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

8 Dec

sedwickbar

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.

fake-mexican-cob
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.

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Sedwick Treasure, World and US Coin Auction #20 Preview

7 Sep

christmas-packages

While all of us at Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, are diligently working on making our November Treasure World & US Coin Auction #20 the BEST ever, I thought I would pause to tell you about some of the cool stuff we will have for you to bid on and *hopefully* buy. First off, make sure your Christmas wish list is empty because there are lots and lots of goodies you’ll want! I’m already making my list.

In the upcoming auction, we have a Maravillas Research Collection of countermarked Potosi cobs. Here’s a refresher about the Maravillas from our website (abridged):

Maravillas, sunk in 1656 off Grand Bahama Island

shipwreck

As the almiranta (“admiral’s ship,” or rear guard) of the homebound Spanish fleet in January of 1656, the Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas was officially filled with over five million pesos of treasure (and probably much more in contraband, as was usually the case). That treasure included much of the silver salvaged from the South Seas Fleet’s Capitana of 1654 that wrecked on Chanduy Reef off Ecuador. The ill-fated treasure sank once again when the Maravillas unexpectedly ran into shallow water and was subsequently rammed by one of the other ships of its fleet, forcing the captain to try to ground the Maravillas on a nearby reef on Little Bahama Bank off Grand Bahama Island. In the ensuing chaos, exacerbated by strong winds, most of the 650 people on board the ship died in the night, and the wreckage scattered. Spanish salvagers soon recovered almost half a million pesos of treasure quickly, followed by more recoveries over the next several decades, yet with over half of the official cargo still unfound. The first re-discovery of the Maravillas in the 20th century was by Robert Marx and his company Seafinders in 1972. The second big salvage effort on the Maravillas was by Herbert Humphreys and his company Marex in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The wreck area is still being searched today, but officially the Bahamian government has not granted any leases on the site since the early 1990s.

roberto_mastalir

Roberto Mastalir Divisek

 

In addition to the above Potosi shipwreck cobs, we are honored to present a collection of “Transitional” 1652 Potosi 8 reales cobs put together and written about extensively by Robert Mastalir. All of his coins in the upcoming auction are featured (photographed) in his book The Great Transition at the Potosi Mint, 1649-1653, the 1652 Transitional 8 Reales, which is out of print already, but we plan to re-print it for the auction soon.

 

 

Unfortunately, sometimes collections come to us after the death of the collector, and that’s the case for the Charles Eidel collection of shipwreck coins and ancient Greek and Roman coins. Charlie was a genial retired NYC policeman whose appetite for coins was wide ranging. His meticulous record keeping and coin descriptions reflect his love for the hobby. It’s now time for him to posthumously pass along his gems for the next generation of collectors.

Near and dear to my heart is our major offering of Charles and Joanna coinage (both Early and Late Series) in this auction. We have a smattering of coins from several different sources which complement each other very well and will give you a lot of opportunities to enrich your collection…or start one! While we generally feature 4 reales from shipwrecks, this time we will have a large selection of the very hard-to-find smaller denominations. We will even have an early series Assayer R 1 real. And when’s the last time you saw Assayer S in any denomination? We’ve got a 2 reales for sale!

That’s it for now, but it should help you decide on what you’d like to see under the Christmas tree this year (or before)! Happy bidding.

bidders-at-fudraising-auction

Gallery

When Size Matters

2 Feb

In the world of numismatics, size (in this context, weight) matters. Heads have rolled and the guilty have been jailed or bankrupted for minting gold and silver coins that are a bit south of expected weight. Just ask the assayer and former mayor of Potosi.

Drawing of Potosi Mountain

 

It’s a very serious business, and it’s easy to see why. Without the vast stores of gold and silver transported from the New World, Spain never woulchest of gold and silver cobsd have become a European colonial superpower. Each quantity of silver or gold mined in the colonial mines around Mexico City, Potosi, Lima, etc. and sent to the mint for smelting and/or coining would have a tax, a fifth (or quinto), charged by the crown and hence referred to as the “king’s fifth.” It all adds up after a while, and the king didn’t appreciate being cheated out of any of his money.

When minting cobs, which are hand struck on planchets without collars, the task of making sure the weight was correct must have been onerous. Note that many cobs have trim marks to cut away some of the material. The weight didn’t have to be exact, but it sure had to be credible.

So, how much should a cob weigh? Of course, it depends on the denomination. The largest denomination was the 8 reales (silver) or 8 escudos (gold). Each was supposed to weigh about 27 grams, with a slight underweight tolerance of perhaps three-tenths of a gram. As for the other denominations, The Practical Book of Cobs tell us:

Practical Book of Cobs

Practical Book of Cobs, 4th edition

The denominations in gold are 1, 2, 4, and 8 escudos. There is no ½-escudo cob, although the ½ escudo did exist in the later milled coinage. The usual denominations in silver are ½, 1, 2, 4 and 8 reales. (A few ¼ reales were minted in the earliest periods but are generally rare and seldom seen.) Each lower denomination was supposed to weigh exactly one-half of the next larger denomination.

Given that formula, a 4 reales or escudos coin should weigh around 13.5 grams, a 2 reales or escudos coin around 6.75 grams, a 1 real or escudo coin around 3.375 grams, and a ½ real around 1.69 grams. There would be more leeway with silver than gold, which is more precious in any era.

One of the best and cheapest purchases you can make if you’re serious about collecting cobs is a scale, so you can weigh your coins. If you’re concerned about whether a coscalein you just bought is genuine, weight it! If it’s significantly underweight, then there’s your red flag. The BIG exception is shipwreck silver coins. Silver corrodes in salt water so many shipwreck cobs are underweight, sometimes significantly. This is not true of gold which comes out of the ocean as intact as the day it went down with the ship.

Of course, you should always deal with a reputable numismatist when buying or selling coins!

Long Beach Expo This Week!

If you’re in southern California, don’t miss an opportunity to meet Dan and Augi at the Expo. See them Wednesday through Friday. They will have inventory for sale and/or can take your consignment for our upcoming Treasure, World and US Coin Auction #19.

schedule2016

Here’s the Hat Trick – Numismatic News

15 Jan

Just a quick note to remind everyone of our upcoming shows. Dan is heading to Vero Beach today for the annual Treasure Coast Coin Club show. He’s loaded with new purchases from the FUN and NYINC shows, so please go by and see him! He’s also taking consignments for our upcoming Sedwick Treasure, World and US Coin Auction #19. We’re always pleased to receive consignments of significant collections of cobs and choice Latin American coins. High-quality artifacts are always welcome as well.

tccc-show-2016

At the end of the month, Dan and Augi will be traveling to Long Beach, CA, for the Long Beach Expo from February 4-6. They will again be happy to take consignments AND buy or sell you something. It’s a busy time of year for us, but we’re getting excited about our next auction and hope you will join the fun. Auction dates are May 18 and 19, so mark your calendar now.

OK, now for a cool hat trick.

Goal #1: Purchase a 1704 8 reales Potosi cob (not hard to do).

Lot 1431, TA #14, 8R cob

Lot 1431, Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC – Treasure Auction #14

Goal #2: Purchase a 1704 8 reales Potosi royal (a little harder to do but not out of the question).

Lot 707, TA #14, 8R royal

Lot 707, Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC – Treasure Auction #14

And Goal #3: Purchase a 1704 8 reales Potosi heart (you have a better chance with the lottery than getting this!).

Lot 720, TA #18, 8R Heart

Lot 720, Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC- Treasure Auction #18

Pretty nifty hat trick, no? What I like about looking at all three of these coins is that we can study the details that are missing on our cob. This can go a long way in identifying coins.

One last note: the ANA (for American Numismatic Association) has just launched a digital archive of 127 years’ worth of The Numismatist magazine. Both Dan and my father, Frank Sedwick, have written articles for the magazine! Check out the story here: http://www.coinworld.com/news/us-coins/2015/12/ANA-launches-digital-archive-of-The-Numismatist-magazine.html

 

NOTE: The contents of this site including all images, graphics, photos, lists, compilations, articles and text are Copyright © DFS, LLC. Any form (commercial or non-commercial) reproduction, duplication, copy, redistribution, publication, or other use by any means in any form, is prohibited unless pursuant to a written permission by the Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC.

The Office Travels to the U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association Fourth Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Arizona

19 Oct
US Mexican Association image

U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association

 

 

Last week Dan, Augi and I traveled to Phoenix for the U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association Fourth Annual Convention in Scottsdale from Thursday, October 15 to Saturday, October 17. While the show is small, some of the most influential dealers and auctioneers in the business attend. The convention is open to members of the U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association who were treated to both great “coin watching” and a good selection of outstanding seminars hosted by experts in the field, including Dan. Dan spoke about counterfeit coins to a packed house, so obviously there’s lots of interest in the subject. One gentleman who stopped by our table afterward mentioned that he had inadvertently bought a fake coin many years ago, but between buying The Practical Book of Cobs and listening to the lecture, he had a much better idea of what to look for when buying a coin. We also stressed to him the importance of buying and selling coins through bona fide dealers, i.e. dealers who display knowledge and answer your questions intelligently.

We had a table at the convention where we were busy showing auction lots for our upcomingDan with Customer at US Mex Show 2015 Treasure, World & U.S. Coin  Auction 18 to be held in Orlando, Florida on October 29, 2015.  The hearts and royals were a big hit, as they created an impressive display. We may never see so many of both in the same auction again! 

Another treat was when I got to meet the Executive Director of the American Numismatic Society, Ute Wartenberg Kagan, who was assisted at her table by Matt Wittmann, Assistant Curator of American Coins and Currency. It is vital that organizations like the U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association and the American Numismatic Society thrive because they are repositories of knowledge and numismatic material that the average collector might never be able to access otherwise. Collecting is about learning as much as it is about owning.

Ute, Matt and Cori at US Mex Show

While it was a long way to go for a show, I’m glad we were once again able to go. Every show is an opportunity to buy, sell, meet people, show auction lots, and learn!

FUN for All: Report from the summer FUN show in Orlando

16 Jul
Our July FUN Show Table

Our July FUN Show Table

Last week Augi and I manned a table at the summer FUN (for Florida United Numismatists) show at the Orlando Convention Center. It was an unexpectedly busy show, especially considering that our sweltering summers generally have locals running to cooler climates like rats deserting a sinking ship. I guess good inventory trumps hot, humid weather. Check out our online store for our current inventory and great deals and visit our eBay store for more great stuff. If you’re buying, we’re selling!

Mora manning our table

Mora manning our table

While coin collecting is mostly an adult addiction, it’s nice to see that the FUN show offers treats for the youngsters. The youngest member of our team and Augi’s daughter, Mora, not only spent time scrutinizing our coins, but she also panned for gold just like in the Wild West and learned to carve the die of a hobo nickel. I wonder what she’ll know how to do by the time she graduates from elementary school.

Panning for gold

Panning for gold

Mora carving a hobo nickel

Mora and Josie Beach carving a hobo nickel

So, if you want to visit a coin show with your children, know that many have fun programs that can entertain and educate. Who knows, maybe that will be the spark to create a collector out of him or her.

Long Beach Show January 2015

5 Feb

Dan and Augi recently returned from a successful show in Long Beach, California, the Long Beach Expo, brimming with consignments for Treasure Auction #17. While the show was mostly wholesale with sparse attendance by the general public, it didn’t hamper them from transacting business to ensure a successful upcoming auction. Was the low attendance due to the massive winter snowstorm on the east coast that hindered dealers from flying to the west coast? Maybe, maybe not. Still, you see the ripple effects of bad weather everywhere you look.

Long Beach, CA Coin Show

Long Beach, CA Coin Show

Dan at the table at the Long Beach show

Dan at the table at the Long Beach show

Thinking of bad weather, how many shipwrecks would never have happened had those ships sailed at a different time and not Augibecome ensnared in a hurricane? If hurricanes weren’t a part of life in the Caribbean, would we ever know as much as we know about coins and artifacts from colonial Spanish America? Something to think about.

Back to Long Beach: despite a lower public turnout, Dan and Augi made good use of their time there by sampling the great variety and quality of restaurants! Since Augi is Argentinian, he especially enjoyed a place called the Gaucho Grill (what a clever name!) at 200 North Pine Avenue in Long Beach. [Gaucho Grill is the most traditional Argentine restaurant in Long Beach. They serve the best Argentinian favorites in generous dishes balanced with the best Californian cuisine.]

Dan and Augi with some dealer friends at Gaucho Grill

Dan and Augi (taking pic) with Mexican Coin Company Staff (Max, Cory and Eric), at Gaucho Grill

Their fav foods were Lomo Argentino (filet mignon), Asado de Costillas (ribeye), and Bife de Chorizo (NY steak). And who knew that in California you can bring your own wine to dinner with you? What meal isn’t complete without Fernet, a digestif? Google it. Wikipedia says that people describe it as a “black licorice-flavored Listerine.” That’s about right.

And finally, even if you have a bad show, you can go back to your hotel and relax at the end of the day. Sometimes, you even have a world-class view. Sometimes you don’t!

Long Beach Table January 2015

Long Beach “Hotel View” January 2015

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