Fall marks the beiginning of the numismatic year much as it marks the new academic year. This is not as obvious to American collectors because major coin fairs are held in the United States throughout the summer. This includes the ANA show, arguably the most important show of the year anywhere, which occurs in August. (No, we didn't go. The show is overwhelmingly U.S. oriented. This year the London bomb scare came just as Europeans were preparing to fly to the show and some of them did not make it, something I knew before we were to begin to drive to Denver.)
For those of us whose specialties involve European sales and fairs, there is a distinct lull, particularly during August, in numismatic activity. For British collectors, the annual late September COINEX coin fair sponsored by the British Numismatic Trade Association has become the most dramatic indication that a new numismatic season has begun. Dealers do their best to find exceptional stock for the show. Major London auction houses try to build their most important sales for this time. Dix, Noonan and Webb concentrate many of their better consignments for the COINEX sale. Baldwin's, now under new ownership, offered a sale of 100 great coins (though the actual number was a bit less because of a printing/binding error.)
In mid October Bonham's offered the second half of the "Clarendon" collection, a sale that fell just short of a million pounds total. The sale had a major run of Stuart and Commonwealth gold. The Spink sale that same week of the first part of the Remick collection of British Commonwealth coins went way over estimates as well as way over a million pounds.
The rise in British coin prices has continued through these sales. There is a stronger interest among Britons for their coins than I have seen in the past, a continuation of a trend I noticed just after the turn of the century. American collectors new to British coins are finding that the series is understandable and accessible as well as offering a wide range of collecting options. Genuinely choice British coins continue to be sought after and scarce. Yet there are many attractive and interesting coins that have come out with the strong market.
We have just mailed out a small 16 page fixed price list, our first mailing for 2006. If you would like a copy of this paper-and-ink full color catalog, let me know. I am working on Auction 25, a sale that will be our biggest ever. Among other things, I am pulling 25 items from our own holdings to mark the sale. Neither Marnie nor I formally collect in the traditional mode. We may collect for a while to build an interesting sale. But it is love of the material that is at the basis of our being numismatists and the pleasure of owning some things a bit longer than we might otherwise is hard to resist. This group of 25 will anchor a sale of between 300 and 400 fascinating lots. Look for the catalog in the mail in late December.
Lots from the sale will be available for viewing at the FUN Show in Orlando and the New York International Show in New York, the first and second weekends of January 2007.
Our venture into internet sales has begun very slowly, something you can tell by seeing how few coins have actually sold. I think I understand this. Internet sites need more than a few dozen coins to inspire a following. They also need more hits than our site gets. I have resisted offers to pay for services to have the site rise in the search engine ranks. My son, a high school senior, is back in school and busily filling out applications for college next fall. (This has become a much more arduous process than I recall it being when I went to college.) He is also a straight A student (which I was not) and preparing for piano competitions. So his time for attending to the web site has disappeared.
These are exciting times for collectors. A healthy market may strain the collecting budget but it both draws better coins to the market and also means that the collection you have built up over the years is now worth more when that time comes when you decide to sell, a reflection of the old adage that a rising tide raises all boats.
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.Close