Advice That's Worth Its Weight in Gold


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Welcome to Heritage
Heritage Rare Coin Galleries and Heritage Numismatic Auctions, divisions of Heritage Auctions, are the world's largest numismatic dealers and auctioneers. Heritage has achieved this status through determination, hard work, and by consistently producing results for our clients that met or exceeded their expectations. Throughout the hundreds and hundreds of auctions we have held, our ability to get the job done on time, and as promised, has never faltered.

Roughly ten times per year Heritage holds Signature Auctions of US coins in conjunction with larger shows. Three times a year, we hold Signature Auctions featuring World and Ancient coins. Every week, we hold Internet-only auctions of certified, mostly US coins, with sessions ending Tuesday and Sunday. We also offer coins for direct purchase both from our own inventory or, through our Virtual Bourse, from participating dealers all over the US.

About Heritage Auctions ...
Heritage Auctions is the largest collectibles auctioneer and third largest auction house in the world. We are also the undisputed Internet leader in our field. Our 686,921 registered online bidder-members are a testament to the usefulness of our website, our reputation for professional business practices and our vast expertise in the field of art and collectibles.

Heritage Auctions, established in 1976, offers a wide range of US & World Coins, Rare Currency, Fine & Decorative Art, Western Art, Illustration Art, Vintage Comic Books & Comic Art, Movie Posters, Entertainment Memorabilia, Jewelry & Timepieces, Vintage & Couture Handbags, Sports Collectibles, Historical & Political Memorabilia, Rare Books & Manuscripts, American Indian Art, Air & Space Memorabilia, Civil War Memorabilia, Vintage & Contemporary Photography, Natural History Specimens and more.

We give our customers unprecedented access to our services using the latest advancements in technology and by maintaining a strong presence in the collectibles community.

Our knowledgeable staff of over 100 experts and 300 additional service-oriented professionals, and our suite of services, help our customers develop the best collections possible.

We are always looking to acquire interesting items, whether through consignment or by outright purchase, and we spend or disburse millions of dollars every business day, on average, keeping our clients' demands satisfied.

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Advice That's Worth Its Weight in Gold

  1. 1. Advice thats worth its weight in goldHow You Can Use Warren Buffetts Personal Secrets of Success In Todays Exciting RareCoin MarketBy Scott TilsonWhen it comes to figuring out how to be successful at any pursuit, I firmlybelieve theres absolutely no reason to re-invent the wheel. Many wisemen have discovered its far easier to learn the hard fought lessons fromthe legendary visionaries that have already graduated from "The School ofHard Knocks".So over the past two decades I decided to learn everything I possibly could from the mostsuccessful and ethical investor in the world, Mr. Warren Buffett. I realized I was no financialgenius, but I was highly confident that most of Mr. Buffetts rules for success in the stock marketcould be readily applied to my area of interest ...the buying and selling of rare collectibles.So I read every book and magazine article I could possibly find on Warren Buffett. I read everyone of Mr. Buffetts Berkshire Hathaway annual reports and Ive faithfully attended each of hisannual meetings in Omaha, Nebraska for the past 11 years.In 1998 and 1990, my friend Jim Halperin (The chairman of Heritage Auctions) and I even wentas far as paying $20,000 to have lunch with Mr. Buffett, so we could personally have him answerall of our questions about his rules for success. Of course, people thought we were crazy at thetime (you paid $20,000 for lunch???) but this was unquestionably the smartest money either ofus has ever spent.And now that lunch with Mr. Buffett goes for over $2,000,000 (no, that is not a typo) — anappreciation of over 100 times our cost — we can also argue that this was the best investmentweve ever made! Advice thats worth its weight in gold...Heres what Mr. Buffett has repeatedly said publicly, and to me personally, about what it takes tosucceed in any market and how Ive applied it to todays rare coin market: 1. Specialize. Define your circle of competence and collect inside it. Dont try to be a jack-of-all-trades. Specialize on one or two specific areas and find out everything you can about them. Buy the book before you buy the coin. Decades of experience and thousands of collectors have proven this to be an
  2. 2. incontrovertible law for success. In fact, I have yet to hear or read about even a single collector who has successfully neglected this rule. The bottom line is that the more educated you are, the more successful you will be — no exceptions!2. Buy the very best quality coins you can. Its better to buy a great coin at a fair price than a fair coin at a great price. Its critical to understand that sophisticated collectors always want the very best and remain ready, willing and able to act quickly when opportunity presents itself. These collectors understand that the opportunity to acquire a rarity is often rarer than the collectible itself! For these savvy folks, price is secondary, quality comes first. Successful collectors understand that museum quality will always be highly sought after and become increasingly desirable while run-of-the- mill quality will never rise above boring and un-exciting. Successful collectors understand that years from now it will be an insignificant fact that they "stretched" an extra 20 - 30% to add something special to their collection. Successful collectors aspire to locate rarities today that will be impossible to locate at virtually any price tomorrow. In fact, if youre not prepared to "stretch" for the very best, you wont be the person who ends up with a world class collection. The spoils will simply go to someone else. David Queller, one of the most successful coin collectors of this era recently stated in an online interview that "the best, most expensive coins always wind up being the cheapest in the long run." To see this interview, click here.3. Buy for the long term...with the idea of holding forever. The best rare coins are just that...really rare and extremely difficult to find. It also takes a tremendous amount of time and energy to track down the really top tier material. You must realize that what you sell today could very well be impossible to replace at any price tomorrow. When you buy the best it just keeps getting better. So think long term, every successful collector I have ever heard about has religiously embraced this strategy.4. Patience is critical. Wait for the perfect pitch, right down the middle of the plate. This ones going to be tough for you to follow because it involves fighting human nature. I urge you to resist the temptation to rush out and acquire items that are inferior in quality and desirability. Its easy to place funds in second tier material because these items are always readily available. Simply dont do it, youd be shooting yourself in the foot.5. When the opportunity presents itself, act quickly and seize the day. Its not enough to simply indentify an opportunity. Its more important ... far more important ... to decisively act on rare opportunities and exploit them to their fullest potential. Every long time collector can quickly rattle off the "coins that got away" ...coins that they were offered and passed on... usually because of price. After you have
  3. 3. done your homework have confidence in your judgment and do everything in your power to seal the deal. 6. Work only with Dealers you like and trust. Coin collecting is a wonderful hobby and pursuit that should bring you pleasure and respite from the worlds everyday pressures and hassles. Make sure that the dealer you choose to work with is adding enjoyment to your life, not a barrage of annoying phone calls and hype. I believe that the dealer(s) you choose to do business with will be the single most important decision you make. Find someone you trust that has an excellent reputation. I like dealers that are interested in educating me ...not just selling me stuff. Make sure your dealer offers full transparency and offers you the latest tools and technology available in the marketplace. Dont be afraid to ask for references, and then be fastidious in following them up. Find a dealer that stands behind the coins they sell before, during and after the sale. In return, show loyalty to your dealer and do your part to build a strong relationship. Savvy collectors know that the most loyal customers are the ones that get called first when the most coveted material surfaces. Do everything you can to be that person.Scott Tilson is a long time client of Heritage Auctions and has been involved in the rare coinmarket for the past 30 years. His main collecting interest and focus is early U.S. Type. For thepast several years Mr. Tilson has been busy establishing the Psychedelic Art Exchange whichallows collectors to participate in a new ground floor collectibles opportunity...1960sPsychedelic Rock Concert Posters. Mr Tilson welcomes your comments on this article and canbe reached c/o Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auctionhouse, with annual sales more than $750 million, and 600,000+ online bidder members. For moreinformation about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized,along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit to get the up-to-the-minute updates and breaking news stories about Heritage Auctions? Get themas they happen at:; Facebook: view acomplete archive of Heritage press releases, go to: