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Prices realized for Obsolete Proofs at Heritage.
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Author:  Bernie [ Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Prices realized for Obsolete Proofs at Heritage.

I was interested in how prices for obsolete proofs have been changing over the last decade or so.

Smythe, Stacks, and Heritage have been the leaders (probably in that order) in selling obsolete proofs in the recent past. Unfortunately, it would be very difficult to obtain the relevant information from either Smythe or Stacks.

Using the Heritage auction archive it was extremely easy to search the obsolete notes for “proof” in the title. I did not eliminate the few notes that were not proofs. I kept the dozen or so proof sheets. I also did not try to eliminate the dozen or so proprietary proofs.

Here are my results from this search (see the graphs below):

1. Out of the 35,000 plus obsoletes in the archives sold between 6/2000 and 3/2009, 834 came up as having proof in the title of the lot. That is only about 2.4%. The percentage is typically much higher in the Smythe and Stacks auctions. Heritage tends to sell many lower priced obsoletes, especially remainders and scrip in their weekly auctions.
2. 6 proofs sold for more than $5,000.
3. The highest price paid for an obsolete proof was $25,300 for the Iowa proof shown below.
4. The average price (ignoring date sold and inflation) is $723. Together the 834 proofs brought in more than $602,000.
5. As the graphs show, the prices for proofs is steadily increasing. The red dots indicate the average yearly price realized for proofs. Although not really applicable for this price appreciation analysis, the red line shows an approximate linear regression for the red dots.

Isn’t it nice to have the HA archives? Wish the other auction houses had the same?

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