Tag Archives: FUN

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 )

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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.

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A relative to the Confederate half dollar? 6 U.S. highlights in Treasure Auction 20

28 Oct

While Spanish colonial and shipwreck coins make up much of our November auction, a number of other collecting areas are well represented. We’ve already taken a look at paper money, so let’s turn to U.S. rarities coming up for auction.

Lot 1401 – 1890-CC Coronet Head double eagle – Est. $2,000 – 3,000

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As the highest denomination struck by the famous Carson City Mint, their double eagles were never struck in great numbers. Mintages barely topped 100,000 between 1874 and 1876. By the time this 1890-CC double eagle was struck, the mint had only three years left before closing in 1893. Still, the fact that 91,209 were minted in 1890 is impressive and makes this example an in-demand, yet affordable piece for the Carson City type set collector.

Lot 1414 – 1844-D Coronet Head double eagle – Est. $1,500 – 2,250

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The former Dahlonega Mint building in 1877 or 1878.

This 1844-D half eagle was struck in the better years of the Dahlonega Mint, where mintages of the half eagle approached 100,000 coins from 1843 to 1845. In 1844, 88,982 Dahlonega half eagles were made, making it, like the above lot, attractive yet affordable for the Dahlonega type collector or for someone who just wants to own one. The typical bag marks and scratches are noted in the fields, with wear evident yet not enough to knock it down to Very Fine as the coin still has a full Liberty headband.

Lot 1429 – 1914 Indian Head quarter eagle – Est. $1,500 – 2,250

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Some rarities take the form of gorgeous, high grade examples, such as this 1914 quarter eagle. NGC certified it as MS-63, putting it ahead of many others in uncirculated grades. Only light bagmarks are noted in the fields with some planchet adjustment lines in the headdress and light toning throughout.

Lot 1436 – 1846 Seated Liberty silver dollar – Est. $900 – 1,350

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This AU-55 1846 Seated Liberty dollar is perfect for a U.S. type set collector. Only light even wear is visible on the high points. The fields and some areas of the design are darkly toned with lighter toning around the stars, dress folds, and eagle’s wings. Overall, a nice, lightly circulated example with a well-centered strike.

Lot 1437 – Set of three New Orleans-minted half dollars from the SS Republic – Est. $1,500 – 2,250

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This set represents two important events to U.S. coin collectors: the beginning of the Civil War in 1861 and the sinking of the SS Republic in 1865.

Upon the election of Abraham Lincoln on Nov. 6, 1860, Southern states began to secede, with Louisiana seceding Jan. 26, 1861 before joining the Confederate States of America on March 21, 1861. It was during that time the New Orleans Mint continued striking Seated Liberty half dollars under all three governments: U.S., State of Louisiana, and Confederate. Through die diagnostics, all three issues can be identified, while in this set, the U.S. issue is denoted with an 1860-O half dollar.  The 1861-O Confederate issued half dollar in the set, noted for the die crack on the obverse above Liberty’s face, shares the same obverse die as the four known Confederate half dollars bearing the words “Confederate States of America” above the eagle on the reverse.

Furthermore, all three coins were recovered from the SS Republic, a ship that sank with many U.S. coins onboard, both silver and gold, on Oct. 25, 1865. Since the wreck’s discovery in 2003, some U.S., State of Louisiana, and Confederate issued Seated Liberty half dollars have been found and packaged into attractive sets like this, where coin collectors, Civil War historians and shipwreck researchers can appreciate these historical coins.

Lot 1439 – 1909-S Indian Head cent – Est. $700 – 1,000

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This is a beautiful 1909-S cent, a rare, key and final date to the long-lived (1859-1909) Indian Head cent series. Certified by NGC as AU-58 Brown, this piece has lovely chocolate brown toning throughout with choice wood-grain toning on the obverse and only light wear on the high parts of the design.

For more U.S. coins appearing in our November auction, visit the Session Four page here, up for sale on Sunday, Nov. 13 and Session Five (internet-only) page here, hammering on Monday, Nov. 14.

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.

First coin shows of 2015: FUN and NYINC

20 Jan

Cori Downing SedwickHello!  My name is Cori Sedwick Downing, and I’ve started this blog because I enjoy writing about Spanish colonial coins and shipwreck coins and artifacts. My specialty is researching so-called Charles and Joanna coins from the first mint in the New World at Mexico City from roughly 1536 to 1572, but my interests are wide ranging so I’ll cover much more than those coins. I have been working for my brother, Dan, at Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC for about six years.  Before that, I have had as many lives as a cat (of which, by the way, I do have one).  I’ve been a high school teacher, a real estate agent, a photographer, and a travel agent. In my spare time I am obsessed with genealogy, DNA research and playing sports, mainly running and cycling. Now that I’m closer to 60 than 50, most people don’t know that I used to be a pretty good runner in my 20s. I took up cycling in my 40s due to an injury that sidelined me from running and once set the state time trial record in my age group at the Florida State Games (50-54 age group). I also won the duathlon national championship in my age group one year.

Enough about me! I’d love to hear from YOU. Is there anything you’d like me to cover or do you have anything to contribute? Please feel free to subscribe.

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As for the first coin shows of 2015, if overflowing parking lots and garages at the Orange County (Florida) Convention Center for the FUN (Florida United Numismatists) show in January 8-11, 2015 are any indication of a healthy economy, we’re in for a banner year.  Although the concurrent Surf Expo was the source of much of the parking snafu, there was still a steady stream of visitors to our table by old friends and new acquaintances who bought, sold or consigned coins and artifacts. As a result we already have some interesting auction items lined up and I’ll tell you about some of them in future posts.

Augi Garcia Barneche helping a customer at FUN 2015

Augi Garcia-Barneche at FUN 2015

The FUN show is one of the largest coin shows in the US for good reason: there’s something for everyone. Your children can pan for gold in a working sluice box, the treasurer of the United States is on hand to sign bills purchased from the BEP (Bureau of Engraving and Printing) booth, and this year the State of Florida presented an interesting display of coins and artifacts from their holdings specifically related to the 1715 Fleet discoveries off the coast of Florida. Don’t forget that this year is the 300th anniversary of that Fleet and we will feature coins and artifacts from the wreck in our Treasure Auction #17 in April 2015. There’s even a 1715 Fleet Society to help raise awareness of and promote ongoing research about the Fleet.

The NYINC (New York International Numismatic Convention) is the largest US coin show featuring ancient and world coins exclusively, and we always have a table there. Unfortunately it is also concurrent with the FUN show. While it is a much more subdued atmosphere, it’s a good place for our northern clientele to visit us. The temperature differential this year between NY and FL was about 80 degrees.

Stardust Room at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC

Stardust Room at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC

The show is always held in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, a grand old lady who makes you want to stand up a little straighter and put on your best manners when you walk in the door. Where else can you spend a night in the Marilyn Monroe suite? While we’re crammed in like sardines in a tin, we love the atmosphere and excitement of New York!

Back in Florida now, we’re looking forward to a few more shows before January ends. You can find us at the Vero Beach, Florida Treasure Coast Coin and Currency Show on January 24-25 and at the Long Beach (California) Expo on January 29-31. We hope to see you at one of these shows!

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