March 2007

This space has been blank for two months for no better reason than the demands of our business since December. In the past two months, we have attended coin shows in Florida and New York and I spent a week in London attending a coin show and seeing friends and colleagues. Our 25th auction closed on the first of February and a few lots are left over (but nothing spectacular like a multi-million dollar 1913 US nickel that failed to sell at auction in Florida in January.)

Our prices realized list and the aftersale list show that the two major pieces did not sell by the first of February. They have since sold by private treaty. It has been very exciting to handle these great coins. If these were United States coins, they would both approach seven figure values. The Red Book of United States coins has a section at the back called the "Top 250 coin prices realized at auction" and the 2007 edition lists 22 coins that have gone into the millions of dollars. It is fascinating to read through the list and think about coins of comparable rarity and importance in the British series. Despite the recent rise in British coin prices, the rarities in the series still seem to me to be comparatively reasonable.

No small part of the price rise has been the continued weakness of the US dollar against the British pound and the Euro. Many pundits suggest that the exchange rate is going to get worse before it gets better. Investors talk about "dollar cost averaging" as a way to even out the highs and lows in the stock market. When this principle is applied to stock purchases, the idea is to keep investing the same amount and little thought beyond that is required. With coins at their current levels, it does make sense to be selective and invest in coins that represent a genuine value in terms of condition and rarity. The price spread between mediocre coins and choice coins in the British series has always seemed too narrow, particularly in the hammered series, considering the rarity of significantly better pieces. I find myself paying strong prices for outstanding coins--when I can find them.

For now, we are planning a Spring fixed price catalog. If you received Auction 25 and did NOT receive a renewal notice, we will send you this catalog as soon as it is available. And thank you to those of you who decided to renew--

Our web site presence is still limited. The coins that my son and I posted last fall did not sell particularly well. Most of what we sold went to two individuals who--I believe--recognized that I had tried to price things a couple of notches below current price levels.

Last--and perhaps most important--we are interested in purchasing collections. If you have better quality material, we are assembling Auction 26 but we still have a long way to go. If you have read through our prices realized list and thumbed through our catalogs, you can see that we make an effort to present your coins well and typically achieve strong prices. Please get in touch.

In this part of the country, the snow is deep at the moment but there are already sounds of spring in the air. The seasons in Minnesota are very distinct--that is why our fixed price catalogs are almost always deisgnated by season rather than by month (in case you wondered) (which you probably didn't) (but anyway....)

Best wishes.


Thursday, March 1, 2007


How Bidding Works


Davissons Ltd uses a soft close for its auctions, which means no lot closes until everyone is done bidding. Every time a bid is placed within the final 40 seconds of a lot closing, the timer is reset to 40 seconds. This continues until no bids are placed for 40 seconds, at which point the lot closes. There will never be more than one lot closing at once, as the next lot is not allowed to begin closing until the current lot closes.

To bid: enter your maximum bid into the text box, and click submit. Only round dollar amounts are accepted. You are then required to confirm your bid. Once confirmed, all bids are final. If you have placed a bid in error you must call during office hours and speak to one of us. If you are the current high bidder then it will display “Current High Bidder: YOU” If you are not the high bidder, or if you are not logged in, then the current high bidder will be identified by their 5 digit client ID. You may find your client ID under the Account tab.

Bids are reduced automatically, so feel free to bid your maximum and it will be reduced to one increment over the current high bid. If a user places a bid that is higher than necessary to be the current high bidder on the lot, the displayed bid will reflect one advance over the next lower bid. For example, if a user "A" places a bid of $120 on a lot which opens at $100, "A" will be winning that lot at $100. If another user "B" bids $110, the winning bidder will be "A" at $120, one advance over the supporting bid of $110. If user "B" in this example instead placed a bid at $120, then user "A" will still be winning at $120 because they placed that maximum bid value first.

Increments can be viewed here. The next bid will always be on the next increment, so if a user is winning a lot at $100, or $105, or $109, the next bid will still always be $110.

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