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Rare Coin Market Update

Rare Coin Market Update #16 (Archives)

Rare U.S. and Ancient Coins are absolutely RED HOT!

by James DiGeorgia 2013-02-25 15:11:17

I’ve been so swamped since the beginning of 2013 that I haven’t been able to find the time to update you, my readers, on the rare coin market. I attended five major numismatic auctions in Europe before the end of last year. I was amazed at both how many buyers showed up in person to bid and how high prices soared – even on coins that I thought would not grade relative to the prices realized.

Let’s start with mint state Greek and Roman silver and gold. Without exaggeration, the prices realized in virtually all the auctions for these ancients were between two and three times the prices estimated. One coin after another had several buyers that drove the bids substantially past the estimates until two or three bidders drove each of the coins auctioned to nosebleed levels. Still, one must keep in mind that many of these coins in this segment of the market are geometrically rarer than most U.S. Rare Coins bringing the same levels.

It was very clear to me that there are more than a few dozen Russian dealers and big collector/investor types who have woken up, and finally recognize how under priced mint state to gem mint state Roman and Greek silver coinage really is. Besides the Russians and many Europeans, I was made aware of mega millionaires from China and the Middle East that have started buying exceptional Ancient coins.

I’m not a fortune teller. I base my view on the market on experience and common sense supply/demand fundamentals. As a result, I still believe that mint state to gem uncirculated silver and gold Ancients have upward potential of 300%, 500% even 1000% in the next 10 years.*

*My opinion, no guarantees, past performance is no guarantee of future success. Buying and selling coins involves risk; you can lose all or part of your money.

Meanwhile on the U.S. Coin front, the market for genuinely rare high quality gold and silver coins is at a fever pitch. Buyers are focused on original surfaces with pristine “skin” i.e. that original layer of surface coins leave the mint with. We witnessed the sale of a plugged SP66 1794 Flowing Dollar selling for $10 million. That’s right a U.S. Silver Dollar selling for 8 figures. Dealers are reporting to me that the volume of turnover has accelerated and many feel like we are in the early stages of a new bull market in rare coins. I can testify to the fact that my staff and I enjoyed one of the most incredible rare coin shows at this year’s Florida United Numismatists (FUN) show in Orlando. Making it even more remarkable, I chose to take a lower cost table in the Ancient section of the show and it felt like we were set up at the front door. We met literally a core of serious collectors and investors and sold coins like crazy!

It seemed like there were literally hundreds of rare coin buyers looking to park cash and large checks in anything fresh, rare and in high grade. I actually had a great deal of fun at the FUN show.

What’s driving the resurgence in rare coins?

I think the rare coin market is being fueled by an improving economy. Should the economy continue to grow at 2%, the market should remain brisk, should it grow at 3% or even 4%, I would expect the rare coin market to jump 20% to 40% across the board for rarity and quality.