What is the most over estimate you ever bid?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by savitale, May 1, 2022.

  1. The Meat man

    The Meat man Supporter! Supporter

    That is crazy. Too bad you weren't the only one who spotted the mistake!
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  3. Jim Dale

    Jim Dale Well-Known Member

    I really enjoy reading about antique coins and the bidding process although I only buy more recent coins. My main interests now are getting at least one of each of the wheat cents. Even when I buy from ebay, I only purchase "Buy It Now" coins. I don't have the patience to wait on a bid. I use to buy vinyl recordings of trains by Brad Miller. He also set a standard for quality vinyl records, i.e. digitally recordings, Half Speed recordings, etc. Besides coin collecting, I also enjoy listening to music recorded on vinyl, which is coming back in style.
    Anyway, one day I may "bite the bullet" and buy an ancient coin.
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  4. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    The majority of auctions I've participated in have been budget auctions on Biddr (Savoca, Ares, Themis, Zeus) which I dont think typically provide estimates.

    If I do go significantly above estimate, either the estimate was comically low, or the auctioneer didn't understand what was being auctioned.

    One that comes immediately to mind is this lot

    Sold at SARC, it was given a comically low estimate of $200 for 100 Gadhaiya ($4-5 each is the typical low end, with $10 being average). I had already lost on two lots from the same hoard, so I doubled down on this one and bid $1200; won it for $800. Still an excellent deal in my mind, as all but one coin in the lot was one of four totally new and unpublished types.

    Similarly, Roma has a tendency to just slap a £100 estimate on most large lots, regardless of what's in them... Screenshot_20220502-142239_Chrome.jpg

    3x Nero, Vitellius, Germanicus and a Galerius Antoninus for £100? Not in your wildest dreams. £440 is still probably on the low side, but that's what it hammered for.
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  5. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    ..that amount has not been reached yet...:D
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  6. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    Estimates from many sellers have two purposes of which telling what the lot should bring is the less important. If a seller requires a minimum bid of 60% of the estimate AND if the seller has not set a reserve minimum but wants the thing sold, the house is much better off estimating, for example, $100 and letting the bids start at $60 than to estimate the 'fair' value of $500 which would start at $300 and might not receive a single bid resulting in an unsold lot. Auctions that have a high percentage of unsold lots are not popular with buyers of sellers and might drive off potential consignors. If there is one thing an auction house wants is to attract consignments including those from people like my heirs who will want the stuff sold even if it is for half price. We each have coins that will sell for twice what we expect and others that will be lucky to sell. Anything an auction house can do to limit the unsold lots is considered a good thing. Those of you who consign one nice coin and see it sell for half what you paid may see this differently but what the auctions want are the large collections started in the 1950's and built over the years by grandpa.
  7. savitale

    savitale Well-Known Member

    Well, I ended up being the underbidder. So it appears 24x estimate is just the beginning of the journey for me. C'est la vie.
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  8. tibor

    tibor Supporter! Supporter

    1487  IV-51b.jpg
    A perfect example, Estimate 150 Euros. Placed a pre bid of 1500 Euros
    10 days before the auction. 3 days before the auction started, I was told
    that I was outbid. Oh well. Sold for 2100 Euros earlier today before the
    juice. Oh well. This example has the "sideways 7" in the date. Less than
    10 collectible.
  9. Blake Davis

    Blake Davis Well-Known Member

    This is an absolutely incredible coin - worth putting a second mortgage on the house! I do not think I have seen a nicer example! I know that for some reason it is bad form on this site to put in the cost of coins, but I am curious about the estimate and cost. Whatever was paid was worth it.

    I have been thinking about buying some Alexandrian imperial drachms - just an utterly fascinating series.
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  10. Cherd

    Cherd Junior Member Supporter

    I'm of the mind that auction house estimates don't mean much, and honestly, I feel that it is unethical for them to give estimates in the first place. (It's up to the bidders to determine the price, not the middle man).

    I think that auction houses use estimates, like everything else, as a tool to leverage the highest sale prices possible. If they believe that an item might fly under the radar, then they'll inflate the estimate to convey the idea that it is special. If an item's value is readily apparent to everyone (famous coin or something), then they lowball the estimate in order to bolster their reputation for having reasonable estimates.

    I've honestly gotten pretty good a blocking estimates out of my mind, so I don't know what my maximum multiple has been. I determine what -> I <- am willing to pay for a coin and then bid that amount. If that amount was ever affected by an estimate, then I've successfully been manipulated.
  11. IdesOfMarch01

    IdesOfMarch01 Supporter! Supporter

    Just FYI, almost any coin sold in a well-known auction can be researched and found on ACSEARCH. It's free, although it costs extra to get the hammer price, but especially if you're considering bidding on these types of coins, the information is well worth the subscription price.
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  12. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Well-Known Member

    Thanks! While I don't normally share prices, it is worth highlighting for the purpose of this thread.

    The coin was originally estimated at 500 Euro and I ended up paying 13K Euro hammer. It didn't have a meaningful pedigree until my dealer unearthed one which added a considerable amount of value to me as well.

    Alexandrian drachms are available at a much lower price-point but this is a particularly popular type. It isn't horribly rare but it is tough to find in a high grade.

    To arrive at a price, I used a few comparable examples:

    This coin sold in 2011 for $13K hammer and then re-sold in 2017 for $9500 hammer. The surfaces, detail, and style aren't nearly as nice as the one I purchased but it was still listed as "The finest to appear on the market in recent memory. Several grades better than the best piece located in Coin Archives."

    I hate the modern coin squabbles between MS66 and MS67 but in the case of provincial bronze, a relatively small difference in metal or strike can indeed make a significant different in price. Personally, this coin feels overpriced and others seem to agree as it sold for a loss after 6 years.

    Another example sold in 2018 for $6K hammer with a great pedigree but with green deposits that I personally found distracting in-hand so I didn't bid. The reverse strike is excellent though but the overall metal isn't particularly smooth.


    Here's the auction house image of the coin I purchased:


    It shows nicer surfaces and style but I wasn't 100% confident in the coin until an in-hand viewing by my dealer as well as a video of the coin. The video thankfully looked much closer to what the coin looks like in reality. When placing the images next to each other, it's interesting to see how much of a difference a slight variance in lighting can produce.


    So, to me, when considering metal quality, style, and strike, I felt that the Kunker coin was worth 3x+ the first piece and at least 2-3x the second (which seemed under-priced when it sold).

    All that said, it is entirely possible to buy a very attractive example of the type for ~$200-300 which will have exactly the same history and carry with it the same level of enjoyment. I'm fortunate to be able to afford expensive coins but this type was on my list long before I could buy an example in this condition. The satisfaction of holding history doesn't increase with the pricetag.

    I hope this helps!
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  13. Blake Davis

    Blake Davis Well-Known Member

    The number of these that are available in this grade is probably in the single digits - such a beautiful coin
  14. GregH

    GregH Well-Known Member

    Estimates are practically meaningless. Some auction houses make a guarantee to the consignor that the coin will beat the estimate. They choose a very small estimate to ensure that the coin performs as promised. What a surprise. Then they send out a marketing email to potential consignors boasting that their coins always outperform the estimate, and by a wide margin. It's actually nonsense.

    An independent estimate, where there is no vested interest, would be a lot more meaningful.

    Or, the customer can simply research past sales to see typical hammer prices for the coin.
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  15. Limes

    Limes Well-Known Member

    I never care for estimates. Do good research, thats the most important. With todays internet and online resources, you have all the tools available to value a coin properly. For higher end coins, an agent is recommended, although this could also be the case for lower end coins.

    Talking about research, even that will not always help. i noticed this particular coin offered by Leu. The coin was estimated at 750 chf, while in its previois sale it was sold at 800 EUR. Fair estimate right? With your research done, would you have bid 7500 chf for this coin?
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  16. GregH

    GregH Well-Known Member

    Well, it’s a great portrait of Vespasian. Probably the best. 7500CHF worth of greatness? Absolutely not.

    The hammer price difference between “excellent” and “the best” can be an order of magnitude - as is the case here. But it’s a speculative investment and there’s no certainty that its value will hold with its next appearance in an auction. It could plausibly re-sell for only 750CHF.

    I’d rather pay reasonable prices for coins with reasonable hope that I will at least break even when it comes time to sell.
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  17. savitale

    savitale Well-Known Member

    That is an interesting case. It is a really great coin and I don't think the price is that far out of line in the current market. The previous sale price of 800 CHF seems ridiculously low to me. Someone hit the lottery.
  18. Limes

    Limes Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies! Interestingly, it seems to come down to what a coin is worth to you. Prior prices or realised prices for comparable specimens can be a guidline and help you determine what a coin is worth. From the perspective of someone who want's a good investment, the 7500 CHF is crazy. But from the perspective of someone who has searched a long time for this coin in this quality, it's a great decision.
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  19. IdesOfMarch01

    IdesOfMarch01 Supporter! Supporter

    Interesting discussion about this coin in particular -- for those of you like me who don't like to click to another image, here it is:


    My own collecting perspective on this coin is that its quality is stellar and I personally would have no problem justifying the hammer price if that's the coin I wanted. I don't think I've seen many, if any, better-struck Vespasian denarii. The previous auction price of 800 EUR was a steal (IMO) and it probably just flew under the radar of collectors of high-quality 12 Caesars denarii at that auction.

    On the other hand, while I wouldn't characterize CHF 7500 as a "crazy" price for this coin as an investment, I wouldn't expect to sell it for a profit within the next few months either...
  20. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    If you look closely at the obverse legend of the Vespasian you see weakness in its beginning at 5:00:


    Flaws like that make it hardly collectable. I'd have to wait for a better one.


    Attached Files:

    • IMP.png
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