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The value of a provenance

BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,816 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 5, 2023 5:54AM in World & Ancient Coins Forum

I have taken a lot of enjoyment in tracing the ownership provenance of the coins in my collection back to previous sales.

There are the big names the resonate with US collections: Norweb, Pittman, Farouk, Eliasberg, Garrett, Brand, Newman, perhaps FCC Boyd, Amon Carter, Irving Goodman.

There are the important collections that resonate with specialists in my area of focus: Vidal Quadras y Ramon, Medina, Emilio Tolra, Millennia, Huntington, Richard Stuart, Lissner, Gabriel Calbeto, etc.

And then there are the even more specialized and minor, but important collections: Alexander Patterson, Ray Johnson, Thomas Faistauer, Emilio Ortiz, Canaparo, Haberthauer... and therein lies my question...**Do you think that a coin with these more minor,
but important, provenances identified adds value to the coin? What about if it is amongst a collection with 50% or so of the coins having a notable provenance? **

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Comments

  • bidaskbidask Posts: 13,812 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes I think it does add value, having both major and minor provenance names,....
    It also reflects on the current owner patience in finding these coins and putting a collection like this together.

    I manage money. I earn money. I save money .
    I give away money. I collect money.
    I don’t love money . I do love the Lord God.




  • ExbritExbrit Posts: 1,232 ✭✭✭✭

    I also believe they add value.

  • John ConduittJohn Conduitt Posts: 346 ✭✭✭

    For me, they add more value than the slab. Even if the previous owner isn't famous, it's a (small) premium over no provenance at all.

  • neildrobertsonneildrobertson Posts: 1,171 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2023 8:56AM

    I enjoy learning the provenance, and I think I am more likely to bid on a coin or want to buy it as a result. I think that ultimately leads to slightly higher prices.

    There aren't many high profile sales or collections in the area I collect. Perhaps I just haven't learned about them yet. Nonetheless, even having a partial sale history/chain of custody is really cool.

    IG: DeCourcyCoinsEbay: neilrobertson
    "Numismatic categorizations, if left unconstrained, will increase spontaneously over time." -me

  • PillarDollarCollectorPillarDollarCollector Posts: 4,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2023 9:18AM

    To be honest for me they do not but that is simply because I don't know the previous owners names like I know say famous Canadian collectors such as Pittman. I see why they would add value but one would have to be well informed on the subject. And I am not one that is well informed on such a topic for Mexican/Central American/South American coins. Because of my level of knowledge most of these names mean little to me.

    I only recognize one name Norweb on the coins you posted. Guess I need to do some more learning but would not even know were to get more information on such a topic maybe old auction catalogs even then how hard are they to locate.

    It comes down to a lack of knowledge.

    Collecting interests: Mexico & Peru early milled 1 reales + 1796-1891 US dimes

    Sports: NHL & NFL

    Thank you Lord for another beautiful day!!!

  • coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,659 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great thread topic. I would think there is a premium but the valuation of what that premium should be is a challenge... I simply do not have an answer other than to suggest valuations based on facts that you have likely already considered.

    Terrific coins

    Experience the World through Numismatics...it's more than you can imagine.

  • PizzamanPizzaman Posts: 211 ✭✭✭

    Not responding to the question directly, it is a market grading criteria, along with "eye appeal." How much weight if any the TPGs give it in the grade, I wouldn't know.

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Pizzaman said:
    Not responding to the question directly, it is a market grading criteria, along with "eye appeal." How much weight if any the TPGs give it in the grade, I wouldn't know.

    I don’t understand what point you are making.

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,276 ✭✭✭✭✭

    And @Boosibri, it's CalBETO not Calberto. You even got PCGS doing it wrong now! :#

  • bosoxbosox Posts: 1,499 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2023 3:43PM

    I have been meaning to re-holder this one. To me, it would be much more appealing with its Farouk-Norweb-Belzberg pedigree on the holder, than it is in its current holder. I do believe there is value in a great pedigree.

    Numismatic author & owner of the Uncommon Cents collections. 2011 Fred Bowman award winner, 2020 J. Douglas Ferguson award winner, & 2022 Paul Fiocca award winner.

    http://www.victoriancent.com
  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pruebas said:
    And @Boosibri, it's CalBETO not Calberto. You even got PCGS doing it wrong now! :#

    …and so it is!

  • Crazy8sCrazy8s Posts: 69 ✭✭✭

    Provenance aside, those are some seriously nice coins.

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Crazy8s said:
    Provenance aside, those are some seriously nice coins.

    Thank you!

  • SapyxSapyx Posts: 1,957 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Provenance is always nice to have, but the question is, would I actually pay more for it?

    Hypothetical scenario: if there were two coins, for all intents and purposes identical, offered for sale at the same time and I wanted to buy just one of them, and one had "cool provenance" and the other did not, would I pay extra for the provenanced one?

    I have to say, that unless I knew the named person personally, I probably wouldn't.

    Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
    Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"

    Apparently I have been awarded one DPOTD. B)
  • 1960NYGiants1960NYGiants Posts: 3,439 ✭✭✭✭

    I find myself neutral on provenance. If the coin meets the criteria to be added to my collection and I can afford it then I buy it. I have several pieces that have pedigrees / provenances on the label that I bought for the coin without expressly paying up for the provenance. I have not tried to sell any so don't know if there is added value.

    Gene

    Life member #369 of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association
    Member of Canadian Association of Token Collectors

    Collector of:
    Canadian coins and pre-confederation tokens
    Darkside proof/mint sets dated 1960
    My Ebay
  • jt88jt88 Posts: 2,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2023 5:15PM

    This coin have two name on it but I am not sure if it would add more value. I do believe it make it more attractive for buyer on resell.

  • PillarDollarCollectorPillarDollarCollector Posts: 4,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2023 5:37PM

    Someone needs to write an in dept article about these pedigrees. Here or in one of the upcoming US Mexican Numismatic Association journal. Some are more common knowledge like Pittman Norweb, Farouk and Eliasberg but some of these names I have never even seen before not that they are not famous collectors just never heard of them is all. I can't be the only one. Would be nice to know more. Those like me that have been around Mexican/South America/Central American coins for only a few years (3 years in my case and I have read a lot during those first 2 years) and can't attend shows we don't get to know these pedigrees.

    Collecting interests: Mexico & Peru early milled 1 reales + 1796-1891 US dimes

    Sports: NHL & NFL

    Thank you Lord for another beautiful day!!!

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @KingOfMorganDollar said:
    Someone needs to write an in dept article about these pedigrees few of know of. Some are common knowledge like Pittman Norweb, Farouk and Eliasberg but some of these names I have never even seen before not that they are not famous collectors just never heard of them is all.

    Every series has its famous collections which specialists know well but others are oblivious to. Belzberg isn’t a commonly known collection unless you are into Canadian numismatics. If you are it’s like saying Eliasberg.

  • jt88jt88 Posts: 2,778 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jt88 said:
    This coin have two name on it but I am not sure if it would add more value. I do believe it make it more attractive for buyer on resell.

    Both Q. David Bowers and R.B white are pretty famous collectors. You can read more of them if you want to.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q._David_Bowers

    https://www.coinbooks.org/v22/esylum_v22n04a21.html

  • PillarDollarCollectorPillarDollarCollector Posts: 4,583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Boosibri said:

    @KingOfMorganDollar said:
    Someone needs to write an in dept article about these pedigrees few of know of. Some are common knowledge like Pittman Norweb, Farouk and Eliasberg but some of these names I have never even seen before not that they are not famous collectors just never heard of them is all.

    Every series has its famous collections which specialists know well but others are oblivious to. Belzberg isn’t a commonly known collection unless you are into Canadian numismatics. If you are it’s like saying Eliasberg.

    Any chance you could add some of the names and what they specialized in? I would love to learn. It would be much appreciated.

    Collecting interests: Mexico & Peru early milled 1 reales + 1796-1891 US dimes

    Sports: NHL & NFL

    Thank you Lord for another beautiful day!!!

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,276 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2023 5:59PM

    @jt88 said:

    @jt88 said:
    This coin have two name on it but I am not sure if it would add more value. I do believe it make it more attractive for buyer on resell.

    Both Q. David Bowers and R.B white are pretty famous collectors. You can read more of them if you want to.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q._David_Bowers

    https://www.coinbooks.org/v22/esylum_v22n04a21.html

    True, but QDB is not known for his Chinese coins, so why does his name on a Chinese coin give it more value?

    I don’t think it should.

    It’s similar to having the Eliasberg name on a non-gold world coin.

    But having my name on a Mexican pattern should (?) make it more valuable. o:)

  • jt88jt88 Posts: 2,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2023 6:00PM

    @pruebas said:

    @jt88 said:

    @jt88 said:
    This coin have two name on it but I am not sure if it would add more value. I do believe it make it more attractive for buyer on resell.

    Both Q. David Bowers and R.B white are pretty famous collectors. You can read more of them if you want to.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q._David_Bowers

    https://www.coinbooks.org/v22/esylum_v22n04a21.html

    True, but QDB is not known for his Chinese coins, so why does his name on a Chinese coin give it more value?

    I don’t think it should.

    It’s similar to having the Eliasberg name on a non-gold world coin.

    Because He bought from R.B. White. SB sold QDB's Chinese copper collection few years back. I did not say it will add more value.

  • jt88jt88 Posts: 2,778 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Famous collector's name on the coin always help to sell it. In that sense it might indeed add value to it because no one knows for sure if name is not on the coin how much it would sell.

  • jt88jt88 Posts: 2,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2023 6:18PM

    Like this one. I don't know anything about King's Norton but I like the look of the coin so I bought it. I guess with collector's name on the coin would only help.


  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jt88 said:
    Like this one. I don't know anything about King's Norton but I like the look of coin so I bought it. I guess with collector's name on the coin would only help.


    There are many threads in the King Nortons mint which are basically “sales samples” from the Birmingham mint archives.

  • jt88jt88 Posts: 2,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2023 6:42PM

    My point is with name on the coin, it may not add money value to it but for sure it will help even the buyer does not know the collector name.

  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 1,754 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I enjoy the provenance but I do not think adds value. Just me. Reason? Nowadays the coin market is number centric. Assuming 2 "similar" coins get to the market, a 63 with pedigree and a 64, I see no reason to pay more for the 63. If both are 63 I assume the majority of collectors will bid for their favourite, and a small crowd might bid for the one with pedigree just for that reason. I have a Norweb coin. It is spectacular in it's own right and I would have paid the same with or without the Spider pedigree.

  • jgennjgenn Posts: 734 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Let me put it this way, the type of collector that you would want to sell this collection to, would appreciate the provenance and will probably pay up for it. When the time comes to sell, you may want to pick the dealer/auction house that would be most likely to attract such buyers.

  • John ConduittJohn Conduitt Posts: 346 ✭✭✭

    @Abuelo said:
    I enjoy the provenance but I do not think adds value. Just me. Reason? Nowadays the coin market is number centric. Assuming 2 "similar" coins get to the market, a 63 with pedigree and a 64, I see no reason to pay more for the 63. If both are 63 I assume the majority of collectors will bid for their favourite, and a small crowd might bid for the one with pedigree just for that reason. I have a Norweb coin. It is spectacular in it's own right and I would have paid the same with or without the Spider pedigree.

    That is if you collect grades. Some people value the grade so much, nothing else can matter. So even if a 63 looks better, they will go for the 64. If the 63 was owned by Abraham Lincoln, they still go for the 64. To me, that doesn't make sense, when it's not even easy to tell the difference between a 63 and a 64.

    But if you collect coins for the history, the provenance is much more attractive. (Anyone who collects hammered coins would at least be partially motivated by history). If a coin came from a recorded hoard, that is better than a grade. If a coin was owned by a collector known in the field or the person who wrote one of the key references, it's better than a slab. This is particularly true of hammered coins where there's more uncertainty around attribution.

  • bidaskbidask Posts: 13,812 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a whole bunch of Mexican 8 reales from the morteneden Mexican auction a few years back in London
    Fortunately I have my receipt and will most probably get those reholdered to reflect the Clyde Hubbard provenance

    I manage money. I earn money. I save money .
    I give away money. I collect money.
    I don’t love money . I do love the Lord God.




  • PizzamanPizzaman Posts: 211 ✭✭✭
    edited January 5, 2023 1:33PM

    @Boosibri said:

    @Pizzaman said:
    Not responding to the question directly, it is a market grading criteria, along with "eye appeal." How much weight if any the TPGs give it in the grade, I wouldn't know.

    I don’t understand what point you are making.

    It's a market grading criteria. Like "eye appeal," while it has no bearing on the technical grade, a grader is allowed to bump the market grade for it, to the degree, in the grader's opinion, the bidders would value it. I think ANA refers to it--somewhat erroneously, IMO--as "pedigree." Regardless, it's clear what they're driving at. It's a status thing. When it's valued by the market, the market grade may take it into account, in which case the coin will grade over and above the technical or condition grade.

    There's money in it, is the simple answer. And market grading is money grading. And ANA market grading standards, IIRC, recognize that, in much the same way they recognize "eye appeal" as a market grading criteria.

  • 1984worldcoins1984worldcoins Posts: 594 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When I will grade my collection I will use my name (Coinsof1984) on the slabs, thats for sure. Uhmm, if this is doable, I mean.

    Coinsof1984@martinb6830 on twitter

  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 1,754 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JohnConduitt that is why I specify that the market is number centric. That is a broad generalisation I know, but spend some time at Stack's or Heritage and you will see that prices go by the number. You made good points and of course, collecting is a personal experience with preferences. I have coins with interesting provenance, but the original question is if they add value, and that is why I tried to answer.

    In your example about Lincoln the problem there will be is that that coin will attract people that have 0 interest in coins but who collect Lincoln or Civil War treasures. Same if you have a coin from the Titanic for example.

    Interesting, if you collect shipwreck coins provenance is really important as you have to connect the coin to the ship.

    All a matter of taste and preference.

    BTW I have few coins pedigree to @Boosibri and really like those 😉

  • John ConduittJohn Conduitt Posts: 346 ✭✭✭

    @Abuelo said:
    @JohnConduitt that is why I specify that the market is number centric. That is a broad generalisation I know, but spend some time at Stack's or Heritage and you will see that prices go by the number. You made good points and of course, collecting is a personal experience with preferences. I have coins with interesting provenance, but the original question is if they add value, and that is why I tried to answer.

    In your example about Lincoln the problem there will be is that that coin will attract people that have 0 interest in coins but who collect Lincoln or Civil War treasures. Same if you have a coin from the Titanic for example.

    Interesting, if you collect shipwreck coins provenance is really important as you have to connect the coin to the ship.

    All a matter of taste and preference.

    BTW I have few coins pedigree to @Boosibri and really like those 😉

    That is true of US coins. But I don't think so for Ancients or Hammered coins, or even a lot of non-US, where little is graded (except at Heritage and Stacks, where grading is in their business models. But they are not such big players there). Those markets are anything but number centric. Provenance adds a lot of value for older coins. If it can prove you didn't loot it, it can be worth the entire value of the coin. So does provenance add value? For hammered coins, of course it does, even if it's not to your taste.

  • coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,659 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That chapter is yet to be written...

    Experience the World through Numismatics...it's more than you can imagine.

  • SimonWSimonW Posts: 553 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Boosibri said:

    @Abuelo said:

    BTW I have few coins pedigree to @Boosibri and really like those 😉

    I think we can all agree that that provenance adds no value :)

    I’ll take a Boosibri provenance any day!

    I’ve got a couple. I think a provenance adds $ in three ways. One, provides additional evidence that the coin is authentic because it has an historical track record. Two, cool factor…it’s just cool. Three, most coins of provenance appear in very well publicized auctions. Sometimes they show up in private collections, which tend to become provenanced collections in their own right, but when they don’t they tend to go to dealers. Dealers will not usually lose money on coins, so they slap their margins on it, then sell it. Makes it so that the price on provenance coins always sell for strong money.

    That being said, in a weak moment I sold a very cool 1770 Mexico 8 reales AU50 that carried a Norweb/Brand provenance. It barely sold for the going rate. I regret selling that coin almost everyday. They don’t always get a big premium.

    I’ve got a couple others with provenance, but none quite as cool.

    I'm BACK!!! Used to be Billet7 on the old forum.

  • realeswatcherrealeswatcher Posts: 338 ✭✭✭

    In practice, "better" provenance DOES of course, on average, add a reasonable bit of premium.

    Personally, though, UNLESS the provenance is from someone who was actually semi-important in the real world - not "famous in the coin collecting world" - I find it so absolutely pointless. Wow, a rich old dead coin collector who no non-coin person has ever heard of previously owned this piece... in the words of noted rebound collector D.D. Coleman - "whoopdy-damn-do".

    I myself find the E.H.R. Green coll. interesting (b/c of the mother)... Huntington (Collis /Archer important on their own, plus their name happens to be prominent locally). But Lissner, Norweb, Newman, Bowers... those are meaningless names to non-coin people.

    It's a status thing.

    Overall, I kind of see mainly view it this way... it's really just name-dropping. I suppose, though, much of life is, no? Perhaps even moreso, it's auctioneers/sellers trying to seize on that to squeeze more money out of an item.

    Though it wasn't really the true point of the question/topic, notable comment made above about the practical importance of legal provenance for ancients.

  • realeswatcherrealeswatcher Posts: 338 ✭✭✭

    BTW, should we add in as a variable that when prominent collections get slabbed/sold, they sometimes seem to receive, um, generous grading??

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @realeswatcher said:
    BTW, should we add in as a variable that when prominent collections get slabbed/sold, they sometimes seem to receive, um, generous grading??

    It only takes a few years for the market grading to catch up to those grades

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @realeswatcher said:
    In practice, "better" provenance DOES of course, on average, add a reasonable bit of premium.

    Personally, though, UNLESS the provenance is from someone who was actually semi-important in the real world - not "famous in the coin collecting world" - I find it so absolutely pointless. Wow, a rich old dead coin collector who no non-coin person has ever heard of previously owned this piece... in the words of noted rebound collector D.D. Coleman - "whoopdy-damn-do".

    I myself find the E.H.R. Green coll. interesting (b/c of the mother)... Huntington (Collis /Archer important on their own, plus their name happens to be prominent locally). But Lissner, Norweb, Newman, Bowers... those are meaningless names to non-coin people.

    It's a status thing.

    Overall, I kind of see mainly view it this way... it's really just name-dropping. I suppose, though, much of life is, no? Perhaps even moreso, it's auctioneers/sellers trying to seize on that to squeeze more money out of an item.

    Though it wasn't really the true point of the question/topic, notable comment made above about the practical importance of legal provenance for ancients.

    But non-coin people dont buy coins… so why should coin people only care about the provenances of people known outside of the coin hobby?

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,276 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SimonW said:
    I actually think people who ARE serious coin collectors should carry the more robust premium. They know what the crap they’re talking about. Usually means they ended up with the best stuff within the range they collected.

    And they didn't just "throw money at the problem."

  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,824 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 5, 2023 10:33PM

    @Pizzaman said:

    @Boosibri said:

    @Pizzaman said:
    Not responding to the question directly, it is a market grading criteria, along with "eye appeal." How much weight if any the TPGs give it in the grade, I wouldn't know.

    I don’t understand what point you are making.

    It's a market grading criteria. Like "eye appeal," while it has no bearing on the technical grade, a grader is allowed to bump the market grade for it, to the degree, in the grader's opinion, the bidders would value it. I think ANA refers to it--somewhat erroneously, IMO--as "pedigree." Regardless, it's clear what they're driving at. It's a status thing. When it's valued by the market, the market grade may take it into account, in which case the coin will grade over and above the technical or condition grade.

    There's money in it, is the simple answer. And market grading is money grading. And ANA market grading standards, IIRC, recognize that, in much the same way they recognize "eye appeal" as a market grading criteria.

    The provenance (aka "pedigree") of a coin is not in the least a factor in grading the coin. It is, however, sometimes a factor in determining the market value of a coin. Which is a very different thing that what people call "market grading".

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,824 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @realeswatcher said:
    BTW, should we add in as a variable that when prominent collections get slabbed/sold, they sometimes seem to receive, um, generous grading??

    To whatever extent that is true, it's mostly a function of the individual graders getting excited about seeing one great coin after another, letting their guard down, and getting a little carried away. Which is simply a matter of human nature. On the other hand, I can't imagine a grader thinking that he should intentionally grade a coin higher because it was owned by a famous collector.

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TwoKopeiki said:
    To me, the provenance adds an interesting historic dimension, but at the end of the day the coin has to stand on its own.

    Of course I agree with this.

    As I said in the OP, I have added many of these provenances via research after buying a great coin, which was always a great coin, and was appreciated by other knowledgeable collectors.

    My central question is does that added historical dimension add value to an otherwise great coin. I think it does, to what degree is determined by the history and the current acquirer, but it adds another dimension which can only be positive.

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