New Circumstances Call for New Approaches

The famous 19th century showman, P.T. Barnum is often credited with coining the phrase, “The show must go on”. Whether he actually did or not, is less important than the meaning. Current circumstances have taught us to become chameleons. It’s either that, or starve. For us at The Reeded Edge that has meant quickly instituting Plan B. Last year at this time, we would have been preparing for The Central States Numismatic Convention having recently returned from the Baltimore Whitman Coin Expo. Each of these shows presented enormous buying opportunities for our firm. In addition, we would also attend local shows, canvas coin shops and meet with a multitude of customers in our home office. With these avenues off of the table, the challenge of sourcing fresh material quickly became apparent. For those of you that read our weekly newsletters, you may have noticed our new push to buy coins from our customers. The success of this campaign has been overwhelming, so expect to see more of this approach. We have also tapped into some of our wholesale trading partners, encouraging two way business in a virtual format. Dealers from both electronic trading networks, Certified Coin Exchange and Coin Dealers Helping Coin Dealers have proved to be a valuable resource, as well. In a nutshell, we have moved our person-to-person business to a platform relying on e-communications and shipping lanes. Collectors remain active, keeping the demand for quality coins as high as ever. We want to stress that there are still opportunities in the marketplace, for both dealers and collectors alike. We also have faith that the coin market will persevere through these challenging times. These days call for a different approach, a fact we continue to address daily. We understand that you have expectations of seeing fresh coins on The Reeded Edge’s various selling platforms, and you have our personal assurance, we will not let you down!

COIN MARKET SEEKS OUT SEMBLANCE OF NORMALCY AMIDST TURMOIL

Even in the worst of circumstances, there are always things to be thankful for. Fortunately, we are in the rare coin business. Alternatively, we could be in the bar/restaurant or travel industry, and faced with an uncertain future. But, we are not; we are in a business that has remained viable, and we believe, will continue to do so into the foreseeable future. Coin Collectors are a loyal group and even with the present challenges, most have remained committed to their hobby. Factor in the newfound demand for precious metals and the physical shortage of supply in the marketplace, and we now have an investor demand, as well. Ironically Monday was our busiest shipping day of the year. This is the same day that Wall Street had a 2000 point swing, and the news centered around uncertainty. We believe that as the current public health challenges get more predictable in tandem with moving towards a treatment and cure, economic circumstances will also stabilize. The last two days has seen a shift in that direction. The real news is, throughout it all, coins have been selling. Since collectors have demonstrated a willingness to continue buying coins, and precious metals investors have upped the ante with their ravenous appetite to procure physical gold and silver, we don’t see any recession on the numismatic horizon. Contributing to this is the Cabin Fever created by social distancing, leading many collectors to refocus on their collections.

 

Those of us that call ourselves professional numismatists are a blessed group. We have been afforded the opportunity to turn our passion into a profession. In addition, we deal with a like-minded contingent that is equally as passionate as us. Thank you to all of our customers that have continued to stick by us through this difficult period. You have been there for us, and rest assured, we will continue to be there for you.

 

This week, there are a myriad of new coins scattered throughout the store. This has not been an easy task for us, especially with the absence of coin shows and the closure of many coin shops. Irrespective of these two challenges, we stay committed to providing you with our usual influx of fresh coins. This has required us to have coins shipped from private sources, folks just like yourselves. With that in mind, we want to stress that OUR NEED FOR FRESH, NON-AUCTION, CERTIFIED U.S. COINS, ESPECIALLY THOSE VALUED IN THE $500-$5000 RANGE CONTINUES. PLEASE CALL/EMAIL WITH ANYTHING YOU CAN OFFER!

 

These are unprecedented times for all of us. The coin business and those that feed into it have demonstrated an unbelievable sense of resilience and normalcy throughout. We are betting that this trend continues, and with time, even improves. As our political leaders are constantly reminding us, we will emerge from this crisis even stronger than we were. Based upon what the numismatic sector has evidenced, we would have to agree.

COIN MARKET BEGINS TO SHOW SIGNS OF STABILIZATION AFTER VOLATILE WEEK – WHAT’S AHEAD??

A good friend of our firm who we have always considered a proficient market forecaster, said three weeks ago that we were in for a roller coaster ride. This came a full two weeks ahead of the announcement of the upcoming coin show closures. He was paying close attention to the events in Asia and Europe and how the timeline was incrementally (and in retrospect, predictably) running its course. He predicted that we were several weeks out from feeling the full impact of the COVID-19 spread, and our coin business would not be exempt from the ensuing consequences. There was also a second part to his predictions, based upon his observations abroad. He said that we would go through an initial period of shock and awe, perhaps even more extreme than our neighbors across the ocean. His reasoning was that we were learning from their mistakes, hence our initial reaction to combating the virus would be more vigilant and extreme. Leaders across the country were very responsive to this evolving situation, heeding the warnings coming from agencies like The CDC and NIH; many did not initially win popularity contests for their actions, which at the time, seemed extreme. President Trump’s opponents quickly called his Asian travel ban racist, and accused him of being a Xenophile. But in retrospect, he and others’ swift actions not only were prudent, but probably saved American lives by slowing the spread of COVID-19 throughout our country. Measures such as curtailing public events, closing stores and restaurants, and social distancing put an enormous strain on our economy, shutting down businesses and putting many people out of work. The prospect of a prolonged event with no predictable end in sight sent the financial markets into a spiral. These far-reaching and fluid changes hit like a ton of bricks, seeming almost surreal and mind-numbing. The Average Joe could not process how quickly things were happening, and for a week, our country came to a virtual standstill. This was exactly the shock and awe that our friend had accurately predicted. Now, it appears that the anesthesia is beginning to wear off as we get a grip on reality. We are no longer numb. We understand the seriousness and enormity of the situation. Many of us have implemented contingency plans to help see us through this crisis. But most importantly, we are all beginning to get on with our lives again, albeit under very different circumstances. The healing has begun. We are not going to paint a rosy picture of current circumstances, any more than our friend did with his initial prognostication. But in the realm of things, stability is the absolute best thing that any of us could hope for, especially at this point in time. We are seeing that happen, and predict this element should continue to get better with time. We at The Reeded Edge pledge to continue our full range of services. If we become logistically limited in any way, we will keep you abreast of any developments. We are fortunate in that we don’t have a brick and mortar storefront operation, hence we can essentially do business from anywhere with a computer and an internet connection. These are challenging times, but the beat and our business WILL both go on. You have our word on it!

A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM ROB LEHMANN

We are living through some unprecedented, and very uncertain, times. Although the root cause of this is new to us all (COVID-19), the volatility resulting from it, is not. People and markets have a symbiotic relationship which makes perfect sense, since one comprises the other. When people hit the panic switch, markets react. It is people that drive markets, which is a concept that’s easy to forget. This holds especially true when the markets head south. For that fleeting moment in history, the markets seem like some entity that’s bigger than us all. They are not. In fact, they are us all; the markets are merely an assemblage of individuals deciding where the appropriate level is to buy and sell products, services, financial instruments and commodities. But, I digress. The over-correction that we are experiencing is probably a bi-product of fully valued markets that were ripe for a correction, combined with a damn good catalyst to trigger it. The last time we saw this happen, AIG and the collapse of the housing markets were the root cause. Before that, it was inflationary interest rates and the Iranian oil embargo. The Reeded Edge was here for them both (although The Reeded Edge was not yet our namesake in 1979). Ironically, these events all occurred at approximately 20 year intervals. So were we due? From a timeline perspective, the answer is “probably yes”. History aside, we are dealing with what could be the third major economic downturn during my life in the coin business. The cause is definitely different, but the collateral damage is only too familiar. Obviously any future impact of COVID-19 will be directly correlated to its infection rate, response efforts, and ultimately, its cure. Presently, these are all unknowns, as is the long term prognosis for the effects to the markets. Alluding back to my previous statement, markets are assemblages of people driving buy and sell prices. Without people, we have no markets. It’s a pretty simple concept. Protecting people, despite the temporary inconveniences and discomfort to do so, needs to remain our government’s priority. Throughout this adversity, calmness and normalcy must prevail. Although all of our lives at some level, have been disrupted, I will not allow circumstances to derail our routine at The Reeded Edge. I may have to modify certain aspects, especially with the cancellation of many of our upcoming coin shows. The basic premise of what we do is to buy and sell rare coins and collectibles. I assure you, that won’t change! In the immediate future, we will transact our business over the internet, phone, through the mail, and office appointments. Travel will obviously play a lesser role. Fortunately, I have been through this before, and we will weather the storm. My suggestion for our customers is to spend more time at home, and perhaps, focus on your collection until the air clears (both figuratively and literally). If you’re anything like me, your hobby is personal therapy. I can assure you, through firsthand experience, a hobby can provide a needed distraction to get you through some very difficult times. As the old saying goes, the beat will go on. If there is anything that I or any of us here at The Reeded Edge can do to make your current situation a little more comfortable, please let me know. You are our Job One, and we remain here to serve you. Most importantly, stay healthy and safe.  -Rob Lehmann, The Reeded Edge, Inc

COVID-19 (Corona Virus) Wreaks Havoc with Upcoming Coin Shows

We will be the first to admit that we didn’t see this coming. When the COVID-19 (Corona Virus) was declared a pandemic earlier this week, our world changed as we know it. We at The Reeded Edge place the welfare and health of our customers and employees ahead of any aspect of our business; without the former, we would not have the latter. As a result of this emerging health risk, public events across the country have been cancelled, including the upcoming Whitman Baltimore Coin Show. We will stay on the forefront of any other COVID-19 related numismatic cancellations, and we are expecting to see more of them. On the homefront, The Reeded Edge will remain open for regular business. Presently, there are no changes to either our personnel or office hours. We are here to service you! And yes, we are still AGGRESSIVELY BUYING all quality U.S. coins, currency and collectables. Keep the packages, emails, and phone calls coming. We are anticipating a busy spring coin season, despite the current challenges. Check back here often, as we will post show and scheduling updates as they become available. Most importantly, we hope everybody stays healthy and safe.

The Reeded Edge Heads to Baltimore for The Whitman Coin Expo

Baltimore Conv CenterTo say that the last month has been an interesting time, would be a gross understatement. The hysteria caused by the coronavirus has impacted everyone’s daily life in one way or another. Concerns have triggered sell-offs in the financial markets, depletions of grocery store shelves and interruptions in travel. To ignore the potential impact on upcoming coin shows would be naive. There is already some scuttlebutt that some regular dealers may not be represented at next week’s Whitman Baltimore Coin Expo. As the old saying goes, it is what it is. We at The Reeded Edge want to reassure all of our customers that our schedule for any and all upcoming shows will be unaffected.  We don’t for a second undermine the seriousness of coronavirus, but we also believe that we are presently seeing the worst of its collateral damage. With time, this situation will only get better. Just as with time, a vaccine and cure will be found for this menacing disease. From talking with many of our local customers, we believe that next week’s show will be as robust and well attended as ever. Many of the downtown hotels are sold out, which is not exactly a bad sign. The Reeded Edge will be at our usual front and center booth #440. Of course, both Rob and Robbie will be on hand to meet and greet folks throughout this venue. We will have a myriad of new certified coins on hand, so we urge everybody to stop by to peruse our ever-changing inventory. The Reeded Edge will also be aggressively buying, as our needs are as extensive and diverse as ever. The BUYING BUYING BUYING sign hanging prominently behind our booth should say it all. Accordingly, our open checkbook policy will be in effect throughout the show. Whether you have single rare coin or a fresh deal that you’re contemplating selling, we would love to be your go-to guys. Despite the coronavirus distraction, we are really encouraged by the current coin market. Collectors seem as enthusiastic as ever, and our phones keep ringing daily. We anticipate a really good show next week, and hope that Baltimore will also be in your plans.

The Reeded Edge Returns From a Successful Atlanta National Money Show

The feedback from dealers attending The National Money Show in Atlanta was somewhat uniform. The show was solid but not overwhelming. This is a show that we approach with tempered expectations, and using that benchmark, proved to be better than expected. Wholesale business was fairly strong, especially when considering that this show started a mere four days after the quintessential Long Beach Coin Expo concluded. Many of the same dealers attended both venues, so this activity was a pleasant surprise. Another potentially negative factor was the major correction in metals prices. Although it would be naive to think that falling gold and silver had no impact on the show, the collateral damage seemed minimal. What did lack at the show, was a serious retail contingent. A few high-level collectors could be spotted around the bourse floor (after all, this was an ANA sponsored show), but after talking to several, it became apparent that most had spent their money at last week’s Long Beach show and/or at the corresponding Heritage auction. Buying throughout the show was more robust than expected, and at the end of the day, it is this element that dictates our show’s success. PCGS, although not conducting on-site grading, was gracious enough to extend the previous week’s show grading specials. The difference was that submissions were taken back to their home office and graded in California at the beginning of the week, in lieu of on-premises in Atlanta. We took advantage of this PCGS special, and submitted several dozen of our Atlanta new purchases for grading. Most of these coins should be returned to us later this week, so, stay tuned for another potential round of new material. Several of our regular customers made a point of stopping by our booth and saying hello throughout the show. It is always good to see old faces, as well as meeting new ones for the first time. We did a little of both. Up next for us will be The Whitman Baltimore Coin Show. This is always one of our most important shows of the year, as we have a strong local contingent of customers that call the DC/Baltimore areas home. We always look forward to this show with great anticipation, and given the current state of the collector coin market, this one could be really good. Just as FUN serves as the break-out show for the new year, spring Baltimore can also define the coin market for the next couple of months moving forward. Rob and Robbie will be at their booth to meet and greet for the show’s duration, but more about this event next week. For the time being, we will be concentrating on getting our Atlanta new purchases listed for sale on the web store, Collector’s Corner and eBay. Several sizable new deals purchased through our office will also be making their store debut. In summation, there will be no shortage of coins at The Reeded Edge anytime soon!

The Reeded Edge Looks toward Atlanta, GA and The ANA National Money Show

cobb_galleriaIt has been a while for us since we have visited Atlanta, Georgia. For years, this was a regular stop on our coin show schedule. But with the dissolving of the Peach State Show and the relocation of the GNA show to Dalton, Atlanta has not been logistically possible for us to work into our already-busy schedule. You can imagine our excitement when we saw that the ANA scheduled their National Money Show at The Cobb Galleria in this prosperous north Atlanta suburb. We have very fond memories of this area, and for good reasons. The people have always been extremely friendly, epitomizing the definition of southern hospitality. Equally as important, Atlanta and surrounding areas are home to a broad nucleus of serious collectors, which usually equates to a recipe for success when it comes to a coin show. Both Rob and Robbie will be on-hand from February 27-29 at The Cobb Galleria representing The Reeded Edge at this important winter numismatic event. They will be located at booth #617 facing the front of the bourse hall. As usual, they will have their extensive array of certified U.S. coins, spanning copper to gold. The guys have been really active, both in the office and on the road, buying new properties for inventory. If you haven’t perused The Reeded Edge’s coins lately, you owe it to yourself to stop by our booth for a look-see. The Reeded Edge will also be aggressively buying throughout the show. Our open checkbook policy will be in full force. Whether you have a single higher-value coin for sale, or perhaps an entire collection, the guys will have both the motivation and resources on hand to make it happen. Please consider The Reeded Edge for ANYTHING of value that you have for sale-the guys hate saying no, and next week’s show will be no exception. For our dealer friends, we will also be attending the official show set-up, one day prior to opening to the general public. Atlanta is a vibrant southern city full of culture, sports, history, shopping and great eateries. We hope that it might be in your plans for next week. If so, please make a point of putting the Cobb Galleria on your schedule, as the guys would love to see you at the show.

The Reeded Edge Heads to St. Louis for The Greater American Coin Fair

Airport HiltonRemember the old days of coin shows, and walking into an undersized room with dealers packed together like sardines? Navigating the crowded aisles was reminiscent of a rush hour traffic jam. Do you remember the feeling that that noisy room evoked? At that moment, the thought probably struck you like a bolt of lightning. This is a vibrant hobby and I am part of it! Unfortunately, as the business and hobby have both evolved into the technology era, that experience really has become a thing of the past. But, every now and then, and if for only one fleeting moment, circumstances allow for a deja vu return of that old days feeling. The personal aspect of buying coins face-to-face is not a dead concept, and the successful small coin show has not yet gone the way of the dinosaur, facts we are both reminded of once a year when we attend The Greater American Coin Fair in St. Louis, MO.  Conveniently located at the Hilton, directly across the street from St. Louis airport, this location provides the easy-in, easy-out that makes travel a breeze for the national dealer contingent. Most importantly, Mike Orlando (the show promoter) understands a few simple but important concepts. An undersized location with a crowd beats an empty, larger hall. Equally important, once a show location is established, don’t mess with it. Ironically, there is a newer and larger facility less than 10 miles north of the aging airport Hilton that features a really large convention center with free parking and easy interstate access. A second, unrelated St. Louis coin show is held there, with nowhere near the same results. Why does this show work year-in and year-out? There is no logical answer to this, as the mid-western weather can be a bit unpredictable in February, the undersized parking lot charges $10 a car, and the hotel itself is small and underwhelming. The Reeded Edge has always banked on the fact that this show is a winner, despite factors which should prove otherwise. Consequently,  Rob and Robbie make their annual pilgrimage to St. Louis for 3 days of brisk coin trading. The Reeded Edge will be located at their usual in-line booth, directly in the center of the main bourse room. They will have hundreds of great certified collector coins in tow, including new show and office purchases. In addition, the guys will be actively buying with their open checkbook policy in full force. Whether you have one high-value coin or an entire collection to sell, The Reeded Edge would love to be your go-to dealer. Please make a point of showing  anything numismatically worthwhile to the guys for their on-the-spot offer. Please note, as in prior years, we will be subletting Oklahoma Coin Exchange’s table. Although our booth will be branded with The Reeded Edge logo and signage, the show guide will list our location as “O.C.E.” Hopefully, Friday or Saturday will bring you to the St. Louis area for this always-active numismatic venue (or during set-up Thursday afternoon, if you are a dealer). Rob and Robbie would both love to see you at the show.

Vienna Active, But Not Like the Old Days

The Vienna Coin and Stamp Show is a solid show with a decent following, but we remember the days when it was something much more than that. Vienna used to be one of the premier small shows in the country. It was marketed differently, with postcards sent out before each show to a vibrant customer mail list. It was attended differently with the isles packed with anxious collectors, to the degree that navigating the room was difficult if not downright impossible. The dealer contingent was represented by some of the most respected firms in the mid-Atlantic region. Suffice to say, all 3 of these components today fall short of the Vienna shows of the past. Perhaps, this is the evolution of the coin business and coin shows manifesting themselves in today’s marketplace. But with Vienna remaining one of the demographically top regions in the United States, we wonder if this show could be something more. After all, it was once. Despite present-day circumstances, Rob and Robbie returned from Vienna reporting a solid show. In the guys’ estimation, expectations are tempered to today’s climate, so Vienna seldom over or under performs. The Reeded Edge’s booth remained active for much of the show with buying and selling taking place throughout. Beyond that, there really is nothing to report-Vienna, in a nutshell, was as expected.

Next up for The Reeded Edge will be the always-active Annual Greater American Coin Fair at The St. Louis Airport Hilton. This show, taking place Feb 6-8, is an easy-in, easy-out affair, located literally right across the street from the St. Louis Airport. For this reason, it is very attractive for out of state dealers, and attracts a myriad of national rare coin firms. Actually, for its size and stature, this show may have the best dealer roster of any coin venue on the circuit. It is one of the true steady performers on the show circuit, and one that the guys put on their calendar religiously. If you have never attended this coin show, and circumstances find you in the St. Louis area, a stop at the Airport Hilton could be well worth your while.