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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 53, December 30, 2007, Article 12

ASBURY PARK PRESS PROFILES LAURIE SPERBER OF LEGEND NUMISMATICS

Legend Numismatics, a company based in Monmouth County,
deals in the upper tier of the coin market, the top 2
percent to 5 percent in terms of rarity and quality.

The company doesn't disclose its address or do business out
of a storefront for security reasons, instead making a home
in a nondescript office building. When Legend sells at coin
shows, the coins are shipped by armored car companies.

Sperber caught the coin bug at age 10 when she found an old
penny. "I just thought it was the neatest thing, an old
Lincoln cent, just the fact it was old."

She started going to small coin shows, looking at silver
dollars from the 1800s that were shiny, and building a small
collection. "You could buy a really great coin back then for
$25," Sperber said.

Then came the visit to the American Numismatics Association
show in New York City, which brought her face-to-face with
the 1913 Liberty Head nickel. "I was blown away by all the
cool rarities I saw," Sperber said.

At age 20, she quit Monmouth College, where she was studying
business administration, to follow her dream of being a coin
dealer, investing about $9,000 in savings to get started.

She was lucky and made some good contacts, including
established coin dealers such as John Albanese, who at the
time had a coin shop in Flemington. He would give her credit
and Sperber was able to buy and sell coins.

"What I noticed immediately was she had a great eye. I showed
her inventory, she picked out the best pieces immediately.
I said, "How does this girl . . . know what coins to pick
out?' I was amazed by that," Albanese recalled. "I knew she
had a great eye for coins and she had a passion and she
wanted to absorb and she wanted to learn."

There are only a few women in the coin business, he added.

Sperber read about rare coins and looked through old auction
catalogues. "I just read and read everything I could,"
Sperber said. "I listened to what the elder statesmen had
to say."

"She is a well-known dealer, representing some very important
collectors," said Harvey Stack of Stack's. "She is usually
bringing in strong bids on greater rarities and knows exactly
what she is buying."

This year, Legend bought and sold at least seven coins for
more than $1 million each.

Sperber said Legend is profitable and has grown steadily
each year since 1997. "We haven't had any down years."

To read the complete article, see:
Complete Article

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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