Reports from the recent Long Beach Expo were that wholesale trading between dealers was moderate to strong, with the opening day of Thursday the busiest. Traditionally the summer rendition of the Long Beach show is a bit slower than the other two, largely due to the fact that dealers traditionally slow down in the Summer weeks leading up to the August ANA show. Items in demand at the show included mint state generic gold, better date silver dollars, and as always high quality type. The Heritage auction drew considerable bidding activity, with the U.S. coin lots garnering over $13 million, anchored by the McClure collection we highlighted in last week’s Bluesheet. Also noteworthy was the companion sale of tokens and medals which brought in $858,000, showing the appeal of interesting and rare exonumia. These type of pieces have historically been difficult for collectors (and dealers) to research due to a dearth of widely available information, however widely-available (and free!) online repositories like as the Newman Numismatic Portal (www.newmanportal.org) now provide information that we’ve been craving and collector interest (and prices) will surely follow.

FRESHNESS DELIVERS FOR THE MCLURE COLLECTION
The McClure Collection again drove home the point of fresh material selling very strong and, in this case, the special fact that these coins had never been offered to the contemporary coin collecting community. It is amazing to think that coins in the McClure collection were assembled prior to the existence of the internet, third-party grading or even the television! One of the stars of the collection and Long Beach auction in general was the 1921-S Walking Liberty half, graded NGC MS66, which set a new record for the date selling for $188,000. Another highlight of the collection was a truly original gem 1895-O dollar, graded MS65+ by NGC with CAC endorsement which sold for $258,500. The overall top lot in the Heritage sale was a rare 1856-O double eagle, PCGS AU55 which took down $364,250, however this coin was not part of the McClure collection. The top lot in the aforementioned tokens and medals sale was the famous “Am I Not a Man & a Brother” Hard Times token which sold for an astounding $70,500.

SIGHT-UNSEEN MARKET HOLDING STEADY
This week’s price activity continues primarily with classic commems and Morgan dollars. Sight-unseen bidding is relatively active in these series. We also have updates in MS and proof type and $20 Saints.

WHY DO YOU NEED THE BLUESHEET, ANYWAY?
We have received some questions in recent weeks about the application of the Bluesheet so we felt it appropriate to address it here. The Bluesheet reports the sight unseen bid on a particular coin – where there is one – or the lowest price a particular coin sold for in recent public auction activity. The Bluesheet prices are intended to be used in conjunction with the Greysheet bid prices in order to establish a trading range for the coin you are buying or selling. If one is using the Bluesheet independent from the Greysheet, or viceversa, then not all information is being utilized. As editors, we feel that using the high end of the pricing spectrum (i.e. Greysheet) alone without the Bluesheet leaves you only partially informed as to the true values of coins you are researching. Using one without the other is an incomplete picture.