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New NAC USA partnership with Shanna Schmidt Numismatics


Theoderic
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For those of us in the USA who are customers of NAC, this is interesting news from them...

  

NAC are proud to announce

NAC USA, LLC 
A new partnership with Shanna Schmidt Numismatics Inc.


This Autumn we will open a Chicago-based office that will service the North American clientele of NAC. The gallery will be located at 8 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 3600. 


The official announcement will be taking place at the World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, IL on August 17th at 2 p.m. in Room 12 of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. The Stephens Convention Center is located at 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018. 


If you wish to discuss our new services in more depth, you can also find us at table 1528, where we will be offering a selection from our inventory.
 
Our aim is to create an easier way for our US clients to engage with Numismatica Ars Classica.  
We understand purchasing and consigning coins from overseas is not always easy or convenient, which is why clients will now be able to consign domestically through NAC USA, LLC. Upon request, we can take care of all importation customs formalities into the US for your NAC purchases. If you wish to do so, you will also be able to transfer funds to a domestic USD account at an agreed exchange rate.

 
Here is a short list of what we will offer in our Chicago offices:
  • Ease and Accessibility to all NAC AG and Naville auctions. 
  • No importation concerns. NAC USA will import all North American purchases to the Chicago office and send them throughout the US and Canada.*
  • Ability to consign to any NAC or Naville auction through NAC USA.
  • A fixed price stock of coins from the vaults of NAC AG offices in London as well as from Shanna Schmidt Numismatics. These coins can be viewed and purchased through our Michigan Avenue gallery location by appointment only.
  • An increased presence at major US coin fairs enabling clients to engage with NAC in person.
  • No Foreign Exchange Fees. Pay for NAC Zurich auctions purchases in USD via the Chicago office.*
  • Viewing of all or part of upcoming NAC Zürich auctions when time permits.
  • NAC U.S. held live auctions in the future.
*service available upon request at the time of invoicing
 
More information will be available at our US website, www.arsclassicausa.com, which will soon have a gallery of highlights from past auctions, offer NAC and Shanna Schmidt stock to be purchased in our Chicago offices, and show previews of the upcoming NAC auctions.
 
Shanna Schmidt will be the main contact person for NAC USA, LLC and anyone wishing to discuss consignments or purchases can contact her directly.


We are thrilled to be expanding into the USA and we hope to offer a valuable service to all our US based customers.

 

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Very interesting, thanks for sharing! I'm in Illinois...Not exactly Chicago area, but close enough I'd drive up if she/they have lot viewings or live auctions... and maybe stop at HJB and try to visit their library while I'm at it. (Don't know if Chicago ancient coin club still exists, maybe now just the general Chi Coin Club, but once the attractions hit a certain tipping point it starts becoming worth it to make coin trips every so often!)

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Interesting. I've never bought from NAC to the best of my recollection. Are they known as extremely high end? Because Shanna Schmidt (HJB's daughter, I believe) certainly is -- I don't know if I've ever seen a coin of hers offered for much less than $1,000!

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5 minutes ago, DonnaML said:

Interesting. I've never bought from NAC to the best of my recollection. Are they known as extremely high end? Because Shanna Schmidt (HJB's daughter, I believe) certainly is -- I don't know if I've ever seen a coin of hers offered for much less than $1,000!

Her asking prices are waay over the price that she even paid for the coins.  She is like Palmyra Heritage.  Another one who  bulk buys coins from Heritage Auctions and CNG and tries to resell them on vcoins at a much higher price...

Edited by quant.geek
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4 minutes ago, quant.geek said:

Her asking prices are waay over the price that she even paid for the coins.  She is like Palmyra Heritage.  Another one who  bulk buys coins from Heritage Auctions and CNG and tries to resell them on vcoins at a much higher price...

Palmyra heritage is the worst. They don’t even swap out CNG’s blue photo backgrounds…only raising the price 3 fold

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21 minutes ago, quant.geek said:

Her asking prices are waay over the price that she even paid for the coins.  She is like Palmyra Heritage.  Another one who  bulk buys coins from Heritage Auctions and CNG and tries to resell them on vcoins at a much higher price...

100%, spot on on both accounts!

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I've never understood or thought it was fair to blame coin dealers for buying coins and selling them for a profit. Even if it's triple the price. (That's actually a standard wholesale to retail markup.) (I do find it unseemly and unprofessional to use the auction house photos, lol.)

No one want to pay triple what they know someone else paid. But I've done it knowingly, and will surely do it again. (I wasn't there. If they didn't buy it, it's not like I would have some other second chance to get it.) Or else I do my research and watch the auctions and try to get one next time.

One can disagree about how much the service is worth, but it actually is providing a service to buy a coin at price X at one specific moment in time, and then offer it for price X+Y, for a buyer to pay at their leisure (or possibly not).

They're taking a risk, and also being compensated for the "opportunity cost" of buying that coin at that moment for more than anyone else would pay, and leveraging their advantage relative to "imperfect information" (i.e., their research/specialized knowledge), ultimately reducing "imperfect information" overall (i.e., making the coin's description and availability known to more people, over more time).

And... At least some dealers are, in fact, spending many hours researching the upcoming auctions and then spending hours on end sitting through live auctions watching for coins selling for less than they "should" (or even traveling overseas to attend auctions). As collectors, it's easy to think of that as "hobby time" not labor time. But if you're a professional coin dealer, those are hours on the job. 

After overhead and VCoins and CC/Paypal fees, it's not like a price of 300% really equals a take-home profit of 200%. Maybe half that. As an hourly wage, that's fair.

As far as locking out the average collector: If someone else was willing to bid higher at that moment, they could have, during the auction. It's not like them offering it at a higher price at a later moment stopped anyone from buying the coin in the past when it was up for auction.

You could argue things would be better if coin dealers didn't exist and there were only auction houses and collectors. That would benefit only a fraction of collectors (specifically, experienced ones with lots of free time). Most collectors at least occasionally buy coins from coin dealers, and many buy coins exclusively from dealers, rather than spending several days per week watching live auctions. Many people, in fact, believe buying from a dealer is more advantageous to the customer than buying from a large consignment-based auction house.

Even if I don't use them much anyone, I don't want coin dealers as a profession to disappear.

Edited by Curtis JJ
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10 hours ago, Curtis JJ said:

I've never understood or thought it was fair to blame coin dealers for buying coins and selling them for a profit. Even if it's triple the price. (That's actually a standard wholesale to retail markup.) (I do find it unseemly and unprofessional to use the auction house photos, lol.)

No one want to pay triple what they know someone else paid. But I've done it knowingly, and will surely do it again. (I wasn't there. If they didn't buy it, it's not like I would have some other second chance to get it.) Or else I do my research and watch the auctions and try to get one next time.

One can disagree about how much the service is worth, but it actually is providing a service to buy a coin at price X at one specific moment in time, and then offer it for price X+Y, for a buyer to pay at their leisure (or possibly not).

They're taking a risk, and also being compensated for the "opportunity cost" of buying that coin at that moment for more than anyone else would pay, and leveraging their advantage relative to "imperfect information" (i.e., their research/specialized knowledge), ultimately reducing "imperfect information" overall (i.e., making the coin's description and availability known to more people, over more time).

And... At least some dealers are, in fact, spending many hours researching the upcoming auctions and then spending hours on end sitting through live auctions watching for coins selling for less than they "should" (or even traveling overseas to attend auctions). As collectors, it's easy to think of that as "hobby time" not labor time. But if you're a professional coin dealer, those are hours on the job. 

After overhead and VCoins and CC/Paypal fees, it's not like a price of 300% really equals a take-home profit of 200%. Maybe half that. As an hourly wage, that's fair.

As far as locking out the average collector: If someone else was willing to bid higher at that moment, they could have, during the auction. It's not like them offering it at a higher price at a later moment stopped anyone from buying the coin in the past when it was up for auction.

You could argue things would be better if coin dealers didn't exist and there were only auction houses and collectors. That would benefit only a fraction of collectors (specifically, experienced ones with lots of free time). Most collectors at least occasionally buy coins from coin dealers, and many buy coins exclusively from dealers, rather than spending several days per week watching live auctions. Many people, in fact, believe buying from a dealer is more advantageous to the customer than buying from a large consignment-based auction house.

Even if I don't use them much anyone, I don't want coin dealers as a profession to disappear.

300% might be a standard wholesale markup, but this isn't wholesale. It's flipping an auction win. Just because you 'bulk buy' at an auction doesn't mean you're bulk buying. You're buying individual lots like the retail customers.

I've noticed a couple of auction flips by my regular dealers, and they are not at 300%. One was bought for £300 and is for sale at £395. That's 30%, not 300%. Another bought a lot for about £800 and is selling for around £1200. That's 50%. It's true they might make 300% on estate purchases and bulk orders, but that's proper wholesale.

I get the impression Shanna Schmidt uses connections and prestige to tap in to a wealthier market. She only buys high end coins and they pay whatever she asks. NAC look like they play the same game - no coins for sale less than the value of a family car.

Edited by John Conduitt
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11 hours ago, DonnaML said:

Interesting. I've never bought from NAC to the best of my recollection. Are they known as extremely high end? Because Shanna Schmidt (HJB's daughter, I believe) certainly is -- I don't know if I've ever seen a coin of hers offered for much less than $1,000!

I haven't dealt with Shanna myself but as for NAC, yes, they are very high end.  However, their related firm of Naville in London handles mid-grade coins and they're included in the comments about being able to make auction consignments to and receive won lots from the new USA location.  Hopefully that makes it easier and cheaper to deal with them directly in USD.

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31 minutes ago, John Conduitt said:

300% might be a standard wholesale markup, but this isn't wholesale. It's flipping an auction win. Just because you 'bulk buy' at an auction doesn't mean you're bulk buying. You're buying individual lots like the retail customers.

I've noticed a couple of auction flips by my regular dealers, and they are not at 300%. One was bought for £300 and is for sale at £395. That's 30%, not 300%. Another bought a lot for about £800 and is selling for around £1200. That's 50%. It's true they might make 300% on estate purchases and bulk orders, but that's proper wholesale.

I get the impression Shanna Schmidt uses connections and prestige to tap in to a wealthier market. She only buys high end coins and they pay whatever she asks. NAC look like they play the same game - no coins for sale less than the value of a family car.

Agreed!

I see no value added by the dealer in flipping auction wins.   That the dealer has spent hours online buying something adds nothing to its value - for a common coin, it doesn't matter at all to me that you bought it at X and need 2X - 3X to make ends meet if I can go to the next auction and buy another one for X myself (or even 1.5X).   If the dealer discovers a new provenance not mentioned in the original auction listing or picks up something cheaply as it was mis-identified or in some obscure auction, then that's a reason for a larger markup - because they've paid a wholesale price.   Dealers competing with collectors at auction can't expect huge markups - if no collector was prepared to outbid them at auction, why will they be prepared to pay 3X the price later?   I wouldn't want dealers to disappear, but I don't pay more retail than I'd expect to pay at auction.

ATB,

Aidan.

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12 hours ago, DonnaML said:

Interesting. I've never bought from NAC to the best of my recollection. Are they known as extremely high end? Because Shanna Schmidt (HJB's daughter, I believe) certainly is -- I don't know if I've ever seen a coin of hers offered for much less than $1,000!

I was a bottom feeder at a NAC auction just once, last year. Wanted to have some coins in my collection that I could say were purchased from 'The House of the Finest Ancient Coins', felt super fancy 🤣😁

image.png.ed665b01d2dfaa701f7a96a8f59322f9.pngimage.png.98d2f5e5ec9299923aa66e2fc1238093.pngimage.png.174674e8311314a7720e78ba675a3740.png

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As far as NAC goes, I've bought a few coins from them, but a lot more from their Naville subsidiary.   Anyway, I'm not in the US 😄

This is maybe the ex-NAC coin I like best:

C. Memmius C.f.
Coin: Silver Denarius
QVIRINVS / C·MEMMI·C·F - Laureate head of Quirinus right
MEMMIVS· AED·CERIALIA·PREIMVS·FECIT - Ceres seated right, holding torch in left hand and corn-ears in right hand; before, snake
Mint: Rome (56 BC)
Wt./Size/Axis: 3.95g / - / -
References:
  • RSC 9 (Memmia)
  • Sydenham 921
  • Crawford 427/2
  • RBW 1532
  • BMCRR Rome 3940
Acquisitioe: Numismatica Ars Classica Online Auction Auction 114 Part I #462 7-May-2019

spacer.pngspacer.png

ATB,

Aidan.

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I'm not going to show the coin I have in mind, but it's too relevant not to mention, re: NAC, prices, and markup. NAC sold a ton of coins that fit some VERY specific sub-collections of mine ("BCD Collection Catalog" coins & "BCD Tributaries," incl. Qatari Sheiks), and a bunch sold for under 100 CHF (yes, at NAC!). Due to terrible timing and strategy, I didn't get a single one. (I still can't believe I messed up that bad.)

Anyway, I've been waiting for them to reappear. I've found one and the current dealer seems unaware of the provenance (their consignor bought it at auction). They're charging 4X the hammer + fees (which was well under 100).

I may be more forgiving of markup than some, but 3X markup is where I usually draw the line, so I've spent a couple months not pulling the trigger. (Dealer wouldn't negotiate. Fair enough. Sometimes specialized collections cost extra. They know someone some day will really want that one for some reason. Honestly, when I do buy, I'll probably be glad they didn't price it lower for someone else to buy first.)

A single coin can reasonably hammer at auction one day for X amount, and a few months later for 2X. (Or 1/2 of X; I check upcoming auctions and keep a running file of notes on dozens of their previous prices.) Honestly, the ex-NAC-ex-BCD-ex-Sheik coin I'm thinking of surely "should have" (to the extent that makes sense) sold for at least double what it did that day, so the dealer's price isn't actually that far off normal.

When I see dealers flipping coins that way, I assume they believe the ones they're buying are hammering at "1/2 of X" that day (they may or may not have a good sense of market prices based on experience).

On another related note, I definitely believe in the concept of "predatory pricing" (but that it usually has to be combined with some form of "predatory marketing" or dishonesty). Sometimes I do see dealers selling coins (usually on ebay or places like that) who I think really are basically exploitative.

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Posted (edited)

I had no idea before this thread that Naville is the more moderately-priced arm of NAC.  I have bought three coins (one of which is not actually a coin) at Naville auctions, all this year, and if I'm able pay for any future purchases through the new USA office, that should definitely save some money.  Here are the three lots I purchased directly from Naville. (I'm not posting the several other "ex Naville" coins I have that I purchased elsewhere. Or my Vespasian aureus from the de Sartiges Collection, ex Ars Classica XVIII, 10 Oct. 1938, Lucerne, with Lucien Naville & Jacob Hirsch as experts. Does anyone know if there's any direct connection between NAC/Naville on the one hand and the old Ars Classica/Lucien Naville on the other?)

I am omitting the full descriptions for the first two but am including the third to show the contrast between my description and Naville's:

L. [Lucius] Calpurnius Piso Frugi, AR Denarius, 90 BCE, left facing horseman. Purchased from Naville Numismatics Ltd. Auction 74, 19 Jun 2022, Lot 352; ex C. [Carlo] Crippa Sale 1, Monete e Medaglie, Milano 1968, Lot 145.

image.jpeg.245b6887a4246a31b74fea50b22b70e0.jpeg

Antoninus Pius, Billon Tetradrachm, Year 6 (142-143 AD), Alexandria, Egypt, Phoenix reverse. ). Purchased from Naville Numismatics Auction 72 (27 Mar 2022), Lot 341; ex Dattari Collection.

image.jpeg.9c16fab68e8dd5d6aabef7ad9310c0e4.jpeg

Anonymous, unpublished, AE[?] Tessera, 2nd Century AD[?], Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Crowned Bust of Nilus left, with cornucopiae behind and, in front, bust of Harpocrates [infant Horus], seen in profile, facing left, wearing skhent crown, with left arm and forefinger held up to mouth / Rev.  On left, Serpent Uraeus [sacred cobra, worn by deities and pharaohs] with female breasts and human head of Isis (as Isis-Thermouthis), crowned with solar disk and horns, standing facing, with coils enfolding sistrum upright to left*; on right, Osiris (mummiform) wearing Atef crown above horns, standing facing with arms crossed over chest holding crook and flail.** 15.60 mm., 2.52 g. Purchased from Naville Numismatics Auction 72 (27 Mar 2022), Lot 305; ex “private British collection.” [Footnotes omitted]

image.jpeg.16ea564d5a9d09e00f2528de45cfacb7.jpeg

This was Naville's description: "Bust of Nilus l.; behind, cornucopia and in front, Hermanubis. Rev. Agathodemon
holding sistrum standing r. and Canoupus standing facing in field, A-Λ." They botched the identifications except for the fact that the primary figure on the obverse is Nilus. But Harpocrates, Isis-Thermouthis, and the mummiform Osiris are all misidentified; the crook and flail held by Osiris are misidentified as Greek letters, "A-Λ."  Which makes me question, at least somewhat, their expertise in Roman-Egyptian iconography.

The Piso Frugi, despite being quite unusual with its horseman riding left, hammered for less than 100 GBP.  The two Roman Alexandrians were not so inexpensive, because the ex-Dattari coins and other Alexandrians in that auction attracted a lot of bidders, but I still wouldn't characterize the prices as even approaching "high end."

 

Edited by DonnaML
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15 hours ago, Restitutor said:

I was a bottom feeder at a NAC auction just once, last year. Wanted to have some coins in my collection that I could say were purchased from 'The House of the Finest Ancient Coins', felt super fancy 🤣😁

image.png.ed665b01d2dfaa701f7a96a8f59322f9.pngimage.png.98d2f5e5ec9299923aa66e2fc1238093.pngimage.png.174674e8311314a7720e78ba675a3740.png

Ive been a NAC bottom feeder myself. 8B5296A4-8975-41E1-B062-00FFB161E147.jpeg.4121bd6ba188b8e971a69af54dd084fa.jpeg9274C0C2-51DA-43FC-8924-B849031D6F4F.jpeg.36093e6b3d769540556914dda5829a3c.jpeg5E908A3C-01F6-482D-91DB-4AD0C3B4A59A.jpeg.7e66077c16efed8827bd4345548b2c66.jpeg

This was 375 CHF IIRC (maybe 325-350? One of the 25 CHR Increments in the 300s for sure). Its my one and only NAC win. I think it was a good deal, especially with the recent price increase. Its also one of the better John III Hyperpyrons I have seen.  
 

Most of their coins seem to have an extra zero or two attached to that 😂

Edited by TheTrachyEnjoyer
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As a dealer of 45 years I have found NAC an exceptional firm offering top material, but with deep expertise and honesty. I am glad to see Shanna join the firm as she is an outstanding numismatist.

Also remember that the help of resourceful dealers is needed to build great collections. Great coins usually cost to acquire.

Colleagues have claimed I am expensive sometimes, yet when reacquiring coins it is usually profitable to the collector. 

Visiting a friend recently I admired his Roman gold collection. His Caligula aureus is EF, provenance ex British Museum duplicate. To my surprise my old ticket accompanied it, and its value today is outstanding. Collecting is a great pleasure.

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