JR Bisell: Come, Let’s fall for Pirate Gold coins in a modern way: A treat to your neck and eyes
So, my technical profession is “numismatist” and the industry is called “numismatics” although I wouldn’t start with that because those words could bore someone to tears hah basically what I do is sell pirate treasure, and now dinosaur fossils as well!
My dad used to always flick real shipwreck gold coins into our pool when I was a kid, they weren’t anything crazy he wasn’t really collecting shipwreck coins back then. At the time he was running a grading company for paper money CGC (Currency Grading and Certification) he had retired from the mortgage company at age 33 (He founded the 5th Largest Private Mortgage Company ‘Wallstreet Mortgage Executives Inc’ largest in AZ). After that he was bored for 3 years and didn’t know what to do until he found out there was such thing as a $10,000 bill. Now that really got his attention, $10,000 and $5,000 notes were made for interbank transfers before there was such thing as online banking etc. for banks could transfer large amounts of money between each other they were never for the public to use. Also meaning they are pretty damn rare and range anywhere from $60,000 to deep six figures.
One day on his walk it clicked, if he opened a grading company all the rarest and prized bank notes would all end up being sent to him and then he would know where all the best notes were ‘buried away’ and exactly how many there were in existence (could make a population report which is extremely crucial in determining true value: if everyone thinks 2 are known and someone secretly has 100 that’s important) Not to mention the “computer box” as my dad says all his friends called it was just beginning to have platforms like eBay and if you had the money could hire someone who could make you a website and you could “sell through the computer box” which all his friends thought was crazy that would never work. A grading company however could be the very tool to tie it all together so people could feel comfortable buying through this so-called computer box.
So CGC thrived until 2008 haha, everything he had predicted had worked people were buying and selling online of course and eBay was still the largest platform for online fishing among auctions. The recession hit everyone, now buying $100,000 pieces of paper is arguably for the wealthy so when the recession hit a lot of people were willing to buy (if there was blood in the water) but a lot of people weren’t willing to sell, so it just got quiet. My dad got bored again, and he started playing around in world bank notes, which did okay and kept him busy, but now I’m graduating college and I’m in the office every day, and my dad sees my face light up like a Christmas tree over these treasure coins in a way I never had over any banknotes except the $10,000s and $5,000s haha those are epic. He thought my novice eye was good indicator at popularity and decided to buy a couple more serious shipwreck gold treasure and worst-case scenario we love them anyway.
Then after I graduated, I felt like I couldn’t have a better match again, it felt like black jack twice, I get to use all my marketing knowledge on something as fun as shipwreck treasure?! Not to mention I get to do it all from scratch, brand new website I got to build from scratch all by myself, all the photos, all the SEO the branding, the whole essence of the company it was all mine to do exactly how I envisioned with only my dad to contents’ to. A perfect bliss as an artist and a marketer (although my dad and I had some unworldly arguments, there’s no employee employer protection when its father and son and were both very opinionated but usually see eye to eye).
So, I beat a dead horse for 4 going on 5 years from photoshop, adobe premiere videos, all the SEO, our product on 6 platforms and a website that gets thousands of hits a day, you can just google ‘shipwreck coins’ and I’m the massive box of the to the right ha if you’re looking for me you can’t find me. Don’t get me wrong the photoshop, the premiere videos all that stuff definitely kept my art side alive but I felt like I was turning into a suite. Infact I was even starting to wear them, freaked myself out I always considered myself an artist. Thankfully my friend Kennedy broke my finger down at the beach on accident because I got bored enough to start painting again.
I’m only painting Pirate Treasure’s as of now, it has been complimenting my authentic Shipwreck Treasures beautifully. When someone spends $45,000 on a coin or much more a painting for a couple grand isn’t a big deal. But really the synergy is most perfect in the sense that when someone spends those large sums on a coin, it goes into a safe or more likely in a bank. Now you have maybe a photo of it on your phone you look at every now and then but it never does it justice. Now someone can have a gorgeous vibrant large picture of their prized possessions that perfectly encompasses the beauty and intoxicating feeling they get holding that piece in their hand, now they can feel it walking into a room, a coin is small so it is a whole other realm of enjoyment when you can see your favorite treasures all the time on the wall it truly melts the mind in happiness. At least mine and the people who love their treasures like we do.
The Economist just did an article saying that numismatics as a whole (all coins and paper money) did 195% over the past 10 years even surpassing art at 132%, although you have to take into account that the most expensive coin is only $10 million for the Flowing Hair Dollar and art now just hit $450 Million with the Salvatore Mundi so that level of growth in that stratosphere is astounding and also not comparable.
However, that was the past 10 years when 85% of the numismatic market was based on US coins, and just recently has grading and authentication been introduced into ancient coins and shipwreck coins so these markets now are just getting life breathed into them and are appreciating rapidly now that buying and selling online has become easier with the grading.
Finding Treasure is brutal, they’ll go 2-3 years and find maybe 2 escudos and then the divers want like $12,000 for $3,000 coins, which is understandable because they just went years finding nothing. Most the Treasure we buy is found of the coast of Florida, you have to own the rights to the water you’re diving and Florida gives you a limited amount of time for each lease. If you don’t find anything they’ll let someone else have shot. Mel Fisher even lost his own kid finding treasure it’s a rough business and most everyone finds nothing. If you find it on land you get to keep the coin but if you find it in the water Florida takes 20%.
The best experience I’ve had so far is definitely getting the Gold Bar we have off the Atocha, its massive and it has the pirate shipwreck gold bar look exactly how’d you’d want it to look like something out of a movie. There’s only 12 Enrada Bars off the Atocha (I’ve heard Enrada mint is supposed to be like the Rolex of Gold bars ha no joke) and 9 of them are in a museum in Germany, however it sits at a bank and that’s why we have $2,500 exact replica of it on our desk hahaha. And I’m currently doing a painting of it.
Web link: http://pirategoldcoins.com/