Discussion in 'Directory' started by Peter T Davis, Sep 27, 2014.
Liberty Coin Service
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Founded in 1971 by the late R. W. "Bill" Bradford, Liberty Coin Service of Lansing, Michigan, has been owned since 1982 by Patrick A. Heller, a member of the Professional Numismatists Guild, as well as the ANA (of course), the Michigan State Numismatic Society, and many other organizations. Liberty Coin Service has 19 people on staff today.
My first dealing was with Bill Bradford, sitting on the curb in front of the First State Bank of East Lansing before he opened the retail site. I bought a UK Sovereign. Bill always admired H. L. Mencken; and after making his money in the inflationary precious metals run-up of the 70s, he sold the shop, moved to Port Townsend, Washington, and opened Liberty magazine.
He sold the store to Patrick Heller, who grew up in Africa because his father worked for USAID. Pat knew nothing about the Beatles or Elvis until he came to Ann Arbor to attend the University of Michigan.
The first two employees Bill hired were Paul Manderscheidt and Allan Beegle, who are both still at the store. Paul has served as an officer in the Michigan Token and Medal Society. Paul also helped me when I got interested in ancients. I learned to depend on his broad view of numismatics outside of US Type.
The monthly newsletter, Liberty's Outlook, is free. The front page always announces that the end of the dollar is around the corner. Inside is a table of prices for an array of US and World silver and gold coins, showing the actual metal content, and the mark-up over spot. Also inside each month are one or more special offerings. Pat and his team scour the coin shows and bourse floors to assemble enough inventory to make these special offerings to their customers. Recent examples include:
Farmers & Merchants Bank of Memphis $5 note
Republic of Minerva $35 gold-on-silver coin
1891 $10 Liberty in MS-62
1885-O and 1886-P Morgan Dollars in MS-66
Silver denars of 11th and 12th Century Lucca in Italy (NGC certified)
The website provides the same table of precious metals prices, current offerings, and other content.
Paul has a great wealth of knowledge.
They all do in their own areas. When I was an officer in the Livingston County Coin Club, we invited Allan Beegle to make the drive out from Lansing to Howell to talk to the group about "The Finest Known Standing Liberty Quarter." Allan had gone to California to seek his fortune or something and worked for a major firm in LA - not sure if it was Superior or Goldberg's but that level - and while he was there, they did this deal where the coin was discovered, regraded, and resold. His narrative included the history of the coin, the history of the collection and the collector, and (of course) how to grade the coin properly.
Allan's title at LCS is "chief numismatist" and his write-ups in the newsletter explain the histories behind the values in many of their special offers to clients.
Tom Coulson took an interest in ancients for himself about the same time as I did as a collector. I looked to Paul Manderscheid, as I said, but Tom would add information to the discussion and I was always impressed.
In fact, Tom, Allan, and Paul are all independently PNG members. You don't get that from working for your boss; you earn it on your own. Only five other firms in the world have four PNG members on staff (story here from LCS).
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