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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 39, September 24, 2006, Article 29

HERITAGE TOKEN AND MEDAL SALE REPORT

Alan V. Weinberg writes: "I personally attended the Heritage
exonumia auction held last Saturday Sept 16 at the Long Beach coin
show. In 2 sessions with a 10 minute break in between, it ran from
1:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Exhausting.

The auction catalogue was dedicated exclusively to tokens and medals
and was the most sophisticated and attractive exonumia auction
catalogue ever issued in my 50 year hobby memory. A first time
project by Heritage's newly formed exonumia department headed up
by Harv Gamer who hails from Los Angeles and Canada and now resides
in Dallas with his hotel magnate wife.

The in -person auction attendance was sparse , numbering perhaps
1 1/2 dozen people at its peak due to its start as the Long Beach
coin show was packing up . But the mail and internet and phone
bidders more than made up for this. Competition was vigorous with
three phone lines being occupied on the gold University of Va 1860
medal, and simply outrageous prices.

So-called dollars went through the roof with pieces that a few years
ago were essentially junk box items, now being slabbed and selling
for well over $100. A mediocre slab MS-63 Erie Canal HK-1000 so-called
dollar hammered for $8,500 and this was without the rarer wood round
box of issue. This medal, as is, was a $1,500 medal three yrs ago.

Western trade tokens went sky-high. A Tucson A.T. token , actually
1 of 5-6 known, hammered for $3,250. Two Texas tokens hammered for
$1,300 and $1,100. Civil War tokens, despite the physical presence
of major buyers Ernie Latter and Steve Tanenbaum, almost all went
to absentee bidders based on their high (and highly inaccurate)
slab grades.

It was plainly evident that slab grades, which were grossly unreal
(i.e VF's being slabbed as MS), and the Internet played a very active
part in the sale's success and high prices. Every single auction lot
was offered on eBay and, separately, on Heritage's website.  This is,
sadly in the writer's view, the wave of the future. For me, there's
nothing like hands-on lot inspection and show & auction physical
attendance to educate and reward collectors and dealers.

It looks like this is just the beginning of a major new jump in
exonumia activity and prices if Heritage & Harv Gamer keep up their
push to excel."

To read Dick Johnson's review of the sale catalog, see:
HERITAGE AUCTION GALLERIES VENTURES INTO TOKENS AND MEDALS
esylum_v09n36a12.html

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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