Selling off a collection is a very difficult thing to do. Many collectors are bad at it.
For many, it can feel like giving up. If coins have been a part of your life for many decades, the sense of loss is huge.
That cannot be helped.
In some ways it is like buying life insurance or writing a will. The person doing it has to think about the world going on without him.
For some fortunate collectors, countering any sense of loss is the satisfaction of consigning their coins to a major auction firm in a major venue
This is like a psychological slap on the back for a numismatic life well lived. Ancient Greeks would applaud a happy conclusion to a good numismatic life.
I began thinking about this when I received the news that Stack’s Bowers Galleries has been named official auctioneer by the American Numismatic Association for its National Money Show March 5-7, 2015, in Portland, Ore.
Anyone facing the prospect of selling a significant collection would not be remiss in considering a sale at public auction at an ANA convention.
There is a sense of satisfaction that can come from doing this.
There is prestige if you own significant coins and are willing to be identified in public.
From the financial aspect, there is the knowledge that coins in an ANA sale will receive the widest possible pool of potential bidders. This will help to achieve satisfactory prices realized.
Getting a good price is the bottom line. It is the best reward possible to conclude a collecting life but it isn't the only thing.
Brian Kendrella, president of Stack’s Bowers Galleries, said, “Our mission is not just to sell coins for the highest possible price, but to provide authoritative, historically important catalogs that are graphic works of art and to educate young numismatists and seasoned collectors alike.”
Money aside, consigning coins to such an auction makes a nice legacy for the family. It is the ultimate proof that what a collector has been doing all these years was worthwhile.
If you are not ready now, there will be future ANA auctions to consider.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."