The Business of Numismatics: February 2024 Greysheet Editor's Letter

by Patrick Ian Perez | Published on January 26, 2024

As I have done in the past for the February issue, I write this column fresh off attending the annual FUN convention in Florida. It is a highly anticipated show for many, and prior to this year’s show I was very curious as to how it would play out among some of the market uncertainty that exists. 

It was also exciting as this was our first show under our new Whitman Brands umbrella, with separate booths for the CDN Publishing and Whitman Publishing brands. Dealer set up day was bustling as usual, with some longer than usual—it seemed—waits for registration. On the opening day, Thursday, there was a long queue for the public to enter in the morning and once the show was officially open there was a steady flow of traffic for much of the day. 

Our Greysheet booth was quite crowded at numerous times throughout the day and it was a pleasure speaking to the many collectors who stopped by. Also, our newest t-shirt was a hit so well done by our design team once again.

While there was a solid buzz on the bourse floor, the key question was: were people buying? The answers I received to this question were mixed. The buying and selling of bullion was obviously popular with the gold spot price sitting solidly above $2,000 throughout the duration of the show. On the vintage side, material was moving but at a slower pace. Some of the bigger wholesale buyers were more cautious, happier to sell rather than buy.

Heritage holds their annual FUN sale in the week and a half following the show featuring the usual big coins and rarities that we are used to, including a PCGS/CAC 1893-S dollar. One special auction session was held during the show—like the old days—and that was the Collection of Walter J. Husak and the Liberty Cap Foundation. Husak’s first collection of Large Cents was sold by Heritage back in February 2008 and is included in some of the legendary named collections of early copper in U.S. numismatic history. 

Upon selling the first set, Husak began collecting Large Cents again with a slightly different focus and also established the non-profit Liberty Cap Foundation, with an aim of acquiring early U.S. numismatic items and using them for display and education. The Foundation’s web site states it is “dedicated to fostering curiosity, community, and preserving cultural heritage through traditional and emerging technologies.” The auction consisted of 218 lots of cents from 1793 through 1814, with many condition census and heavily pedigreed examples. 

The final results were a reflection of the current market, with numerous coins selling under wholesale bid and/or their previous public sales price. Relative to bid, the later Draped Bust dates performed better overall relative to the earlier dates from the 1793 Flowing Hair to 1796 Liberty Cap. In no particular order, some positive results included:

  • 1794 Head of 1793 Sheldon-18a PCGS/CAC VG8 at $31,200
  • 1794 Head of 1794 Sheldon-32 PCGS MS63BN at $38,400
  • 1794 Head of 1794 Sheldon-44 PCGS MS63BN at $43,200
  • 1798 2nd Hair Style Sheldon-172 PCGS AU55 at $11,400

On the other side of the coin, some bargains were to be had. A PCGS/CAC MS63BN 1793 Wreath Cent Sheldon-8 brought $84,000, low for the quality level of that coin. The finest 1794 Head of 1793 Sheldon-18b, PCGS/CAC MS64BN sold for $432,000, a coin that brought $540,500 in the Pogue Part V sale in 2017. A last example, a 1794 Head of 1795 Sheldon-69, PCGS/CAC MS65BN sold for $87,000, well below a prior sales record. Overall the session raised $6.85 million for the foundation.

As I stated in more than one conversation at the FUN show, I believe the market will be choppy in 2024. There will be moments of exuberance if a significant collection shows up, but levels overall will be lower than the past three years. Paying close attention to pricing data will be critical.

Visit these great CDN Sponsors

CDN Sponsors

Author: Patrick Ian Perez

Patrick Ian Perez image Patrick Ian Perez began as a full time numismatist in June of 2008. For six years he owned and operated a retail brick and mortar coin shop in southern California. He joined the Coin Dealer Newsletter in August of 2014 and was promoted to Editor in June 2015. In addition to United States coins, his numismatic interests include world paper money, world coins with an emphasis on Mexico and Germany, and numismatic literature. Patrick has been also published in the Journal of the International Bank Note Society (IBNS).

Related Stories (powered by Greysheet News)

View all news