Dealers

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These are the dealers I like.

1. Frank Robinson – last dealt Feb 2014 – has periodic mail bid auctions for ancient (mostly Western) coins and also world coin fixed price lists a few times per year. Most of my ancient coins are from his auctions. I have also bought a lot of Chinese coins from Frank. He is a great guy to deal with and his prices are very good. When his world lists come out, you have to order very quickly, because all the good stuff goes in the first couple of days. However, caveat emptor – Frank doesn’t have much respect for graded coins and usually sells coins raw, and occasionally you get things that look good to the naked eye but don’t hold up under scrutiny. I have sent in a few high grade silver coins for grading and got them back with details grades and “surface hairlines” (usually the result of cleaning). Also, Frank usually indicates in his list when he has multiples available, but sometimes he has multiples available even when he doesn’t mention it, so you might think you are jumping on a good deal when he actually has 20 of the same coin to sell. I wouldn’t consider this dishonest and probably a lot of dealers do it because dealers sometimes acquire hoards of things, but if you collect obscure things, this can be a bit painful because selling 20 or 30 of a thing may depress the market. Frank also usually expresses uncertainty about authenticity for ancient Chinese coins when he is not sure, but I have occasionally gotten doubtful coins from him that he represented as authentic. It is impossible to tell whether Frank had a doubt and didn’t mention it or if he was overconfident in the coins’ authenticity, but I still trust him.

2. Bob Reis – last dealt May 2013 – He has a monthly fixed price list. I haven’t dealt with him as much as Frank. He sells a wider variety of stuff, and he often has very cool interesting items. Everything I’ve gotten from Bob has been good. I don’t think his prices are as good as Frank Robinson’s, but you can probably be more confident in what he sells.

3. Scott Semans – last dealt 2008? – I’ve only bought a few things from Scott Semans, but what I’ve heard about him is that he’s the foremost dealer of Chinese coins in the US.

4. Teutoburger Muenzauktion – last dealt Feb 2013 – I was introduced to this auction house by Frank Robinson when he sold some of his Chinese collection through them. They have pretty big and interesting auctions of Chinese and SE Asian coins once or twice a year. I bid in the auction of Frank’s collection and won a few coins. I found them pretty good to deal with.

5. Harford Coin in Baltimore, MD – last dealt circa 2005? – The best shop I went to in Baltimore. Back in the day, the place was a huge mess and you could explore for hours in there. Pull out any random item and the owner would immediately know what it was worth and quote a price. He had a big bucket of silver that he’d sell by weight. That was my go-to. I didn’t like his son as much. They’d be a bit rude and condescending to non-collectors who would come in to sell their stuff, but I’d forgive them for that, because I am sure I’d also get sick of people coming in expecting to get close to book value for their common date low grade US coins all the time.

 

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