NumisMedia Market Report: Buyers Showing Renewed Interest in the Market

Posted on 10/12/2009

This month NumisMedia has a lot to report about a continually improving coin market. Several recent shows have sported good results. NumisMedia has the full story.

The majority of dealers in attendance did not think the ANA in Los Angeles was a particularly good location for a major event. However, it did mark the beginning of an improvement in the coin market. In the following weeks, the Long Beach Expo and the Whitman Coin and Currency Show in Philadelphia also exhibited an increase in activity by dealers and collectors / investors. Dealers felt the Long Beach Show was much better than they expected. Attendance by the public showed marked improvement from the previous show at the end of May. Dealers working the bourse floor seemed to benefit from the fact that many dealers from the East Coast chose not to make this trip. There have been several major shows in a one-month period and the expenses can eat up sparse profits.

The Heritage Auction at the Long Beach Expo was another successful event for the company that maintains the largest Internet bidding client list in the country. Whether there is visible activity in the auction room or not, there are always thousands of bidders participating in their auctions. This auction realized over $18 million and contained numerous highlights. One of the most dazzling coins in the sale was the 1891 $20 Liberty in Proof 67 Ultra Cameo, graded by NGC. This coin sold for $158,125. Here are a few more highlights listed below.

Denomination   Grade   Price Realized  
1799 Large Cent PCGS VF 25 $25,300
1925 D Lincoln Cent PCGS MS 66 RD $74,750
1823/2 Bust Dime NGC MS 66 $11,500
1854 Seated Quarter w/ Arr NGC PR 65 $21,850
1904 S Barber Half PCGS MS 66 $74,750
1849 Seated Dollar NGC PR 64 $37,375
1851 Seated Dollar NGC MS 63 $54,625
1889 CC Morgan Dollar NGC MS 62 $21,850
1892 Morgan Dollar DMPL PCGS MS 65 $11,500
1807 $2 ½ Gold NGC MS 63 $43,125
1883 O $10 Gold NGC AU 50 $43,125
1859 O $20 Gold NGC AU 58 $69,000
1861 O $20 Gold NGC AU 55 $57,500
1906 $20 Gold PCGS MS 65 $25,300
1920 S $20 Saint PCGS MS 64 $132,250
1930 S $20 Saint PCGS MS 63 $86,250


In most cases, FMV prices for Modern series coins are driven by the multitudes of new collectors who enjoy the quality of very high grades. They may not be yet sophisticated enough to understand that older, classic coinage, had impediments to perfection. Today, the US Mint builds perfection into our coins and registry set collecting has added thousands of new collectors to numismatics. However, because of current economic conditions, many collectors have been forced to sell these high-grade rarities into a weak modern market. Lately we have seen many of the Mint State and Proof 70 coins being sold at heavy discounts. Yet, there are still collectors who want the finest and are willing to pay for the best coins available. When two or more collectors go head-to-head in a major auction, prices realized can easily exceed current FMV. In the Long Beach Sale, a 1991 Silver Eagle in MS 70 brought $34,500 in an NGC holder. Next, a 1996 in the same grade and holder sold for $21,850; and finally a 1999, again NGC MS 70, realized $27,600.

Results from recent auctions show what is happening to Deep Mirror Prooflike Morgan Dollars. While Silver Dollars are a staple of many fine collections, DMPL Dollars are a highly specialized area that requires a deep understanding of overall quality. Compromise is very important because the depth of a mirrored dollar also exposes the marks on the coin at a disproportionate rate compared to other coins. The increase or decrease in the collector base moves with the cycles of this market. When the market is hot, the collector base grows considerably. However, when the market reverses, a few highly competitive collectors loosing interest can have a tremendous effect on the prices of high-end coins. The loss of these main buyers over the last year has caused DMPL Dollars to fall drastically. On the other hand, this creates buying opportunities. The following examples compare FMV prices in today’s market versus one year ago.

Date & Grade   October 2009 FMV   October 2008 FMV  
1878 7 T/F MS 65 $9,190 $12,060
1880 O MS 65 $62,500 $76,880
1887 MS 66 $3,470 $5,220
1887/6 MS 65 $24,380 $37,500
1888 MS 67 $41,880 $50,630
1890 S MS 65 $9,440 $13,440
1895 S MS 66 $83,130 $105,630
1897 MS 66 $19,690 $34,690
1898 MS 67 $36,880 $50,630
1903 MS 65 $25,630 $39,060
1904 MS 65 $73,130 $92,190

There are many other examples in Deep Mirror Prooflikes where the FMV has lost a considerable amount of luster in the last year. Buyers are in the market only if they feel the coins are a bargain compared to the highs of a year ago. This is still a highly desirable series and DMPL collectors looking to buy are currently in an advantageous position.

This article is a guest article written by:



Numismedia

The thoughts and opinions in the piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.

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