Facebook Groups: The 24/7 Coin Show

I have a confession to make. I am a former Facebook hater. It seems that the few times I was on there a lot of what was being posted was negative comments, people complaining about their neighbors’ dog and all sorts of what I considered silly things and a lot of people wasting my and their time.

I have always known that Facebook is an essential part of business marketing. I didn’t know about the power of Facebook groups and how they could positively affect my business.

A couple of years ago I was introduced to a Facebook group with the initials CDHCD. I became a member and was quickly fascinated about how much business takes place in this group on a 24/7 basis. This group of coin dealers has over 1200 members from around the country. As you can imagine, the diversity of coins, currency, exonumia and all sorts of other things that are traded is amazing.

For the most part this group is self-policing. If someone steps out of line everyone knows it and that person is either suspended or black-balled from the group. The admin is very careful on who gets let into the group.

There are a couple of other internet trading organizations that dealers have used in the past, but the memberships are expensive and trading is somewhat cumbersome. Besides those trading platforms, there had not been many other alternatives for dealers to do business other than at coin shows.

The CDHCD group and other similar groups typically buy and sell tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise every day. When dealers have wider markets for their products and can get good prices, I am sure they tend to be more aggressive in their buying habits if their market is bigger and more diverse.

In addition to coins and other products that are traded regularly, this group is nearly invaluable for information on unusual things that we may not be familiar with and having a “now” insight on the real market for things.

So now I am no longer a Facebook hater. CDHCD has literally opened up a new numismatic world for me and Christopher’s Rare Coins. There are now many, many groups out there that trade in coins, jewelry and all sorts of things. I believe that the coin groups are a major factor in supporting a market that has been fairly stagnate and weak. And, it’s fun! What’s better than a 24/7 coin show?

Stay tuned next month for more “Did You Know?” stories. 

Chris Seuntjens
Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins

Coin Shows: Past & Present

This month I am writing about coin shows past and present. It used to be that the main way for coin collectors to obtain coins for their collections was finding them in circulation, attending coin club meetings, mail order from dealers advertising in coin publications and attending coin shows. 

Coin shows used to be extremely active with collectors who would come from long distances to find treasures for their collections. With the internet, many collectors choose to buy their coins through that method and coin shows have far fewer public attendees.

Interestingly, a huge amount of business being done at coin shows is dealer to dealer trading. A common question from the public is “how can dealers constantly trade amongst themselves and most of them still make money?”

One of the main reasons is the diversity of United States Coins. There are many denominations, designs, varieties, striking characteristics, grades, mintages, etc. Also, throughout the diverse history of U. S. coins, there have been many historical events that vastly altered the availability of certain coins beyond just how many were minted.

I have been a coin collector and/or dealer of coins since I was 6 years old. I have been a full-time dealer for 39 years. In all that time I never met a coin dealer that at some point in their life didn’t collect coins. Having said that, all coin dealers are collectors at heart. Being a coin dealer affords him or her to own coins of all types even if it is just for a short period of time.

With the vast amount of different types of U.S. coins, it is nearly impossible for any dealer to be an expert on many of them let alone all of them. This opens the door for endless “cherry picking” opportunities between dealers.

Through various channels, many dealers end up with inventory that they are not that familiar with or do not have customers for. Also, even though dealers are technically competitors, there is an amazing comradery amongst them. So, unless a dealer has other better sources to sell his or her coins, it is very common for dealers to give a fellow dealer a break on the prices of a coin or coins so the buyer has some room to make some money. In most cases this a reciprocal practice among a vast majority of dealers.

Coin shows are an amazing free market venue. After being in this business for nearly 40 years it is always exciting for me to go to a coin show not knowing what treasures I might find. That’s the collector in me. 

You can view a list of the coin shows we will be attending in 2019 here.

Stay tuned next month for more “Did You Know?” stories. 

Kind regards and come on Spring!

Chris Seuntjens
Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins

The Most Highly Traded Commodity of 2018

As 2018 appears in the rearview mirror, I thought it would be interesting to write about what palladium has done in recent history. For the first time the price of palladium surpassed the price of gold. It was the most highly traded commodity in 2018. That in itself is a huge statement.

In 1992, palladium’s low was $78 per troy ounce. It has doubled in price since 2016 and increased 450% from 2008 to present.

Palladium is a metal with many unique properties and is used primarily in catalytic converters. 80% of palladium usage comes from them. In recent years European car buyers have been switching from diesel cars to gas fueled cars creating a larger demand.

One of the larger factors for the increased use of palladium in cars is the China market. China auto sales have increased every year since the early 2000’s. In fact, China sold the largest number of cars in the world for the 9thconsecutive year.

Conversely to the increase of palladium usage for catalytic converters, electric cars are increasing in popularity very dramatically. In China, tax incentives to buy gasoline powered cars will be ending soon.

So who knows what the future holds for palladium as there are a number of factors that could swing the pendulum either way. 

Christopher’s Rare Coins is looking forward to another interesting year in the rare coin and precious metals business. We are also looking forward to seeing you soon in our store or at a coin show.

Stay tuned next month for more “Did You Know?” stories.

Kind regards,
Chris Seuntjens
Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins


The Story Behind the Abundance of Silver Dollars

If you have been around coins very long either at coin shows or in coin shops, you will have noticed that there is always a large quantity of silver dollars for sale and so many are in uncirculated condition. So how is it that so many of them were saved?

One of the main reasons is that from the beginning of our coinage, silver dollars have always had a great allure with the American public. One reason for their popularity is that they are a large coin. Another is that the dollar is the basis of our currency. Thus, from day one, many folks would keep some silver dollars instead of spending them. This being done by millions of Americans created a seemingly unending supply of them.

Another reason why there are so many silver dollars is that when they were minted the coins were put into cloth bags containing 1000 coins. The bags of silver dollars were then shipped to various Treasury vaults. More than 200 million silver dollars were eventually stored in these vaults.

The U.S. government was running low on its silver supply so under the Pittman Act of 1918 millions of silver dollars were ordered melted. It is not known just how many coins actually were melted, but the amount was significant and many were not melted.

In 1964 the government began to divest itself of a lot of the remaining bags of silver dollars. Individuals could purchase up to 50,000 silver dollars at a time for face value, thus putting vast quantities of uncirculated silver dollars onto the public market.

In general, silver dollars are very cheap right now. Thank goodness they are still one of the most collected coins in America or they would be even cheaper. 

Stay tuned next month for more “Did You Know?” stories. Happy Holidays!

Kind regards,
Chris Seuntjens
Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins

2018 INA Coin Show Recap

The 80th Annual Iowa Numismatic Associations’ Coin Show and Convention is past history. The Des Moines Coin Club hosted this years’ show and they did a wonderful job as usual. This year the show was in The Palace in Adventureland Park in Altoona, Iowa. The facility was very spacious and with convenient loading and unloading for the dealers.

As in many new venues, dealers and the public alike had a few difficulties getting to their destination even though there were lots of signs in place. We are planning on having the show there again next year so I am sure that anyone that was there this year will have an easier time.

Our line-up of exhibits and 4 free seminars was unprecedented. They were all very informative and very interesting.

Exhibits were comprised of “the smallest coins in the world”, “crazy things that people do to coins”, “love token jewelry”, among others.

Our speakers included:
Mitch Ernst, “Altered and counterfeit coins task force”
Clifford Mishler, “Our hobby community, yesterday, today and tomorrow”
David Stark, “Smart phone coin photography”
Dillon Kraft, “Using social media to promote numismatics and coin shows”

We had 4 tables of fabulous inventory at the show. Brian and I had a great time talking, buying and selling coins.

We hope you are having a great fall and we are looking forward to seeing you in the store soon.

Stay tuned next month for more “Did You Know?” stories.

Kind regards,
Chris Seuntjens
Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins

4 Free Seminars at the INA Coin Show

Free Lunch Included!

Join us for the 2018 Iowa Numismatic Association Coin Show on October 27 (9AM-5PM) and 28 (10AM-3PM) at the Adventureland Palace Theatre located at Exit 142 off of I-80 in Altoona. Free admission and parking, over 50 dealer tables, free kids coins and MUCH MORE including these great guest speakers!

Lunch With Mitch Ernst
NOON Saturday and at the INA breakfast Sunday
ICTA’s Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force
Mitch Ernst is the president of the Central States Numismatic Society and a board member of ICTA – Industry Council for Tangible Assets. He will be speaking on how the Task Force was responsible for busting a $100 million counterfeiting ring and what they are doing to protect our hobby.


1 P.M. Clifford Mishler
Our Hobby Community. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Clifford has spent a lifetime deeply engaged in coin collecting activities. Besides collecting, he is an author editor, publisher, corporate manager and consultant.
He also has extensive knowledge in the exonumia field.
Clifford’s knowledge of American collecting is unmatched.


2 P.M. David Stark
Smart Phone Photography
David is a lifelong numismatist who specializes in Large Cents, primarily the 1816 – 1839 series collecting them by die varieties. Dave has spent a lot of time photographing coins and he will definitely have some great tips for all who attend this seminar.



3 P.M. Dillon Kraft
Using Social Media for Promoting Numismatics
Dillon is another lifelong coin collector in our seminar lineup. His current focus is on love tokens and Capped Bust Halves and crafting jewelry from coins.Dillon is a member of the INA, ANA and the Love Token Society. His knowledge of all the tricks of social media marketing is immense. This will be a great seminar for people in the coin business, coin club members and coin show promoters.


Free $5 Concession Ticket For Each Seminar!

Present this flyer at each seminar and receive a free lunch ticket worth $5 at the concession stand. One person per flyer and ticket. Adults only. Must attend seminar to receive the $5 ticket.

Click here to RSVP and share the event on Facebook!


2018 Iowa Numismatic Association Coin Show

Dear Fellow Numismatists,

My two favorite seasons are here. Fall and coin show season. There are a lot of coin shows in the fall, winter and spring. Right now the show I would really like you to plan for is the Annual Iowa Numismatic Association Coin Show and Convention October 27 and 28. This is the 80th anniversary!  

This years’ show is at The Palace in Adventureland Park. This show has been at The Adventureland Inn in the past. This is a spacious facility and it will provide a perfect atmosphere for fun with numismatics. There will be a concession stand, a kids table with free coins for kids, some very interesting educational exhibits, a coin supply dealer and much more. 

For those of you that have never been to this or any other coin show, here is what to expect. There will be about 50 vendor tables there comprised of coins, paper money, tokens and medals and precious metals on display for trading from dealers from all over the Midwest. 

There will also be three free educational seminars on Saturday:
Clifford Mishler 1 P.M. “Our hobby community, yesterday, today and tomorrow”.
David Stark 2 P.M. “Smart phone coin photography”.
Dillon Kraft 3 P.M. “Utilizing social media for the promotion of numismatics”. This will be a great seminar for dealers and coin show promoters.

Admission and parking are FREE!

Saturday October 27th from 9 A.M. – 5 P.M.
Sunday October 28th from 10 A.M.  3 P.M.

Please stop by our booth and see all of the great inventory we will have including lots of new purchases.

See you there!

Click here to RSVP and share on Facebook

Stay tuned next month for more “Did You Know?” stories. 

Kind regards,
Chris Seuntjens
Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins

Did You Know?: The Story of the 1933 Double Eagle Coins

The week of August 14 I attended the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia. This is the largest coin show in the world and as usual there were amazing rarities on display.

One of the most interesting coins at the show were 3 examples of the 1933 St. Gaudens $20 gold coins. As I mentioned in the last newsletter, President Roosevelt signed an executive order in 1933 outlawing the possession of most U.S. gold coins. The recession brought about mass hoarding of gold coins and this action was thought to be hindering a recovery.

At the time the mint had produced over 445,000 1933 “Double Eagles”. The mint was ordered to destroy all of them but 2 specimens. An employee at the mint got word what was going on and walked out of the mint with a number of coins. They were fenced by local jeweler Israel Switt. In 1944 the government got word of this and confiscated 9 of them from him. These were subsequently destroyed. The tenth coin surfaced in 1996 from a private individual and was also confiscated. This coin was returned to the United States Mint and was sold at auction for $7,600,000. It is believed this coin came from the King Farouk of Egypt collection and was deemed legal to own when he acquired it.

Two years after the auction, the Switt estates’ heirs – the Langbord family, voluntarily surrendered the other ten 1933 Double Eagles to the U.S Government. They later sued the government for the return of the coins but lost the battle in 2011.

These pictures show me with three of the so called “remaining” coins. Are there more coins out there somewhere?

I hope what is left of the summer treats you well and that you tune in next month for another interesting column of “Did You Know….?

Stay tuned next month for more “Did You Know?” stories.

Kind regards,
Chris Seuntjens
Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins

Did You Know?: The Story of the Gold Standard

When the United States was on the gold standard, United States gold and silver coins were produced with their actual metal content being the same as their face value. In other words, a $20 gold coin had $20 worth of gold in it and a silver $ had $1 in silver content.

In the midst of the depression, the federal government and President Roosevelt came to the conclusion that people were hoarding gold coins and deducted that this was causing a stall in economic growth and was contributing to the depression.

So, on April 5, 1933 Roosevelt signed an executive order forbidding the hoarding of gold coins, gold bullion and gold certificates (currency backed by gold) in the continental United States.

The order required all citizens to turn in all of their gold except for a stated small amount to the Federal Reserve in exchange for $20.67 per troy ounce, which was the set gold standard price.

Of course, in this situation some people followed the law and many did not and it in turn created an atmosphere of people wanting to hoard it even more. At the onset of this executive order many wealthy people took as many of their $20 gold coins as they could and shipped them to Swiss banks. Many Swiss banks also bought up as many $20 gold coins as they could as this was the highest denomination available.

The executive order was repealed by President Gerald Ford on December 31, 1974. Since the price of gold and silver was no longer controlled by the government, the precious metals prices began to climb over the years. The Swiss banks began to sell off their gold coin holdings in small quantities over time to certain coin and precious metals dealers that had an “in” with the banks.

I know of several dealers in the 1980’s that would make frequent trips to Switzerland and purchase $20 gold pieces and bring them back to the states to re-sell them.

Consequently, despite an executive order to nearly eliminate the gold coins on the market, today there seems to be a readily available supply except for extremely high grade and scarce coins.

I hope you are having a great summer and wish to see you soon.

Stay tuned next month for more “Did You Know?” stories.

Kind regards,
Chris Seuntjens
Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins

Did You Know?: The Story of the First U.S. Coin

Hello friends. For the last several months I have been writing a column called Tips and Perspectives. I am now starting a new column called “Did You Know?” in which I will talk about all sorts of interesting and unusual stories and facts about numismatic items.

So, I thought it appropriate in this first column to talk about the first U.S. coin struck in the United States.

In 1792 president George Washington addressed the House of Representatives and informed them that he had established the first U.S. Mint and that a coin called a ½ disme (pronounced ½ dime), was being produced. Since the mint wasn’t yet fully functional, Washington commissioned local craftsman John Harper to produce this coin.

George Washington donated some of his own silverware to be melted down to produce some of the coins. In return, Washington was given a few of the ½ dismes’.

Although an exact mintage of these coins is not known, it is believed that between 2500 and 3500 were minted of which about 10% exist today.

The history of this coin coupled with its’ scarcity call for very high selling prices. Some of the highest graded pieces sell at auction for well in excess of $1,000,000.

Stay tuned next week for more “Did You Know?” stories.

Kind regards,
Chris Seuntjens
Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins