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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 41, October 8, 2006, Article 8

CAPE COD CANAL MEDAL PRICES REALIZED

Alan V. Weinberg writes: "I agree with Dick Johnson's evaluation
of the Reed & Barton Cape Cod medal's market value - it is certainly
worth well under $100 and sells somewhat regularly in Joe Levine's
auctions. I have seen or examined easily a dozen and a half of the
bronze medal (estimated surviving population well over 100) and
never specifically sought it out. I'm not sure if I've ever seen a
silver specimen, which would likely bring $400 or more at legitimate (
non-eBay) auction. $967 for a bronze? Egad!"

Joe Levine writes: "For what it's worth, I have sold the Cape Cod
medal four times since 1986.  The results are as follows (including
buyer's fee):

Sale 73, 2004, Lot #1471. Bronze. AU.  $75.90
Sale 69, 2001, Lot #1714. Bronze. AU.  $52.90
Sale 60, 1996, Lot #1583. Silver plated Bronze. Unc. $72.60
Sale 41, 1986, Lot #355.  Silver and bronze. 2 pieces.  $605.00"

[Although those of us in the mainstream numismatic world often
look askance at eBay auction results, it doesn't make the realized
eBay price any less real or legitimate - it's just not mainstream.
Any collectible item is worth whatever a buyer will pay for it at
the time of sale - no more and no less.  Tomorrow's results could
vary widely from today as the market dynamics change.

The "great unwashed" bidders on eBay may not know a thing about past
sale results in the mainstream world, but does it matter?  No one
can go back to 1986 or 2004 and reopen an old auction.  In 2006 this
particular medal came up for sale at a particular time when two or
more bidders had their hearts set on it.   If another example comes
up for sale tomorrow, it may well bring much less.  And if everybody
who has one of the 100 or so estimated surviving examples put them up
for sale simultaneously, prices could drop to next to nothing.  But
if another couple years goes by before one is offered, perhaps
another bidding war will break out.  That's what keeps us all
guessing on the valuation of medals and other non-commoditized
collectibles. -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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