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Coquille River L.E. -Why is it worth what it is worth? #205410 11/13/11 02:39 PM
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DANIEL Offline OP
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Review of the limited edition Coquille secondary market value.

I thought I would bring back some of my old research information that many have forgotten or most likely never heard of.

The LE Coquille is still one of the big favorites of Harbour Light collectors and it is hard to find even with Ebay, One may ask why is the coquille so hard to find when it had a production of 1138? There are many Harbour Lights out there with production numbers way less than the coquille and they can be had for under $200. What makes a coquille so hard to find and valuable? Of course we all know that the price is dictated by supply verses the demand. The Coquille being a collectable, collectors should have scooped it up right away when it retired.

Well it didnít happen that way. The coquille was an unpopular lighthouse as sales were concern, so when HL realized that the mold was incorrect having 6 sides instead of the actual eight, they decided in Feb 1993 just to retire the lighthouse. Harbour Lights was getting relatively popular with the Great lakes & New England lights of 92 and the southern Bells for 93. Harbour Lights popularity was growing but the only way a collector knew about HL or what was going on was thru their dealer. The early retirement of the coquille was reaching collectors by word of mouth from sales reps to dealers to collectors. For those that had registered their lighthouses were starting to receive newsletter in the fall of 93 from Harbour lights but even then it wasnít until the winter of 94 until the legacy announced the retirement of the Coquille, over one and 1/2 years after it happened.

After retirement the Coquille gradually reached a secondary market value of $200 with a continuous climb until over a year and a half later it topped out at $1000 by the 1994 Christmas season. Even if collectors knew about the Coquille retirement it wasnít till 1995 that collectors could actually try and find them at retail. Yes, there were some Secondary market dealers available but collectors in general didnít know where to find them and if they did most collectors didnít feel comfortable buying through them or paying the marked-up price.

Then the big break through happened. In the spring of 1995 Harbour Lights offered their first society kit and inside the kit was the list of all Harbour Light dealers. Also by 1995 Harbour lights popularity was busting out of the seams with new collectors that wanted to catch up and complete their collection. This was the year that collectors started manning their phone books and hunted down at retail the hard to find Portland head, Southeast Block, St Augustine, Cape Hatteras and of course the Coquille River.

This meant that the coquille had four years to be absorbed into the population, so when the new wave of collectors came about to hunt down the coquille, it was already hidden in the hands of novice and tourist that didnít know what they had or die-hard established collectors that knew but would never sell. Another important factor was that Bill Younger started the sales routes in his area of the west coast so that most of the early coquille would have been sold in California, Oregon and Washington. I would guess that at least the first 250 of HL 101 thru HL 117 were sold to established dealers in this area. By 1995 Harbour Lights had a good dealership network across the country with the heavy collectors of the late 1990ís in the East Coast and Great Lakes regions. Allot of collectors had large phone bills and even made it harder for the rest to find the rare ones, which in turn, drove up the prices. Besides collectors a rush of Secondary market dealers appeared adding to madness. A Harbour Light market was created that we thought would never end and the value of the Coquille River kept escalating until it reached its peak in 1998 at $2800.

The following also added to the desire of collectors to have the Coquille.
1. It had a neat story about how it was made with six sides instead of the eight.
2. It was a missing link for collectors to have them all. Even though know a days most collectors have given up on collecting them all, back in the 90ís it was feasible and very popular to have them all, since there were only around a 100 then.
3. The coquille has had great advertising. If a collector were going to know anything about the early HLís most likely it would be the story about the coquille. This is the best well known rare Lighthouse produced by Harbour Lights.
4. Of course the big driver for collecting the coquille is to have something that you cannot obtain easily.

I speculate that many of the coquilles have either been thrown away or still stuffed away in the Attics or garages of homes in Washington, California and Oregon. The rest are in the hands of collectors that will not part with them. It is sad to say but the only time you see the coquille for sale is when a long time collector dies and it is sold off by the heirs or if a collector needs money to pay off medical bills.

With all the collectables prices bottoming out the coquille is one of the few that has been able to weather through. I would put the value of a coquille with its box at $800 to $950 and I would not consider $1200 to high for the asking.


DANIEL
Re: Coquille River L.E. -Why is it worth what it is worth? [Re: DANIEL] #205411 11/13/11 03:00 PM
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i agree Daniel.I would put the worth around $1000 since this would be one of the last a collector would part with as well as one of the last they would need to obtain. CH1 and it's variations are the only others that you never see for sale. I know many hard core collectors that never were able to get one. You even had a hard time with CH2 but you could find it at a third of the cost of Coquille.
Nice job on the history Dabiel.

Last edited by rscroope; 11/13/11 03:01 PM.

LONG ISLAND BOB
Re: Coquille River L.E. -Why is it worth what it is worth? [Re: DANIEL] #205413 11/13/11 03:39 PM
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Excellent writeup on Coquille. It would be great seeing a similiar writeup by you on each of the original 38 lighthouses since the original 38 seemed to have the most interesting stories.


Rich
Re: Coquille River L.E. -Why is it worth what it is worth? [Re: DANIEL] #205416 11/13/11 07:06 PM
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Even with slight imperfections, or small chips the Coquille would be worth a lot of money!


Angels Gate
Re: Coquille River L.E. -Why is it worth what it is worth? [Re: DANIEL] #205418 11/14/11 01:52 AM
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DANIEL Offline OP
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I agree when it comes to rare HL's like the coquille L.E. a few small chips wouldn't affect the value much.
Quote:
It would be great seeing a similar writeup by you on each of the original 38 lighthouses

Rich I will play it by ear and see what I do next. Got allot of time off this next month and got more time at the computer. I am very disappointed in how the discussion of the early HL has deteriorated. If I can stir up a little interest again it would be great.


DANIEL
Re: Coquille River L.E. -Why is it worth what it is worth? [Re: DANIEL] #205421 11/14/11 02:06 AM
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While the later Harbour Lights are more detailed and exacting I have always felt that the early HLs, before they moved to China, are more intriguing and have more character. True, they are uglier, lack detail and are crude, but, so was the model T Ford compared to the latest model Focus. Dollar for dollar, guess which one is worth more in today's market and will continue to go up in value.


Rich
Re: Coquille River L.E. -Why is it worth what it is worth? [Re: DANIEL] #205422 11/14/11 03:52 AM
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I think the early HL lighthouses have character and I like that. The later ones got more 'beautiful' but are they really more beautiful compared to all the blood, sweat and tears so to speak that went into the early productions. Even though I wasn't involved with Harbour Lights at that time when I read the stories I can 'feel' the energy and life that went into their production. I have seen a coquille but I have never seen a HL 102. I have a coquille 427 and it sits where I see it often and it is beautiful and brings back lots of memories as I have been to it several times, climbed it, and sat with a friend and ate a picnic lunch in the sea grass close by. I do have a rare Burrows Island and I do enjoy remembering all I went through to finally end up with it. I like to hear stories of how someone ended up with a certain piece.
Kathleen

Re: Coquille River L.E. -Why is it worth what it is worth? [Re: DANIEL] #205424 11/14/11 06:12 PM
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I had four of them at one time in the past! I heard the story from a store owner in one of our local malls back in the day. I was able to get one from her and I started checking around at the other malls. I called a Tinder Box and asked if they had any and they said no. Went to that store a few weeks later and one was setting on the shelf. That was number two! Found two more and sold them for $125 each! Thought at the time I was doing good! Should have held on to them! Sold the other two for over $1200 each.

Thanks for the memories!!!

Re: Coquille River L.E. -Why is it worth what it is worth? [Re: DANIEL] #205426 11/14/11 08:19 PM
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I got mine at auction on ebay, and there were 7 bidders, so it got pretty exciting. I ended up with a good price, and was very happy because I had just let one go by for $875.00 WITH NO BOX! There are HLs out there which will always keep a respectable value, and Coquille River is one of them.


Angels Gate
Re: Coquille River L.E. -Why is it worth what it is worth? [Re: DANIEL] #205429 11/15/11 04:07 PM
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I enjoy my Coquille 427 for now. Maybe someday I'll add the Coquille LE when the oppurtunity comes my way.

Great report Daniel !!!


Last edited by Lighthouse Loon; 11/15/11 10:52 PM.

Stan M
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Harry Wishlist: Tinicum Rear Range, Miah Maull Shoal, Finns Point, Bergen Point, Cross Ledge, Old Ambrose Lightstation, Romer Shoal, Barnegat Lightship, Liberty Lightship.
Re: Coquille River L.E. -Why is it worth what it is worth? [Re: DANIEL] #205516 11/23/11 05:17 PM
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Rrronne Offline
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Great Article.

I thought I would note that two Coquilles sold for $750 each with box and papers here in the Trading post in the last month/month and a half.

I was lucky enough to snag one of them. It now holds center stage in one of our curios.

Now to find an Original Hatteras and a Split Rock, MI flag error and I will be content.


Randall Ronne
President - Colorado Lighthouse Collectors Society
New Dungeness Light Station Association
Re: Coquille River L.E. -Why is it worth what it is worth? [Re: DANIEL] #205519 11/23/11 07:57 PM
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Middle I-land MI Max Offline
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I assume the two Coquilles that Rrronne refers to above were the ones that were listed on the CF Trading Post back on 9-25-11 by Bill B.--texaslighthouselover--in San Antonio, Texas.

On a separate posting in the Trading Post that same day, Bill also posted about 60 HL Limited Edition #1's for sale. Tony Constantino announced back on 12-4-06 that William (Bill) Booth's bid was the winner of the Founder's Collection #1's.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but to MY AMAZEMENT no one on the CF has even mentioned, nor has there been any discussion on these 60 L.E. #1's. I can't believe it!! Never before has any listing on the Trading Post had this special significance.

Max

Re: Coquille River L.E. -Why is it worth what it is worth? [Re: DANIEL] #205520 11/23/11 08:07 PM
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I contacted the seller, but at the time, he said he couldn't find the lighthouse I wanted (it was on his list of "I have..."). I had several communications with him, and then never heard from him again!


Angels Gate
Re: Coquille River L.E. -Why is it worth what it is worth? [Re: DANIEL] #205525 11/24/11 04:08 AM
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DANIEL Offline OP
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Angles Gate

I had the same experiance. I purchased the CAPE BLANCO and GEORGES REEF. After A few days he emailed me and told me not to send the check or if I already did he was going to send it back to me.

He claimed he could not find the lighthouses. He asured me that if he found the lighthouses He would let me know.

I then aquired about two more lighthouses and he never answered me.


DANIEL

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