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FUN Wrap Up and Coins Weekly

9 Jan

While the weather gods weren’t smiling upon us benevolently with our famous Florida warm winter weather, the temperature was blistering inside the Florida United Numismatists (aka FUN) 2018 winter show in Tampa. We had brisk sales and collected consignments for our next Sedwick Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction #23 on May 15-16, 2018. It looks like buyers and collectors are optimistic. We are too!

2018 FUN Show

Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC booth at the 2018 FUN show in Tampa 

At the show, I was fortunate enough to renew my acquaintance with Ursula Kampmann, founder of CoinsWeekly, a popular online newsletter for the trade. Aside from that newsletter, she is launching companion newsletter called AuctionsWeekly which will list every Friday ”all auctions that will take place during the following week as well as just published fixed price lists.” What a great way to keep up with all the auctions that take place around the world, especially during very busy auction times! You can subscribe here: https://www.coinsweekly.com/en/Subscribe-to-CoinsWeekly-Newsletter/37. You’ll see us listed as time gets closer to our next auction.

Cori and Uschi at January 2018 FUN Show

Cori Downing, left, with Ursula Kampmann, right

By the way, if you’re in the New York City area, find us at our table at the New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC) January 11-14 now held in the Empire State Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt, located at 109 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10022, between Park and Lexington Avenues. We hope to see you there!

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Happy Holidays and New Year’s Resolutions 2017

21 Dec

by Cori Sedwick Downing

With a very successful Sedwick Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction #22 in the history books and consignments for #23 starting to trickle in, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on our hobby and tell you trends we see for 2018.

First, let’s start with a homily that was often repeated by my father, Frank Sedwick, during his years as a coin dealer: “If you want to sell, the time to sell is when you have a willing buyer.” That seems like good advice, but more often than not, we twist that tidbit of wisdom to read, “If you want to sell and someone wants to buy, perhaps you’re not asking enough.” Frank would counter with, “There is always a willing buyer when the price is right.” So, what’s the right price? Mostly it’s a matter of demand. The right price depends on who wants/needs something at that moment. The right price could also depend on the price of silver or gold, and we all know how that fluctuates.

As a hobbyist, your New Year’s resolutions should include spending some time with your hard-earned collection to determine which coins you need to upgrade and which you’ve got duplicates of. Consider putting your duplicates at auction or private sale and hope to make enough money to afford any upgrades that might be available.

What does our crystal ball say?

We’ve seen a fair amount of what we call “grade inflation” among encapsulated coins. crystalball_coinThere’s more “mint state” material circulating than we’ve seen in the past. The old AU 58 becomes the new MS 61. This happens in many fields—not just coins—and eventually the market adjusts. The take-home lesson is to look at the COIN and not the SLAB.

Another trend that we’ve noted is that more and more collectors of US coins are transitioning to collecting world coins. By comparison, world coins are a bargain! The material is also fresh to them as opposed to the same old retread US coins. There’s no reason to believe that this influx of buyers won’t continue. This is not only valid for the Latin American market, where we see the trend auction after auction but also for mainland Spanish coins that finally seem to have found their way into the US collectors field.

A continuing trend is that quality trumps rarity. Even when a coin is unique or very rare, if its quality or grading is low, it may fetch less at auction than a coin of lesser rarity but higher quality.

One more comment regarding the market for 2018 (at least in our field): we have noticed a big interest in Latin American military decorations, medals and tokens. They are now eligible for grading and better understood thanks to several works published in recent years. Their price has made them affordable in the past but the feeding frenzy has begun and they may not be so affordable in the future.

In the end, a wise collector learns as much as he or she can and applies good sense to investing. Don’t buy something for the sake of having it; buy it because you like it. That way you can always examine your coin collection with a smile and most likely you will hold it for a longer time increasing the chances of eventually the value also going up.

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones from the team at Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC—Daniel, Augi, Cori, Connor, and Michelle.

You can find us in the New Year at these shows:

          (Consignment deadline for Auction 23, February 25 )

Upcoming Treasure Auction 22: Important 1715 Fleet Artifacts

21 Oct

Today we will cover some of the most important artifacts from the 1715 Fleet you can find in our upcoming auction. These pieces are important for either their rarity, their quality, their provenance or all of the above

Lot 1473: Gold-and-pearl “Madonna” brooch, large and ornate, from the 1715 Fleet, plated in Dreamweaver. 59.79 grams, about 3-1/2″ x 2-1/4″. A large and very ornate pendant of an articulated type known as a “venera,” featuring a crowned female over an angel face superimposed over an upward-facing crescent moon (topped with small posts, one of which still bears a pearl), all in a central open oval surrounded by twenty-two sunrays tipped with pearls, fastened to a frame of alternating large and small five-point ornaments with more pearls on top (on loose posts fastened with Y-backs) and on ends, with small loop at bottom, that whole piece suspended from a moving “crown” of similar ornaments encrusted with more pearls, the back showing a large horizontal ring for wearing as a brooch or pendant. This piece has popularly been referred to as the “Madonna” brooch, but more accurately the central figure appears to be Our Lady of Guadalupe (similar to the medallion from the 1733 Fleet plated on pages 158-9 of Weller’s Galleon Alley book of 2001). The pearls (fifty-two remaining) are all a bit worn and quite a few are missing, but more egregious is the absence of eleven gemstones (presumably emeralds) from now-empty sockets that show traces of light encrustation (hence they were lost or removed before salvage), although it is possible the gems were to be added later when this relic made it to Spain. The gold itself is all intact and visibly high grade. Clearly a museum piece, one of the most important 1715-Fleet artifacts we have ever offered, reportedly recovered by John Berrier and Duke Long in 1989. From the “Rio Mar” site, with Fisher photo-certificate #1611 and photocopy of a hand-drawing by K. Amundson, and featured in color photo on page 193 of Dreamweaver (1996), by Bob “Frogfoot” Weller.  Direct link

Lot 1474: Matched pair of gold-and-pearl earrings from the 1715 Fleet. 7.09 grams total, each about 2-1/4″ long. Nearly identical earrings, made with hoop of gold at top, quatrefoil ornament with pearls on posts below that in middle and the bottom piece a pearl-strung straight wire with trefoil at top and ring at bottom, each with eleven pearls total, all very small and worn but none missing, an intact pair that can still be worn and matches the previous lot (“Madonna” brooch) in style, possibly from the same ship of the 1715 Fleet but reportedly found farther up the coast. With Fisher photo-certificate #41562 (showing both earrings) and original yellow-plastic tags #41562 and 41563. Direct Link

Lot 1476: Gold chain, 66.54 grams, 24 inches long, heavy-braid links with original clasp, from the 1715 Fleet. Thick links of boxlike braiding somewhat tightly spaced to make a very ductile chain, completely intact with ring at one end and Y-shaped piece at other end (connected with oblong jumper) for fastening to the ring, eminently wearable and attractive. With Queens Jewels LLC photo-certificate #F040982 (tag #75905). Direct Link

Lot 1484: Ornate silver shaker (pounce box) from the 1715 Fleet. 313 grams, 2-3/4″ cube. Unlike gold, very few shipwreck silver artifacts are solid enough to emerge from conservation as bright and beautiful and functional as they day they were made, but this is one of those rare relics, with every finely engraved detail in the (separate) lid and embossed design on the side intact and unblemished, just a tiny corner-chip in the lid and verdigris in one corner of the plain inside of the box, the lid designed with eighteen small holes in a floral pattern in a concave circle on the top for sprinkling a fine powder (pounce) over fresh manuscripts to prevent the ink from spreading. With Queens Jewels LLC photo-certificate #F040818 (tag #77225). Direct  Link

 Lot 1482: Gold-and-emerald ring, size 7-1/4, from the 1715 Fleet. 5.05 grams. Very solid and intact ring with rectangular, table-cut emerald of decent translucence and color in a scallop-base frame, the ring itself with straight sides, high-karat gold. From the “Cabin wreck” site, found on the beach in 1985, with a photo-certificate from salvager Carl Lazzeri and another from Daniel Frank Sedwick. Direct Link

Related Important Item:

Lot 1460: Unique set of newspapers with accounts on the sinking and salvage of the Spanish 1715 Treasure Fleet, consisting of four issues of The Post Boy (London) from 1715-16.

Four very rare, complete issues of The Post Boy, a major London newspaper, from November 19, December 8 and 19, 1715 and July 3, 1716, each issue a single 14” x 8” sheet (“broadsheet”) of high-quality rag stock printed on both sides, and in Fine to Very Fine condition. In all probability these papers are the only ones in private hands.

These four historic newspapers provide accounts of the legendary disaster and Spain’s frantic attempts to recover the hundreds of millions of dollars of gold and silver coins and precious jewels carried by eleven Spanish galleons, accompanied by a French warship that was the only ship to escape the hurricane on July 30, 1715, as the treasure-laden Fleet attempted to sail from Cuba to Spain. Hundreds of seamen and passengers drowned in the vicious storm with the survivors going to St. Augustine or Havana. Although much of the treasure was salvaged over the next few years—and present-day salvors have uncovered millions of dollars in coins and jewels—more treasure remains unclaimed in the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of Florida. Several whole ships have yet to be found.

The first report of the disaster in the November 19, 1715 issue reads: “Letters from the Havana, of the 17th of September, advise that the Flotilla, consisting of Ten Ships, met with such a violent Storm, upon the 31st of July, that they were forced to run ashoar upon the Coasts of Florida, 50 Leagues from Cape S. Augustin, and 20 from Cape Canaveral; and that only one Ship, v.z. the Flying-Hart, escaped: That upon this News, several Ships were immediately sent from the Havana to fish up the Gold and Silver; that good Part of it was already recover’d and particularly that on board the Urza de Lima; and that it was hoped, most of the rest would likewise be got up. They add, that 4 or 500 Men were drown’d, and among them several Passengers. This News was brought to Rochelle by the S. Francis, whose Cargo is very rich, consisting of 500000 Pieces of Eight besides Merchandizes.”

Further details from the December 8 issue are more positive (possibly to buoy public opinion on the disaster). Some of the reporting stated: “We have receiv’d better News concerning the Flota of New Spain…that only two Ships of it were cast away; Some others were indeed run aground upon the Coast of Florida; but all the Gold and Silver, and most of the Merchandizes were taken out of them.” The King then sent four ships to Florida, “…and shall take on board those of the Flota, which amount to 12 Millions of Crowns in Gold and Silver only.”

From the December 17, 1715 issue came the following: “Letters from Cadiz, of the 28th past, say, that all possible Diligence is used in fitting out the Men of War, which are to go and take on board the Cargoes of the Galleons run aground upon the Coast of Florida. By a Vessel arrived from thence they heard, that the Galleons could not be put a float again; but the Chests of Gold and Silver had been all taken up, and great part of the Merchandizes; so that only the Cochineal will be lost.”

Finally, after just over six months of salvage attempts, the July 3, 1716 issue reported the following gleaned from letters from Havanna at the end of March: “…they had recover’d out of the Capitana, a thousand Chests of Silver, and seven hundred and fifty out of the Admirante (Almiranta), but no Merchandizes out of those two Ships, whereas all those of the Urca de Lima had been fish’d up; that some English Barques being come in Sight of Palmaer, five (Spanish) Barques were fitted out at the Havana to observe them; that nevertheless the English seiz’d some Part of the Plate above specify’d whereupon a Deputy was order’d from the Havana to the Governor of Jamaica to complain of that proceeding….”

These newspapers represent highly important accounts of the disaster and the subsequent attempts to salvage the enormous treasure Spain and other European countries were counting on for their economies. In our time, ironically, these newspapers are vastly rarer than the treasure itself! Direct Link

 

Red Kettle-donated gold shipwreck coin to be auctioned

13 Apr

A 300-year-old Spanish colonial gold coin recovered from a 1715 Plate Fleet shipwreck and donated during the Salvation Army’s 2016 Holiday Red Kettle campaign will be auctioned on May 3, 2017.

46

The Bogota cob 1 escudo recovered from the 1715 Fleet and donated to the Salvation Army in December of 2016.

The coin will appear as lot 46 in Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction #21, held May 3-4 online at auction.sedwickcoins.com. The lot is estimated at $2,000 to $3,000. The Salvation Army will receive the full final hammer price from the sale.

Also included with the coin is a letter on its provenance from Lt. Jonathan Needham, corps officer of the Salvation Army of Vero Beach, as well as the case the coin was donated in.

The gold escudo was anonymously handed to volunteer bell ringer Jim Bessey on Dec. 23, 2016 outside of a Sebastian, Fla. Walmart store. The donation made national news as one of the more interesting pieces given to the Salvation Army during the holiday season.

The donated coin was minted at the Spanish colonial mint in Bogota, Colombia sometime between 1700 and 1715 as a posthumous issue of King Charles II (1661-1700).

In 1715, the escudo, along with many others, was shipped aboard the 1715 Plate Fleet, one of the largest treasure fleets of its time. Several ships from the fleet sank during a storm off the east coast of Florida. Much of the treasure remained on the ocean floor until modern day salvage operations recovered many coins and artifacts, which are in demand on the collectibles market.

Bidders can register for the auction at auction.sedwickcoins.com. The auction catalog is available for ordering at www.sedwickcoins.com. For more details, please contact Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC at office@sedwickcoins.com.

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Sedwick Treasure Auction Wrap-Up, Tips for Buying Cobs, and Where to Find Us

8 Dec

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I’m finally able to take a breather from post-auction duties of packing and shipping to share some thoughts with you. First, all of us at Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC want to thank our bidders, consignors, auction speakers, and auction attendees for helping make Treasure Auction #20 one of our best auctions to date. Without YOU, auctions don’t happen. We are grateful for the personal and professional relationships we have nurtured over the years and look forward to many more.

As the Christmas buying season kicks into high gear, there are a few reminders to help you get the most for your money, at least when it comes to buying coins. When you buy a widget, you go to a store that you know sells them. For example, I buy electronics at a place like Best Buy. When you buy a coin, particularly a niche coin like a cob, you need to find a specialty seller, someone who knows what he’s doing.

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Can You Tell This is a Counterfeit?

If you don’t, you may buy a fake instead of the real thing. Or, you may buy something less than what it should be for the price because the seller doesn’t really know his product. Either way, you won’t be satisfied with your purchase. Again, always buy from reputable dealers whether you’re buying a shipwreck coin or a dryer.

Next, whether it’s a cob or a car, buy what you like. This is especially true for any commodity that you might consider an “investment” because most things appreciate only after you’ve held onto them for a good period of time. Quick profits don’t happen very often, so plan to enjoy your purchase for years. When you do sell, you’ll be well rewarded.

Finally, buy the best you can afford if you really want to be happy with your purchase. Buyer’s remorse from letting the coin you really wanted get away from you stays with you for a long time. If you’re building a collection, it’s much easier to buy great quality at the beginning than spend time and effort to upgrade later. That said, if what you can afford isn’t the best quality, don’t worry. You’ll be happy to simply own the piece in the first place.

We can help you build the collection of your dreams. Just ask us! And, you can visit us in person at the following 2017 shows where we will have a table:

schelude2017show2Happy Holidays to all and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Treasure auction brings in $2.25 million

16 Nov

Winter Park, Florida – November 14, 2016 – Shipwreck gold and silver ingots made a big splash in Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s $2.25 million floor auction held Nov. 12-14, 2016 in Orlando, Fla.

A complete gold strap intended for making oro corriente (coin-like ingots) recovered from an early 1500s wreck in the Caribbean sold for $94,000. It has a 22-karat fineness, weighs 1.128 kilograms and measures 10-1/2” long by 1-1/4” wide by 1/4” deep.

Another very large lot was an 82 pound, 7.36 troy ounce silver bar recovered from the Atocha purchased for $64,625. The bar is dated 1622, the same year as the sinking of the Atocha.

Other impressive highlights include the year’s largest offering of Spanish colonial cob coinage. The top gold lot was a Lima, Peru 1713M 8 escudos recovered from the 1715 Fleet which sank off the coast of Florida and certified by NGC as MS 63 (finest known in the census). It sold for $32,900.

In addition to the floor auction, educational talks were held on Nov. 11 on a variety of topics including shipwreck treasure recovery, professional collecting and coin buying strategies.

Daniel Sedwick, president of Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, said the event provided the perfect close to a successful year.

“The feedback from attendees and bidders was overwhelmingly positive, reflected in strong bidding and record results, but as always we are thankful to our consignors for their trust and confidence,” said Sedwick. “We explored some new areas for us, mainly paper money, and look forward to offering more high-quality items in the future.”

Of the firm’s inaugural offering of paper money, the most valuable lot was a Puerto Rican 1813 8 reales note graded by PMG as VF-35 Net / Pieces Missing acquired for $5,875.

Other top lots and prices realized include:

  • Gold “finger” bar from the Golden Fleece Wreck: $47,000;
  • Large gold disk recovered from the 1715 Fleet, 2029 grams, 11.25-karat: $47,000;
  • Lima, Peru 1704H 8 escudos, NGC MS 62: $30,550;
  • Potosi, Bolivia 1725Y Louis I 8 reales Royal, VF+: $17,035;
  • Large silver basin recovered from the Atocha: $16,450;

Full auction results are available here: http://www.sedwickcoins.com/. A premium of 17.5 percent is included in the prices listed.

Consignments are now being accepted for Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction 21, scheduled for May 3-4, 2017. Please contact Augi Garcia at augi@sedwickcoins.com or Connor Falk at connor@sedwickcoins.com.

Lot 202, the complete gold strap used for making oro corriente pieces, marked five times with circular tax stamp of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor;
Lot 211, large silver bar recovered from the Atocha weighing 82 lbs, 7.36 troy oz. dated 1622 [14” x 5” x 3-1/2”]
Lot 30, Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos 1713M graded NGC MS 63 [finest known], recovered from the 1715 Fleet.)

 

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What You Can’t Live Without in Treasure Auction #20 (part three)

2 Nov

Today we want to make you aware of some very important silver coins you can bid on in our upcoming Sedwick Treasure, World, U.S. Coin & Paper Money Auction #20. When you see descriptions containing words or phrases like “unique,” “very rare,” “finest known,” and “unlimited value,” you can be sure these items will bring top dollar…and be worth every penny. It bears repeating that we often say you should buy the “best” coins  you can afford, whether that means coins in the best condition or of the highest rarity. The good things in life don’t come cheaply but you’ll rarely regret your decision to buy them and enjoy them for years. Good luck in our auction!

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Lot 561, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is a Mexico City, Mexico, 4 reales, Charles-Joanna, “Early Series,” coin and those who collect them know that varieties with the assayer mark (P) to the left and mintmark (M) to the right are generally much rarer than others. Also, this is an early variety in Assayer P’s tenure with the use of HISPANIE instead of the later use of HISPANIARVM in the legend on the pillars side.

 

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Lot 664, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is an extremely rare Mexico City, Mexico, cob 1 real Royal, 1643/2P. It is probably unique, but certainly unique in quality and of almost unlimited in value to the specialist collector.

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Lot 777, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is a rare Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1634T and the first coin collected by Emilio Paoletti, (and ex-Burzio, ex-Martini, ex-Janson) with copy #1 of Paoletti’s book 8 Reales Cobs of Potosi (3rd ed., 2016) and signed by him on the first page where the number 001 appears. What a remarkable pedigree!

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Lot 857, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is a rare Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1652E transitional Type III from the Capitana (1654). What is interesting about this die variety is that the O-E above 52 to right of shield is punched over N-8.

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Lot 961, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is a rare Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales Royal, 1714Y with an interesting four-digit date below cross (the standard for 1712-15).

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Lot 967, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is a very rare Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales Royal, 1725Y, Louis I, ordinal PRIMERO. Royals of Louis I are among the most desirable and difficult to obtain, particularly since the general coins of this period are so crude. The present example is very bold, with full inner details and nearly full legends, including full LVIS PRIMERO (not just PR) and POTOSI (the pillars side slightly off-center).

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Lot 1027, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is an extremely rare and currently unique Potosi, Bolivia, cob 4 reales, 1732YA. This is a very important 4R, as it is the ONLY date and assayer (not counting overdates) that we have NEVER seen in our 25-year study of Potosi pillars-and-waves cobs.

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Lot 1079, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is an extremely rare Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1 real Heart, 1718Y. It’s an attractive example of the classic Heart shape and like most Heart minors, this specimen is probably unique.

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Lot 1086, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is a Bogota, Colombia, cob 8 reales, 1670, assayer PoRS. It’s the finest and only known specimen in NGC census (NGC certification #4348135001) and is certainly among the choicest Bogota pillars-and-waves cobs in existence, in fact the highest of all Bogota cob 8R at NGC by two grades.

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Lot 1338, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is a very rare Nicaragua (Leon), provisional “imitation cob” 2 reales, 1823 P.M.P.Y. It is probably the finest known of this Leon type with “pine tree” tops of pillars, a type rarely seen without a hole or significant damage. See Carlos Jara’s book Central American Provisional and Provincial Mints (2007) for more information about the attribution of this type to Leon.

We hope you find exactly what you’re looking for in our upcoming auction and please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have. You can see coin lots in person this weekend (and see Dan, Augi, and Connor) at the Whitman Expo at the Baltimore Convention Center November 3-6.

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