar in his life. 
*Chuck Norris cracks out coins barehanded...with one hand. 
*PCGS blackout dates to not apply to Chuck Norris.

 


Tips: Coin collecting with a metal detector New!
07/19/2019

The following is a guest post from Alex Lemaire.

There are many ways to collect coins. One of the most popular is coin hunting with a metal detector. In this short article, I will give you few tips to collect more coins using this device.

Tools needed

In addition to the detector, you need a digging tool, a pouch, and a screwdriver. The latter will help you in coin popping.

Some machines are capable of estimating the depth of the buried metal object. These indicators are calibrated with coin-sized objects. Therefore, if you think the coin isn’t very deep. Pop it up with a screwdriver to preserve the grass.

Old coins are precious. You don’t want to damage them with your digging tool. To avoid this problem you have to determine their exact location. This is why you need a pinpointer. It is also important to dig slowly.

Places to hunt

There are many locations where you can find coins. I can’t list all of them here. So I’ll give some tips for coin hunting in three common places.

*Parks are the most obvious places where you can hunt for coins. In most cases, you don’t need permission to use your metal detector. However, I recommend you check your local laws.

Scanning an entire park isn’t practical. Therefore you need to start with spots where you are most likely to find lost coins. Trees shades and park benches are good places to start with. People lose coins when they sit. Sandboxes, slides, and swings…are good spots too. You can find some cheap coins lost by kids.

Make sure you carry a trash bag with you to remove any sharp metal object you find. This way, you hunt coins and you help to make parks safer for kids. Use small digging tools (trowel not a shovel) and fill the hole you dug.

*Another common spot to hunt is sports fields. Always dig the surroundings not the actual playing field.

As always, start with the bleachers and trees where spectators set their lawn chairs to watch the match. Sidelines, along the fences and behind the home plate (in the case of baseball fields) are very good locations too. People will lose coins when they are jumping and cheering players.

Don’t forget to hunt for coins near concession stands and the parking lots. Coins spill out of pockets when people buy something or reach out for their keys.

*You may not find many coins in open fields. But, they will certainly be older and more valuable. To find good locations, you need to do some research before going for a hunt. This means that you need to check old plat maps, county atlas, old aerial photos… They are easily accessible in local libraries and local museums or online.

You need to look for is old structures (houses, Barnes, churches…) that no longer exist. You will find very precious coins around them.

To conclude, coin hunting is an easy and enjoyable hobby. You need nothing more than basic tools. And to make your hunts more successful, target areas with a lot of human activity.

About Alex Lemaire: Alex is passionate about unearthing history and collecting coins and relics. He thinks that metal detectors are time machines that help us know more about our ancestors’ lifestyle. You can follow him on his blog at Metaldetectorplanet.com.


Coin Survival New!
07/03/2019

The following was written by Brian.

Mintage or Survival Rates? What's More Important?

One of the first questions collectors ask me about a coin they are considering is "what is the mintage?". Of course, if I do not have the answer off the top of my head, I'll look it up. However, the research doesn't and shouldn't end there. One of the oft overlooked aspects of coin availability is survival rate. 

Survival rate is an estimate of the number of coins believed to exist for any particular issue. One good example of a coin with misleading availability is the 1932 Saint Gauden's Double Eagle. The coin had a mintage of 1,101,750. It shouldn't be too difficult to get your hands on one of those, yes? Well, no, as that particular issue was ordered melted by the US Government. In fact, most 1932 double eagles were melted following the abandonment of the gold standard in the 1933 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As some of those coins eventually came out of the woodworks, what came to be was a coin with a high mintage, yet an incredibly low survival rate. Estimates are somewhere around 175 mint state graded coins and literally zero known in circulated grades. 

Another good example is the 1876-CC 20 Cent piece. Coin mintage was 10,000, which is by all standards low, but the survivability of around 16 known is shockingly low. In a letter dated March 19, 1877, the Director of the Mint (Henry R. Linderman) ordered the Superintendent of the Carson City Mint (James Crawford) to melt down all Twenty Cents still on hand at the time. Presumably, many, if not most of the 1876-CC Twenty Cents were included in the melt. An estimated 16-20 1876-CC Twenty Cents are known today. 

So word to the wise; be sure to check survival rate before considering a coin too expensive when it shows a high mintage. There could be more to the story. 


FYI - PL and DMPL New!
06/24/2019

The following was written by Brian.

I often overhear the question 'how is a PL/DMPL coin created'. I have heard everything from die polish to early die state and everything in between as reasons, but the truth is that it is the complete die preparation (not just simple polishing) that creates these eye appealing and in-demand coins. 

The creation of DMPL and PL Morgan Dollars mostly occurs in the production process of the individual dies that are used to strike the coins. Dies were made individually from a so-called master hub with all of the major design elements which are then transferred to the individual dies. These dies are then basined, which is where the prooflike factor comes in. During this process the dies were placed against a zinc receptacle that contained water and fine grind particles that were slowly revolving, continually polishing the die. Depending on the amount of time the die was polished a prooflike or even deep-mirror prooflike die could be produced. Q. David Bowers proposes in his Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars that the dies that struck DMPL coins were inadvertently polished for too long, but this is merely a theory that has not been confirmed. It is possible that some dies were polished longer than others on purpose, perhaps to show off the quality and workmanship of the employees at the various mints.

 As you can see in the images below from PCGS (www.pcgs.com/news/a-look-at-pcgs-designations), the mirrors can be highly reflective and when the devices are frosty enough, it gives the appearance of cameo contrast and in my opinion warrants a premium.  


An interesting find II New!
05/30/2019
There is 1 comment on this post.

The following was written by Chris.

We deal a fair amount in Swiss Shooting Medals. I love the unique and often ornate designs of them. In fact, I have several in my personal collection. While finally getting around to going through a small lot of them that we bought several years ago, I came across this medal. 

I could not find a listing of it in the Richter catalog. Granted, it's not actually a shooting medal. Thanks to my quite rusty skills in the German language that I acquired back in college (well, that and Google translate), I determined that the medal commemorates the inauguration in 1939 of the Swiss Shooting Museum. The legend on the medal is in both German and French. 

Some further research brought me to this website. This museum is located in Bern, and as you can see it is indeed the one depicted on the medal. I plan on contacting the museum to see if they have seen many of these inauguration medals. If not, I think it would make for an interesting donation for their display.

For further information on Swiss Shooting Medals, head on over to Shootingmedals.com. If you'd like to view our current selection of Shooting Medals, you'll find them in the medals section of our inventory.

 

Update 7/3/2019:

I reached out to the museum to see if they were familiar with the medal. They of course were and had an example on display and another in their archives. I asked if they would be interested in having a third for their collection and they were delighted. The director of the museum, Regula Berger, sent us a very nice note along with several post cards from their museum.

 

Comments:
Created by: davidrhorer on 05/30/2019

Chris, I'm with you with regard to Swiss Shooting Medals, especially certain of the Beautiful Women set.


Jeff Burke's Saint Gaudens Quest New!
04/19/2019
There is 1 comment on this post.

The following appeared in a recent E-Sylum article:

Jeff Burke submitted this article on his quest to choose and locate a great Saint-Gaudens $20 gold piece for his collection. Thanks. -Editor

“My Quest to Select One Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Type Coin” 
by Jeff Burke

Northeast Obv. Image of 1923-D $20 Northeast Rev. Image 1923-D $20

Introduction
Learning more about Saint-Gaudens double eagles has sparked the bibliophile in me! My ongoing fascination with Saint-Gaudens double eagles (SGDE) started with reading books about the 1933 double eagle. I had the privilege of seeing the 1933 Farouk double eagle specimen at the New-York Historical Society in August 2013 (see my “Star of the Show: A 1933 Double Eagle,” in The Nebraska Numismatic Association Journal, vol. 57, issue 4 (October/November/December 2013), pp. 16-19, for more details).

Curious to learn more about these fabled coins, I read Selling America’s Rarest Coin: The 1933 Double Eagle, David Alexander, 2002; Illegal Tender: Gold, Greed and the Mystery of the Lost 1933 Double Eagle, David Tripp, 2004; Double Eagle: The Epic Story of the World’s Most Valuable Coin, Alison Frankel, 2006; and Striking Change: The Great Artistic Collaboration of Theodore Roosevelt and Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Michael F. Moran, 2007. I also devoured A Handbook of 20th-Century United States Gold Coins: 1907-1933, David W. Akers, 2008; A Guidebook of Double Eagle Gold Coins, Q. David Bowers, 2004; Renaissance of American Coinage: 1905-1908, Roger Burdette, 2006; and Collecting and Investing Strategies for United States Gold Coins, Jeff Ambio, 2008.

Possessing a large disk of Saint-Gaudens gold has always been visually appealing to me. I previously had a 1922-S PCGS MS 63 double eagle and a 1910-D NGC MS 64 double eagle in my collection. I traded these double eagles for other coins and hadn’t owned a Saint-Gaudens $20 since 2015. To my surprise, I really missed owning one! Perhaps owning a gold coin makes me feel special. I also love the design.

Conducting Research
After contemplating the possibilities, I decided to pursue a better date SGDE in a higher grade. My focus narrowed to an examination of 1923-D double eagles: “A choice or gem specimen is usually a treat to behold, the very definition of eye appeal!” (David Bowers, in reference to the 1923-D double eagle, A Guidebook of Double Eagle Gold Coins, p. 266). I discovered that 1923- D double eagles are plentiful, but have a much smaller population compared to common date SGDE. Here is another reason why I chose this particular coin: “...As most examples (1923-D) are boldly struck and show radiant luster, this date (and mintmark) is often chosen to represent the type if just a single coin is desired.” (Jeff Garrett, Description & Analysis for the 1923-D Saint-Gaudens double eagle, NGC Coin Explorer).

The next step was to order and read Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles: As Illustrated by the Phillip H. Morse and Steven Duckor Collections, by Roger Burdette, ed. by James L. Halperin and Mark Van Winkle, published by Heritage Auctions in 2018. Despite not having a table of contents or index for quick reference, it was a joy to read! My favorite portions were “Background” about United States International Gold Shipment and the engaging Chapter Six - “Lost and Found - Survival of U.S. Gold Coins.” It took Burdette five years to research this masterpiece and another year to write it. (See Wayne Homren’s review of this volume in The E-Sylum, vol. 21, Number 28, July 15, 2018, for more information). This tome is well worth the money!

I learned “...it is estimated that out of 70,290,930 Saint-Gaudens double eagles manufactured between 1907 and 1933, only 2,966,565 coins, or four percent, survive in all states of preservation.” (Burdette, Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles, p. 612). The 1923-D is the last mint marked coin in the Saint-Gaudens $20 series readily available to collectors before surviving populations dwindle and prices escalate. (Burdette, p. 397). The 1923-D saw extensive shipment overseas. “Most pieces seemed to have been preserved in foreign holdings, most likely in Argentina or Brazil (accepted as legal tender), where it was common practice to leave U.S. gold untouched in its original bags.” (Burdette, p. 397).

Making the Purchase 1923-D $20 NGC MS65 Star Slab Photo #1I worked through my old 2007 list of 31 favorite coin dealer websites and other numismatic websites to examine 45 to 50 specimens of 1923-D double eagles. After perusing numerous dealer websites on the Certified Coin Exchange, e-bay and other sites, I kept returning to a 1923-D NGC MS 65* Star Designation double eagle that I saw on the Northeast Numismatics online inventory. Unfamiliar with the NGC Star notation, I conducted some research. According to the NGC Census as of March 21, a total of 1,389 SGDE are listed with the Star Designation, which is 0.14% of SGDE graded by NGC.

Tom Caldwell founded Northeast Numismatics in Concord, Massachusetts, in 1964. “Tom is a firm believer that an educated collector is necessary to a strong and sustainable coin market, and has taken great efforts to teach youngsters (and elders) the essentials of coin collecting.” (Northeastcoin.com). Providing numismatic education can help collectors learn more about their collecting interests and encourage others to explore the wonders of our hobby.

I am thrilled to own this beautiful coin! Did it spend decades in Brazil or Argentina? I wanted to keep this 1923-D double eagle next to me forever so I could admire it at my leisure. Reluctantly, I put it in a bank safe deposit box for safekeeping.

Note: Chris Clements of Northeast Numismatics kindly provided obverse and reverse images of my double eagle to accompany this article. Thanks also to Paul Sandler for fielding my questions about Saint-Gaudens double eagle NGC Star Designation coins.

Talk about buying (and reading) the book before the coin! Congratulations on your well-thought-out purchase. Great coin! -Editor

Comments:
Created by: classicCoins on 04/27/2019

Beautiful coin and great story of how you arrived at this specimen.

Well worthy of the Star designation.


Happy Patriots' Day! New!
04/14/2019
There is 1 comment on this post.

The following was written by Tom:

It’s hard to feel any more patriotic than today, which is Patriots' Day here in Massachusetts. Right here in Concord Center is not too far away from where it all started in 1775 with the “shot heard round the world,” which was the start of the American Revolution. From our office window we have a birds-eye view of the annual celebratory parade. Minuteman groups along with marching bands, scout groups and more make their way along the parade route while thousands of visitors who have come from near and far, watch and celebrate the spectacle.

Speaking of history, the Caldwell family has a long history of involvement in the festivities. Back in the 1960’s I used to march in the parade as a Boy Scout. As the Bicentennial approached, my parents joined the local Minuteman group and also marched in the Concord parade. Later, my two children marched while they were involved in the Scouts.

About halfway through the parade route is the Old North Bridge, at which you’ll find Daniel Chester French’s Minuteman statue. This statue is memorialized on the Concord-Lexington Silver Commemorative Half Dollar (see below). The parade makes a ceremonial stop for speeches as well as a crowd favorite - the reenactment of the famous battle between the British and Colonists at the bridge.

Back in the day as a kid, never would I have thought Concord would become home to my family as well as Northeast Numismatics. Happy Patriots' Day!

Comments:
Created by: davidrhorer on 04/15/2019

I enjoyed your piece, Tom.

Excellent! Glad you enjoyed it.


Northeast acquires another 1943 Copper New!
04/05/2019

After placing a 1943 Copper Cent (PCGS XF45) last year with a customer of ours, we picked up this discovery piece (NGC AU53) earlier this year. The following is an article that appeared in the recent CPG Coin & Currency Market Review. Click the link below the blurb to read the article in its entirety.

The Mystique of the 1943 Bronze Cent Spans Time

April 5, 2019

By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez, Editor 

In the 110-year history of the Lincoln cent series, few issues have captured more six- and seven-figure prices, let alone more attention from the general media, than the 1943 Lincoln bronze cent. The origins behind this fantastic transitional off-metal error, a 1943 Lincoln cent intended to be struck on a zinc-coated steel planchet but instead manufactured with a bronze planchet used in striking 1942 Lincoln cents, are somewhat mysterious. What numismatists know is perhaps 20 or fewer bronze planchets from the 1942 run of Lincoln cents were struck as 1943 Lincoln cents, which were supposed to be struck on steel planchets to help save copper for World War II artillery purposes.

Click here to read more.


Want List Dreams Can Come True! New!
04/04/2019

The following was written by Brian:

We have a wonderful customer named Paul from right here in Massachusetts that we have been doing business with for the last couple of years. Paul is 92 and is a spry, fiery sort. We all love him here at Northeast and hope he lives well into his 100's. Paul has been collecting for just shy of 75 years and has built an impressive collection of Lincolns, Flying Eagle Cents, Walkers and Mercury Dimes, among other types. Actually, Paul completed his Walking Liberty Half Dollar set with us.

A few months ago, after purchasing a 1942/41-D Mercury Dime from us, he proudly mentioned that he then needed only one coin to complete the set - the elusive key date 1916-D. We did have one at the time, but unfortunately for Paul it was Mint State and as you can imagine just a bit outside the range with which he was comfortable paying. He asked if we could try and locate one in Fine condition. With that, we added Paul's wish to our want list and sure enough, Tom from our office found just such a coin later that week. I called Paul and he said that he hadn’t been feeling so good lately, although he did seem to perk up when I gave him the news that we had located a 1916-D Mercury Dime NGC F12. Paul said that if he "makes it through the night" then he would call us the next day. Sure enough, we got the call the following morning and Paul was feeling markedly better and that he was ready to buy the coin and finally complete his set. He sounded like he was beaming at the prospect of finally reaching this life-long numismatic goal.

We all like stories that have a happy ending like this one, but remember, you don't have to be 92 and on your last coin in order to give us your want list. Perhaps we can make it happen for you whether you're just starting out or finishing up your collection.

Congratulations to Paul!


Grading seminar in Manchester, NH New!
03/22/2019

The following was written by Tom:

Several months ago, Ernie Botte from EBW Enterprises, who conducts very successful monthly local shows in New England, asked me if I would be interested in conducting a one-day coin grading seminar at his semi-annual regional November show in Manchester, New Hampshire. Unfortunately, the reason Ernie was asking was that Charles Browne, who would normally have done the seminar, passed away earlier this year after a long and courageous battle with cancer. We knew Charlie as a friend, fellow coin dealer, and all-around good guy for over 40 years. We grew up in the business together. He was known for generously providing his time to the annual ANA grading seminar in Colorado Springs every summer. Charlie worked for a time at PCGS as a grader and he dealt in coins, working for several dealers and himself throughout the years. A friend and mentor to many, Charlie always had a smile and a kind word. He is dearly missed by all. In his honor, the ANA has set up a program to raise funds for a scholarship for a young numismatist for every year of Charlie’s volunteer years of service. Please click here to learn more.

Having been in the business for over 50 years, I know how to grade coins. We do it every day as we evaluate and purchase raw coins in collections and spend tens of thousands of dollars annually in grading fees at the third-party grading services. In order to make good buying decisions, we need to know what we are looking at when viewing raw and certified coins alike. However, having never been a teacher, the prospect of running a class was a little intimidating to say the least. Agreeing to do so, I partnered with Dave Pepi from Pilgrim Coin to conduct a 90-minute class on the last day of the show.

The 20 or so students that awaited ranged from a 12-year-old whose birthday was that day and had asked specifically to attend this class as a gift with his dad, to a couple of local vest pocket dealers, including retirees looking to expand on their grading skills. 

In advance, I made many notes to which I could refer. When the class kicked off, we explained and discussed how our grading system originated and evolved into what we use as today’s standard:

Starting in the early 20th century, grading was strictly adjectival and primarily used only Good, Fine, Extremely fine, and Uncirculated. Numerical grading then came into play when Dr. William Sheldon came up with the 1 to 70 scale in 1948, for usage primarily with large cents. In the 1960’s more intermediate adjective grades were added and came into common usage. Only in the mid 1970’s did numerical grading start to become popular. This was largely value driven. As prices were increasing, and collecting and numismatic investing became more popular, the need to further pin point grades became necessary. This was the era when the first grading service started. ANACS, which was owned by the parent organization the American Numismatic Association, started in the mid 1970’s with paper certificates showing black and white photos of the obverse and reverse of the coins. Next, NCI improved on this concept in the early 80’s with color certificates. At this time both ANACS and NCI had split grades; meaning the obverse could be MS63 and reverse MS64. 

Then in early 1986, PCGS started up with NGC following in mid-1987. With the innovation of these grading services we finally had our encapsulated grading services that we depend on and universally use to this day. Other interim grades such as XF45 and AU53 were added into the lingo and became commonly used. Later, plus signs and stars on grading inserts were sometimes used for coins when deemed appropriate. Again, this was largely value driven and used for coins that were exceptional.  

By this point in the seminar the students had heard enough about the history of grading and were more than ready to get down to business.

 Making sure everyone had a suitable magnifier (our Northeast magnifier was handed out to anyone in need), forty certified coins were chosen from our inventory. We then placed stickers over the grades on the holders and had the eager students split up into four groups. Ten coins and a list were provided to each group to review. Dave and I then roamed around and observed their grading techniques. They were first instructed on how to properly use a magnifier. Then they learned about tipping the coin as you view it in order to take the strike and luster into consideration. Does the coin have bag marks? If so, how does this affect the grade? If the coin is toned, is the toning original? Is it ugly, attractive, or just average and how is this taken into consideration at when a final grade is arrived? Grades were then revealed, and we had a discussion on why X coin was X grade. Next, the groups of coins were exchanged with other students so that each group had the opportunity to grade a total of 20 coins.   

In the end my pre-seminar notes were little used or even needed. Everyone seemed satisfied with our instruction, with many having picked up some pointers while others were perhaps still more than a bit confused, which is completely understandable. Learning how to become an expert grader does not happen overnight. Emphasis was made on looking at coins to see how they are graded. Go to shows, get confidence in your local dealer, look at auction catalogs, and look at online images (so excellent these days). The more you see, especially in person, the more you will understand about grading.


The Great Concord Bank Robbery of 1865 New!
03/13/2019
There is 1 comment on this post.

The Great Concord Bank Robbery of 1865: A Forgotten Saga of Action, Deception, and $310,000 in Stolen Securities

By Benjamin Simpson

Recreation of the robbery; photograph taken in the 1890s. Illustration from Langdon W. Moore: His Own Story of His Eventful Life.

 

The office of Northeast Numismatics is in Concord, Massachusetts. Concord has witnessed great battles, championed its revolutionary writers, and produced many famous politicians since the town was founded almost 400 years ago. Countless historians have written about the Battle of North Bridge, the town’s bold participation in the Underground Railroad, or other notable occurrences. But up until now, one fascinating story has remained lost to history for many years. There is a small brick building with a Doric portico located in Concord Center about a block from our office. Today it is a shoe store, but most ‘Concordians’ don’t know that 153 years ago the building was the site of one of the largest and most remarkable bank robberies of 19th century America.

The Robbery:

On two o’clock of September 25th, 1865, cashier Mr. Cheshire returned to the Concord National Bank after his lunch break to discover that the safe key was missing. Immediately assuming the worst-case scenario, he closed the bank, calmly informed the town police, and telegraphed bank president George Heywood in Boston.

It took six hours for Heywood, who had a second key, to return to Concord by train and unlock the safe. When he did, the group of officers and bank officials who had gathered under candlelight discovered the safe had been cleaned of the $310,000 in bonds and paper money it contained, equivalent to approximately $5 million today when adjusted for inflation. A valuable silverware set belonging to one of the churches in Concord was also missing.

 

The robbery shocked Concord and the nation. As a cost-cutting measure, both banks in town, the Middlesex Institution for Savings and the Concord National, shared the same vault. The thieves had effectively robbed two banks at once. There was no FDIC or deposit insurance back then, and until the money could be recovered, anyone who had a bank account in Concord was left with nothing. Records show that famous Concord writer Ralph Waldo Emerson did his banking at the Concord National during the time of the robbery. The New York Times published an article on the 26th of September announcing the robbery, and the story was in the Chicago Tribune by the 27th. Flyers listing the stolen bonds and currency, like the one illustrated below, were quickly circulated throughout New England with the hope that somebody would identify the serial numbers of the stolen bonds. A $20,000 reward was posted by Heywood for “the recovery of the stolen property or conviction of the thieves.”

“Bank Robbery” poster printed only a few days after the robbery, listing the serial numbers of the stolen bonds and announcing a $20,000 reward for their return. Author’s collection.

 

The Concord National Bank building, built in the 1830s and seen here in the 1890s. Illustration from Moore’s book. Langdon W. Moore: His Own Story of His Eventful Life.

 

Detectives originally thought that the robbery was an inside job because none of the locks on the doors or the safe had been broken, but Heywood insisted that all his employees were loyal and above suspicion. There was only one witness. A 12-year-old girl, the cashier’s niece, visited the bank shortly after noon. She saw a stranger inside who told her the bank directors were in session and could not be disturbed.

Window from the old Concord National Bank building. Currently in the Concord Museum collection. Photo courtesy of David Wood.

 

With a $20,000 reward being offered (worth over $300,000 today), every police department in the country was hunting for a lead. After about a month of waiting, the policemen in Fitchburg made a breakthrough for the case. Charles O. Brockway, the boss of a gang of counterfeiters, was serving out his sentence in the Fitchburg Jail when he received news of the robbery. Brockway made a deal with the authorities to reveal the names of the robbers in exchange for his freedom and one thousand dollars cash, provided that the information was accurate.

Brockway told the investigators that Langdon W. Moore and Harry Hunt, currently living in Framingham, had robbed the Concord National Bank. He knew it was them because he had worked with Moore and Hunt in the past, and upon learning their whereabouts, Brockway understood that their visit to the area at the time of the robbery was not a coincidence.

The Thieves:

Langdon W. Moore was tall and well-built. He always wore elegant attire and behaved like a gentleman. When people saw him, they often thought he was a wealthy merchant or retired banker. Indeed Moore was wealthy, but his true occupation was much more exciting. Moore was, at various times in his life, a gambling hall owner, a manager of a counterfeiting ring, and a professional bank robber. Unlike most criminals of his day, Moore never carried a gun, and he never intentionally robbed from the poor. He did, however, always carry at least a thousand dollars of cash on his person.

Portrait of Moore taken in the late 1850s or early 1860s, New York. Illustration from Moore’s book. Langdon W. Moore: His Own Story of His Eventful Life

 

Moore was born in the town of East Washington, N.H. during 1830. He spent his boyhood in Newburyport, Mass. and worked as a farmer’s assistant. When he was sixteen years old, Moore moved to Boston so he could earn higher wages. He became a cashier for various businesses, including his father’s grocery store in East Boston. After losing all his savings during his first experience gambling, Moore moved to New York City, where he made a living by playing poker in underground gambling halls.

During the 1850s, a private bank could issue their own paper money if they had enough gold on hand to cover any redemptions. These banknotes circulated freely, and often one bank would accept the notes from another at full value. Moore began to meet banknote counterfeiters while gambling in New York City. These counterfeiters would print fakes of a certain bank’s issues and quickly trade them in before the authorities caught on to the fakes. Moore began working as a counterfeiter, and by the late 1850s he ran a large New York counterfeiting operation. Moore was very good at printing fakes, and he hired about a dozen people to redeem them for him.

Ten-dollar Obsolete banknote from the Concord Bank in Massachusetts (would later become the Concord National Bank), 1838; obsolete notes like these were the type that Moore and his partners counterfeited. Several thousand dollars of them were stolen in the robbery. Tom Caldwell’s collection.

 

Moore made a lot of money from his illegal activities, but one of his closest accomplices was arrested in late 1864, and the police were close on his trail. That was when Moore decided to sell the gambling house he had been operating, abandon his counterfeiting venture, and buy a farm in Natick, Mass. until things cooled down in New York. He brought several of his cronies from New York with him, who, being total strangers to the local police, successfully posed as farmhands.

With nothing to do in Natick during March of 1865, Moore planned to rob a bank. He taught himself how to pick locks and practiced breaking into a safe that he had purchased. Moore originally planned to rob a bank in Francestown, NH, but he decided not to because he knew some people who lived nearby. On the way back home from Francestown, Moore stopped for lunch in Concord and visited Concord National Bank. There, he exchanged a $100 note for twenties, carefully observing the cashier as he unlocked the front and inner doors of the safe to make change. It was an older model from the 1830s that Moore knew how to break into. Moore had found his bank; he partnered with an Englishman named Harry Hunt, an expert safe cracker and lock picker, and they began planning the robbery.

Photographs of Langdon Moore and Harry Hunt around the time of the robbery; illustration from Moore’s book. Langdon W. Moore: His Own Story of His Eventful Life.

 

The two men visited Concord late the next night, watching the bank and taking note of any movement that occurred in town. This was the first of many times when they returned in the dead of night. They started by creating a mold of the lock on the front door. Next, they made a mold of the lock on the bank’s second door, and then they began with the ten locks on the outer and inner doors of the safe. Night after night, they would secretly visit the bank, enter it, and laboriously mold the locks. The visits got so regular that Moore and Hunt began to store tools behind the very vault they were robbing. They had several close calls, including one time when a chamber pot was emptied on Moore in the alley next to the bank and another when Moore accidently dented the front door. The damaged door would have surely alerted the cashier if Moore had not wedged the pieces of wood back into place. However, despite some close calls, their daring persistence paid off. After five weeks of nightly visits, Moore and Hunt had a complete set of keys for the bank, and the two burglars could steal the contents of the vault whenever they wished.

Moore waited to make his move until the afternoon of September 25th, when he knew the bank would receive a large delivery of bonds worth $75,000. Hunt sat across Main St. in a stagecoach while Moore strolled through the graveyard next to the bank, pretending to read the epitaphs on the headstones. Once the cashier closed the bank for lunch and walked home, Moore used his set of keys to enter the front door. He proceeded to unlock the second door and the vault doors with ease. Aside from the incident with the cashier’s niece, the robbery went smoothly. Nobody noticed the formally dressed man wearing a top hat low over his face as he casually walked away from the bank with an old burlap farm bag over his shoulder. Moore lighted a cigar, strolled down to where Hunt was waiting for him, tossed the bag into the back of the stagecoach, and said, “All right, Henry. I guess we can go home now.” Everything had gone according to plan. Back at the farm, Moore sold the carriage and shot the team of horses that had been used in the escape, thus hiding all evidence of the robbery. He even prepared an alibi in case the police caught on. Right after he returned from the robbery, Moore sent for a doctor. The doctor came, observed Moore (who was genuinely sick at the time), and prescribed him some fever medicine. Moore began to laboriously edit the serial numbers on the bonds so they could be redeemed. He gave Hunt his 1/3rd cut of $103,000, who subsequently departed.

The Chase:

The police were quick to pursue the lead Brockway had given them. They were delayed in obtaining a search warrant for Moore’s farm in Framingham, but investigators surrounded it anyway, discreetly examining Moore’s every movement. After spotting a policeman hiding in the woods, Moore quickly sold the farm to his brother and left for New York to avoid arrest. However, the New York Police Department began spying on his apartment and following him through the streets. Another one of Moore’s accomplices turned on him, and the New York police had enough evidence to bring him in. Moore left New York and purchased a farm in Paulsboro, New Jersey (ten miles south of Philadelphia) to escape arrest once again. There, he hid the stolen bonds under a pile of manure in the barn.

On January 23, 1866, five months after the robbery, Moore was peaceably arrested by the New York Police Department at his farm in New Jersey. The detectives thoroughly searched his property for the stolen money, but in an act of astonishing good fortune for Moore, they failed to locate the hidden sack of bills. A few days later, several bank officials from Concord made the train ride down to New York to negotiate with Moore. With all the money still missing, they were left with no other option but to agree not to press charges if Moore returned the funds. The $203,000 in securities was repaid, and Moore never had to serve a day in prison. The stolen set of silverware was also returned to the Concord minister, and Moore claimed that had he known whom it belonged to, he never would have taken it.

The Conclusion:

Langdon Moore would continue to lead a life of crime for another thirty years, robbing banks and stealing valuables. The Concord robbery cemented his reputation as a highly skilled burglar. He served out two sentences for other crimes, one of which was coincidentally served at the Concord State Prison about three miles from Concord Center. As an elderly gentleman in the 1890s, Moore reformed from any illegal activities, wrote a 650-page autobiography describing his exciting life of crime, and began giving lectures. He dedicated three chapters to the Concord National Bank robbery, the first and largest of the many bank robberies that he committed. These chapters have proven to be an invaluable resource for me in retelling his story. On a side note, Moore was a coin collector. While I was unable to discover any details about the coins he had, Moore says in his book that he owned “$100 face value in rare old coins” at the time of the Concord robbery. Moore lived out his days in New Jersey, where he passed away in 1910 at the age of 80. Although he was quite well known during his lifetime, Moore’s story is all but forgotten today.

                       

Moore’s 650-page autobiography and a portrait of him taken at the time of publishing in 1892. Author’s collection.

 

As for the English safe-cracker Harry Hunt, we will never know his fate. He split from Moore after the bank robbery. One Boston newspaper hypothesized that Hunt took a steamer to Germany, were he could have sold the bonds without being caught. Alternatively, he might have returned to his native England or perhaps traveled north to Canada. None of his $103,000 share was ever recovered, but neither the Concord National nor the Middlesex Institution for Savings folded from the loss.

The Concord National Bank thrived under the leadership of President George Heywood after the robbery, and his son, Charles Fay Heywood, expanded the bank in 1915 by building a larger and more modern structure next-door at 52 Main St. (today a Bank of America branch). George M. Brooks, the president of the Middlesex Institution for Savings, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1869. He resigned in 1872 and served as judge of probate in Middlesex County until his death in 1893. Unhindered by the robbery, The Middlesex Institution for Savings would grow out from its single location in Concord to become Middlesex Savings Bank, and it currently operates 22 branches across the county.

As one unnamed journalist noted in the Boston Daily Advertiser after Moore had been arrested, “The same amount of energy, industry, and shrewdness, employed in any reputable way, would have surely brought [the robbers] the wealth they coveted, without the crime or the risk.”

 

The second Concord National Bank building in the early 1930s, today a Bank of America branch. The old bank building on the right became a barber shop.

Ten-dollar Concord National Bank note, early 1930s; notice the signature of C. Fay Heywood as cashier. Author’s collection.

 

 

Additional Illustrations of Concord: Then and Now

While the clothing, cars, and businesses have changed in Concord center over the past 100 years, many of our buildings have remained the same.

            

Main St., looking East, during the 1890s vs. today.

 

    

The second Concord National Bank building in the 1930s vs. today.

 

    

The second Middlesex Institution for Savings building in Concord, shortly after the Hurricane of 1938 vs. today.

 

    

The old Concord National Bank building as a barber shop in the 1930s vs. a shoe store today.

Comments:
Created by: Legacy1 on 03/18/2019

This was a great post and a fine distraction. The primary reason I collect coins is for the history they represent. You've brought an era to life when America was still young and even localized it. Thank you for the post. Looking forward too others!


A Fifteen Cent Acquisition New!
03/08/2019
There is 1 comment on this post.

The following was written by Tom:

We recently purchased not one, not two, but three 1792 Half Dismes! This is one of the most exciting offerings we have had in in very long time. All three came from a collection purchased in southern California on a recent buying trip. We had been aware of these three pieces for over 20 years and our long-time client finally decided to let them go.

Historically, it does not get any better than the origins of these rarities. As George Washington noted, “There has been a small beginning in the coinage of Half Dismes.” This was said in his fourth annual address to Congress on November 6, 1792.  Earlier, Thomas Jefferson had recorded the striking on July 13, 1792, mentioning “1,500 Half Dismes have been delivered”. Deeply steeped in coin lore, it has been said that the silver to mint these pieces were from Martha Washington’s silverware. Even though this story has since been discounted, you would be hard pressed to find any coin that is more connected to our nation’s origins.  

Most of these Half Dismes have been long lost or destroyed, with fewer than 300 known to exist today. A very small number are known to exist in high grade. Low grade damaged pieces are sometimes encountered. What made our acquisition most delightful is that the coins are nice quality, mid-grade circulated specimens with no problems. Graded decades ago, they are residing in old green PCGS holders. We now just have one of these left, which can you view here.

Oh, from this same collection we also acquired three 1796 Small Eagle Draped Bust Quarters as well as a 1796 Small Eagle Draped Bust Half Dollar.

Comments:
Created by: Legacy1 on 03/18/2019

Such a stunning coin. Wondered if you had your own "wish list" of coins you'd like to list that you haven't handled before?

Tom has always thought the coolest coin to own would be a 1913 Lib Nickel. This interest goes all the way back to 1967 when he recalls the McDermott specimen making headlines in Numismatic News by selling for close to $50,000. (Images from National Numismatic Collection.)

Images from National Numismatic Collection.

While Chris has handled several proof British Gothic Crowns in his career (one of the most beautiful coins ever created, in his opinion), he has always wanted the opportunity to own the stunning PCGS PR67 specimen that Goldbergs sold back in 2009.  (Images from Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers.)

Chris has also never had the opportunith to offer a 1934 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note or a National Gold Bank Note, both of which remain on his "bucket list" of items to hopefully acquire. (Images from Wikipedia.)

 

 

 

 


Buying graded vs. ungraded coins New!
11/30/2018
There are 2 comments on this post.

The following is a guest post written by Jody from Washington.

I am not a professional numismatist, rather a student of money and part time collector. Growing up I was intrigued by coins as my father would often talk about his assemblage. I never had much of a collection until a couple of years ago when I walked into my local coin shop looking to invest in silver eagles. I asked a lot of questions but to be honest, a lot of it went over my head.

The coin shop owner showed me a raw gold Half Eagle Indian, which he said was cleaned and thus would sell to me for melt value. That day would forever change me as I would become fixated with quarter and half Eagle Indians. The design alone was intriguing as was the idea of something old and then there was the gold.

I dove head first collecting Indian Quarter Eagles since it only consists of 15 coins with one key date.  Like many before me, I turned to eBay as a source. I began searching and buying raw specimens that looked good on the screen. I bought from trusted dealers with good feedback and took their word for grade, as I had no idea what to look for.

After a few months of buying on eBay and local shows, I succeeded in completing the set with the exception of the key date, which is the 1911-D. I decided to step up my game and traveled to the Long Beach Expo. As you can imagine, I was instantly overwhelmed with the sheer size of the show, but at the same time I was excited to begin the hunt for my key date.

It was at this show that I would deepen my knowledge from so many  folks willing to share their wisdom and years of expertise. It was also the first time I started to question my own purchases. I found many dealers only dealing in graded coins, which made me wonder if my collection was lacking long-term value. In addition, I found very few raw coins, at least of the gold Indian variety.

I was only at the show for one day.  With limited time I began to look for an education rather than coins. That is when I met fellow Indian collector and Indian expert Allan Schein who authored the book, “The Gold Indians of Bela Lyon Pratt.” Allan not only educated me, he point blank told me I needed to be buying the highest graded coin I could afford, he also explained the epidemic and ever increasing market of counterfeit coins. In my mind I thought for sure I was sitting pretty safe with my collection as I had bought them from legitimate dealers, albeit via eBay.

I headed to the ANACS booth as they did not require a membership for grading and my main goal was see where I stood with my collection. I submitted twenty gold Indians, which was scary for a first timer. This was my collection and I am handing it over to a complete stranger. Oh well, it must be legit right?

Four pain staking weeks later, the package finally arrived from ANACS, and I could hardly wait to see the results. Upon opening the sealed box, I first read the grading sheet summary.  Looking down the list of grades, MS61, AU50, AU58, N9, N9, N9…. Um what is N9? It didn’t explain what N9 was and I noticed several coins in the box were ungraded. I called ANACS and I couldn’t believe my ears. COUNTERFEIT! That’s right, I had 6 counterfeit coins, all of which were common dates and the majority were AU or worse. I was mortified and felt taken advantage of, but at the same time I felt relieved to learn this valuable lesson so early on in my collecting adventures rather than 20 years down the road.  A lesson hard learned.

Today, the vast majority of my purchases are graded by NGC or PCGS and I sleep well knowing my coins are legitimate and what they are valued at. I also feel assured in knowing that some day my children will have no question what they are as well.

I learned that utilizing expert graders takes a lot of the long-term risk out of owning and selling coins. I still occasionally buy raw coins, but only in-person and after careful consideration, they will ultimately end up being graded.  As for the counterfeit coins, I was able to get my money back on all of them. You can imagine some of the dealers were just as shocked as I was.

My ANACS submission report

A counterfeit $2 1/2 Indian

A CAC approved 1908 from my collection

Comments:
Created by: Legacy1 on 12/03/2018

I enjoyed reading your comments. I too am apprehensive about turning over my Morgan set for 3rd party grading. Not because I don't trust them, but because I don't want to find out some of my collection includes cleaned or counterfeit coins! After many years, I completed my Morgan set, year, mint mark and key varieties and about 1/2 are "raw" having started this collection when I was young and cash was tight. I think you've inspired me to submit the set so there is not confusion. Best of luck and thanks for your post.

Created by: davidrhorer on 12/07/2018

The moral of the story: generally stay away from raw coins. And never, absolutely never, buy raw coins on ebay. Why so many do completely baffles me. I honestly just don't get it.
I enjoyed this post, as I enjoy all the posts here. And I greatly sympathize with the author. I knew exactly where they were headed, almost from the very beginning. There's no question they learned a valuable lesson.


Come See Northeast at Gillette Stadium New!
10/15/2018

Tom and Brian from our office will be setting up shop at the 2018 Best Years Expo at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Home to the five time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, Gillette will host The Best Years Expo on October 20th. 

The Best Years Expo provides attendees with a host of options to help them celebrate, learn, and experience life in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond. Close to 50 vendors will be in attendance. Guests will enjoy a day of celebrity appearances, seminars, vendors, activities, giveaways, and more!

So to our New England customers, come on down to the stadium and see us. We encourage you to bring any coins you might like to sell. Hope to see you there!

 


Lifetime Numismatic Goal Achieved! New!
10/12/2018

The following was posted by Brian:

We have a wonderful customer named Paul from right here in Massachussetts that we have been doing business with for the last couple of years. Paul is 92 and is a spry, fiery sort. We all enjoy his conversation and enthusiasm for life and his coins. Paul has been collecting for just shy of 75 years and has built an impressive collection of Flying Eagle Cents, Lincolns, Mercury Dimes, and Walkers (among other types). In fact, Paul recently completed his Walking Liberty Half Dollar set with us.

A few months ago after purchasing a 1942/41-D Mercury Dime from us, he proudly mentioned that he now needed only one coin to complete the set - the key date 1916-D. We did have one at the time, but unfortunately for Paul it was mint state and a bit outside the range with which he was comfortable paying. He asked if we could try and locate one in Fine condition.

With that, we added Paul's wish to our want list and sure enough, Tom from our office found just such a coin. I called Paul and he said he hadn't been feeling so good lately, although he did seem to perk up when I gave him the news that we had located a 1916-D Mercury Dime NGC F12. Paul said that if he "makes it through the night" then he will call us tomorrow.

Sure enough we got a call the next morning. Paul was feeling much better and was ready to buy the coin and finally complete his set. He sounded like he was beaming at the prospect of finally reaching this life-long numismatic goal. Congratulations to Paul!

We all like happy ending stories like this one, but remember - you don't have to be 92 and on your last coin in order to give us your want list. Perhaps we can make it happen for you whether you're just starting out or just finishing up your collection. Email us at info@northeastcoin.com or give us a call at 800.449.2646 and let us know how we can help you.

 


1943 Copper Cent - Dreams do come true! New!
08/28/2018
There is 1 comment on this post.

The following was written by Tom:

Early last year we acquired a certified 1943 Copper Lincoln Cent in XF condition. This was the first 1943 Copper that I have had the privilege to own and offer in my entire 54-year career. This rarity is among the most desirable and rarest United States coins and it is known among veteran coin collectors and non-collectors alike, as it frequently makes the news. 

All coin dealers, ourselves included, receive phone calls and emails on a regular basis from the public with claims that they have a genuine piece.  In most cases, simply taking a magnet to the coin will prove that the coin in question is just a copper coated specimen of virtually no value, thereby immediately dashing dreams of riches.  Occasionally more sophisticated counterfeits surface that demand more attention to disprove authenticity.  With only about 20 known pieces, the chances of finding a genuine piece are, needless to say, astronomically slim.

We enjoyed the pride of ownership of our piece while displaying it at regional and national coin shows, where it garnered a lot of attention and comments from collectors (and dealers!) who had never seen such a piece in person.  Some folks even asked to take photos and/or hold the coin, figuring another such opportunity would never arise. We were very happy to oblige.

After offering the 1943 Copper for sale on our site (www.northeastcoin.com) for much of 2017 without a sale, we decided to take it off the market and perhaps bring it out for display again at some later date.  While packing for the recent ANA Money Show that was held in Philadelphia, we decided this might be a good opportunity for the collectors in the City of Brotherly Love to view the coin, so we brought it along.

One of the collectors attending the show, Willie (a client of ours whom we see at every ANA), came by the table and expressed interest in the coin, saying he had always dreamed of owning one. We then recalled last year that Willie had mentioned he was anticipating the sale of his restaurant and if it happened to go through he would consider the purchase of our piece.

Well, the timing was right for Willie this year!

As we are always willing to work with clients on a layaway basis for big and small purchases alike, we were able to come to an agreement with him on the 1943 Copper.  We are thrilled that our rarity has found a new happy home.  Congratulations Willie - sometimes dreams do come true. Enjoy!

Comments:
Created by: BogieGolf on 01/11/2019

Is this the same one in the news this past week with an estimated auction price greater than 1,000,000?

Hi. No, this is not the same piece.


An interesting find New!
08/23/2018
There is 1 comment on this post.

Our in-house variety specialist and intern, Benjamin Simpson, recently discovered an interesting item. He wrote the following post:

Benjamin found a perpetual calendar ferrotype located at the bottom of a grimy old box in Tom’s office. While it may not look very attractive or special, the medallion is a rare relic of Civil War era America, and highly collectible.

The silver plated brass medallion was manufactured by Ellis and Read of Springfield, Mass during the Civil War. It features an inlaid ferrotype of Major Gen. Benjamin Butler on the obverse, and a perpetual calendar on the reverse. The calendar can be used to determine what days of the week correspond to any date, past, present, or future.

Benjamin Butler, whose photograph is encased in this brass medallion, was a famous general, politician, and businessman of the 19th century. Born in 1818, Butler was a native of Lowell, Massachusetts. He studied to be a lawyer at Colby College and began a career in politics as a democrat after graduating. He entered the Lowell militia in 1840 and rose to the rank of colonel by the beginning of the Civil War. Butler was promoted to major general in 1861. He oversaw the 1862 Union occupation of New Orleans while simultaneously making himself a fortune by manufacturing war supplies in Lowell (Butler used his position in New Orleans to ensure that his textile factories got a steady supply of cotton). After the war, Butler was elected Governor of Massachusetts, and he unsuccessfully ran for president in 1884. Butler died in 1893.

Little is known about Ellis and Read of Springfield, who manufactured these political medallions during the civil war.

Several varieties of the Ellis and Read perpetual calendars are known to exist, including variants that feature ferrotypes of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, George McClellan, and other prominent political figures of the time. They are all highly sought after by collectors and can sell for thousands at auction. There are no Benjamin Butler medallions known to exist, nor have they been listed in any catalog of American political exonumia. Therefore, we believe we have a unique discovery piece for the series of perpetual calendars. You never know what you will find by doing a little digging through Tom’s cluttered office!

 

Comments:
Created by: SUgRXVSw on 01/09/2019

Tom - was reading your blog , and my wife Jackie is now retired from the Butler middle school in Lowell Ma, and we found this very interesting . Benjamin Butler 's portrait hangs in the the school library .

Glad you enjoyed it!


Nine pound Redbook? New!
08/02/2018

This is from a 2004 E-Sylum article. What a neat story!

 

The E-Sylum:  Volume 7, Number 44, October 31, 2004, Article 24

FIRST AND ONLY NUMISMATIC BOOK IN BRAILLE?

  Rich Mantia writes: "I just read an issue of The E-Sylum while
  jumping around on the internet and one of the articles caught
  my attention.  The question was posed as to the thickest
  numismatic book and I'm reasonably sure that I own it. I
  realize that pages and paper thickness matter, but for shear
  thickness it would have to be my copy of the "Redbook".
  Yes, The Guide Book of United States Coins by R. S.
  Yeoman. I own the 1969 edition which was typed in braille
  and is to the best of my knowledge unique. The book is
  slightly thicker than 12 inches. It was so thick when typed
  that it couldn't be bound in one volume. It takes nine volumes
  to create the single book. Page counts vary from volume to
  volume while the cover size remains at 11 1/2 by 12. It is
  considered to be one book because it is fully transcripted
  from the regular 1969 edition. This was done in 1969, not
  recently. I also believe that it is the only numismatic book
  that was ever written in braille. On the lighter side, it is not
  this thick from ever having been water logged."

  [If the date were April first I'd be certain this was a joke.
  Blind numismatists?   This sounded to me like something
  cooked up after drinking one too many steins of German
  beer after a Milwaukee Central States coin convention.

  Of course, one needn't collect or even see coins to
  appreciate their history.   When I asked for more information
  about the edition, Rich sent pictures along with the following
  note.  -Editor]

  Rich Mantia writes: "I don't mind giving more information
  about my "Redbook". I first became interested in "Redbooks"
  when I read an article by Ginger Rapsus in the September
  1988 issue of "The Numismatist". I didn't start to collect
  "Redbooks" actively until several years later, but I'm blessed
  with a good memory and I referred back to the issue when
  I wanted to collect on a serious level. I'm aware that the value
  in any collection is in its completeness as well as condition
  and I decided to start with the rare copies first. I used the
  article as the basis for my collection and I've collected every
  item listed in it as well as some items that aren't listed.

  I purchased the braille "Redbook" some years back in a
  private transaction for a substantial price that I shall keep to
  myself. I have sent along some photos of it which help verify
  its existence. In the photos one can see that the book was
  transcribed for Davyd Pepito who was a member of the
  Covina Coin Club. It was done by Ms. Lois Kelly of the
  San Gabriel Valley Transcibers in Covina, California over
  a period of 3 months in 1969. The page counts vary from
  volume to volume, but on average it took 4 braille pages to
  equal 1 printed page. My guess is that there are about 1000
  pages in the 9 volumes total.

  The 9 volumes combined weigh more than 26 pounds. The
  book has only been displayed a few times at some regional
  shows over the years and I have no desire to bring it out for
  more displays because it doesn't look as impressive as a
  showcase full of rare coins. It is rather bland in its appearance,
  because after all it is page after page of impressed bumps
  with no inked words to accompany. To my knowledge it is
  unique in that it is the only "Redbook" to be in braille and also
  the only numismatic book ever written in braille.

  More than anything else the greatness of Mr. Richard Yeo
  stands out because it is his book that stands out as being the
  one that reached into the darkness of a blind childs' life and
  helped him enjoy a hobby that we take for granted. Perhaps
  Davyd Pepito can be known as a pioneer coin collector
  who loved coins without ever seeing them and his name
  should be chiseled in stone on the new A.N. S. building as
  prominently as the scholars of the past.   I hope this helps
  answer your questions."

 


Lifetime Collection New!
07/16/2018
There are 5 comments on this post.

“I am in no rush to sell, but I am 102.” 

So began our discussion several months ago with a New York City gentleman named Charles, who wanted to sell his lifetime collection of coins and currency. As we got to know Charlie, we learned about how he had considered selling his collection to other dealers or liquidating it in an auction. He ultimately chose Northeast. Although our company may have seemed young to Charlie— Northeast has only been around for a little over 50 years when compared to his 102— he understood that it would be important to work with the most reputable and time-tested company he could find.

After many emails, visits and phone calls, our combined efforts for a deal came to fruition yesterday. I woke up with Russell early to catch a 4:00 AM flight for LaGuardia. The trip was not pleasant. With no window and a location in the last row next to the bathroom, we had been assigned the worst seats on the airplane. They could not recline, so we were unable to catch any rest before the long day ahead. After landing, we navigated through the construction at LaGuardia and took a chain of shuttle busses before we reached our rental car-- a Chevy Suburban SUV. Russel and I arrived at our client’s apartment in the city to make our 10:00 a.m. appointment without issue, and we were very thankful to have beaten the infamous New York City traffic. We were astonished to find that the twenty-two-story apartment building had only ten parking spots, but mercifully there was one open for us.

For several hours, Russell and I confirmed the collection was as expected from the inventory list sent to us by Charlie. The collection included 19th century type coins, dollars, proof and mint sets, gold and silver eagles as well as other bullion, paper money, and much, much more. After doing quite a bit of addition, we valued the collection in the high six figures. Not surprising considering that it was the summation of a century of coin collecting. Next, we did some paperwork and loaded up our SUV for the trip home. Our vehicle turned out to be just what we needed, as a smaller car would have required us to make two trips!

The traffic made the drive slow through much of New York and Connecticut, but eventually Russell and I made it back to our office to unload our “newps” in the early evening. After a well-deserved Mai Tai and dinner at Chang An, we were home by 9:00 p.m. Just a typical 17-hour day in the life of a coin dealer!

Next comes the inventorying, cataloging, imaging, sending in for grading and listing on our site. Stay tuned!

Oh, and it goes without saying, but Northeast is always in the market to buy. We are interested in singles, rolls, partial or complete sets, raw or certified or anything else numismatic, and would love to hear from you. Our needs are great and constant. Let us know when the time comes to consider cashing in.

-Tom

Comments:
Created by: Legacy on 07/17/2018

Great story. Wonder if any single coin was the collector's favorite.

Good question. Surprisingly, the only piece we recall him mentioning more than once was a pattern dollar.

Created by: davidrhorer on 07/18/2018

Fascinating story, and engagingly written. Well done, Tom--and good luck Northeast!

Thank you, Dave!

Created by: viperjody on 08/09/2018

It's why I give you my business whenever possible. Great story and keep up the great work.

Thank you, Jody!

Created by: Rob on 09/26/2019

Ah, the New York traffic -- remember it well from my days driving a cab in the Big Apple a quarter-century ago (Hey, I only got held up twice -- I consider myself lucky!) What a terrific story. Imagine starting a collection -- if he started at, say, age 10 -- in 1927. The coins he must have spent as pocket change that today would be worth thousands of dollars. And the coins he must have come across as a collector back in the day (and the low prices -- compared to today at least -- he must have paid for so many of them!) Thank you for sharing. - Rob

Thanks for reading, Rob!

Created by: GF on 11/28/2019

Tom, just reading this..... excellent writing, a great story and I strongly concur, a Chang An Mai Tai sets a rough day straight!


The Concord Museum New!
05/11/2018

The following was posted by Tom.

Normally with a heading like this, you would expect us to be discussing or offering new material:  Perhaps recent purchases from a show, coins returning from the grading services, or purchased collections. This is a different story.

Last fall we got a call from the Concord Museum’s curator, David Wood. The Concord Museum www.concordmuseum.org  has an impressive collection of historical, literary, and decorate art treasures.  One area that was missing from the museums holdings was numismatic items. David discussed the desire to add numismatics to its collection and how Northeast could help with that.  We happily agreed to make a donation to the museum. 

We came up with a group of gold, silver, and copper coinage, as well as tokens, Colonials, and paper money from late 18th to early 19th century.  These are currently a small part of a much larger current exhibit called “Fresh Goods: Shopping for Clothing in a New England Town.” This current exhibit runs thru July. 

Our home town museum reflects our rich history, from the beginnings of the American Revolution with the “Shot Heard Round the World” at The Old North Bridge (not far from our office) thru the literary era of Thoreau, Emerson, Hawthorne, Alcott and others. Northeast is proud to be a part of this history.

If you are ever in our home town, we hope you will plan a visit to the museum. And be sure to let us know when you’re in town, as a visit to Concord would not be compete without a visit to Northeast Numismatics!

 

 

 


Neat 8-foot strip of Steel Cent webbing New!
04/12/2018

A magnificent artifact of wartime cent production, this unique, eight-foot strip of webbing has a most unusual story.

A building contractor from the Denver area gained possession of the punched strip more than thirty years ago. Someone delivered a large quantity of the webbing to his work yard, thinking that he could find a use for the ‘scrap metal.’ The contractor decided to reinforce the walls of a house he was building with the strips, forever sealing them in plaster.

The contractor only had two strips left when he learned about their numismatic importance. He cut the shorter strip in two, mailing half to the Smithsonian and half to the ANA Museum, and kept the longer, eight-foot strip for himself. Once word spread about the contractor’s discovery, he was visited by two agents from the Denver Mint Police, looking to reclaim what may have been stolen property (any strips of webbing are technically property of the U.S. Mint). They dropped the case after concluding that it was impractical to dismantle the house or recycle his strip for steel.

This strip of webbing has been preserved nicely, and exhibits no rust or tarnishing of any sort. With only one rung broken in the nearly 1200 that make up the strip, it is remarkably well intact. There are a few minor bends, which do little to distract from the wow-factor of the piece. It is fully original and unrestored.

It is impossible to discern the date and mintmark on the coins minted from most other strips, yet due to the steel composition and discovery in the Denver area, we are very confident that this strip was used in the production of 1943-D cents. 

 


What to do with your coin publications? New!
03/16/2018
There are 2 comments on this post.

Tom wrote a guest article for the E-Sylum. Here's something you can consider regarding your already-read coin publications that you receive in the mail:

As we age we inevitably end up going the doctor’s office more often, at least I do. When I remember I have been bringing a recent copy of The Numismatist with me, not to read while I wait for my appointment but to leave in the waiting room. The hope is that someone will view and possibly take up our fine hobby. It may never happen but it is a small effort to encourage a future numismatist.

We all lament at the fact that our collector base is aging and I suspect that the majority of ANA members are just tossing their month-old copy and not building a library so why not do so? If everyone made this small effort there would no doubt that it would have the desired result with some. It is certainly better than having your copy sit on your shelf never to be viewed again or automatically going to the recycling bin.

Comments:
Created by: oih82w8 on 03/27/2018

Sounds like a great idea!

Created by: Barry on 03/29/2018

My wife and I regularly drop off recent copies of Coin World during doctor visits. On several occasions I've observed they are quickly picked to read and provide a welcome change from the usual medical stuff. The monthly issues go to the local library


Happy Mardi Gras! New!
02/13/2018
There are 2 comments on this post.

Our annual tradition - a Paul's Pastry king cake!

 

Brian hard at work describing a coin for a customer.

 

A little touch of NOLA in Chris' office.

Comments:
Created by: Panda on 02/13/2018

Very nice office space!

Created by: Northeast on 02/14/2018

Thank you, Panda!


The Patriots lost... New!
02/06/2018

...which we are very disappointed about. Unfortunately no one guessed the exact final score of the game in our contest. Not too surprising, however, considering what the score was (41-33).

We have already contacted the ten contestants in our contest whose guesses were closest to the final score. The closes was by R.C. of Maryland who guessed Eagles 42, Patriots 35. 

Thank you to all who participated. We have confidence in Bill and Tom getting us to another Super Bowl, so hopefully this won't be our last such contest!

 

 


Super Bowl Contest New!
01/29/2018

Super Bowl LII features the New England Patriots, who are going for their sixth Super Bowl title, against the Philadelphia Eagles on February 4th. To celebrate one of the greatest spectacles in sports, we at Northeast Numismatics are hosting another Super Bowl contest on our website. 

If anyone guesses the exact final score of the game, they have a chance to win a $500 gift certificate to Northeastcoin.com. We are also awarding ten $50 gift certificates. 

For further details and to participate, just click the link below.

Super Bowl Contest

Good luck!


Happy Thanksgiving! New!
11/23/2017
There are 2 comments on this post.

Comments:
Created by: Panda on 11/25/2017

Still waiting for Black Friday deals

Stay tuned...

 

Created by: kreput on 11/28/2019

happy thanksgiving from a Western Mass Easthampton and Hatfield Native. Now living in Virginia Beach.


Whaaaat?!! New!
11/03/2017
There are 2 comments on this post.

A 1918-S Standing Liberty Quarter PCGS MS65 FH just sold for $72,000 in a Heritage auction. Can anyone explain why? 

Comments:
Created by: Rick on 11/05/2017

Doesn't make any sense, that coin is probably at retail $10K. Only guess is someone is completing a high grade set and would do anything to claim best collection?

We agree, Rick. Very head-scratching for sure. If we learn any new information on this particular sale, we'll be sure to post it here.

Created by: Panda on 11/16/2017

The buyer think it's a 1918/7-S

We did hear from another dealer that perhaps at least two of the bidders thought it was a late die-state 1918/7-S. We are doubtful of that scenario.


Mystery Coin Contest New!
10/01/2017
There is 1 comment on this post.

The image below was taken from a particular numismatic item. The first person to guess what item this image was taken from and the date on the item wins it! Be specific. To take a guess, click the COMMENT ON THIS POST link in the lower right corner. Only guesses received via comments to this blog post will count. Good luck!

 

Comments:
Created by: edavies on 10/01/2017

Hi. Great contest! I believe the image is of Queen Adelaide, the wife of Britain's King William IV, and is from the reverse of an 1831 medal commemorating his coronation. The Royal Mint issued three versions of the medal designed by Chief Engraver William Wyon -- one in bronze, one in silver, and one in gold. From the appearance of the photo in the blog, I'm guessing that it's from the bronze issue.

CORRECT! Nice job, edavies. We will be in touch to discuss sending your medal to you.


Billion Dollar Wreck New!
09/29/2017

Some of you may be familiar with the story of the RMS Republic which sank off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1909. It is reputed to have 150,000 U.S. gold coins buried with it. The History Channel did a special on the shipwreck called Billion Dollar Wreck about the ongoing attempt to locate and salvage the gold. 

Tom was featured in the special as their numismatic expert. Enjoy!


Blog Fail! New!
09/28/2017

We have clearly fallen asleep at the wheel in regards to keeping our blog up-to-date. Well, alseep is not really the correct word. We've found ourselves so busy as of late attending coin shows and processing our new purchases and the blog has suffered because of this. 

For those that followed our blog, we truly apologize for this. We will have a worthwhile post tomorrow (including video!), so stay tuned. And thank you for your patience!


Coins On Hold - What does it mean? New!
05/15/2017

You have probably noticed an On Hold indicator next to some of the coins in our inventory. We are sometimes asked by our customers what that means, so we figured it'd be worthwhile to post an explanation. 

There are a few reasons why a coin might be marked On Hold. If someone has recently placed an order for the coin through our website and we have not yet had a chance to change the indicator to sold, then the coin status will show as On Hold. Another possible reason would be that a customer has specifically asked us to put a coin on hold for a short time while they make a decision about the piece. And lastly, we sometimes send coins out to other dealers on memo (consignment). When that happens, the coin will show On Hold.

It's important to note that just because a coin is on hold for someone, it does not necessarily mean that you don't have a chance to acquire it. If you see a coin on hold that you would like to consider purchasing, simply click the On Hold link. You will be prompted to enter your email address and any comments you might have. We will receive the notification that you are interested and will see if there's a way to make that coin available to you. Even if it ends up selling to another customer, we can make a note in our system that you are interested in the piece in case it is returned.

If you have any additional questions about this, or anything else at all pertaining to our website, please don't hesitate to ask. Email us at info@northeastcoin.com or call us at 800.449.2646.


Chris' Central States Show Report New!
05/05/2017

The following was written by Chris.

To be blunt, the Central States show is probably my least favorite show of the year. I find it overly long for the amount of business that is usually done there. It’s typically one of the weaker shows of the year, and the location is far from ideal. While it’s convenient and very secure to have the hotel attached to the convention center, there is literally nothing else in the area within walking distance. If you want to eat anywhere other than the hotel restaurant, you have to Uber there. Schaumburg is inconveniently far away from Chicago, so trips into the city during this show rarely happen. (If there is a positive to the location, because there’s nowhere to go, more dealers than usual congregate in the hotel bar in the evenings. You can find yourself having conversations with dealers that otherwise you may normally not have the opportunity to socialize with.)

Having just complained for a paragraph about the show, I am happy to report that this particular Central States was great for us! I checked our Central States show sales going back to 2012, and this show actually doubled each one of them! I’m sure if I continued going back through the years, I’d find the same results. We sold multiple big-ticket items ($20k+ coins), which was great and also encouraging. It was still the usual struggle for Margie to get some of the dealers to look at our inventory, but most eventually relented and then proceeded to buy several coins from us. And just as importantly, buying was good. We came home with at least four double row boxes of new coins.

While I would grade the 2017 Central States show an A-, I heard mixed reviews from other dealers about the show. A few well known national dealers who used to take tables stopped doing so and just walked the floor, or just didn’t show up at all. Maybe it’s my imagination, but the width of the aisles on the bourse floor seem to be increasing. One might speculate that this is because fewer and fewer people are taking tables. I dunno.

As for the coin market, my personal experience with buying didn’t really indicate any changes occurring. Prices remain unchanged for the typical material I come home with. However, there are two positive things worth mentioning. First, we did find the big-ticket sales encouraging. Second, I spoke to a dealer friend of mine who had spoken to one of the bigger dealers in the industry and that particular dealer was very optimistic about the market. Yeah, I realize this pretty much qualifies as hearsay. But considering the source, I know the information was sound. Granted, I don’t know the details, like the “why” part of the optimism. I will be interested to see if their optimism holds at the next show and hopefully spreads!


History of the Planchet Strip New!
04/20/2017

Here's a neat letter and item we came across that was buried in our office. 


What's For Breakfast? New!
04/07/2017
There is 1 comment on this post.

Many of you are probably already familiar with the famous Sacagawea Cheerios Dollar. For those who are not, definitely read on!

5,500 Sac Dollars were struck in 1999 and delivered to General Mills to distribute in cereal boxes in an effort to generate interest in the new dollar coin. It turned out that the Sac Dollars later struck for circulation exhibited a slightly different design, namely in the eagle's tailfeathers. The tailfeathers on the Cheerios Dollars have intricate detail, whereas the regular issue pieces have tailfeathers with no detail.

We found an article from 2007 which mentioned an actual sealed box of Cheerios that had the Sac Dollar promotion logo on it sold on eBay for a little over $200! What would YOU do if you had a sealed box from back then? Open it or sell it?

 

 

 

 

Comments:
Created by: mm on 04/07/2017

Open It.


Mystery Coin Contest New!
03/23/2017
There are 2 comments on this post.

The image below is a close-up of a small area of an ecapsulated numismatic item. The first person to guess what item this image was taken from wins it! To take a guess, click the COMMENT ON THIS POST link in the lower right corner. Only guesses received via comments to this blog post will count. Good luck!

 

Comments:
Created by: Pfflyer776 on 03/23/2017

Liberty silver dollar

From Northeast: Sorry, no. Please be more specific with your guesses. 

Created by: caswellj on 03/23/2017

The 30th Anniversary PCGS Medal

From Northeast: Correct! That sure didn't take long. Congratulations! Please email your contact information to info@northeastcoin.com and we'll ship it out to you.

For those interested, here is what the entire medal looks like.


My Personal Collection New!
03/22/2017
There are 2 comments on this post.

The following was posted by Chris.

I often get asked by customers if I have a personal coin collection and if so, what's in it. I thought I'd take advantage of our blog to post some selections. The majority of my collection is comprised of medals, mostly 19th and early 20th century European medals. While my expertise is primarily U.S. coins, I have always appreciated the intricate designs of medals.I also have several world coins and some U.S. coins in my collection. Here are some highlights you might enjoy seeing. 

 

1861 Great Britain Halfpenny NGC PF66 RB (Definitely one of my favorites. Finest RB of the date.)

 

1877-A France 5 Francs NGC MS66 (Semi-PL, tied for finest graded.)

 

1904-A Germany Mark NGC MS67 (I'm always a fan of attractive toning.)

 

1909 Germany Saxony-Leipzig University NGC MS67 (Amazingly, there is one finer, which I'd love to see.)

 

1902 Great Britain Halfpenny High Sea Level NGC MS66 BN (Not an exciting coin, but I like high-end/finest graded material.)

 

1894-A German New Guinea Mark NGC MS65 (Semi-prooflike. One of my favorite designs of any coin.)

 

1913 France 2 Centimes NGC MS63 RB (Nothing special. Just cool color.)

 

1842-Ng MA C.A.R. 8 Reales 42/37 PCGS AU50 (Many collectors love the sun design and I am no exception.)

 

1797 Great Britain SOHO "Cartwheel" Twopence NGC PF63 BN

 

1883 Hawaii Quarter PCGS MS64 CAC (The most prooflike example I've seen!)

 

France World War I Medal (Somewhat eerie but impressive design. Uninscribed reverse.)

 

1828 Germany Alexander Humbolt Geographer (Exquisite high relief design.)

 

1825 Germany Fredrich Blumenbach Anthropologist (I like the reverse design. Knocked it out of an NGC MS65 holder.)

 

1881 Austria Marriage of Prince Rudolph and Princess Stefanie of Belgium (Amazingly intricate design. Big fan of original cases.)

 

1837 Great Britain Royal Academy of Arts Award Medal (Awarded in 1874. Features the Belvedere Torso. It took me a few years to pry this out of the hands of a former colleague.)

 

1893 Columbian Exposition Medal (Struck/pressed in wood!)

 

New Orleans obsolete and national bank notes (I was born in Louisiana and moved up to MA from the NOLA area, so I have several of these in my collection.)

Comments:
Created by: classicCoins on 03/25/2017

I agree - some of the designs on the medals are stunning. Thanks for sharing.

Created by: Andrew on 05/05/2017

Beautiful medals. Also outstanding examples of them. Stunning was the right descriptor. There is so much discusssion about the lack of art in today's really clip-art style or disproportionate art for the planchette and the return to the"Renaissance Era" of US coinage. We don't need to go back, as technically incredible and artistic these older medals and our older coinage were, but go forward to our current medallic artists and sculptors and let them create. You can see the evidence in modern International coinage and medals that range from classic to very modern, but are still stand- alone works of art. We have plenty of great artists in the US and should tap into that pool of talent. Thanks for sharing these rareties and beauties with us.


No AW? Yes Way! New!
03/20/2017

An interesting coin we just sold is the 1945 No "AW" Walking Liberty Half. As far as diagnostics are concerned, this is more correctly known as a die state, rather than a true variety, as polishing of the die to remove clash marks or erosion lines obliterated the designer's monogram.

 

The one we just sold is the first non-proof No AW Walker we've offered and the only 1945 issue we've even heard of.


Happy Mardi Gras! New!
02/28/2017

We celebrated Mardi Gras today at the office, complete with King Cake (from Paul's Pastry, of course!), beads, masks, and doubloons. 

 

Here's our King Cake (decorating by Helen).

 

Chris and Marne getting into the spirit.

 

Thanks for the masks and King Cake, Marne! Hopefully someone else will get the baby this year so you don't have to buy again!

 

Brian grading some Mardi Gras Doubloons before deciding which ones to submit.

 

Christy in "costume" also.

 

Mardi Gras update. Marne got the baby...AGAIN. Three years in a row!


Super Bowl Contest - We Have a Winner! New!
02/07/2017

Congratulations to J.W. of Tampa for winning our Super Bowl Contest! He, along with three other people, guessed the exact final score of the game. His was the first correct entry received, so he will be receiving a $500 Gift Certificate to Northeastcoin.com. We will be contacting the winners of our ten $50 gift certificates later today.

Thank you to all who participated!

 

 


Super Bowl Contest New!
01/31/2017

FINAL SCORE:

Patriots  34

Falcons 28

We are still going through the several hundred entries we received. The winners will be announced on February 7th.

 

 

Our popular Super Bowl contest is back! Super Bowl LI (and the final chapter of Deflategate...we hope) is just five days away. For those who want to participate, all you need to do is reply to this email with your guess as to the final score of the game. If anyone guesses the exact final score, they will receive a $500 gift certificate to Northeastcoin.com! The next ten participants who are closest to the final score will each receive a $50 gift certificate. Please see below for additional details.

Good luck, everyone! 

Contest rules: Entries must be received by kick-off on Sunday. Only one entry per household. If there are multiple entries that correctly predict the final score, the person who submitted their entry first will be the $500 winner. Entries are accepted by email to info@northeastcoin.com and must be formatted like the following example:

Patriots  38 (or whatever your guess is)

Falcons  30 (or whatever your guess is)


Chris' FUN Show Report New!
01/18/2017

The following was written by Chris.

I’ll break this down into two parts. First up will be my comments on the actual show. I’ll then follow that up with some non-coin related experiences I had.

Part I

We flew down to Ft. Lauderdale on Monday, the 2nd. As with most major shows, we participated with a small group of other dealers (mostly wholesalers) in some pre-show trading. We typically rent a conference room in either a hotel or the convention center. This kicked off Tuesday morning and we met again the first half of Wednesday. Business was brisk on Tuesday with Tom and I doing pretty much nothing but buying from 9-6. Wednesday morning slowed down a bit primarily because we had done about as much business as possible with the small group of dealers we saw.

We then did the cattle herd thing (ever see over 1,000 coin dealers try to cram into a single entrance at once?) into the FUN show when setup started at 2pm and the action picked up again. If you haven’t been to a coin show during setup, it’s pretty much a mad scramble for us to our table to set up lighting, then Margie hits the floor with our coins and wheels them around to show dealers we didn’t see during pre-show trading. Likewise, Tom and I will either hit the floor looking to buy coins or other dealers will bring their inventory to our table.

Business was brisk on Wednesday on the buying side. Selling was a challenge as many dealers asked Margie to come back the next day, which is par for the course on setup day. The show opened Thursday morning at 8:30 and we were pretty much non-stop busy until it closed at 7 that evening. The FUN show has the longest days of all the coin shows. Personally, I find the days to be too long and indeed more dealers close up their tables and leave early at the FUN show than at most other shows.

Friday slowed down a bit for me as I had to focus some of my efforts on responding to emails, taking care of website business, and working on boring but necessary administrative work involving invoicing coins in our inventory system. I then flew home that evening (more on that later) and Tom, Margie, and Dotty stayed through Saturday. Sales were actually quite good for the last day of the show, including a sale involving one of the three Stellas we had in stock.

Overall I found the show to be a success. We had our highest sales total in revenue of any FUN show we’ve attended (granted, the Stella sale played some part in this) and we sold the most number of coins of any FUN show. I was pleased with the buying that I was able to do. Most other dealers seemed willing to buy, which was very encouraging. A few dealer friends that deal strictly wholesale gave me the same feedback.

I really didn’t see much of a change in price levels for the type of material that I typically pursue. No upward trend but also fortunately no downward trend either. While I did not participate extensively in the auction, I was pretty much blown out on the items I did bid on. While that’s disappointing, at the same time I find it a good sign that at least the items I pursued brought good money.

Not a bad start to 2017!

Part II

For the first time ever, we stayed at an Airbnb. Hotel rates were outrageous in Fort Lauderdale. We waited too long to book so we couldn’t get the show rate at the Hyatt. And the Hilton show rate was over $200/night! We needed four rooms, so we were looking at close to $4,000 total just in hotel expenses. So, I checked out Airbnb and saw quite a few options in the area. Some were a bit sketchy or not suitable for us and some were high-end waterfront places that would have cost more than a hotel. We settled on a four bedroom, four bathroom townhouse located about a mile and a half from the show at just $217/night.

The place had its issues, including a faulty fire alarm that went off at 6:15 one morning, as well as an ant problem (which the manager of the property told us to take care of??!!). It was also a bit of a hike to the show, although most of us Ubered to and from for just $5. Airbnb will never be our number one choice for any show, but we will consider it for future shows if we are unable to get reasonably priced hotel rooms. We spent $1,400 all in to stay there. Sure beats $4,000!

Getting home…what a mess. I was scheduled to fly home from FLL on Friday evening. As probably everyone is aware of, there was a shooting at the airport that day. Five people tragically lost their lives while another six were wounded. The airport shut down fairly quickly after the shooting, trapping hundreds of would-be passengers for several hours. Around 3 o’clock I called JetBlue to see if they had any departures available from other airports and sure enough they did. They put me on a flight that night out of Palm Beach Airport. Fort Lauderdale was in chaos by that time and the Uber driver was NOT happy that he had to drive me all the way to West Palm. It took forever to get out of the city, but we finally made it.

I was very grateful to have made it home that night, particularly after hearing from colleagues of mine who were not as fortunate. And to top it off, JetBlue sent me a $50 credit for the “inconvenience.”  Another reason why I flight JetBlue exclusively!


Dotty's FUN Show Commentary New!
01/14/2017

The following was written by Dotty.

I am quite new to the numismatic business and the FUN show this year in Ft. Lauderdale was my first major numismatic event. So, what words do I come up with to describe my experience at the show? Overwhelming…huge…hectic…busy…fun…exhausting! I had been forewarned that I would be on my feet and busy most of the time. Was that ever the case! It was very interesting to observe the coin dealers deal with each other as well as with the thousands of customers who attended. You numismatists truly love what you do and are incredibly single-minded in your pursuit to buy, sell, and trade coins. Now I know just what goes on at these coin shows and I look forward to my next one!

On a personal note, it was surprising and disappointing that the convention center offered few food selections and almost no water. By 8:45 in the morning, even complimentary coffee was unavailable inside the exhibit hall. I need my coffee! My issues with the food and coffee aside, and despite the horrible tragedy that occurred at the Ft. Lauderdale airport, I did discover some unexpected beauty on my early morning walk before the show began one morning. PEACOCKS! About 30 of them roaming freely on a side street. To protect them I will not reveal their location, and I am certain the residents of this quiet neighborhood will appreciate this gesture as well. Take a look at some of the pictures I took during my walk.

 


Toners Galore! New!
01/13/2017

Readers of our blog may recall our November 23rd post about a group of Silver Eagles we came across in our office that had toned quite nicely. We listed a handful of them raw and the rest we sent off for grading. These are now back and listed on our website. In addition to the Silver Eagles, we also came across a Dansco album containing a Jefferson Nickel set. Many of those toned while residing in the album. Some are just kind of so-so and others are rather pretty. These have all now been listed on our site, too! You can view them by clicking on the Rainbow Rarites icon to the right.

Stay tuned - we will be posted two FUN show reports on our blog.


Northeast Christmas Party New!
12/30/2016

Tom very generously threw a Northeast Christmas party at a fantastic local restaurant, Woods Hill Table. Great food and fun! Here are some pics of the event, along with a couple entries in our office's Ugly Sweater Christmas Cookie Contest.

 

Marne excited about her skull head scorpion bowl.

 

Dotty, who is our most recent hire, and Marne.

 

Marne and Christy and their beaus Chad and Michael.

 

That's one scary looking beverage!

 

Tom, his wife Nancy, and their son-in-law Chris.

 

Brian and his better half, Kim.

 

A couple entries in the contest.


Merry Christmas! New!
12/25/2016
There is 1 comment on this post.

To those of you who are celebrating Christmas this holiday season, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Comments:
Created by: Mike on 12/27/2016

Happy Holidays to Northeast too!


Happy Hanukkah! New!
12/24/2016

We'd like to take this opportunity to wish our customers who celebrate Hanukkah a very Happy Hanukkah!

 

 


Earn a Gift Certificate! New!
12/19/2016

From now until the end of the year, we are running a cool gift certificate promotion. For every $100 you spend at Northeastcoin.com you will earn $10 in gift certificate value. For example, if you spend $325 on any single order, you will receive a $30 gift certificate. Just enter HOLIDAY in the promo code box during our online checkout process. 

Terms of the HOLIDAY promotion: The promo code must be entered at the time of the order. It may not be used on previously placed orders. The maximum gift certificate value that can be earned is $1,000. This promotion expires on 12/31/2016. 


New Search Feature New!
11/25/2016

We are excited to announce a new feature we've just added to our website. When you select an inventory category with more than one type involved, you now have the ability to display certain types within that category. For example, if you select Silver Dollars and want to limit the results to just Morgan Dollars, you can do that. We have also added the option to search for a specific date within that category. 

The use the search feature, first select the main inventory category (U.S. coins or World coins). Then select the sub-category or categories on the next screen. Once the results are displayed, you can refine them by clicking on the button near the upper right corner of the screen. We've provided a couple of images below. Please note that you cannot refine the results of certain categories, such as Three Cent Silvers, since there are no sub-types of that denomination on our website.

We hope you get some good use out of this feature. As always, we welcome your feedback. Thank you!

 



 

 

 


Pleasant Surprise - Toned Silver Eagles New!
11/23/2016

I was walking by the desk of one of my colleagues the other day and noticed there were a bunch of silver eagles spread all over her desk. She was working on filling complete albums with brilliant silver eagles we had from partial rolls and others that were just laying around. In one big stack was a bunch of toned silver eagles. These were homeless single pieces that had simply been laying around on the shelf where we kept all of the partial rolls. The toners were destined for conservation...any that dipped out nice were going to be used for the albums. Others that did not conserve well were eventually getting blown out wholesale as nothing but mixed date ASEs. 

When I started going through the group of toned pieces, I noticed several that had actually started to tone in an attractive manner. I pulled those out and you'll see them below. I apologize for the horrible quality of the image - I took it with my phone. A few of these are off to PCGS for grading, the rest will be listed raw on our website. This is all natural toning, folks. Pretty neat find!

-Chris

 


Die Varieties - FYI New!
11/15/2016
There is 1 comment on this post.

There are approxiamtely 10,450 known die varieties, while another 6 to 7,000 have been reported as verifiable. A die variety is defined as 'any method in which Chuck Norris can make you die'. For a comprehensive list (with full color pictures and instructions), pick up a copy of The Daisykickers' Guide. 

 

Comments:
Created by: CoinGuy_1866 on 11/15/2016

Chuck Norris has counted to infinity--twice.


$3 Gold Story - 1854-D New!
11/12/2016

The primary objective of the Mint Act of Feb 21, 1853 was to authorize the use of lighter weight silver coinage. An additional clause was tacked onto the law to sanction production of the Three Dollar gold coin. Congress believed the Three Dollar gold coin would be helpful in purchasing sheets of 3 cent stamps, but that idea never caught on with the public, resulting in languished popularity of the oddball denomination. The first Three Dollar gold coins were issued in 1854. The design featured the portrait of an Indian princess with plumed headdress. The reverse bears an agricultural theme.

Only 1,120 were coined at the Dahlonega Mint in 1854, which proved to be the only year of Three Dollar gold production at Dahlonega. Of that number, about 150 remain today. Other than the 1870-S (known to exist: 1), the 1854-D Indian Head Three Dollar gold coin is arguably the most important date in the series, and is priced accordingly.


Chris' Whitman Coin Expo Report New!
11/09/2016

The following was written by Chris.

I’m pleased to be able to report that the Whitman Coin Expo we attended last week was probably our most successful Baltimore show ever, at least in terms of sales. We blew away our sales totals of both the FUN show and the ANA show this year. A primary contributor to this was the strong interest in the high-ticket coins we recently acquired in a seven-figure deal, which you can read about in our blog post from 10/8.

Some notable sales at the show were:

1797 Bust Dime 16 Stars NGC MS63

1880 Trade Dollar NGC PF68* Cameo

1889-CC Morgan Dollar NGC MS61

1900 $2 ½ NGC PF68* Ultra Cameo CAC

1887 $3 PCGS PR66 Cameo

1889 $3 PCGS PR66 Cameo CAC

1903 $5 PCGS PR65 Cameo CAC

All other sales were a decent mix of collector coins as well as a good bit of generic gold. Prices reflected the current market; that is to say, there were no price increases that we noticed in any of the categories. Type coinage, commems, many better date dollars in just average quality still trade back of most published bid levels. Pretty toned coins, especially Morgans, continue to do well and are becoming increasingly difficult to buy at “reasonable” levels.

I was unable to buy as much as I might normally come home with from a fall Baltimore. Part of the reason was my attendance just two weeks prior at the PCGS show in Dallas. There wasn’t as much fresh product from the dealers that I normally do business, considering the fairly short span between those two shows.

While I have not gone through all of Tom’s new purchases, I do believe it was a fairly successful buying showing for him. Marne, our photographer, is working on imaging all of our newps and they will be hitting the site throughout the week.

p.s. The Renaissance hotel that I normally stay at in Baltimore inexplicably got rid of their standard room service. That sucked.

 


That's Gold, Auggie, Gold! New!
10/28/2016

In 1831, Christopher Bechtler (along with his sons, August and Charles) announced that he would process raw gold into coins and ingots. In 1832, he announced that a $1 gold coin would also be available. It was not until 1849, 17 years later, that the U.S. Mint began to issue $1 gold coins.

Using equipment that they made themselves, including a roller, screw press and dies, the Bechtlers struck both $2.50 and $5 coins. Their coin designs were simple, having only the Bechtler name, the value, purity, and location.

Because their coins were not copies of coins produced by the U.S. Mint, Bechtler’s coins were not considered counterfeit. The U.S. Mint repeatedly tested Bechtler coins; finding in each case that they contained the amount of gold claimed and were, therefore, of equal (and sometimes superior) value to U.S. coins of the same denominations. As Bechtler coins made their way into the market they became so popular that in many cases they were preferred over U.S. coins. For some years they were more abundant in the south than U.S. coins.


Million Dollar Collection! New!
10/08/2016

We are very excited to announce the acquisition of a million dollar collection of coins.This collection consists of nearly 30 coins, a few being date or grade rarities and most of them being both. Tom Caldwell, the president of Northeast, was offered the collection and given a chance to view it in person while in California attending the Long Beach Coin Expo last month. An offer was submitted and we were later awarded the opportunity to buy it. 

We now have this amazing collection of coins listed individually for sale at Northeastcoin.com. Every coin qualifies as a highlight, so we won't list them all here. However, there is a teaser list below. Head to our website to view them all.

Northeast is always interested in buying and not every deal has to be a seven figure deal. Big collection or small, we will buy it and we often do travel when the collections warrants it. While this recent collection consisted of high grade, low population rarities, we are active buyers in every day collector coins, rolls, modern material, world coinage, and everything else you see listed on our website. 

Please keep us in mind when the time comes for you to sell part or all of your collection. Thank you!

1898 Barber Quarter NGC PF69 Cameo

1839-O Bust Half Dollar NGC MS65

1858 Seated Dollar NGC PF65 Cameo CAC

1880 Trade Dollar NGC PF68* Cameo

1893-CC Morgan Dollar NGC MS65

1852-C Gold Dollar NGC MS65

1869 Gold Dollar NGC MS68 CAC

1900 Gold Quarter Eagle NGC PF68* Ultra Cameo CAC

1908 Gold Quarter Eagle NGC PF67

1880 Gold Three Dollar PCGS PR65 Cameo CAC

1883 Gold Half Eagle NGC PF67 Ultra Cameo CAC


The Great Variety Hunt New!
09/30/2016
There is 1 comment on this post.

We just purchased 50 unopened 1961 proof sets still in the original mailing box from the U.S. Mint. Brian volunteered to open them all up and check out the Franklins to see if any of them are one of the three Doubled Die Reverse varieties. He's also checking the Washingtons to see if they are the DDO variety. 

Here he is "hard" at work. 17 down with no luck thus far.

 

The proof 1961 Franklin with the strong reverse doubling (FS-801) is the key Cherrypicker variety of all the Franklins. As you can see below, the doubling is easily detectable to the naked eye. The other two varieties, FS-802 and FS-803, require a loupe, as does the Doubled Die Obverse Quarter (FS-101).

 

Comments:
Created by: neadmin on 10/04/2016

0-for-50. Bummer!


We're finally in... New!
09/24/2016

...our new office! Over the past two weeks we have been in the process of moving to a new location. We're still in Concord and in fact are just down the street from our old office. The new office provides us with much needed space.

As every single reader of this blog post knows, moving is not a fun process and our move was no exception. The amount of "stuff" that can accumulate over twenty years in the same place is amazing. But everyone chipped in and we got it done. We've got weeks if not longer of unpacking and organizing ahead of us, but things are now starting to run fairly smoothly and we are back to business as usual. 

For those interested, we've included several pictures of the old office as it got cleared out and also some shots of the new office.

Moving Day #1

 

Moving Day #2

 

Here are some shots of our new place...

Our break room. (As if we take breaks!)

 

Our conference room where we meet with customers.

 

Marne's office. The I Want To Believe X-Files poster is just out of the picture.

 

Here's Brian's area. He got the sweetest desk from the whole move.

 

Christy and Russell share one big office. Here's Christy's shipping area.

 

And here's Russell's (eBay and submission) area.

 

Chris' office. He likes it dark.

 

And finally, Tom's office. If it looks familiar, check out the post titled A Stand Up Guy from last year.

Thanks for looking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hmmm...how did this get here???


Dahlonega Nights New!
09/23/2016

The Dahlonega Mint was a former branch of the United States Mint built during the Georgia Gold Rush to help the miners get their gold assayed and minted, without having to travel to the Philadelphia Mint. It was located in Dahlonega, Lumpkin County, Georgia. Coins produced at the Dahlonega Mint bear the "D" mint mark. That mint mark is used today by the Denver Mint, which opened many years after the Dahlonega Mint closed. All coins from the Dahlonega Mint are gold, in the $1, $2.50, $3, and $5 denominations, and bear dates in the range 1838–1861.

One of the rarest, perhaps even the rarest, coins struck at this Mint is the 1861-D Gold Dollar. The mintage is estimated to be between 1,000 and 1,500 coins. The exact mintage is not known since they were struck by the Confederacy who had already taken over the Mint. An estimated 75 coins are extant. 


We Are Moving! New!
09/13/2016

Northeast Numismatics is moving to a new location. As of this Friday, the 16th of September, we will be in our new office. Our new shipping address is:

Northeast

100 Main Street, Ste. 330

Concord, MA 01742

All of our other contact information remains the same. Please be advised that our toll-free and local phone numbers will be down during the morning of the 16th. We hope to have them back up by noon time. There may also be some slight delay in the shipping of packages. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during our move.

If you have recently shipped us a package via the USPS to our soon-to-be old address of 10 Concord Crossing and if it does not arrive before this Friday, it will be forwarded to us at our new address. If you are planning on sending a package this week, please contact us first to determine the best method and shipping address to use.


We're coming back... New!
08/26/2016

...very soon! Stay tuned.


Friday Trivia! (Win a prize) New!
07/29/2016
There are 2 comments on this post.

The first person to identify this money and where it came from wins a Northeast goody box. Use the comment feature in the lower right corner of this window to send your guess.

Comments:
Created by: classicCoins on 07/30/2016

To add to this, Yap also added a picture of their stone money to their license plates starting in 1982

Created by: GS on 07/29/2016

Stone (Rai) money from Yap Island

Correct! Well done. Please email your contact info to info@northeastcoin.com.


The $500 Dollar Question New!
07/26/2016
There is 1 comment on this post.

How in the world did this happen? Two consecutively numbered notes in this kind of condition. Does anyone have a possible explanation as to how this might occur?

Comments:
Created by: mikev on 07/28/2016

i would say they were stuck together---


New Blog Feature New!
07/22/2016

For our blog readers who might like to comment from time to time on some of our posts, you now have the ability to do so. Just click the COMMENT ON THIS POST button in the lower right corner of each post. You will be required to sign in to your account. You will also need to create a username but just for your very first comments. Your username will then be saved for subsequent comments. All comments will be reviewed before they go live. Occasionally we will respond to comments left by our readers as time permits. 

Thanks for reading! 


Free Lunch Day New!
07/21/2016

Once a month Tom treats us all to lunch. We each take turns selecting where to eat. It was Brian's choice this month and he went with Indian cuisine at Monsoon Bistro in neighboring Acton, MA. Now it's nap time at Northeast.


Back to school! New!
07/19/2016

The following was posted by Brian.

Hello all. The last time I posted to the blog I had just gotten back from a three-day coin grading seminar in Dallas. Well, my education is continuing. I recently returned from a five-day grading class in Colorado Springs, CO. This particular course was the ANA’s 2016 Summer Seminar and it was all I was hoping for and more. The seminar was taught by Don Bonser, Jim Stoutjesdyk and Kevin Kaufman.

The course was taught at the beautiful Colorado College campus and although it was approaching 95 degrees almost every day, this was certainly a cool place to have the seminar. The college is right across the street from the ANA headquarters and National Money Museum (definitely worth a visit).

For the first couple days we really tried to just get a handle on just what separates a mint state coin from a circulated (or ‘about circulated’) coin. So much of grading depends upon that distinction and so they really wanted us to get it right!

After that, it was straight-up grading school. We were grading coins from morning to late afternoon, with the time we were allowed to grade each coin becoming less and less as the days went on. By the end, in my estimation, most everyone in the class (25 of us!) was able to accurately grade every coin within a grade point or so in under one minute. Not bad for just a few days’ work.

I really appreciated Don’s constant discourse on numismatics as both a hobby and a career. He dispensed great advice on cherrypicking, selecting coins and all sorts of tricks of the trade. Sound all around business advice from a guy that has been highly successful in the field of numismatics.

Business aside, for those of you thinking about visiting the ANA, I highly recommend it! It’s less than a mile from downtown Colorado Springs (which in itself is an excellent reason to go). Great restaurants, shops, and sights to see.

All in all, I would give this year’s seminar a grade of MS70, as it was pure perfection.


265 Coin Registry Set New!
07/06/2016
There is 1 comment on this post.

Chris recently purchased this 265 coin registry set from a customer in our area. This is Chris realizing that he now has to price and list all of them. 

Comments:
Created by: classicCoins on 07/25/2016

Give us a hint - what are some of the highlights from the set?

Here are several that we've either already listed on our site or will be:

1960 1c Large/Small Date PR67 RED

1940 5c PR67

1937 25c PR66

1939 50c PR66

1950 50c PR66

2013-S 5 Star Generals Arnold/Bradley 50c First Strike PR70 DCAM

1994-P P.O.W. Dollar PR70 DCAM

2000-P Leif Ericson Dollar PR70 DCAM

1996-W Flag $5 Gold PR70 DCAM

2012-W Star-Spangled Banner $5 Gold First Strike PR70 DCAM

2003-W First Flight $10 Gold PR70 DCAM

If you are looking for specific modern commemoratives, let us know which ones they are and we'll see if they were included in the Registry Set that we bought.


Friday Trivia! (Win a prize) New!
07/01/2016
There is 1 comment on this post.

What is the grade of this coin? First correct guess wins a prize. Email your guess to info@northeastcoin.com. Winner gets a Northeast goody box.

There were no correct guesses for this question. It's actually a trick question. The coin is technically ungradeable. It was likely struck through grease, thus the lack of detail on the surfaces but full denticles around the edge. It's not a problem-coin but rather a mint error.

Comments:
Created by: kozjlrjr on 07/23/2016

I would say Good/About Good - a friend of mine who does not collect said - the coins that are worn have seen more circulation and more history they should be more valuable and have a higher price.

The answer has been posted above.


Friday Trivia (Win a prize) New!
06/17/2016

Do any of the blue numbers on the GSA card mean anything? First correct answer to info@northeastcoin.com wins a Barber Quarter in POOR 1 condition! Great addition to a Dansco 7070 low ball set. We now have a winner for this question.

 


Chris' Long Beach Coin Expo Report New!
06/14/2016

The following was written by Chris.

Tom, Margie, and I attended the Long Beach Expo last week. First my comments on the business aspect of the show:

I was busy non-stop on Wednesday from pre-show trading in the morning to the close of the show that evening. Tom and I were primarily focused on buying while Margie was busy trying to show coins. Thursday was also busy for me although it slowed down significantly on Friday. Overall I was pleased with the purchases I was able to make.

Sales were a little disappointing. It can sometimes be challenging to get dealers to look at inventory. You either have to catch them at the right time or try to schedule an appointment. Combine that with the fact that there were fewer dealers than we normally see at shows, and the result is below average sales. (At least from a revenue perspective; we did get together with a wholesale dealer the last day of the show and sold two double row boxes, so we are pleased with the total number of coins that moved.)

For the most part, prices seem to be remaining level and I expect that to continue through the summer. We’ll see what the fall brings us. Some upticks would certainly be nice. 

Now a few personal comments about the show and my time in Long Beach:

First, crime does not pay! Some time ago a dealer we know was burglarized. A list of the stolen merchandise was circulated to other dealers. Then, at the show last week, a public attendee offered a dealer some coins for sale that the dealer recognized from the list of stolen items. He confronted the guy about it and the guy promptly started making his way towards the exit. The dealer quickly followed and got the attention of the security staff. When they started questioning the individual about the coins he tried to bolt through the exit. Just as he was near the exit door he was tackled by security. (For those that watch football, it looked like a linebacker cleaning the clock of a running back.) The thief and his accomplice, who shortly thereafter tried to leave the show with a backpack full of stolen coins, were arrested. Kudos to the dealer for recognizing the stolen coins and kudos to security for apprehending the bad guys.

For those that are interested, here’s a link to the video clip from a security camera at one of the tables: http://i441.photobucket.com/al...0Theft_zpsvsbqim0l.mp4.

And lastly, I’ve been to the Long Beach Expo over 50 times (which accumulatively is more than half a year!) and this is the first time I’ve eaten at George’s Greek Cafe. I went with a group of nine other dealers, all of whom like Greek food. I personally do not and thus I ordered a cheeseburger. Let me tell you, that was a damn fine burger! The fries with oregano sprinkled over them were amazing, too. I will definitely be going back. Shameful perhaps that I’m ordering burgers at a Greek restaurant, but I like what I like.


Friday Trivia! (Win a prize) New!
06/10/2016

Here's this week's question:

What is the smallest coin struck by the U.S. Mint? (Bonus points for not using the Google.)

Send your guess to info@northeastcoin.comWe now have a winner for this question.


Great New Website Feature New!
06/07/2016

Preview images are now available for our entire inventory! If you prefer the previous format without the thumbnails, just click on the option at the top of the screen to revert back. 


Cool Commem Type Set New!
06/06/2016
There are 2 comments on this post.

Here's a very neat item that came into our office the other day - a complete 50 coin silver commem type set in a capital plastic holder. You certainly don't see these very often!

Comments:
Created by: Vlad on 07/22/2016

Is this for sale?

This was not available for sale as a set. We sent the majority of the coins out for grading.

Created by: kozjlrjr on 07/23/2016

I saw the first 4 on top and thought they were chronologically arranged, but magnifying the image I saw underneath the halves were alphabetical. I would have thought they would continue chronologically.

Perhaps they did it alphabetically so that it would be easier to locate specific coins in the set, like how we have them listed on our website. 


Friday Trivia! New!
06/03/2016

We are starting a weekly post to our blog that we'll call Friday Trivia. If you think you know the answer, email us at info@northeastcoin.com. The first correct answer will receive a prize. We welcome and encourage everyone to participate. Good luck!

Here is this week's question:

What uncirculated date(s) of the Three Dollar Indian Princess is/are missing from the Smithsonian Collection?


Throw Back Thursday New!
06/02/2016

Time for another Throw Back Thursday post. A local customer from long ago came into our offices recently and sold us some coins that he had purchased from us previously...in the early 80's! He brought with him an old brochure of ours. It's fun to look through and look at the pricing from back in the day.


Memorial Day - Coins on Gravestones New!
05/30/2016

Have you ever been in a cemetery and saw coins laying on a tombstone? A coin left on a headstone lets the deceased soldier’s family know that somebody stopped by to pay their respect.

Leaving a penny means you visited. A nickel means that you and the deceased soldier trained at boot camp together. If you served with the soldier, you leave a dime. A quarter is very significant because it means that you were there when that soldier was killed.

So what happens to the coins after Memorial Day? They are collected and the money is used for cemetery maintenance, the cost of burial for soldiers, or the care for indigent soldiers.

In the US, this practice became common during the Vietnam war. Due to the political divide in the country over the war, leaving a coin was seen as a more practical way to communicate that you had visited the grave than contacting the soldier's family, which could devolve into an uncomfortable argument over politics relating to the war.  In general, however, this tradition can be traced to as far back as the Roman Empire. It was a way to give a buddy some spending money for the hereafter.

 


What's wrong with this picture? New!
05/27/2016

Or is there nothing wrong with it? We welcome your comments. Shoot an email to info@northeastcoin.com.

 


FYI - Goldine New!
05/23/2016

Goldine is a yellowish alloy of copper and zinc, sometimes including small amounts of other metals, but usually 67% copper and 33% zinc. We recently sold a continental dollar restrike in goldine. Hint: it’s the one on the bottom!


Coin Show Badges New!
05/19/2016

A collage of some of our past coin show badges. Yes, these are actual photos on real show badges.


Coin Photography New!
05/16/2016
There is 1 comment on this post.

The following was posted by Marne, our coin photographer.

As Northeast's coin photographer I receive many compliments and questions on our coin images and imaging techniques. I appreciate every comment, and try to answer questions as well as I can so that you too can image your coins as best as possible! While I cannot walk everyone through every step, I have written some basic explanations, directions, and tips. For more in-depth instruction I suggest you find online tutorials or subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud. If you prefer to read a real book, I recommend "The Digital Photography Book" by Scott Kelby to really learn best how to use the functions on your digital camera. He also has books on Photoshop use.

 

The camera:

Needed is high quality digital camera with a macro setting. Digital cameras, even simple ones, are very high quality these days. I use a Nikon digital camera that has a macro setting on it. Most good quality "point and shoot" digital cameras can take decent macro photos without the added lens that a very high end DSLR camera has. If you already have a DSLR camera such as a Nikon D3000 or Canon EOS Rebel and think you will really put a lot of time into photographing coins, then it would be worth investing in a macro lens. I currently use a manual macro setting with the standard lens on my point and shoot camera. You should ideally mount the camera on a tripod or tabletop imaging station when using macro to create sharper, crisp images.

 

 

The lighting:

I do not recommend you use the flash on your camera. The lighting is harsh and creates shadows. There are small photography lights readily available on the market. I use a daylight lamp, not meant specifically for photography, to cast plenty of light down on the imaging surface. I also cover or turn off other lights near my work area. You can use a single lamp that covers a good amount of surface if it is bright enough for individual coins and use multiple lights if you have larger items or several coins grouped together. I use multiple lights when imaging a whole coin slab or boxed set. You want your item well lit, and any shadows eliminated. I recommend manually setting the white balance on your camera while photographing a white or grey background under the lighting you will use.

 

 

Editing:

An important step that a lot of people skip (or think is cheating but isn't), is the use of image editing software. Just like in the days of film photography when a lot of finishing was done in the dark room with developing techniques, you should use photo editing software to “develop” your digital photography. So much light is put on the coins to get all the detail in the image that it can wash out the coin in the photo and make it look lighter or more flat looking than it does in hand. I use photo editing software to lighten or increase shadow, and help bring out the luster in the coins. I try to make them look on screen as close as possible to how they look in hand. I crop the coin images to remove the distracting background and have actions programmed into my Photoshop editing software to resize them and add our company copyright to ready them for our website.

If you don't have Photoshop software, you can subscribe online to many types of free software or even on Adobe’s site for actual Photoshop software for around $10 a month. There are tutorials to describe how to accomplish some of the functions I have described, and highly I recommend them I do.

 

 

Some tips on photographing specific types of coins:

I have used two lights at different angles to bring out the cartwheel effect on brilliant coins, such as Morgan Dollars. If a coin is very frosty looking, you can use cooler florescent lamps to avoid adding too much warm color to the coin.

Copper coins look very nice if you can increase the brightness, while deepening the shadows just a small amount. For coins that are very dark, I recommend that you lower your exposure using the -/+ on your camera to ensure you do not wash out the color too much. For rainbow toned coins, I usually image them at an angle, since tilting them in the light is what really brings out the color. Diffuse the light with a light diffusing cover or even thin paper to eliminate the glare. I then adjust the levels in Photoshop until the coin looks as it does in hand. Some practice is required for this technique. 

Many of you have probably noticed that sometimes we show two different images of the same coin. For coins that look significantly different when viewed at different angles, I will often provide two sets of images for that coin. One set using the angled/diffused method I just mentioned and one set using the typical straight down shot without diffusing the light.

To photograph the entire coin and grading slab I stand the slab on the background I'm using and shine as much light on and around it without causing glare on the plastic. I also frequently use a flatbed scanner. Scanned coins look very flat and dark, so this is best for modern coins or when you need to see the slab more clearly than the actual coin.

Currency is best imaged with a flatbed scanner, but be warned that modern currency is detected by Photoshop and violates laws about duplication so this option is usually only available for older currency.

    

 

I wish you all the best on your coin imaging quest!

~Marne

Comments:
Created by: mikev on 07/28/2016

thank you very much for your info--i use a nikon coolpix L610--

You're welcome!


SO MANY COINS! New!
05/13/2016

We added seven double row boxes of new purchases in the last 24 hours. Here's Brian's reaction to all the newps.


Throw Back Thursday New!
05/12/2016

Anyone remember these?

One of these made their way into our office the other day via a collector. Before the internet and smart phones, this would actually be a very useful tool for managing your collection while at a coin show. Notice also that this was obviously before the Sheldon Scale became the standard for coin grading. 


Funny Money New!
05/10/2016

We’re all familiar with the currency we use today which are the $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills. The United States in the past has also printed $500, $1,000, $5,000, $10,000 and even $100,000 notes (the latter were used only for transactions between Federal Reserve banks and did not circulate).

However, these weren’t the only denominations to exchange hands in the United States. For example, along with other denominations, the People’s Bank of Paterson in New Jersey distributed $6, $7, $8, and $9 notes.

The images below are of remainder notes, which are leftover notes that go unused by a bank.


FYI - Chopmarked Coins New!
05/06/2016

Chopmarks are counter-stamps or punches, struck into coins by Chinese merchants. For 250 years, merchants wanting to do business in China often bought Spanish and then Mexican coins, usually with gold. By the late 1800s, the United States (1873), France (1885), and the United Kingdom (1895) created their own “trade dollars” to facilitate trade in China.

Because fake coins were a problem, the solution was the 'chopmark'. Merchants would test coins and then stamp them with a mark of their own. The merchants were often from a special class of trained technicians called “shroffs.” The word originated in the Arabic/Islamic lands. Schools of shroffage (that’s pretty fun to say, isn’t it?) blossomed in China. From the 1600s to the middle of the 20th century, shroffs were moneychangers and bankers in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and other centers of trade where western buyers met Chinese sellers.


Taking a Stand New!
04/22/2016

The following was posted by Marne, our coin photographer.

As Northeast's resident coin photographer I spend some of my time standing at the imaging station at my desk. However, I spend far more hours seated at my computer station processing and uploading images as well as handling all of our web orders.

My past photography work at a portrait studio involved mostly standing, some kneeling, and even crouching or laying on the ground to get that perfect shot. Transitioning from that job to my current job of sitting most of the day has not been easy on my back and shoulders. I've even had to go to some physical therapy sessions.

After Tom switched to a stand-up desk for his office, I looked into the possible benefits of switching to one myself. There are hundreds of articles and studies available to confirm that remaining seated at a desk all day can cause chronic lower back pain and exacerbate circulatory issues in the legs. Hunching to use a mouse and keyboard for many hours can give you upper back, shoulder, and neck pain.

I put off making any changes for quite a while, but then I started feeling uncomfortable on daily basis. Tom and Chris were very much behind the idea of me switching to a workstation that would make me comfortable and keep me healthy! I finally decided to switch to a multi-level workstation that would allow me to both image coins and use my computer at comfortable heights. I knew I could not immediately go from sitting all day to standing all day (I have no idea how Tom could), so I also was given a nice office stool to give my feet and legs a break until I am used to standing for longer periods. Right now I'm sitting about half the day and standing and moving the other half.

So far I must say I really love my shiny new desk and workstation. I even had room to bring in a happy little plant terrarium! As you can see in the images provided, I'm a bit more organized and fastidious about my work area than some. (See our blog post from December 22nd of 2015.) I would highly recommend anyone to try out this type of workstation if possible. Why not prevent discomfort or possible health issues before they even start?

 


FYI - Ephraim Brasher and the 1787 Doubloon New!
04/21/2016

In 1787, Ephraim Brasher, a goldsmith and silversmith, submitted a petition to the State of New York to mint copper coins. The petition was denied when New York decided not to get into the business of minting copper coinage. Brasher was already quite highly regarded for his skills, and his hallmark (which he not only stamped on his own coins but also on other coinage sent to him for assay [proofing]) was highly significant in early America. Brasher struck various coppers, in addition to a small quantity of gold coins, over the next few years.

One of the surviving gold coins, weighing 26.6 grams and composed of .917 (22-carat) gold, was sold at public auction for $625,000 in March 1981.

We recently purchased a 1783-95 Regulated $2 Gold Ephraim Brasher EB Counterstamp


1916 SLQ - A Controversial Coin New!
04/14/2016

Struck in the final weeks of December and released in January of the new year, the 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter has one of the lowest mintages of any 20th century coin issued for actual circulation with 52,000 pieces. While they are not of the rarity that the date is often purported to possess, the 1916 is a key date in a popularly collected series and no set of Standing Liberty Quarters may be considered complete without an example.

Hermon MacNeil’s design features the Goddess of Liberty standing within a portal or gateway. Her left arm presents a shield and her gaze is fixed to the east, some would theorize toward a war torn Europe. Her right hand holds an olive branch emblematic of America’s desire for peace. With the influence of the “Art Nouveau” style and her right breast showing, much has been made of the partial nudity exhibited in this obverse. The design was changed part-way thru 1917 with Liberty now clothed in chain mail armor.

Number 43 in Garrett’s 100 Greatest U.S. Coins.

Featured below is a CAC approved AU58.

 


FYI - Half-Union Gold Pattern New!
04/12/2016

The Half-Union (also known as Judd-1546 and Judd-1548) is a United States coin minted as a pattern, with a face value of fifty U.S. Dollars. It is often thought of as one of the most significant and well-known patterns in the history of the U.S. Mint. The basic design slightly modified the similar $20 "Liberty Head" Double Eagle, which was designed by James B. Longacre and minted from 1849-1907. It is also #19 on the 100 US Greatest Coins Fourth Edition. The two gold pieces are unique and reside in the Smithsonian Institution.


FYI - No S Proof Roosevelt Dimes New!
04/07/2016

For several different years, some proof Roosevelt Dimes from the San Francisco Mint were struck without the “S” mintmark. For each occurrence, the “No S” Proof Roosevelt Dimes are rare. In a few situations, the coins are significant rarities with only a handful known to exist.

The 1968 “No S” Proof Roosevelt Dime was the first situation. Responsibility for making proof dies rested with the Philadelphia Mint and production took place at the San Francisco Mint. At least one die was sent from Philadelphia lacking the “S” mint mark. A small number of dimes were struck with the die and released before the mistake was discovered. Approximately 12-14 examples are known in all grades. One of these, graded by PCGS as PR68 Cameo, sold for an astonishing $48,865 in September 2006.

Two years later in 1970, more proof Roosevelt Dimes were struck without a mint mark. This time production from an entire die pair was released before discovery, resulting in an approximate mintage of 2,200 of the 1970 “No S” Proof Roosevelt Dimes.

The 1975 “No S” Proof Roosevelt Dime emerged as the rarest of this error type. An extremely small number of proof coins missing the mint mark were released. The coins were so rare that they were not discovered until 1978 when two examples surfaced. These coins are now considered one of the major rarities of the 20th century with an estimated 2 to 5 pieces known. No examples have been graded by either PCGS or NGC.

One more time in 1983, proof dimes were minted without the “S” mint mark and released in some proof sets. The mintage is estimated at the life of a proof die, which at the time was 3,000 to 3,500 coins.

Psssst…we've got one if you’re interested…

 


Chris' Whitman Coin Expo Report New!
04/05/2016

The following was written by Chris.

We attended the Whitman Coin Expo in Baltimore last week. This show is held three times a year and is the largest coin show on the East Coast. While the summer show is usually smaller and quieter, the spring and fall shows are typically quite active.

Our business in Baltimore began on Wednesday before the show. We, along with a handful of other dealers, always rent a hotel conference room to do some pre-show trading. Usually these days are busy non-stop from open to close. Unfortunately it was a bit slower than usual this time. Our trading room was somewhat hidden on the second floor of the Hilton. Many dealers we usually see on pre-show days simply didn’t find us. We’ll definitely get a better location next time.

The actual show opened at 8 am on Thursday. The typical mad rush ensued with people hustling to other folks’ tables in an attempt to get an early shot to look at inventory. The first couple of days at just about any coin show are busy from when the bourse floor opens to when it closes. The Whitman Expo was no different.

From a buying perspective, the show was a good one for me. I bought a little bit more than I normally do at this show and came home with about three double-row boxes of newps. I haven’t had an opportunity yet to see what new purchases Tom made, but he no doubt came home with at least two boxes of new purchases himself, and probably more.  

Sales were perhaps a tad sluggish for us, but that’s primarily because we weren’t able to show all of our “regular” wholesale dealers that we normally like to see at these shows. They were in attendance but just too busy to look through all of our boxes. Two big coins were sold, however, which certainly helped boost our overall sales. Our Continental Dollar PCGS AU58 CAC and our $50 Pan-Pac Round both sold.

At least with the dealers I dealt with, there was somewhat of a positive vibe. Some encouraging words were said about the market which is something we typically haven’t heard for quite a while. We saw no further softening of prices in the types of coins we typically buy for inventory. It will be interesting to see how the Central States show later this month plays out.

Okay, the business side of this commentary is over. If you aren't already bored to tears, feel free to read on for some personal commentary...

Things I liked about the trip:

*The Light City Festival. This was going on the week of the show. It is apparently the first large-scale, international light festival in the United States. Much of the Inner Harbor area was covered in really neat light displays. Read more at http://lightcity.org. It was a cool thing to see.

*A Così restaurant opened directly across the street from the convention center. Very convenient for those wanting something other than the typical convention center fare. I enjoyed lunch there both Thursday and Friday and it’s sure to become my regular grab-and-go lunch spot for future shows in Baltimore.

*I found a new hangout for socializing in the evenings. I met up with a bunch of coin folks at Supano’s Steak House on Water Street on Thursday evening. The restaurant has a basement replete with several couches and lounge chairs, a small bar, a couple of dart boards, and most importantly a pool table. I held the table for close to two hours until getting my butt kicked by some local kid. With my tail between my legs, I left for the upstairs section to listen for a while to some coin dealers sing karaoke. I did not participate.

Things I didn’t like about the trip:

*The Light City Festival. One thing I usually enjoy during my trips to Baltimore is an evening at the movie theater. I simply do not have the time when I’m home to partake in a film. On Wednesday evening I set out for the movie theater which is usually a 10-12 minute walk from my hotel. Well, I was not expecting the mob of people who were attending the Light City Festival. The pedestrian bridges over the piers were clogged with people going to the different exhibits. It almost seemed like Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras. Nearly 25 minutes later I make it to the theater. For the first time ever I was late to a movie. I totally missed the previews!

*My flight home was horrible. The flight was delayed and I was sitting on the plane for 45 minutes before the captain bothered to come on and explain the reason for the delay (weather). We sat on the tarmac for another hour before we were finally able to take off. Once in the air, it was a roller coaster ride most of the way to Boston. I have no idea how the flight attendants stayed on their feet while serving drinks. It was so rough they announced that no hot beverages would be served for fear of passengers getting hot coffee spilled on them. But we finally landed safely and I was home about 2 ½ hours later than planned. Better late than never when it comes to flying.

Edited to add a few pictures Tom took while attending the Light City Festival:

 


A Sixth 1913 Liberty Nickel Has Been Found! New!
04/01/2016

In one of the most exciting numismatic discoveries of this century, a 6th 1913 Liberty Head nickel has been found! A very old safe deposit box belonging to J.V. McDermott was opened last weekend in Dixon, Illinois.

In the same fashion as the McDermott specimen, B.G. Johnson and Eric P. Newman sold it to James Kelly, who then sold it to J.V. McDermott. McDermott was known for carrying his specimen around, showing it off at bars and boasting of its rarity – and now we know why; he had another ‘in his back pocket’, so to speak. There is no telling what the value of this 6th example will bring, but it is sure to bring over 1 million, depending on its condition of course.

Pictures to come once they have been made public.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Coin Show Etiquette New!
03/31/2016

The topic of coin show etiquette comes up every now and then. Collectors sometimes wonder what the best way is to approach and interact with dealers at a coin show. Every dealer is likely to vary in the way they do business with the public at a coin show. Here’s what I have to say on the subject broken down by the type of interaction.

How to Approach a Dealer – Pretty much common sense should prevail here. If a dealer is clearly doing business with someone else, don’t interrupt and expect to be bumped in front of the other person. Patiently wait a little while, or check back later, or perhaps just scribble a note asking the dealer to call you when he or she is free and slide it over to them. Obviously include your name and number.

So, what about a dealer who is not interacting with another customer? As long as they see you there, they will come over. If they don’t, move on to the next table; they don’t deserve your business. On occasion I might be behind the table by myself and have my nose buried in an auction catalog working on bids or figuring a deal at our back table. If I (or any other dealer) don’t seem to be noticing you, just give me an “Excuse me?” or anything else to get my attention (short of throwing one of the pens we give away at my head). We’re there to do business, so please don’t walk away without giving us a chance.

Selling a Coin – Here’s where I’m sure many dealers will diverge on their preferences. If you are looking to sell a coin, then you should know the price for which you’re willing to sell it. If someone offers me a coin, I will ask them how much it is. I’m not a big fan of the response “Well, I don’t really know.” How can I possibly buy the coin from you if you don’t know what you’ll sell it for? Bottom line…come prepared.

Now, of course I understand you want to maximize the sale price of your coin. I’d prefer you to be honest and just say you’re looking for offers. I will usually make an offer if it’s something I’m particularly interested in. If I’m not, I may very well just ask you to come back with a firm price once you’ve received what you feel are enough offers. I can then simply pass or play.

Negotiating a Deal – We come to the coin shows with every intention of selling as many coins as we can. If you see something in our case or one of our many boxes that are of interest to you, please ask us for a price. If it’s a coin we’ve had in our inventory for a little while, we are almost always willing to work with you on the price.

I routinely get asked: “What’s your best price?” It’s an understandable question and I am happy to respond with my best price. If that price is too high, you can simply pass on the piece. No hard feelings! If the price is acceptable to you, we should have a deal! What I (and many other dealers) find annoying is continuing to hammer me for a better price when I’ve already quoted it. Perhaps some dealers like this little game, but I certainly don’t. Ask my best price too many times and I may very well raise it over what I initially quoted you.

Don’t Walk Behind a Dealer’s Table Without Permission – Self-explanatory.

Don’t Transact Business at a Dealer’s Table Without Permission – You shouldn’t expect to be able to take up the front of a dealer’s table so that you can transact business with someone other than that dealer. I know this sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised at what some folks do at these shows. If someone just wants to quickly show you a coin, then ask the dealer if it’s okay to use their light for a moment. As long as I have a light not being used by someone else at that moment, then I’m always happy to oblige. But if it goes further than just looking at a coin, then you should find somewhere else to transact your business.


Whitman Coin Expo This Week New!
03/29/2016

We are flying down today to Baltimore for the Whitman Coin Expo. We're doing a day of pre-show business tomorrow before the show starts on Thursday. If you plan on attending,  you'll find us at table 844. Hope to see you there!


FYI - Kellogg & Company $20 Gold Piece New!
03/29/2016

Kellogg & Company was one of the private minters that helped fill the need for coins in commerce in California when the United States Assay Office was being established. There are two designs that imitate the U.S. Liberty $20 gold coin. They have the date 1854 or 1855 and the legend SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA TWENTY D. appears around an eagle with outstretched wings and a shield on its breast. Sun rays with stars are above the eagle’s head. Kellogg & Company dissolved in 1854 but was reestablished as Kellogg & Humbert at which time a $50 gold coin was produced.

Not to be confused with Kellogg's cereal...


The Washroom Warrior New!
03/18/2016

The following text was found on an online coin forum. The medal that is imaged is ours.

On August 26, 1933 Senator Huey Long was attending a party at the exclusive Sands Point country club on Long Island, New York, which is not far from New York City. Huey got shall we say "loaded" and as a result had to perform a bodily function as is often necessary for those who overindulge. The story varies, but one version was that upon entering the men's room Huey found that every stall was taken. Somehow he ended up relieving himself on the pant leg and shoes of another gentlemen who was using the facility. That gentlemen responded by landing a well-placed roundhouse punch giving the Louisiana senator a shiner, aka a black eye.

The owner of Colliers Magazine was so pleased by this incident that he offered to raise funds to award Long's assailant a gold medal for his deed. A gold medal was stuck by the Medallic Art Company, which is well known among numismatists for their more distinguished products. I have read that a black tie affair was held at the American Numismatic Society headquarters on the night that the medal was unveiled. In addition to the gold medal a few silver and a larger number of bronze medals were produced. 


FYI - Lafayette Dollar New!
03/17/2016

The Lafayette dollar was a silver coin issued as part of the United States participation in the Paris World's Fair of 1900. Depicting Lafayette with George Washington and designed by Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber, it was the only U.S. silver dollar commemorative prior to 1983, and the first U.S. coin to depict American citizens.

The Lafayette dollar is interesting for several reasons. Some 50,000 pieces were prestruck in December 1899, using five different die pairs. As it was not legal to strike a coin in advance of the date shown on the dies, the Mint circumvented the question by stating that the coin really had no date (which brings up another question: was it legal to mint a coin without a date?). On the reverse of the Lafayette dollar appears the inscription PARIS 1900, which was not the date of the coin, according to Mint officials, but, rather, was the date at which a statue, also depicted on the reverse, was to be erected in Paris.

Another interesting thing about the Lafayette dollar is that only 36,000 were distributed. Most of the rest of the 50,000 mintage went to the melting pot, some of them not until the 1940s. Had collectors of the 1930s and early 1940s known that the Treasury Department had on hand thousands of Uncirculated Lafayette dollars there would have been a great rush to buy them, but no one was aware of this, and only after they were melted was the situation disclosed in a government report! What a numismatic shame.


FYI - Satin New!
03/15/2016

With coin collecting enjoying a growth spurt during the mid 1930s, the sale of proof coins resumed in the spring of 1936. The Philadelphia Mint, which had been vexed by the textured and uneven fields of the newer coin types introduced starting 1909, abandoned the matte proofs of that period and polished the dies to a semi-brilliant finish. The first pieces sold, however, were not as fully brilliant as the Indian Cent proofs, and collectors registered their dissatisfaction. The majority of 1936 proof cents were thus subsequently coined from dies more aggressively polished. 

These early 1936 proofs actually possess greater detail, as the gentler polishing of the dies did not efface the shallower features of the design. The satiny or semi-brilliant proofs, sometimes called Type 1, are more scarce than the brilliant issues but not as popular with collectors. Fully red gems are in very short supply.


FYI - Partial Collar/Railroad Rim Mint Error New!
03/12/2016

A partial collar strike is when the collar die (edge die) does not fully engage the edge of the planchet. The collar die's purpose is to engage the rim of the planchet so it doesn't spread out from the striking pressure (broad strike) and to impart edge reeding to coins like U.S. dimes, half dollars and quarters.

If a planchet is jammed and tilted in the coining chamber or the collar itself is damaged, then it strikes the wrong area of the edge, and this results in what looks like a dual rim, part of the coin to be spread out or both. Also, it can look like railroad tracks if the coin has edge reeding. This is called a railroad rim.

Most often a partial collar strike will look like a line running around half the coin's rim but more severe anomalies can occur and some will display half the reeding missing.

 


Cowboy Up! New!
03/11/2016

The following was posted by Brian.

Hey y’all. The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas was the site of the 2016 ANA National Money Show last week and with over 500 dealers in attendance, it turned out to be quite a busy show for me.  

With Chris and Tom manning our booth, it was my chance to hit the floor. Now, this being the first show that I have truly worked sales, I must admit it was interesting and eye-opening for me. I got the customary “come back later” responses when offering our coins to view, but to my surprise they all actually meant it! Almost every dealer was happy to look at our wares; some quickly, some slowly, but all were impressed with the quality and diversity of our inventory (I made several sales too!) It was great to finally meet so many dealers that I previously had only spoken with on the phone.  It was also nice to branch out a little and do some business with dealers that Northeast has never done business with before. I’m told it may not have been the busiest of shows overall, but I made it a point to be busy anyway and it was worth it.

Not only did I attend the show, but prior to it I was fortunate enough to take in a two-day grading seminar taught by Rod Gillis and Sam Gelberd of the ANA. Finally, the mystery of coin grades and grading was much less of a mystery (see our February 25th blog post). You might think that two 8 hour days of coin grading would be tedious, but this was a fun class! We had laughs, we had some fierce competition between the teams, and great stories were shared by students and teachers alike.

And with that, I’ll end with a quote from my seminar that I really enjoyed: “We don’t really own these rare coins; we are merely their custodians for a little while.”

 

Here's some of the bounty I received from my grading class...

Here are some pictures I took of the impressive Dallas Cattle Drive Sculptures right by the convention center...

 


FYI - Racketeer Nickel New!
03/08/2016

Racketeer Nickel

Because the first 1883 Liberty Head ‘V’ nickels did not contain the words ‘FIVE CENTS,’ and also because the coins are about the same diameter and look somewhat similar to the then-circulating $5 Liberty gold coin, some people took it upon themselves to gold-plate 1883 no-cents Liberty nickels and try to pass them off as $5 gold coins. Apparently, this was a somewhat pervasive problem at the time and the United States Mint soon added ‘FIVE CENTS’ to the reverse of the coin under the ‘V’ to ward off any further counterfeiting attempts.

There has been a story circulating for some time that a person named Josh Tatum was one of  the most notorious of the Liberty nickel gold platers. It’s said he was a deaf mute who gold plated hundreds of 1883 nickels. He would go into a store to purchase items that were 5 cents or less and then pass off his gold-plated nickels to the cashier. Without saying a word, he would wait for the cashier to return his change and would usually get $4.95 in return. Eventually, he was tried in a court of law for fraud. However, the charges were dismissed because he never actually asked for change and nobody could testify against him!


FYI - 1792 Silver Center Cent New!
03/07/2016

 The silver center cent is an American pattern coin, one of the precursors to the large cent and an early example of a bimetallic coin. Less than a dozen specimens are known to exist today, and they generally fetch substantial prices; an uncirculated silver center cent sold at auction for $414,000 in January 2002. That price was eclipsed by an example graded PCGS MS61 offered at auction in April 2012, with a price tag of more than $1 million. It is also listed at #40 in the 100 Greatest US Coins – Fourth Edition


New Website Feature - Watch List New!
02/26/2016

Hi folks. We've just launched a new feature on our website that we think you will all appreciate. As you'll see from the first image below, there is now a WATCH THIS COIN button on the coin item screen. If you see a coin you really like but want to take some time to consider buying it, or if you want to tag it just to look at it from time to time, click that button. To access your Watch List, simply login to your account and click on the Watch List tab as shown in the second image below. If you have any questions or comments about this feature, shoot an email to info@northeastcoin.com.


The End of a Great Mystery New!
02/25/2016

The following was posted by Brian.

“Is it solid for the grade?” “Does this look more like a 64 to you?”  “Do you think this could CAC?” These are just some of the many questions I get quite often from our customers. And as much as I have poured myself into learning about coins for the first year and a half I’ve been with Northeast Numismatics, I’ll be the first to admit that, well, I’m just not sure…yet. While I am quite comfortable and capable discussing the visual attributes of a coin with our customers (luster, toning, mirrors, eye appeal, etc.), I currently need to refer questions pertaining to technical grading to either Tom or Chris. Grading remains a mystery to me.

For the first year or so in this business, I have asked seasoned numismatists for their recommendation on books I can read to learn about grading. I really just wanted to know how to tell an AU58 from an MS62 from an MS64 and so on and so forth. There are indeed some good resources out there for grading. But looking at pictures of a coin in a grading book can only help so much. Some of the best advice I received from a dealer was this: “Look at as many coins as possible. Just keep looking and looking and looking.”  This is not unlike a poker player needing to see about a million hands before getting any good at it. Aside from this sound wisdom, the overwhelming majority of numismatists kept telling me the same thing: “Get thee to a grading class.”

And so it shall be, for I am soon off to Grading School. I’m looking forward to not only one but two grading seminars this year. First I’m off to Dallas in early March for a two-day intensive grading seminar taught by Rod Gillis and Sam Gelberd from the ANA. I will then be attending a week-long session at the ANA Summer Seminar in Colorado Springs.

I’m extremely excited for this next chapter in my short numismatic life! But unlike the end of a great book, I’m looking for this grading mystery to end. I’ll be sure to fill you in on the next chapter soon.

Oh and I almost forgot…“Do you think this would CAC?” Well, some mysteries were never meant to be solved…


FYI - Battle Creek Collection New!
02/24/2016

Battle Creek Collection of Morgan Dollars

The coins of the Battle Creek Collection resided in ten $1,000 bags. Until March 1964, it was possible to redeem silver certificates with US silver dollar coins, and many collectors thus acquired original bags of Morgan dollars. The Battle Creek Collection bags were tagged with both original Philadelphia Mint tags and seals dated 1885 (2 bags), 1886 (2 bags), or 1887 (6 bags). Additionally, each had a supplementary tag from the Detroit Branch of the Chicago Federal Reserve bearing dates in the 1920's.

The bags had resided in the estate of a collector, and upon his passing his executor invited several coin dealers to make purchase offers on the group. The bags were sewn sealed, and dealers present were required to bid "blind," meaning they could not examine the coins prior to purchase. The bags were slit in their presence to prove that they did, in fact, contain silver dollars.

Here is one we just sold…

Battle Creek Collection Mint Bag tie:

This seal secured the contents of a Philadelphia Mint bag of 1886 Morgan dollars, many of which now reside in the Battle Creek Collection.


FYI - 1792 Half Disme New!
02/17/2016

When speaking to the House of Representatives in November 1792, President Washington mentioned the "want of small coins in circulation" and stated that he had begun work on establishing a U.S. Mint and that some half dismes had been produced already. At this point, most of the personnel had been hired, but the Mint's buildings and machinery were not yet ready. As a result, the half dismes, which had been struck in or around July 1792, were produced using the private facilities of local craftsman John Harper, although under the auspices of official Mint personnel. In his personal log book, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson recorded the receipt of 1,500 specimens on July 13.

Because of President Washington's connection with these early coins, numismatic folklore holds that the portrait on the obverse is that of First Lady Martha Washington and that some of the coins were struck using melted-down silverware from the Washington household. However, there is no solid evidence for either of these assertions.

Collectors sometimes have trouble pronouncing the word disme. Is it ‘diz-mee’? Is it ‘dime’ like we pronounce it today? Actually, it is neither. Disme is a French word pronounced “deem”.

Shown below is the finest known example, graded MS68 by NGC.

And here (below) is a 1792 Half Disme that we currently have in our office. It's part of a large estate that we are in the midst of appraising.


Happy Birthday, Mr. Washington! New!
02/15/2016

The Washington quarter is the present quarter dollar or 25-cent piece issued by the United States Mint. The coin was first struck in 1932; the original version was designed by sculptor John Flanagan.

As the United States prepared to celebrate the 1932 bicentennial of the birth of its first president, George Washington, members of the bicentennial committee established by Congress sought a Washington half dollar. They wanted to displace for that year only the regular issue Walking Liberty half dollar; instead Congress permanently replaced the Standing Liberty quarter, requiring that a depiction of Washington appear on the obverse of the new coin. The committee had engaged sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser to design a commemorative medal, and wanted her to adapt her design for the quarter. Although Fraser's work was supported by the Commission of Fine Arts and its chairman, Charles W. Moore, Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon chose a design by Flanagan, and Mellon's successor, Ogden L. Mills, refused to disturb the decision.

The new silver quarters entered circulation on August 1, 1932; and continued to be struck in silver until the Mint transitioned to copper-nickel clad coinage in 1965. A special reverse commemorating the United States Bicentennial was used in 1975 and 1976, with all pieces bearing the double date 1776–1976; there are no 1975-dated quarters. Since 1999, the original eagle reverse has not been used; instead that side of the quarter has commemorated the 50 states, the nation's other jurisdictions, and National Park Service sites—the last as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters series, which will continue until 2021. The bust of Washington was made smaller beginning in 1999; in 2010 it was restored to bring out greater detail.

 

 


Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln! New!
02/12/2016

When the Lincoln one-cent coin made its initial appearance in 1909, it marked a radical departure from the accepted styling of United States coins, introducing as it did for the first time a portrait coin in the regular series. A strong feeling had prevailed against using portraits on U.S. coins, but public sentiment stemming from the 100th anniversary celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birth proved stronger than the long-standing prejudice.

For much more on the subject… www.treasury.gov/about/education/Pages/lincoln-cent.aspx

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle”


FYI - New Orleans Mint New!
02/11/2016

The New Orleans Mint operated in New Orleans, Louisiana, as a branch mint of the United States Mint from 1838 to 1861 and from 1879 to 1909. Coins minted in New Orleans have the ‘O’ mint mark.  During its years of operation, it produced over 427 million gold and silver coins of nearly every American denomination, with a total face value of over US$ 307 million.[3] It was closed during most of the American Civil War and Reconstruction. After it was decommissioned as a mint, the building has served a variety of purposes, including as an assay office, a United States Coast Guard storage facility, and a fallout shelter. Since 1981 it has served as a branch of the Louisiana State Museum. Damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, after over two years of repairs and renovations, the museum reopened in October 2007.


Long Beach Coin Expo New!
02/10/2016

Margie took some pictures at the Long Beach Expo last week.

Here's Tom somewhat inundated with new purchases:

As you can see, Tom brings his organizational skills to the coin shows (see our December 22nd blog post):


Happy Mardi Gras! New!
02/09/2016

We ordered a King Cake from Paul's Pastry in Picayune, Mississippi. (Picayune happens to be where Chris went to high school.) Yummy!


FYI - King Cotton Carnival and Mardi Gras New!
02/09/2016

In honor of the holiday today, here's a numismatically related Mardi Gras item:

A So-Called-Dollar (HK-626) struck in 1892, Augusta GA.

Here are the details…

Obv. Crowned male head facing l.; to l. Augusta, Ga.; to r. Jan. 1892; above bust, around Carnival & Mardi Gras; below King Cotton; beaded border.

Rev. Jester or clown doing jig or dance (it looks like a jig to me); in r. background is group of tunic-clad soldiers holding shields and long upright lances; in l. background is two-horse chariot carrying two men, one holding high a banner; above all Souvenir of Our Carnival; beaded border.


FYI - Do Me a Solidus! New!
01/29/2016

Yesterday Brian was wondering what the difference was between semissis and tremissis was…and so here it is…

The Byzantine Gold Solidus is a coin from the ancient Byzantine Empire. The word Solidus is a Latin word meaning 'solid'. The plural of Solidus is Solidi (from which the phrase ‘do me a solid’ was perhaps born). Solidus was introduced by the great emperor Constantine in 309-310. The coin was produced and used through the whole Empire of Byzantine. The Solidus is a solid and pure gold coin with high purchasing power. These coins were usually marked as wealth and were never used by the common citizens. Solidi were primarily used to make military payments. During the campaigns against the 'Vandals' the Solidi were paid to the Roman soldiers to arrange for transport and house. 
The term 'Soldier' derived from the Solidus, to describe the persons who were paid by Solidi. The coins introduced by Constantine had a value of 1/72 of a Roman pound that comes around to 4.5 grams. The thickness of the coin was less than aureus. 

The Solidus was produced in two forms, 'semissis' and 'tremissis'. The half Solidi were known as 'semissis' and one third Solidi were known as 'tremissis'. 

The Constantine coinage collapsed during the barbarian invasions in the early 5th century. By the time of Anastasius in 491, only the solidus, semissus (1/2 solidus) and tremissis (1/3 solidus), and a tiny copper coin called the nummus (1/7200 of solidus) had survived. In 498, Anastasius introduced a series of multiples of the nummus. The most important of these is the follis (worth 40 nummi). The follis was used extensively for the next 6 centuries and its creation is considered a good starting point for the history of Byzantine coinage.

Northeast Numismatics is pleased to offer both semissis and tremissis on a regular basis should you be interested.


FYI - 1804 Draped Bust Silver Dollar New!
01/28/2016

The 1804 Silver Dollar is one of the rarest and most popular of all American coins, despite the fact that none were made until 1834 and several were even made many years after that. Mint reports from 1804 show a delivery figure of 19,570 Silver Dollars, but numismatists believe these were all leftover coins dated 1803.  Certain qualities of the known 1804 Silver Dollars (and other facts concerning their history) indicate that the first 1804 Silver Dollars were struck in or about 1834, when orders came from the State Department for special sets of coins to be struck for diplomatic purposes.  Later restrikes were made sometime after 1857 (a unique example shows the undertype of an 1857 Swiss Shooting Thaler!).

It is also currently #1 in the 4th Edition of 100 Greatest US Coins.

 


FYI - Lapping Lines New!
01/26/2016

Lapping is one of several names, including die polishing and die filing, for the fine abrading used to finish a die when it is first produced or, more frequently, repaired. At the time of production, a die usually has some inherent flaws from nicks and scratches to swelling and cracks. The tiny flaws, like a random scratch in the dies, may usually be corrected by minor polishing with a fine grain abrasive such as steel wool or emery. The fine markings etched on the die by the abrasive are called “die finish lines” or “lapping lines,” though usually “die finish” refers to a finer grain than “lapping lines,” which are more likely caused by a file or something of heavier grain. The abrasives may also be used to smooth out rust or damage on a well-used die, or to smooth over a small crack. Occasionally, dies will be “lapped,” thus effacing details, and re-engraved or repunched. Misplaced dates and the like show only light remnants of the errantly placed punch because most details were simply “lapped” away. This term is most often used in reference to mid 19th-century coinage it seems, though you can undoubtedly see fine lines of “die polish” or “die finish” on coins in your pocket change.


FYI - Booby Head New!
01/21/2016

The so-called "Booby Head" of 1839 is a modification of the bust of Liberty that shows one of her hair strands curling around the truncation of the bust.  In real life, this is anatomically impossible and it is doubtful that a sculptor would add such an unusual feature to a physical bust.  The nickname was first applied by Dr. Montroville Dickeson in 1859, then standardized in 1868 by Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr.  It has been in use ever since and is one of the more distinctive varieties in the Matron Head series of Large Cents.


Chill Out - Margie's F.U.N. Report New!
01/20/2016

The following was posted by Margie Sheaffer. Margie has been working coin shows for Northeast for the past several years.

I have always been a “Glass Half Empty” sort of person. It especially rears its ugly head whenever I fly the not-so-friendly skies. To my delight, it looked like my first flight in 2016, to the 61st FUN convention in Tampa, WOULD be a friendly experience. First of all, I boasted a record driving time to Philadelphia airport from my home – just 70 minutes! Secondly, I got through the security line in less than five minutes. And lastly, I boarded the plane so quickly it made my head spin.

I never make New Years resolutions; however, this year I made an exception. I vowed to read more, write more and most importantly, chill out more. This was to be the first time in four years that I did not bring my Kindle on a plane trip. Plus, Tom and Chris would be glad that I was determined to chill out. When Tom suggested that I memorialize some of this year’s F.U.N. experience, I knew that my resolution to write more was a good decision.

Oops… I spoke too soon about my Tremendous Travel experience. At 8:30 am as I sat on the plane that was to have departed at 7:55 a.m., the co-pilot comes on the intercom declaring “The gas tank is leaking and we are not sure how long it will take to repair”. So I declared to myself on the inside: “Please chill out, please chill out, please chill out. Perfect weather…check. First flight out…check. No problems with security…check. No traffic driving to airport…check.”  I then declared to the passengers next to me “I rarely fly anywhere that I don’t have at least a one hour delay,” to which a woman next to me declared “Please give me your phone number. I want to make sure I never fly on the same plane you’re on.”  

As we finally departed for Tampa at 10:00 am, I closed my eyes and in an A-PLUS chilling mode I asked myself if I ever thought, at my long-in-the-tooth age, that I would be having the time of my life working for and with Tom of Northeast Numismatics. I’ve known Tom for over 35 years. I met him in the 1970’s while working for a Beverly Hills coin dealer. His dry sense of humor has always kept me on my toes. That is why I like to use the chat acronym LAHW when defining my time at Northeast.   No, it’s not Let’s Always Have Worries (which could fit my MO). LAHW stands for Laughs and Hard Work.

Within an hour of the convention opening to the public on Thursday, the 7th, the bourse room was so full of activity and the aisles were so crowded, I was tempted to ask Tom for a Segway to steer my way around the floor.  I could have maneuvered around the convention space like Paul Blart Mall Cop. 

At home I’m lucky if I log in 1,000 steps per day on my pedometer.  During the week of F.U.N. I recorded over 14,000 steps per day visiting with and doing business with many coin dealers. With over 600 dealers set up and anxious to do business, I was quite busy showing coins to as many people as possible.

We had a pretty good amount of traffic at our table. I met some interesting, as well as eccentric, collectors that came to our table to introduce themselves, look at (and sometimes buy!) our coins and to compliment Chris on our website. It was a pleasure to see new faces at our bourse table.

Saturday afternoon I departed the bourse floor to catch a ride to Tampa International Airport to start my trip home. There have been conventions in the past that I am ready to catch that plane to Philadelphia. At times I have left a little earlier than I needed to.  (Shh…don’t let Tom and Chris know this.) The 2016 F.U.N. show was great upbeat show and was not one of those shows that I was ready to sneak out of early!!!

If the quantity of retail and wholesale business done during the F.U.N. show is any indication of the business that will be done for the rest of the year, then 2016 should prove to be a great year for dealers and collectors alike!

                                


FYI - 1823 Bust Half Patched 3 New!
01/18/2016

1823 Capped Bust Half Dollars : Patched 3

This variety of the 1823 Capped Bust Half Dollar features the "Patched 3" in the date. The broken 3 was repaired with a patch placed in the middle of the "3". This resulted in a blunt punch bump that filled in the center gap on the outside (right side) of the "3" - to connect the two broken parts.

The difference between the normal 3 vs broken 3 vs patched 3 vs ugly 3 vs tampered 3 is depicted below in the example comparison image of all 5 major varieties:

 


Crack Out! New!
01/16/2016

We typically do not remove coins from their holders and resubmit them to the grading services in an attempt to maximize a grade on a coin. (Folks who specialize in this are known as crack out artists.) Recently, however, we had a major crack out session. We acquired a complete 144 coin silver commemorative set graded by ANACS, with nearly all of the coins in old white holders. The set was purchased from a dealer who years ago dealt primarily in ANACS coins back when this grading service enjoyed more popularity.

For a short while we attempted to sell the commems in their ANACS holders as a single set, but it generated little interest. You can see from the mounds of plastic in the pictures below what our next course of action was. Russell from our office bought a drill press vice and went to work on the set. He then wrote all the coins up on several submission forms and sent them off to NGC.

Stay tuned, as we will have an abundance of freshly graded commems available in the near future!


F.U.N. Show Lives Up To Its Name New!
01/14/2016

The following was posted by Carol McCarthy, Tom’s sister-in-law from Florida who occasionally works the F.U.N. show with us.

While working for Northeast during the show this past week, I had a great time. F.U.N. moved to Tampa this year to a beautiful location overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.  Hotels, restaurants and parking were easily accessible.  

The show was well attended by both dealers and collectors. It was an extremely busy show for us. Collectors were seeking us out to find a rare piece they needed.  More than once I heard “If anyone is going to have what I need it will be you guys.  You have stuff you just don’t see anywhere else.”  This was great for me (for I only work at the F.U.N. show), because I got introduced to some coins I found fascinating. I held in my hand an Alexander the Great gold coin dated 336-323 BC! Just think of the stories that coin could tell. 

Many people from all over the country and the world attended. We at Northeast were happy to meet some of our longtime customers face to face.  It’s always nice to put a face with a name and a collection. Thank you to all who stopped by!

The organizers of the show did a great job in holding workshops, seminars and exhibits for all to enjoy. Overall, the show was a pleasure and truly lived up to its name…F.U.N!


Tell a Friend! New!
01/13/2016

We've just added a new feature to our website which allows you to share a coin of interest with a friend. When viewing an image of a coin, simply click the TELL A FRIEND button and enter in your friend's email address and any comments you might have. We'll then email your comments and a link to the coin to whomever you choose.

 


FYI - V.D.B New!
01/12/2016

Lincoln cents made from 1909 to 1958 were designed by Victor D. Brenner. His initials V.D.B. were on a limited quantity of the 1909 cent making it one of the most sought after 20th century coins.


Happy New Year from NEN! New!
01/01/2016

FYI - Bar Cent New!
12/28/2015

Bar Cent –

A token that was struck in this country shortly after the War of Independence, it is so called because it carries a series of bars on the reverse side. On the obverse of the coin is the lettering "U.S.A." in script, without any further design or date.

 


Merry Christmas! New!
12/25/2015

It's All About the Food New!
12/24/2015

A common joke (and truth) in the industry is how much coin dealers like to eat. We are no exception. Here at Northeast we enjoy a monthly free lunch day courtesy of Tom. Each month a different employee gets to pick the location we eat. This month Christy, our shipping manager, picked Indian food from Monsoon in Acton, MA (www.monsoonbistro.com). If Chris looks perplexed in the photo below, it's because he is perplexed. Not a connoisseur of Indian food, Chris was completely clueless as to what he actually ordered and is opening one of the cups of food with much trepidation.

We also recently had our company Christmas party at arguably one of the finest restaurants in MetroWest Boston. You'll find a photo below of everyone from the company including Tom's wife, Nancy, enjoying a wonderful meal at 80 Thoreau here in Concord (www.80thoreau.com). Great food and great company.

 


A Stand-Up Guy New!
12/22/2015

Don’t ever let it be said that Tom Caldwell isn’t a stand up kind of guy.  We are not talking just about Tom being a man of his word, but also about the merits of working at a stand up desk.  A couple of years ago Tom heard about the advantages of standing rather than sitting.  Studies have clearly shown there are health benefits of sitting less. Among these benefits are decreases in obesity as well as a decrease in the risks of cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, and diabetes.  After learning this, Tom ordered a stand up desk in early 2014 and has not looked back.

It is a fact that most office workers spend close to six hours a day sitting at their desks. Coin dealers are no exception, whether it’s in the office or at a coin show.  Many office workers today get the majority of their exercise during the work day going outside for a smoke break, taking bathroom breaks, or going to the lunch room. Tom has always been fairly active, whether it’s biking, swimming, or running.  But as a professional numismatist, it can be quite a challenge not only maintaining any sort of exercise regimen but also avoiding sitting on your butt all day.

This changed when Tom’s new stand up desk arrived.  He now spends no more than two to three hours during the work day sitting, and that’s only when it’s absolutely necessary. Meeting with clients, figuring deals, grading, and other similar tasks certainly require at least some chair time.

Against his staff’s objections, an image has been posted of Tom’s office including his stand up desk. He insists there is organization in the chaos that you see.  Actually, one additional benefit to a stand up desk is now Tom can use his chair for storage. If you have any questions for Tom about his stand up desk experience (or about his organizational skills), he can be reached at tom@northeastcoin.com.

 

 


FYI - Planchet Defect/Flaw New!
12/18/2015

Any defect of a coin which was caused by the planchet being imperfect prior to the coin being struck.


Spend $500 and Receive a $50 Gift Certificate New!
12/17/2015

Hi folks. We recently sent out an email announcing a holiday promotion. For those that did not receive the email, please read on. If you'd like to be added to our email list, please go to www.northeastcoin.com/mailinglist.jsp

We are pleased to be offering this exciting holiday promotion. Between now and the end of the year, spend $500 or more on an order at Northeastcoin.com and receive a $50 gift certificate to spend on a future order. Spread the holiday cheer and savings by giving this as a gift to your favorite coin collector. (Even if that's you!) Just use the promo code HOLIDAY during the online checkout process. We don't mean to be Grinches, but there are of course some terms, so please read them below.

Whatever holiday you may be celebrating this season, we hope it's a joyful one for you and your family. We also extend our best wishes for a Happy New Year!  

Terms: The promo code HOLIDAY must be used at the time of the order. It may not be used on previously placed orders. HOLIDAY may only be used once and is limited to one per household. The $50 gift certificate promotion ends December 31st.

 


 


FYI 1849 $5 Mormon New!
12/16/2015

1849 $5 Mormon Five Dollar. Beginning on September 28, 1848, returning Mexican War veterans began showing up at Salt Lake City with gold they had mined on the American River in California on their journey home. The gold dust was most welcome in the Mormon community, as virtually no hard currency was available in the region at that time. However, problems with inaccurate weighing and loss made gold dust less than ideal as a medium of exchange. A mint was soon established in Salt Lake City, under the authority of the Mormon Church. Dies were forged by blacksmith John Mobourn Kay and the first gold deposit was made on December 10, 1848. By 1849, the Mormon coinage program was in full swing, with coins issued in two and a half, five, ten, and twenty dollar denominations. The coins were readily accepted in the Mormon community, but outside assays found them underweight and of improper fineness, so they were only accepted at a steep discount outside the Salt Lake Valley. All the Mormon issues are scarce-to-rare today.
 


FYI - Fasces New!
12/14/2015

Fasces is a bound bundle of wooden rods, sometimes including an axe with its blade emerging. The fasces had its origin in the Etruscan civilization, and was passed on to ancient Rome, where it symbolized a magistrate's power and jurisdiction. The image has survived in the modern world as a representation of magisterial or collective power. The fasces frequently occurs as a charge in heraldry, it is present on an older design of the United States ten cent coin

The Mercury Dime's reverse depicts a fasces, symbolizing unity and strength, and an olive branch, signifying peace.

 

 


FYI - Shipwreck Effect New!
12/10/2015

From NGC's website: Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) has adopted a convention for the certification of shipwreck coinage. This is the SHIPWRECK EFFECT designation. Exposure to saltwater has an irreversible effect on the surface condition of immersed coins, and in most cases this prohibits NGC from rendering a precise assessment of a coin’s condition. 


FYI - Bag Toning New!
12/08/2015

Coloring acquired from the bag while a coin was stored. Cloth coin bags contained sulfur and other metal-reactive chemicals. When stored in bags for extended periods, coins in close proximity to the cloth often acquire beautiful red, yellow, blue and other vibrant colors. Sometimes the weave of the cloth is visible in the toning. Some coins have crescent-shaped toning because another coin was covering part of the surface, thus preventing toning. Bag toning is seen most often on Morgan silver dollars.


The latest cover of Sports Illustrated New!
12/05/2015

Anyone see this yet? 

Not to take away from Brock Osweiler's performance; the guy straight up owned the Patriots in the fourth quarter. But the choice by SI to choose a photo with a potential (i.e. probable) missed call in the background is curious. 


Submission Time Again New!
12/04/2015

Fresh coins going out for grading. We'll list 'em when they come back!


FYI - PVC New!
12/04/2015

Polyvinyl Chloride is a somewhat active chemical found in some types of plastic coin flips. PVC will cause some coins to tone or turn green over time. The effect is often removable from silver coins, but PVC has been known to wreak havoc on copper, and to a lesser extent nickel coins, especially if the coins have been stored in warm or damp places over long periods of time.


FYI - NCLT New!
12/02/2015

Non-circulating legal tender. These coins are issued in "limited editions" for collectors, and sold for far more than their face value. While these coins are technically legal tender, their bullion value usually far exceeds their face value.

 


FYI - Gem New!
11/30/2015

Coin of exceptionally high condition, such as Gem Uncirculated or Gem Proof. Gem coins have grades of 65 and higher. The term Superb Gem is often used to describe coins with grades of 67 and higher.


Happy Thanksgiving! New!
11/25/2015

We'd like to wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving! Our office will be closed Thursday and Friday and will reopen on Monday, the 30th.


Numismatically themed Chuck Norris jokes New!
11/24/2015

Some of you are probably familiar with the popular Chuck Norris jokes. Ones like these: 

Chuck Norris sleeps with a pillow under his gun. 
or 
Chuck Norris was an only child...eventually. 

Well, one evening after work a few of us here met for Mai Tais at the Chinese restaurant below our office. We began scratching out some coin-related Chuck Norris jokes. Easy to do after a potent Mai Tai. For those who appreciate the regular Chuck Norris jokes, I invite you to read on and add any that you can come up with. 

*Chuck Norris' coins consistently grade MS71. 
*All of Chuck Norris' coins come back from CAC with a platinum sticker. 
*Chuck Norris doesn't submit to PCGS or NGC. They submit to him. 
*Chuck Norris made the Seated Liberty stand up. 
*The Sheldon Scale is being changed to suit Chuck Norris. Gem coins are no longer MS65; they are CS65, or Chuck State 65. 
*If Chuck Norris doesn't get the grades he wants, it's the graders who end up in the body bags, not the coins. 
*Poorly struck coins are actually just coins that Chuck Norris squeezed too tightly.

*The Greysheet Ask price is irrelevant to Chuck Norris because Chuck Norris never asks for anything. 
*Chuck Norris achieved the number one Registry Set ranking for Morgan Dollars even though he's never bought a Morgan Dollar in his life. 
*Chuck Norris cracks out coins barehanded...with one hand. 
*PCGS blackout dates to not apply to Chuck Norris.


FYI - Inadvertent Whistle New!
11/24/2015

There is no explanation for this.


FYI - Sheldon Scale New!
11/23/2015

A system of grading which was originally introduced by the late Dr. William H. Sheldon, for the purpose of grading large cents. The system was adapted to all coins in the early 1970's. The Sheldon Scale, as used today, incorporates numerical grades I through 70 to correspond with various descriptive grades as follows:

Poor-1 
Fair-2 
Almost Good-3 
Good-4,6 
Very Good-8, 10 
Fine-12,15 
Very Fine-20,25,30,35 
Extremely Fine-40,45 
Almost Uncirculated-50, 53, 55, 58 
Mint State- 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70


Westford, MA Coin Show New!
11/22/2015

We are currently set up at the Sunday Westford coin show. A popular attraction for the kids that attend is the free handful of coins they get from the treasure chest at our table. Take a look!


Welcome to our Blog! New!
11/21/2015

It's been years in the works (not due to technical issues, but rather proscrastination issues), but our blog is finally here. There will be educational posts such as the FYI posts below, coin show reports (some of them live from a coin show), market updates, funny stories, promotions only available to our blog readers, and much more. Please check back often!


Submission Time New!
11/20/2015

We've got another small batch of grading going out today to one of the grading services. Stay tuned!


FYI - Superbird New!
11/19/2015

It’s Superbird!

In 1952, a proof Washington Quarter was produced containing a letter "S" on the eagle's chest on the reverse side of the coin. After its discovery, collectors quickly referred to it as the Superbird Quarter, comparing it to the Superman hero character. In the 1950s, the Superman TV show was so extremely popular that some experts believe that a Mint employee intentionally added the "S' mint mark on the eagle's chest as a way of supporting the Superman show. It's now been over 50 years since its discovery and no further information has developed on how this variety occurred, and more than likely we will just never know. But one thing is for certain - this is a very interesting variety.

 


FYI - Anvil Die New!
11/18/2015

The lower die, usually the reverse – although on some issues with striking problems, the obverse was employed as the lower die. Because of the physics of minting, the fixed lower-die impression is slightly better struck than the upper-die impression.