This Week In Coin News
Season's Greetings
How You Can Use Warren Buffett's Personal Secrets of Success In Today's Exciting Rare Coin Market
Unreserved Lots in ALL Coin Internet Auctions
Attention Collectors: An Essential Resource Just Got Better!
Employment Opportunities: Numismatist, Ancient Coin Expert, Coin Cataloger
Around Heritage Auctions
Coin Club Outreach Program
Instant Quiz: Test your numismatic knowledge
Is It Time To Sell? 2009 February Long Beach, CA Signature US Coin Auction
Letter of the week
Current Auctions: 2009 January Orlando, FL FUN Auction, 2009 January New York, NY Signature World Coin Auction, Sunday Internet Coin Auction, Tuesday Internet Coin Auction, Other Signature Auctions, Other Internet Auctions

Collector News

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How You Can Use Warren Buffett's Personal Secrets of Success In Today's Exciting Rare Coin Market
By Scott Tilson

Scott Tilson

When it comes to figuring out how to be successful at any pursuit, I firmly believe there's absolutely no reason to re-invent the wheel. Many wise men have discovered it's far easier to learn the hard fought lessons from the legendary visionaries that have already graduated from "The School of Hard Knocks".

So over the past two decades I decided to learn everything I possibly could from the most successful and ethical investor in the world, Mr. Warren Buffett. I realized I was no financial genius, but I was highly confident that most of Mr. Buffett's rules for success in the stock market could be readily applied to my area of interest ...the buying and selling of rare collectibles.

So I read every book and magazine article I could possibly find on Warren Buffett. I read every one of Mr. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway annual reports and I've faithfully attended each of his annual meetings in Omaha, Nebraska for the past 11 years.

In 1998 and 1990, my friend Jim Halperin (The chairman of Heritage Auctions) and I even went as far as paying $20,000 to have lunch with Mr. Buffett, so we could personally have him answer all of our questions about his rules for success. Of course, people thought we were crazy at the time (you paid $20,000 for lunch???) but this was unquestionably the smartest money either of us has ever spent.

And now that lunch with Mr. Buffett goes for over $2,000,000 (no, that is not a typo) — an appreciation of over 100 times our cost — we can also argue that this was the best investment we've ever made!

Advice that's worth its weight in gold...

Here's what Mr. Buffett has repeatedly said publicly, and to me personally, about what it takes to succeed in any market and how I've applied it to today's rare coin market:

  1. Specialize. Define your circle of competence and collect inside it.
    Don't try to be a jack-of-all-trades. Specialize on one or two specific areas and find out everything you can about them. Buy the book before you buy the coin.

    Decades of experience and thousands of collectors have proven this to be an incontrovertible law for success. In fact, I have yet to hear or read about even a single collector who has successfully neglected this rule.

    The bottom line is that the more educated you are, the more successful you will be — no exceptions!

  2. Buy the very best quality coins you can . It's better to buy a great coin at a fair price than a fair coin at a great price.
    It's critical to understand that sophisticated collectors always want the very best and remain ready, willing and able to act quickly when opportunity presents itself. These collectors understand that the opportunity to acquire a rarity is often rarer than the collectible itself! For these savvy folks, price is secondary, quality comes first.

    Successful collectors understand that museum quality will always be highly sought after and become increasingly desirable while run-of-the- mill quality will never rise above boring and un-exciting.

    Successful collectors understand that years from now it will be an insignificant fact that they "stretched" an extra 20 - 30% to add something special to their collection. Successful collectors aspire to locate rarities today that will be impossible to locate at virtually any price tomorrow. In fact, if you're not prepared to "stretch" for the very best, you won't be the person who ends up with a world class collection. The spoils will simply go to someone else.

    David Queller, one of the most successful coin collectors of this era recently stated in an online interview that "the best, most expensive coins always wind up being the cheapest in the long run." To see this interview, click here.

  3. Buy for the long term...with the idea of holding forever.
    The best rare coins are just that...really rare and extremely difficult to find. It also takes a tremendous amount of time and energy to track down the really top tier material.

    You must realize that what you sell today could very well be impossible to replace at any price tomorrow. When you buy the best it just keeps getting better. So think long term, every successful collector I have ever heard about has religiously embraced this strategy.

  4. Patience is critical. Wait for the perfect pitch, right down the middle of the plate.
    This one's going to be tough for you to follow because it involves fighting human nature. I urge you to resist the temptation to rush out and acquire items that are inferior in quality and desirability. It's easy to place funds in second tier material because these items are always readily available. Simply don't do it, you'd be shooting yourself in the foot.

  5. When the opportunity presents itself, act quickly and seize the day.
    It's not enough to simply indentify an opportunity. It's more important ... far more important ... to decisively act on rare opportunities and exploit them to their fullest potential. Every long time collector can quickly rattle off the "coins that got away" ...coins that they were offered and passed on... usually because of price. After you have done your homework have confidence in your judgment and do everything in your power to seal the deal.

  6. Work only with Dealers you like and trust.
    Coin collecting is a wonderful hobby and pursuit that should bring you pleasure and respite from the world's everyday pressures and hassles. Make sure that the dealer you choose to work with is adding enjoyment to your life, not a barrage of annoying phone calls and hype.

    I believe that the dealer(s) you choose to do business with will be the single most important decision you make. Find someone you trust that has an excellent reputation.

    I like dealers that are interested in educating me ...not just selling me stuff. Make sure your dealer offers full transparency and offers you the latest tools and technology available in the marketplace.

    Don't be afraid to ask for references ..and then be fastidious in following them up. Find a dealer that stands behind the coins they sell before, during and after the sale.

    In return, show loyalty to your dealer and do your part to build a strong relationship. Savvy collectors know that the most loyal customers are the ones that get called first when the most coveted material surfaces. Do everything you can to be that person.

Scott Tilson is a long time client of Heritage Auctions and has been involved in the rare coin market for the past 30 years. His main collecting interest and focus is early U.S. Type. For the past several years Mr. Tilson has been busy establishing the Psychedelic Art Exchange which allows collectors to participate in a new ground floor collectibles opportunity...1960's Psychedelic Rock Concert Posters. Mr Tilson welcomes your comments on this article and can be reached c/o

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Unreserved Lots in ALL Coin Internet Auctions

1942-D/D 5C
If you've never participated in one of our Internet Auctions before, now is a perfect time to start! Our July-August special has been so successful that we have decided to make it permanent. All coins under $100 will be sold completely unreserved!

We know that coin collectors come in all shapes, sizes, interests, and budgets. Many of our finest clients started out buying inexpensive coins from us and eventually progressed to putting together outstanding collections, including some of those we feature in our Signature Auctions and Platinum Nights.

Watch for more exciting announcements about our Internet Auctions, coming very soon!

You can view and bid on all Heritage coin auctions at

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Attention Collectors: An Essential Resource Just Got Better!

We have exciting news for you! Three volumes of the Standard Catalog of World Coins are now available in digital format-providing portable pricing at your fingertips!

This exciting DVD collection contains full content from three books in the respected series: the Standard Catalog of World Coins 2001-Date, Standard Catalog of World Coins 1901-2000 and Standard Catalog of World Coins 1801-1900. You can easily bring them to shows or conventions-or anywhere else your hobby might take you!

The DVDs grant you instant access to 3,760 pages of expertise from our top market analysts-all in an enhanced, fully searchable PDF format that makes finding coin facts faster than ever.

Order today, and enjoy these exclusive features:

  • Up-to-date pricing of world coins from 1801 to present
  • 82,000+ images you can clearly enlarge to 300% for easy identification
  • Fast access to any country's coins through simple alphabetical searches
  • Printable pages that let you leave your big books at home
  • And more!

With the Standard Catalog of World Coins 3-Volume DVD Set, 50 years of coin collecting wisdom is just a click away! But supplies are limited-so reserve yours now!

The 3-disc DVD set is only $84.95 for Heritage members (15% off the regular price), s&h included!

Click Here to place your order!

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Employment Opportunities

Help Wanted: Numismatist

Heritage Rare Coin Galleries, Dallas, Texas is seeking a talented general numismatist for our rare coin department in Dallas, TX. Duties include assisting dealers and collectors and auction consignors in person and by telephone, evaluating prospective purchases in the office and at shows and conventions. Salary commensurate with numismatic and sales skills. Previous coin shop experience a plus. E-mail resume and salary history to

Help Wanted: Ancient Coin Expert

Heritage is looking for a numismatist with expertise in ancient coins to join our staff. Duties will include evaluating potential consignments, cataloging, assisting consignors in person and by telephone, both in Dallas and elsewhere. Salary will be commensurate with skills and experience. This is a full time position based in Dallas.

Please contact Paul Minshull at for more information.

Help Wanted: Coin Cataloger

With the FUN, Long Beach, and Baltimore Signature Auctions coming up over the next few months, we are looking for at least two people to help us describe the lots in these sales. You must know U.S. coins and be able to express your knowledge in written form. These are contract positions based in Dallas. If you are interested, please contact

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View All Employment Opportunities

Around Heritage Auctions

Heritage Presents 5200 Lot Currency Auction at Florida United Numismatists Show, Orlando Florida

Heritage is the official auctioneer of the Florida United Numismatists Show, and will conduct a 5200+ Lot Currency Signature Auction on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday January 8-10, 2009 at the Orange County Convention Center, 9400 Universal Blvd., Orlando Florida. The Convention Center is also the site of the Florida United Numismatists Show, as well as the location for lot viewing for the CAA auction as well as other Heritage auctions. Nearly 1400 of the lots will be included as part of the Non-Floor Session.

BC-28 $1000 1937

On Thursday evening, Heritage will begin with 750 lots consisting of Colonial Notes, Fractional Currency, Obsoletes, Canadian, Confederate and others. Some of the highlights include, a selection scarce Colonials that have never been offered before. The best pieces have been graded by PMG and it includes a Maryland May 10, 1781 2s6d, an issue that Heritage-CAA has never previously handled, and a Vermont February 1781 1s. The Obsoletes section is highlighted by large offerings from Virginia and Wisconsin. A small, but quality offering of California and Nevada pieces includes a Sacramento - California and Salt Lake Mail Line $10, a San Francisco - Amador Canal & Mining Co. $1, and a handful of notes from the California Panic of 1907. The Tarheel Collection of Postal Notes is the largest collection of its kind to ever be offered and will also be included in Wednesday night's session. In addition to Serial Number One notes, the collection includes notes from Tucson, Arizona; Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts; and Twin Bridges Montana. The Canadian selection is larger than usual and includes a BC-11 $25 1935 PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ, and a BC-28 $1000 1937 PMG Choice Uncirculated 64 EPQ.

Fr. 2308* $10 1934 North Africa Silver Certificate

At noon on Friday, the Heritage-CAA auction will continue with Errors and Small Size. Two major National Bank Note errors will be offered, a recently discovered Ashland, VA - $10 Ty. 2 First NB Ch. #11978 with mismatched charter numbers and a Malta, OH - $10 1902 Plain Back Malta NB Ch. # 2052 with an inverted 5 in the charter number. Small Size will include another great selection of fancy and low serial numbers, high denominations, and some classic rarities. The Robert Moon Collection of Low Numbered FRBN's features some of the best pieces offered in recent years including, a Serial Number 3 $10 FRBN from Dallas, and Serial Number 1 Atlanta $20 FRBN. Four $10,000 Federal Reserve Notes, all Crisp Uncirculated or better will also be offered. Finally, in the World War II Emergency notes, a classic rarity will be offered, Fr. 2308* $10 1934 North Africa Silver Certificate, PMG Very Fine 25.

Ketchikan, Alaska $10 1929

Friday evening's session is 700+ Nationals from all 50 states, including a Ketchikan, Alaska $10 1929 Ty. 1 The First NB Ch. # 12578. In California, a pair of very attractive National Gold Banks Notes will be offered including, Sacramento, CA - $5 The NGB of D.O. Mills & Co. Ch. # 2014 PMG Very Fine 25 Net and a San Francisco, CA - $5 The First National Gold Bank Ch. # 1741 PCGS Very Fine 35.

Albuquerque, New Mexico Territory $100 Brown Back

Other highlights from the Naitonals Session include, a Tarpon Springs, FL $5 1902 Plain Back The FNB Ch. # 12274 Serial Number One, a Villisca, IA $50 1875 Fr. 447 The FNB Ch. # 2766, a Bar Harbor, ME $10 1902 Red Seal Fr. 615 The FNB Ch. # 3941 Serial Number One, an Albuquerque, New Mexico Territory $100 Brown Back Fr. 530 The FNB Ch. # 2614, a Winston, NC $10 1875 Fr. 416 The FNB Ch. # 2319, a discovery note from Lehapah, OK $10 1902 Date Back Fr. 619 The Lenapah NB Ch. # 9951, and a Douglas, WY $10 Red Seal Fr. 615 The FNB Ch. # 3556. For collectors of ultra-high-grade rarities, the ultimate National Bank Note sheet will also be offered. The $5 Tyler, TX 1902 Plain Back Sheet from the Peoples NB was graded PCGS Superb Gem New 69PPQ.

Fr. 1180 $20 1905 Gold Certificate

On Friday evening at 6PM EST, bidding will open with another fantastic selection of notes from the Kingdom and Republic of Hawaii including a $100 Republic of Hawaii Gold Certificate Pick 10b PMG Extremely Fine 40 EPQ. The remainder of the evening will be Federal Proofs and Large Size rarities of all kinds. A pair of classic $10 Legal rarities will be offered, a Fr. 97 $10 Legal Tender PMG Very Fine 30, and a recently discovered Fr. 123 $10 1923 Legal Tender Star Note PMG Fine 12. Perhaps the most anticipated notes of the night is the newly discovered and unique Fr. 817b $10 1915 Federal Reserve Bank Note PMG Choice About Unc 58 EPQ. Some other highlights include, a Fr. 168 $100 1869 "Rainbow" Legal Tender PMG Choice Fine 15 Net, the finest graded Fr. 268 $5 1896 Silver Certificate PCGS Superb Gem New 68PPQ, and two Gem plus Technicolor $20s, Fr. 1180 $20 1905 Gold Certificate PCGS Superb Gem New 67PPQ, and Fr. 1180 $20 1905 Gold Certificate PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ.

Click Here to receive more information about currency auctions.

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Coin Club Outreach Program

In a move to help strengthen the coin hobby and increase membership in America's coin clubs, Heritage has created the Coin Club Outreach program.

The Coin Club Outreach program features a speaker's bureau to deliver presentations at coin club meetings, promotional items to be offered to clubs to help generate revenue and enlist new members, and targeted e-mails to local subscribers on the Heritage website of over 400,000 active coin and currency enthusiasts who may be within driving distance of the club. Anyone interested in scheduling a speaker for a coin club or other collector group is invited to contact:

David Lisot, Director
Heritage Coin Club Outreach
1-800-872-6467 ext. 1303

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Heritage Interactive
Instant Quiz

NEW: Instant quizzes and polls twice a week at!

Answer these quick questions and see how you stack up against your peers.

1. Which 20th century US Proof Set can include two different five cent pieces in different alloys
A) 1913
B) 1938
C) 1942
D) 1964
E) 1976

2. Which US coin denomination has never depicted a building?
A) Cent
B) Nickel
C) Dime
D) Quarter
E) Half Dollar

Last week's questions:

1. Which date Washington Quarter has both Heavy Motto and Light Motto varieties?
Correct Answer: B) 1934 (29%).

2. Who appears on the obverse of the Maryland Half Dollar commemorative?
Correct Answer: A) Cecil Calvert, Lord Baltimore (18%).

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Is It Time To Sell?

The Top Ten Reasons Why Heritage Is the Price Leader

  1. Prices Realized Leadership, verifiable in our free Permanent Auction Archives
  2. Transparency of our Auction Process means more trust and higher bids
  3. Permanent Auction Archives are a permanent memorial to each collection
  4. 400,000+ registered Internet bidder-members ensure exceptional demand
  5. Full-color images of nearly every lot at support higher bids
  6. Heritage's reputation and financial stability
  7. Pre-auction marketing, including web activities
  8. Auctions in conjunction with major shows, especially as Official Auctioneer
  9. Ability to sell every numismatic item in an appropriate venue
  10. Expert advice regarding certification and grading

Our next auction opportunity is coming up soon in Long Beach! Call one of our Consignment Directors for more details at 800-872-6467, x1000, today!

2009 February Long Beach, CA Signature US Coin Auction
February 4 to February 8, 2009
Consignment Deadline: December 26, 2008

Leo Frese
Executive Vice President
1-800-US-COINS ext. 1222

Interested in Selling?
What's My Coin Worth?
Get the Most Money for Your Collection
Consign to a Heritage Auction

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Letter of the week

I just wanted to tell you that I so much enjoy and appreciate your site and professional dealings with me. I know I am a small and infrequent bidder, but your professional dealings with me are beyond words. My last purchase was mailed so promptly, I felt it arrived before my payment was accepted.

E.W., Nevada

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Current Auctions
Coin Auctions

Rare Coins

2009 January Orlando, FL FUN Auction #1121
January 7-11, 2009
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Rare Coins Sunday Internet Coin Auction
Ends: December 21, 2008
Auction #68123

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Rare Coins Tuesday Internet Coin Auction
Ends: December 23, 2008
Auction #28124

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Currency Auctions

Tuesday Internet Currency Auction
Ends: December 23, 2008
Auction #38124

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Other Internet Auctions

Sunday Internet Comics Auction
Ends: December 21, 2008
Auction #18123

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Sunday Internet Sports Auction
Ends: December 21, 2008
Auction #48123

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Sunday Internet Movie Poster Auction
Ends: December 21, 2008
Auction #58123

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e-mail or Call Today:
Sam Foose
1-800-872-6467 x1227

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