Is the Clad Quarter Market Strong?
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physics-fan3.14   
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That did bring strong money, but not as strong as previous sales of similar coins. 

There are really two markets: one for super-high grade top pops, rarities, or extremely eye appealing coins, which is somewhat strong. And an unrelated market for everything else, which is not strong. 

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cladking   
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Certainly it's not strong and never has been at the wholesale level. 

States quarters were "strong" at one time but much less so now. 

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WoodenJefferson   
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The perception that these 'high grade' moderns can be made anytime you need one has kept the values lower than expected. It's only realized when you start looking for registry set entries, just how difficult some of these modern coins can get in higher grades. 

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numisport   
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This is such an odd comment to make, I know. But why would anyone spend 2k on a coin that visually unappealing when 68 cameo coins are available for a fraction of the price. Also ask yourself if a truly nice MS 68 piece turned up would they call it an SMS coin ?

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WoodenJefferson   
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MS/SMS vs PR is like comparing night & day. The MS/SMS went into hoppers, the Proofs (collector coins) were handled individually with no contact with other coins, that and there were no proofs made in 65/66/67

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numisport   
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1 hour ago, WoodenJefferson said:

MS/SMS vs PR is like comparing night & day. The MS/SMS went into hoppers, the Proofs (collector coins) were handled individually with no contact with other coins, that and there were no proofs made in 65/66/67

There were coins of those years that looked like proofs although there are very few. I understand that a cameo would look out of place in a clad set and further understand that registry driven sales do command unrealistically high prices.

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World Colonial   
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The prices of "top pop" coins and other specializations are set by a handful of buyers, literally.  This is true of any series and isn't reflective of the strength of the other coins.

If the prices of clad quarters are "strong", it should be at least somewhat visible on venues such as Great Collections or eBay, since Heritage o Stacks doesn't sell many, especially in "collector" grades.

 

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cladking   
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There were coins of those years that looked like proofs although there are very few. I understand that a cameo would look out of place in a clad set and further understand that registry driven sales do command unrealistically high prices.

In my experience the few SMS that look like they might be proof are not cameo.  The cameo coins are often highly PL but don't look like they were struck twice.  The "proofs" have razor sharp strikes and a vaguely "matte" appearance. 

I don't see it as registry set prices being high because this market is too small to be very important to the wholesale prices.  I see it as a vacuum of demand for virtually all clad quarters that hides the fact that many scarce coins are very low priced.   Many collectors would be astounded to know how scarce some of these issues are but they don't collect them because they are deemed "common".  And then they have low prices because they are not collected. 

It's a vicious circle that will be broken when the wholesale market can't even supply junk and the circulated pieces start trading at a premium.   Of course even more are scarce in anything other than typical condition.   Try finding a nice attractive well made 1969 quarter in VF to AU condition.   There are not a lot of junk uncs of these either and most are tarnished.  

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World Colonial   
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23 hours ago, cladking said:

It's a vicious circle that will be broken when the wholesale market can't even supply junk and the circulated pieces start trading at a premium.   .  

This isn't going to happen because "junk" continues to lose buyers.  In the US, this isn't just true of clad coinage but increasingly of most coins.  Sure, the prices of other US coins (such as a common key date like the 16-D dime in AG) are high compared to clad but it's becoming harder to sell even actually scarce or rare coins except at bigger discounts.

This week, Heritage failed to sell "details" examples of the 1732 Mexico pillar real and 4R, both quite decent coins despite the noted problems.  Granted, the reserves were $1800 and $4000 but anyone who makes an offer for either coin is probably going to have an even more difficult time getting their money back later. 

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cladking   
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Right now a great deal of what's available is junk unless you're willing to spend a lot of money on graded examples.   If you send off a few hundred dollars for a set you'll get lots of tarnished and inferior coins.  If you search the coins yourself you might see even worse.

Try finding nice well made Gems of the key dates and you might even need to look at a great number of graded examples.  

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cladking   
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20 hours ago, World Colonial said:

This isn't going to happen because "junk" continues to lose buyers. 

I hate to say it but I believe the time is up.  I first said this back in November of '16 but it's been picking up its pace very slowly.  I see the wholesale market not so much heating up but bids going unmet and being raised slowly.   There's no pressing need for wholesalers to raise prices because they in effect have no competition for moderns.   But collectors are actively buying coins and retailers can't always keep them in stock.   You might be surprised to learn that niceBU Ikes go for $2 now days wholesale.  

I believe we'll continue to see demand ramp higher and wholesalers scrambling for supply.  Bids will mostly go unmet even at higher prices because the mint sets are mostly "consumed" by lack of interest and there never were any BU rolls. 

Circulating coinage is even starting to look as picked over as it was around 1959.  The very few nicer coins that have survived so long have disappeared and now even lower grades are going.  Today in a roll I found a 1969 quarter in nice attractive VG+/ F- and realized it's the nicest I've seen in a few years.  Most of the mint sets are gone and most of the '69 sets that survive are tarnished.  Even nice sets have an attractive '69 only about 8% of the time.  

There are a lot of new collectors who may be disappointed at the relatively poor job we've done of saving coins for the future and we are nearly there.  It's been over half a century and coins don't save themselves.  

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World Colonial   
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57 minutes ago, cladking said:

I hate to say it but I believe the time is up.  I first said this back in November of '16 but it's been picking up its pace very slowly.  I see the wholesale market not so much heating up but bids going unmet and being raised slowly.   There's no pressing need for wholesalers to raise prices because they in effect have no competition for moderns.   But collectors are actively buying coins and retailers can't always keep them in stock.   You might be surprised to learn that niceBU Ikes go for $2 now days wholesale.  

I believe we'll continue to see demand ramp higher and wholesalers scrambling for supply.  Bids will mostly go unmet even at higher prices because the mint sets are mostly "consumed" by lack of interest and there never were any BU rolls. 

Circulating coinage is even starting to look as picked over as it was around 1959.  The very few nicer coins that have survived so long have disappeared and now even lower grades are going.  Today in a roll I found a 1969 quarter in nice attractive VG+/ F- and realized it's the nicest I've seen in a few years.  Most of the mint sets are gone and most of the '69 sets that survive are tarnished.  Even nice sets have an attractive '69 only about 8% of the time.  

There are a lot of new collectors who may be disappointed at the relatively poor job we've done of saving coins for the future and we are nearly there.  It's been over half a century and coins don't save themselves.  

I wasn't referring to "BU" coins though I don't believe these coins are anywhere near as scarce as you apparently do.

I was referring to the coins collectors have traditionally bought for predominantly low value album and set collecting.  In the internet age using my prior estimate of in the vicinity of 250,000 coins (date/MM/denomination/country) and 10,000 series, there is zero reason to believe that anywhere near the same proportion or number will want these coins as in the past.

In a prior exchange, I remember you brought up the 1940-P quarter in a grade such as VF.  I'd be surprised if this coin has any premium to the metal content "wholesale" but if it does, still see no reason to believe it will later.  Excluding "keys" and "semi-keys", I apply this line of thinking to practically all US silver coinage from common 20th century series up to low UNC grades and don't see any reason to believe the same principle doesn't apply to base metal coinage either, whether modern or classic

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cladking   
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37 minutes ago, World Colonial said:

I wasn't referring to "BU" coins though I don't believe these coins are anywhere near as scarce as you apparently do.

 

I've never believed these coins were scarce or difficult to find.  My contention has always been that the demand could far outstrip the supply.   I grew up in the late-50's/ early '60's when there were countless millions of coin collectors and something like the '50-D nickel with a mintage over two million was considered scarce and its price was astronomical. 

But the potential demand today is far higher and most moderns are in lower supply than the '50-D (at least in Unc and nicely made).   It'd hard for me to imagine that they can print millions of folders and albums for clad quarters and then none of them get filled.  It's hard for me to believe that there will never be any significant demand for these coins.  Current events very much seem to be supporting this opinion.  There are more than 60 billion quarters in circulation but among those are  fewer and fewer nice collectible old clads.   Higher and higher percentages are later issues and more and more are culls.  Even in lower grades many of the coins were obviously poorly made and not especially "collectible".  If I'm right that quarters are finally getting picked over in circulation then it follows there are  very substantial number of collectors interested in the coins and that "very significant demand" is beginning to materialize at the low end of the market.  

The simple fact is that supply of nice attractive clads is far smaller than people imagine.  There simply weren't many people setting aside coins and I can assure you that there are not going to be hoards of much of anything.   It was expensive for me to set aside a Gem quarter and store it in  safety deposit box and it wouldn't have been any cheaper for others.  A quarter used to be almost like money.  

So we still have limited supply but there is for the first time evidence that the demand, which has been increasing for decades, is finally getting to a point it can be considered "significant".  We'll all have to wait and see but my guess is a lot of states collectors ae getting into these and more will.  There's a lot of potential for demand across all the circulating moderns from cents to Ikes and there is finally enough demand that some bids are going unmet.  

I believe the next year will prove me right or wrong.  I'm still selling into it right now and considering dusting off some of the Gems for grading. 

 

Another observation is that mintages of new quarters is soaring and it appears some of this is to replace old ones being removed by collectors.  In '96 one could assemble an XF/ AU set with some effort.  But the same effort today might not even complete a F+/XF set.   Some dates are becoming quite tough.   Nice attractive high end AU's even of later dates are getting seen less.

Edited by cladking

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Six Mile Rick   
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I agree with cladking 100% but then I always did!  :)

When your grand-kids want you to help them build a nice modern series coin set you will just say "I remember when bla-bla". lol

Edited by Six Mile Rick

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World Colonial   
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On 1/11/2018 at 6:14 PM, cladking said:

I've never believed these coins were scarce or difficult to find.  My contention has always been that the demand could far outstrip the supply.   I grew up in the late-50's/ early '60's when there were countless millions of coin collectors and something like the '50-D nickel with a mintage over two million was considered scarce and its price was astronomical. 

But the potential demand today is far higher and most moderns are in lower supply than the '50-D (at least in Unc and nicely made).   It'd hard for me to imagine that they can print millions of folders and albums for clad quarters and then none of them get filled.  It's hard for me to believe that there will never be any significant demand for these coins.  Current events very much seem to be supporting this opinion.  There are more than 60 billion quarters in circulation but among those are  fewer and fewer nice collectible old clads.   Higher and higher percentages are later issues and more and more are culls.  Even in lower grades many of the coins were obviously poorly made and not especially "collectible".  If I'm right that quarters are finally getting picked over in circulation then it follows there are  very substantial number of collectors interested in the coins and that "very significant demand" is beginning to materialize at the low end of the market.  

The simple fact is that supply of nice attractive clads is far smaller than people imagine.  There simply weren't many people setting aside coins and I can assure you that there are not going to be hoards of much of anything.   It was expensive for me to set aside a Gem quarter and store it in  safety deposit box and it wouldn't have been any cheaper for others.  A quarter used to be almost like money.  

So we still have limited supply but there is for the first time evidence that the demand, which has been increasing for decades, is finally getting to a point it can be considered "significant".  We'll all have to wait and see but my guess is a lot of states collectors ae getting into these and more will.  There's a lot of potential for demand across all the circulating moderns from cents to Ikes and there is finally enough demand that some bids are going unmet.  

I believe the next year will prove me right or wrong.  I'm still selling into it right now and considering dusting off some of the Gems for grading. 

 

Another observation is that mintages of new quarters is soaring and it appears some of this is to replace old ones being removed by collectors.  In '96 one could assemble an XF/ AU set with some effort.  But the same effort today might not even complete a F+/XF set.   Some dates are becoming quite tough.   Nice attractive high end AU's even of later dates are getting seen less.

The supply of "decent", "nice" or whatever term you want to use currently in circulation doesn't imply much of anything.  What reason is there to believe that nice collectible coins (much less your gems) should be available incirculation in any number for most of these dates (1965-1998) since the series is 52 years old?  In 1965 when the switchover to clad occurred, did collectors find decent early dated Mercury dimes, Buffalo nickels or Lincoln cents in circulation other than every "blue moon"?  Different design I know but UNC common dates (all but keys and semi-keys) sold at nominal premiums and for most circulated coins, maybe no premium at all.  However many nice coins currently exist, it makes a lot more sense that most were pulled from bank rolls or circulation mostly decades ago or early during the SQ program when the series achieved peak popularity.  If this assumption is true, it doesn't support any claim for a noticeable increase in popularity now or recently.

The potential demand you have implied isn't going to happen, ever.  I haven't disagreed with you that it may increase somewhat from it's very low base but it's never going to be anything that anyone else is likely consider very noticeable.

I have explained this to you many times.  The scale of collecting as it was practiced when you grew up in the 50's and 60's has been relegated to the dustbin of history, made obsolete by the internet and it isn't coming back in either of our lifetimes.  There aren't going to be millions of collectors filling albums, not paying a premium for these coins ever worth considering.  The 50'D nickel doesn't support your opinion because it was hoarded due to the low mintage and supposed scarcity.    It was a bubble.  There has been no circulation strike US modern subject to similar behavior since I started collecting in 1975 and no reason to believe there will be one in the future either, much less for an entire series such as clad quarters.  

I have explained to you numerous times what likely accounted for the popularity of the widely collected US series in 1965.  1) 95%+ of collectors didn't pay hardly any premium for their coins at the time.  It was predominantly a recreational activity which has now been substantially replaced by numerous other alternatives which didn't exist in 1965.  2)  They actually liked silver coinage and the predecessor classic designs in circulation while the overwhelming percentage today do not like clad, including quarters. 3) Today, there is no need for any collector to restrict themselves to such a narrow number of options.  Collectors today can choose from at least 250,000 coins and 10,000 series, not the handful of series predominantly available in 1965.  There isn't any reason for collectors to choose clad quarters in any material number at meaningful prices because there are far better choices in the same or a similar price range.

Outside of specialization ("grade" rarities, certain toned coins and a very few die varieties), there is no reason to believe that clad quarters will appreciate substantially.  Of course, my definition of "significant" appreciation is substantially different than yours.  What you have called "exploding", I call financially irrelevant.  By any financially meaningful standard, clad quarters aren't going to significantly increase because if this happens, the series will be hopelessly uncompetitive versus far too numerous to name alternatives.  Collectors do not hardly ever collect in a vacuum and will opt buy something else long before this outcome occurs.

I don't disagree with you that "nice" clad quarters are scarcer than most imagine.  Concurrently, I equally know that this series is more common than over 99% of all coins ever struck since 600 BCE,.  The series is relatively very common while also being near the bottom of the preference scale among all US coinage.  If your claim about prior SQ collectors is remotely true, why aren't these collectors who are substantially now from their mid-20's to late 30's buying them them right now in much larger numbers?   The prices do not support such a claim at all and it certainly isn't because they cannot afford it.  Let me tell you what they are almost certainly buying instead:

1) NCLT, especially the ASE

2) "High" quality coins generically

3) Coins with "eye appeal" such as "toners"

Contrary to your post, it's a lot more reasonable to believe that the peak for the clad quarter series occurred during the SQ program, for as long as both of us will be alive.  If anything should have permanently and substantially increased the popularity of the series, the SQ program should have done it.  The price level and performance indicates that whatever temporary "bump" occurred then hasn't lasted.   Some of the price data I see in the Heritage archives may be the result of increases in the graded population which in turn may be partially caused by "gradeflation".  Regardless, if collectors really like this series as much as you imply, the base should easily be able to absorb the supply represented by this population data at higher or much prices.  

So other than because you want it which isn't a reason at all, what else exactly is going to be a catalyst for this series to remotely result in the outcome you claim?

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cladking   
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11 hours ago, World Colonial said:

The supply of "decent", "nice" or whatever term you want to use currently in circulation doesn't imply much of anything. 

It often seems like you try to misunderstand me and then I remember that you have no knowledge of this market and you see everything from a different perspective.  You especially see coin collecting from a very different perspective. 

You believe I'm saying rare clads are worthy of being collected by everyone and someday they will be and prices will go sharply higher.  Quite the contrary. 

In this thread what I'm saying is nice attractive MS-60 -63 clad quarters have NEVER been collected.  Prices have historically been priced relative face value.  Sure there are several impossible to find older rolls of interest to variety hunters who have pushed their prices up above $50 but these are the exception. There are the non-mint set years that are expensive. But it's still very easy to find nice choice rolls that could contain Gems or varieties being spent because prices and demand are so low.  You might imagine thousands of rolls of '79-D quarters being destroyed but the reality there just aren't that many rolls even of the common dates.  The coins were never saved in large numbers so they aren't being destroyed in large numbers.  They are being destroyed in high percentages but not high numbers.   It is THIS MARKET to which I am referring in this thread. 

A roll set of clad quarters  is rare.   I used to speak to the individuals who supplied these coins all back through the 70's, '80's, and '90's.  They'd tell me that they rarely had an order for roll sets and they had to scramble to find the coins because they just weren't out there.  I think it was Julian Jarvis who told me that some years he couldn't even sell an entire bag of a date and would return the balance to the bank.  This is the state of the "market" there is no supply and no demand.   The few coins that were sold as roll sets were used to build sets for retail and nobody paid much attention to the coins. 

Remember that most of these rolls will look pretty awful. 

What you see is the tiny market created by more advanced collectors.  These folk are seeking high grades and varieties and most of the high grades come from mint sets.  This is an active market but it's tiny because there are only a few hundred of these advanced collectors.  You may be appalled by the prices but it is difficult to locate the coins so this is where demand has pushed them.

But I've always known that any real market for clads has to come from the bottom up. It is this growing market to which I refer in this thread.  Circulating quarters are the bottom and these are being collected and pushed into Whitman folders.  There are enough being pulled out that the effects of these collectors can be seen in the disappearing nicer coins in circulation. 

There are also people working MS-60 sets and this manifests as a draw down of the stocks of the wholesale dealers who are finally actually putting out bids for rolls and mint sets. 

I'm not saying you should sell all your coins and buy clad.  I'm not saying clads are better than Morgans.  I'm merely saying that for the first time the supply of the coins appears it's going to be tested and I believe it will show the coins aren't there.  I don't know what's going to happen any more than you do but I've been watching these processes play out since Thanksgiving of 1965.   What is going on now is different than anything I've ever seen before but we are in the early stages of this "test" and the future is always determined by things that haven't happened yet. 

Edited by cladking

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numisport   
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2 hours ago, cladking said:

You might imagine thousands of rolls of '79-D quarters being destroyed but the reality there just aren't that many rolls even of the common dates.  The coins were never saved in large numbers so they aren't being destroyed in large numbers.  They are being destroyed in high percentages but not high numbers.   It is THIS MARKET to which I am referring in this thread. 

Fill me in on the destruction of clad quarters. Who's destroying any of them and to what benefit or gain is their reasoning ? Unlike pre 82 pennies or any nickel melt is less than face. I doubt any shipwreck or overseas hoards that contain clad quarters will show up soon. I've got 15 or 20 thousand copper pennies worth more than face and nobody will buy them. That means only small numbers (only the ones I could spend at one time) are even worth face.

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cladking   
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2 minutes ago, numisport said:

Fill me in on the destruction of clad quarters. Who's destroying any of them and to what benefit or gain is their reasoning ? Unlike pre 82 pennies or any nickel melt is less than face. I doubt any shipwreck or overseas hoards that contain clad quarters will show up soon. I've got 15 or 20 thousand copper pennies worth more than face and nobody will buy them. That means only small numbers (only the ones I could spend at one time) are even worth face.

Everything made by man is destroyed by time and tide over the years.  Most valuable things disappear at the rate of about 1% annually due to fires, floods, etc.   Clads have far more destruction occurring because of the myriad processes that act on them.  In circulation these are being lost at the rate of about 3% annually but "all" of them are being worn out as well; they pass from pristine to heavily worn in 30 or 40 years if they last this long.  

There are also things that work on destroying BU coins and since these coins are very inexpensive some of this destruction is even intentional.  If an heir takes a roll of '79-D quarters into a coin shop there is a strong chance that the dealer will tell him to spend it or will buy it long with everything else and spend it himself.  Its value is far too low to ship and it could sit in stock for years waiting for a buyer.  Frequently mint set coins will tarnish and the coins spent.  Dealers will cut up even good '79 mint sets because they aren't worth the cost of shipping.  Some collectors seek Gems in '79 mint sets and will cut up a set for a Gem and then spend the coins.  And, of course, all the other things like being lost in the mail or burned up in a fire apply to these coins as well.  Since the sets and coins are very inexpensive it means the attrition on these is extremely high.  Since this date tends to tarnish it makes the rate even higher than other date. 

There are no hoards of '79-D's or any other dates of clad quarters and few people collect them.  The overhang of coins that were made for collectors or otherwise set side has been getting whittled down at an alarming rate and now we're at the point that there are very few collections, very little demand, and very little overhang.  Even if clads went to a million dollars apiece there would be no "old collections" coming into coin shops in 20 years because there never were any collections except a very few from circulation and a very few advanced collections and registry sets. 

Of course these coins still aren't rare and they aren't going to a million dollars apiece but there is demand that's building up from the bottom and it's bumping into a lack of supply.  It is THIS that appears to be developing since November of 2016.   It's slow now because there was overhang in the form of old stock but now wholesalers are out of old stock and I believe their suppliers re mostly out of old stock.  I believe they are waking up to this and will be force to raise prices further.  I think what no one realizes is the coins are gone and raising prices will have little effect.  There's one order out there for 5 bag sets  of Ikes that hasn't been filled in two years despite bid increases.  There's still not a lot of wholesaler interest in clad quarters but I see this demand is already exploding and there is even less overhang in these. There is also much less old stock so any retail interest will quickly manifest as higher bids. 

I always thought this would happen fast and a long time ago but the road signs are all behind us now and we are in the final phase where demand begins to outstrip supply.   How this plays out is anybody's guess but that it is starting to play out seems apparent to me.  

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cladking   
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On ‎1‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 11:02 AM, erwindoc said:

I thought this one brought some strong money.  I know its a top pop and special since no mint sets were made that year.  What are your thoughts?

Heritage Sells NGC MS68 1966 Washington Quarter

I agree with the graders it's a nice Gem and is probably not SMS. 

I think it's graded liberally since the die shows wear and it's not a full strike.  Of course for the date it's almost unimprovable in terms of marking and still very nicely made. 

It seems anyone wanting a nice non-SMS for the date has very few better options than this coin.  I personally would prefer a better strike from a better die but to each his own.   This coin is top notch by anyone's standards.  

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numisport   
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50 minutes ago, cladking said:

Everything made by man is destroyed by time and tide over the years.  Most valuable things disappear at the rate of about 1% annually due to fires, floods, etc.   Clads have far more destruction occurring because of the myriad processes that act on them.  In circulation these are being lost at the rate of about 3% annually but "all" of them are being worn out as well; they pass from pristine to heavily worn in 30 or 40 years if they last this long.  

There are also things that work on destroying BU coins and since these coins are very inexpensive some of this destruction is even intentional.  If an heir takes a roll of '79-D quarters into a coin shop there is a strong chance that the dealer will tell him to spend it or will buy it long with everything else and spend it himself.  Its value is far too low to ship and it could sit in stock for years waiting for a buyer.  Frequently mint set coins will tarnish and the coins spent.  Dealers will cut up even good '79 mint sets because they aren't worth the cost of shipping.  Some collectors seek Gems in '79 mint sets and will cut up a set for a Gem and then spend the coins.  And, of course, all the other things like being lost in the mail or burned up in a fire apply to these coins as well.  Since the sets and coins are very inexpensive it means the attrition on these is extremely high.  Since this date tends to tarnish it makes the rate even higher than other date. 

There are no hoards of '79-D's or any other dates of clad quarters and few people collect them.  The overhang of coins that were made for collectors or otherwise set side has been getting whittled down at an alarming rate and now we're at the point that there are very few collections, very little demand, and very little overhang.  Even if clads went to a million dollars apiece there would be no "old collections" coming into coin shops in 20 years because there never were any collections except a very few from circulation and a very few advanced collections and registry sets. 

Of course these coins still aren't rare and they aren't going to a million dollars apiece but there is demand that's building up from the bottom and it's bumping into a lack of supply.  It is THIS that appears to be developing since November of 2016.   It's slow now because there was overhang in the form of old stock but now wholesalers are out of old stock and I believe their suppliers re mostly out of old stock.  I believe they are waking up to this and will be force to raise prices further.  I think what no one realizes is the coins are gone and raising prices will have little effect.  There's one order out there for 5 bag sets  of Ikes that hasn't been filled in two years despite bid increases.  There's still not a lot of wholesaler interest in clad quarters but I see this demand is already exploding and there is even less overhang in these. There is also much less old stock so any retail interest will quickly manifest as higher bids. 

I always thought this would happen fast and a long time ago but the road signs are all behind us now and we are in the final phase where demand begins to outstrip supply.   How this plays out is anybody's guess but that it is starting to play out seems apparent to me.  

Excellent response clad king. Here is one of the few attractive clads I own that is not proof. This is not a mint set coin and due to marks is probably MS 64. Gun blue obverse and multicolor reverse makes gorgeous coin.

1_14_2018_2_01_26_PM.jpg

1_14_2018_2_01_55_PM.jpg

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glennm   
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The modern coin market is indeed strong for condition rarities.  I haven't had my finger on the pulse of the market for Clad Washington Quarters, but it seems to mirror the Jefferson Nickel or clad Roosevelt Dime market.  This 1966 has a population of 3/0 with a total of 127 coins.  Seven of these 127 are circulated examples, so roughly 2.5 % of the encapsulated coins are at MS 68.  Contrast this with the single MS 68 1964-D Quarter, with 2674 graded examples.  List value for the 1964-D coin is $3100.   To me, a realistic price for the 1966 coin should be $750 or so (no offense intended to any owner/sellers or alternative opinions).  Of course, if my pockets were Bezos deep, $4-5k would be fine!

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World Colonial   
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On ‎1‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 10:04 AM, cladking said:

It often seems like you try to misunderstand me and then I remember that you have no knowledge of this market and you see everything from a different perspective.  You especially see coin collecting from a very different perspective. 

You believe I'm saying rare clads are worthy of being collected by everyone and someday they will be and prices will go sharply higher.  Quite the contrary. 

In this thread what I'm saying is nice attractive MS-60 -63 clad quarters have NEVER been collected.  Prices have historically been priced relative face value.  Sure there are several impossible to find older rolls of interest to variety hunters who have pushed their prices up above $50 but these are the exception. There are the non-mint set years that are expensive. But it's still very easy to find nice choice rolls that could contain Gems or varieties being spent because prices and demand are so low.  You might imagine thousands of rolls of '79-D quarters being destroyed but the reality there just aren't that many rolls even of the common dates.  The coins were never saved in large numbers so they aren't being destroyed in large numbers.  They are being destroyed in high percentages but not high numbers.   It is THIS MARKET to which I am referring in this thread. 

A roll set of clad quarters  is rare.   I used to speak to the individuals who supplied these coins all back through the 70's, '80's, and '90's.  They'd tell me that they rarely had an order for roll sets and they had to scramble to find the coins because they just weren't out there.  I think it was Julian Jarvis who told me that some years he couldn't even sell an entire bag of a date and would return the balance to the bank.  This is the state of the "market" there is no supply and no demand.   The few coins that were sold as roll sets were used to build sets for retail and nobody paid much attention to the coins. 

Remember that most of these rolls will look pretty awful. 

What you see is the tiny market created by more advanced collectors.  These folk are seeking high grades and varieties and most of the high grades come from mint sets.  This is an active market but it's tiny because there are only a few hundred of these advanced collectors.  You may be appalled by the prices but it is difficult to locate the coins so this is where demand has pushed them.

But I've always known that any real market for clads has to come from the bottom up. It is this growing market to which I refer in this thread.  Circulating quarters are the bottom and these are being collected and pushed into Whitman folders.  There are enough being pulled out that the effects of these collectors can be seen in the disappearing nicer coins in circulation. 

There are also people working MS-60 sets and this manifests as a draw down of the stocks of the wholesale dealers who are finally actually putting out bids for rolls and mint sets. 

I'm not saying you should sell all your coins and buy clad.  I'm not saying clads are better than Morgans.  I'm merely saying that for the first time the supply of the coins appears it's going to be tested and I believe it will show the coins aren't there.  I don't know what's going to happen any more than you do but I've been watching these processes play out since Thanksgiving of 1965.   What is going on now is different than anything I've ever seen before but we are in the early stages of this "test" and the future is always determined by things that haven't happened yet. 

Both of us write long posts, cover new points in our replies and it can get confusing.  I wasn't making the claim you thought I was making though I wasn't entirely clear.  Let me take your primary point about MS 60-63. 

This isn't that different than the collecting which you grew up with in the late 1950's and 1960's, until 1965 when clad was introduced.  Yes, collectors accepted lower grades then but what I am trying to tell you is that the internet has changed this collecting style "forever" because there isn't any reason for the majority of collectors to limit themselves as was necessary in the past.  Today, the majority of collectors don't appear to like coins which were considered acceptable in the past and this certainly applies to MS 60-63 clad quarters which by your own admission aren't very attractive, especially for a design which most collectors either don't like or find mediocre.

I have no idea what scale you believe or think is "reasonable" for this type of coinage.  I am telling you that there isn't much of a reason for it to be much more than it is now, whatever the number may be.

If the SQ program did not lead to your result, I cannot think of a single catalyst for it, not even one.  In your reply, you didn't provide one either.   Do you really expect clad quarters to become more popular than during the SQ program without a noticeable catalyst?

I also have no idea what you would consider a "strong market" for this segment.  Is it based upon just the price?  The number of collectors?  Both?  If the collector base is as low as you imply, I can see the collector base for MS 60-63 clad quarters increase substantially without the prices doing much of anything, only proportionately from FV and even then, almost certainly proportionately a lot less than you believe.

The reason for this is because I still almost certainly believe these coins are a lot more common than you do.  I accept your personal experience, but up to a point only.  I agree with you that these coins are a lot scarcer than most believe but don't see any reason to believe that there are any supply limitations for any realistically foreseeable collector base at prices which noticeably differ from those existing today. 

I have already explained to you why personal experience is usually NOT representative of the actual availability.  These include: 1) Low prices don't make it worth the bother of placing it for sale.  2) The (proportionately) high transaction costs associated with buying and selling low value coins.  3) Substantial proportional ownership (maybe the majority with clad quarters) by non-collectors who particularly with coins such as these, don't even know or remember owning it.  These coins are owned across the grade range from the handful to relatively large hoards by hundreds of thousands to millions.  4) Limited statistical correlation between the coins observed or known to the collector performing the search versus what actually exists.

I don't see that just because you or anyone else cannot find or buy rolls for most of these dates, that this indicates much about the scarcity either.  I have heard that many of the classic predecessors (1934 and later wheat cents, 1940's WLH, low mintage Franklin halves and Washington quarters, etc) were saved by the roll.  So yes, clad quarters are likely scarcer than these coins in better grades.

In the past, I have estimated that practically every clad quarter  from 1965-1998 is either an R-1 (1250+) or R-2 (501--1250) on the Judd scale as a PCGS MS-66.  A few with low populations today might be an R-3 (201-500).  For the 1983 (which we have discussed before along with the 1982), Heritage lists the PCGS pop as 296 (35 as a "+") and 308 for NGC .  Even accounting for differences in grading standards, this is consistent with my prior R-2 estimate, as I'd estimate the number of duplicates to be low or very low.

In MS-65, it is almost certainly an R-1 by a noticeable multiple and in MS-60+, my recollection is you previously estimated in the vicinity of 100,000 and I guesstimate more.  

If the supply is even 100,000 for this date and a similar or larger number for most other dates, the only reason I can see for a mismatch is because of the low price and non-collectors not knowing (or caring) that they have it.

In the past, I have also guesstimated a potential collector base for the Washington quarter (both silver and clad) of as many as 200,000.  I believe you previously provided an estimate of 100,000 for 1965-1998 clads. 

Seems to me the series is already popular, just not at the prices you think should exist.

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World Colonial   
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On ‎1‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 1:14 PM, cladking said:

Everything made by man is destroyed by time and tide over the years.  Most valuable things disappear at the rate of about 1% annually due to fires, floods, etc.   Clads have far more destruction occurring because of the myriad processes that act on them.  In circulation these are being lost at the rate of about 3% annually but "all" of them are being worn out as well; they pass from pristine to heavily worn in 30 or 40 years if they last this long.  

There are also things that work on destroying BU coins and since these coins are very inexpensive some of this destruction is even intentional.  If an heir takes a roll of '79-D quarters into a coin shop there is a strong chance that the dealer will tell him to spend it or will buy it long with everything else and spend it himself.  Its value is far too low to ship and it could sit in stock for years waiting for a buyer.  Frequently mint set coins will tarnish and the coins spent.  Dealers will cut up even good '79 mint sets because they aren't worth the cost of shipping.  Some collectors seek Gems in '79 mint sets and will cut up a set for a Gem and then spend the coins.  And, of course, all the other things like being lost in the mail or burned up in a fire apply to these coins as well.  Since the sets and coins are very inexpensive it means the attrition on these is extremely high.  Since this date tends to tarnish it makes the rate even higher than other date. 

There are no hoards of '79-D's or any other dates of clad quarters and few people collect them.  The overhang of coins that were made for collectors or otherwise set side has been getting whittled down at an alarming rate and now we're at the point that there are very few collections, very little demand, and very little overhang.  Even if clads went to a million dollars apiece there would be no "old collections" coming into coin shops in 20 years because there never were any collections except a very few from circulation and a very few advanced collections and registry sets. 

Of course these coins still aren't rare and they aren't going to a million dollars apiece but there is demand that's building up from the bottom and it's bumping into a lack of supply.  It is THIS that appears to be developing since November of 2016.   It's slow now because there was overhang in the form of old stock but now wholesalers are out of old stock and I believe their suppliers re mostly out of old stock.  I believe they are waking up to this and will be force to raise prices further.  I think what no one realizes is the coins are gone and raising prices will have little effect.  There's one order out there for 5 bag sets  of Ikes that hasn't been filled in two years despite bid increases.  There's still not a lot of wholesaler interest in clad quarters but I see this demand is already exploding and there is even less overhang in these. There is also much less old stock so any retail interest will quickly manifest as higher bids. 

I always thought this would happen fast and a long time ago but the road signs are all behind us now and we are in the final phase where demand begins to outstrip supply.   How this plays out is anybody's guess but that it is starting to play out seems apparent to me.  

Where is your evidence that the attrition is as much as 1%, whether by fire, flood or otherwise?  Another poster brought this up in a debate with you several years ago and I don't ever remember you providing an answer.

When you say there are no hoards, what's your definition of a hoard?  There may be no hoards of a single date (whether 79-D or otherwise) in "high" grades but there are certainly hoards of these coins generically by any number of people across the grade range.  These coins have little purchasing power, get dumped into change jars and then forgotten until they are taken to Coinstar or the owner dies.  I hardly ever spend coins at all and haven't for at least 10 years, don't collect clad quarters, yet still have many that are certainly MS 60-63 that I have had for decades.

In reference to your comments about wholesalers and bags, who is buying from them?  How much have the bids been increased?  I ask because I don't know. 

I don't visit local coin shops anymore (now living in ATL) because none of them have anything I want to buy.  Concurrently, I also don't see that it makes much sense for most  local dealers to hold any noticeable inventory of these coins or the coins I mostly saw (common classic predecessors up to low UNC grades) when I started collecting in 1975 either.

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cladking   
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15 hours ago, World Colonial said:

 

If the SQ program did not lead to your result, I cannot think of a single catalyst for it, not even one.  In your reply, you didn't provide one either.   Do you really expect clad quarters to become more popular than during the SQ program without a noticeable catalyst?

 

Essentially I believe it's the states quarters program STILL leading to the increase in demand of the older quarters.  It's only natural for collectors who are seeking States quarters to start noticing the coins they are sifting to find them.  It takes time for new collectors to cycle through the learning and growing process and become advanced collectors.  There are still lots of scarce states coins with low prices so this process will continue to unfold for decades. 

The '79-D is by no means a better date. It's an interesting date but will be relatively common.  It was selected as an example because it's typical in many ways and of average age for the coins.  100,000 collectors would not stress the supply but getting these coins to market would stress the supply system.  Few people sell them so the pipeline is empty.  The demand to fill the pipeline would be far higher than the current aggregate demand.  If and when these start selling to "foot traffic" dealers will scramble to lay in supply and this will have a dramatic impact on wholesale demand, which as I mentioned, is currently stressed with almost no demand. 

There is some supply that is invisible to me and all I can do is estimate it.  I might estimate it far too low and it certainly exists.  These are the coins set aside by living collectors who are baby boomers (or younger) in or near the year of issue.  My sample size in knowing what coins are owned by these collectors is too small to be certain what exists.  Most of these collectors have no interest in clad and don't have much except an occasional mint set or roll of bicentennials.  However, it's a safe bet that my observations are skewed by the fact that some of this group are long clad and would have left instructions to hold onto something like a nice bag of Ikes or a box of nice SMS.  These would be invisible and they are out there!  John J Pittman's collection of moderns wasn't sold in any of the sales of his collections and it's highly improbable that someone just took them to the bank.  I'm guessing that in aggregate such coins will account for only 10 to 20% of supply but this could be far off  in either direction.  The number or percentage of collectors who own such coins is very low but the number of coins could be quite high. 

You must remember though I was out there at banks, coin dealers, and shows seeking moderns for many years starting in 1972 and I never even heard of another collector until 1979 and didn't meet one until 1981.  There were no clubs for such collectors until 1980.  There has never been a group for clad quarters.  It would have required actual searching to find these coins and I never saw anyone else looking and rarely saw evidence of their rejects.  I paid a lot of attention to such things because it cost a lot of money, time, and effort to track these down and rent safety deposit boxes.  I didn't want to waste my time if anyone else was doing it too. 

No, it's the public that "owns" most of these coins and always have and the public keeps most of their collections in circulation where they have been whittled down in tiny collisions and recycled in automobiles.  They sit under washers in laundromats and in cash registers all across the country. 

The MS-60 collections assembled by dealers that have been the primary draw down of wholesale supply were purchased by the general public few of who are advanced collectors.  Relatively few know much about coins or their proper storage and handling. These sets were purchased for nominal sums in most cases and even if all survive in pristine condition will still have little effect on the supply of scarcer dates since many of these sets weren't assembled with truly BU coins or were assembled with dogs.

The dynamics seem to be on the verge of an overhaul because the increase in demand has finally outstripped the decrease in supply and availability of the coins on the wholesale level.  This won't have a huge effect on the high end of the market and will actually serve to suppress it somewhat.  There are a few rolls of 1966 quarters and nothing would get them out of hiding faster than price increases.  These rolls will yield some Gems.  But those who expect thousands of rolls and hundreds of MS-68 just don't understand how poorly made these coins really were and how few rolls will surface.  The high end of the market will take a hit if I'm right about this but it will over a few years rebound to even higher than it was. 

The biggest change will be a nice Gem and gemmy examples which have been allowed by the current generation of collectors to suffer very large attrition and these coins were never common to start with.  The '79-D for example comes with a nice strike but is usually heavily scratched up.  Nice clean examples weren't common in '79 and now most of them are gone. The registry set coins mostly come from mint sets but now most of the mint sets are gone or tarnished. 

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World Colonial   
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On ‎1‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 10:58 AM, cladking said:

Essentially I believe it's the states quarters program STILL leading to the increase in demand of the older quarters.  It's only natural for collectors who are seeking States quarters to start noticing the coins they are sifting to find them.  It takes time for new collectors to cycle through the learning and growing process and become advanced collectors.  There are still lots of scarce states coins with low prices so this process will continue to unfold for decades. 

The '79-D is by no means a better date. It's an interesting date but will be relatively common.  It was selected as an example because it's typical in many ways and of average age for the coins.  100,000 collectors would not stress the supply but getting these coins to market would stress the supply system.  Few people sell them so the pipeline is empty.  The demand to fill the pipeline would be far higher than the current aggregate demand.  If and when these start selling to "foot traffic" dealers will scramble to lay in supply and this will have a dramatic impact on wholesale demand, which as I mentioned, is currently stressed with almost no demand. 

There is some supply that is invisible to me and all I can do is estimate it.  I might estimate it far too low and it certainly exists.  These are the coins set aside by living collectors who are baby boomers (or younger) in or near the year of issue.  My sample size in knowing what coins are owned by these collectors is too small to be certain what exists.  Most of these collectors have no interest in clad and don't have much except an occasional mint set or roll of bicentennials.  However, it's a safe bet that my observations are skewed by the fact that some of this group are long clad and would have left instructions to hold onto something like a nice bag of Ikes or a box of nice SMS.  These would be invisible and they are out there!  John J Pittman's collection of moderns wasn't sold in any of the sales of his collections and it's highly improbable that someone just took them to the bank.  I'm guessing that in aggregate such coins will account for only 10 to 20% of supply but this could be far off  in either direction.  The number or percentage of collectors who own such coins is very low but the number of coins could be quite high. 

You must remember though I was out there at banks, coin dealers, and shows seeking moderns for many years starting in 1972 and I never even heard of another collector until 1979 and didn't meet one until 1981.  There were no clubs for such collectors until 1980.  There has never been a group for clad quarters.  It would have required actual searching to find these coins and I never saw anyone else looking and rarely saw evidence of their rejects.  I paid a lot of attention to such things because it cost a lot of money, time, and effort to track these down and rent safety deposit boxes.  I didn't want to waste my time if anyone else was doing it too. 

No, it's the public that "owns" most of these coins and always have and the public keeps most of their collections in circulation where they have been whittled down in tiny collisions and recycled in automobiles.  They sit under washers in laundromats and in cash registers all across the country. 

The MS-60 collections assembled by dealers that have been the primary draw down of wholesale supply were purchased by the general public few of who are advanced collectors.  Relatively few know much about coins or their proper storage and handling. These sets were purchased for nominal sums in most cases and even if all survive in pristine condition will still have little effect on the supply of scarcer dates since many of these sets weren't assembled with truly BU coins or were assembled with dogs.

The dynamics seem to be on the verge of an overhaul because the increase in demand has finally outstripped the decrease in supply and availability of the coins on the wholesale level.  This won't have a huge effect on the high end of the market and will actually serve to suppress it somewhat.  There are a few rolls of 1966 quarters and nothing would get them out of hiding faster than price increases.  These rolls will yield some Gems.  But those who expect thousands of rolls and hundreds of MS-68 just don't understand how poorly made these coins really were and how few rolls will surface.  The high end of the market will take a hit if I'm right about this but it will over a few years rebound to even higher than it was. 

The biggest change will be a nice Gem and gemmy examples which have been allowed by the current generation of collectors to suffer very large attrition and these coins were never common to start with.  The '79-D for example comes with a nice strike but is usually heavily scratched up.  Nice clean examples weren't common in '79 and now most of them are gone. The registry set coins mostly come from mint sets but now most of the mint sets are gone or tarnished. 

Sure, I can see current and prior SQ collectors pursuing eagle reverse clad quarters in these grades (MS-60 to MS-63) in larger numbers, I just almost certainly believe any increase will be in lower or much lower numbers than you do.

I have bolded the part of your post which I think is particularly relevant to this subject.  Due to the price level, the supply available for sale is a fraction of the total.  However, I don't believe this imbalance will lead to any "meaningful" price increase because:

1) Collectors know the coins are more common than the actual or probable future availability though no one knows the exact supply and are unlikely to be willing to pay much higher proportional prices for a long time. 

2) Any realistic prospective price increase is unlikely to substantially increase the supply that can be bought because it still won't motivate that many current holders to sell.

3) Even at current low prices, the coins aren't particularly competitive versus comparably priced alternatives.  The eagle reverse clad quarter has the advantage of being a US coin but most US collectors don't really like it.  If you turn out to be correct, I would expect an outsized percentage of the collector base to abandon it, just as collectors did in 1965 when clad replaced silver.  You need to remember that these are disproportionately collectors who pay no premium to face value.  This is my explanation for the decline in the collector base in after 1965.

4) Like most other coins, they are bought and sold in a "one way market".  The internet has rendered most coins essentially unsaleable except at fire sale prices with significant "discounts" to "retail" by exponentially increasing the supply and eliminating the effective local monopoly many dealers had in the past.  This eliminates the price support previously provided by price guides, mainly the Red Book.  Concurrently, it makes collecting very unappealing for any critical mass to collect a series when they expect to lose much or most of their outlay at resale, especially if their affinity for it is very weak as it disproportionately is for this one.

As for what constitutes a "reasonable" new price level or "meaningful" appreciation, not sure what you have in mind.  Let me give you an example:

MS-60: 50 cents to $2

MS-63: $1 to $10

MS-65: $5 to $50

Low as the above prices are, I don't see that most existing collectors who collect at FV will pay it.  A few months ago, a PCGS 1983 MS-65 sold for $23.50 on eBay in a true auction.  At $50 any time soon, it's too common of a coin where collector's are likely to support this price level except later with noticeable dollar depreciation.  PCGS pop is currently over 600 with 308 (not 296) in 66 and 37 more in 66+.  There must be at least 5000 MS-65 which makes the coin too common and not very competitive versus other coins selling near or at this price.  Mileage will vary by date and coin quality but I think my point should be apparent.  Hardly any collectors collect in a vacuum and the lopsided percentage will opt for something else.

For MS-60 to MS-63, all outside of errors or die varieties are worth less than the grading fee.  I don't see that the populations will increase hardly at all in these grades and don't believe collectors will pay $10 for an MS-63 candidate coin ungraded, except in low number as they do now.

With respect to the higher grade coins (mainly 66 and 66+), my contention is that there are enough collectors like you who have saved more or a lot more of these coins than is apparent in the population reports today, even excluding random coins.  You never saved any rolls of the somewhat earlier dates?  Wondercoin must have too from his posts, as he has been a modern collector almost as long as you.  The number is certainly low but the probability that this incremental supply represents an outsized percentage of the actual supply I think is a lot more likely than you seem to believe.

As for your comments on higher grade coins, I don't believe that the future collector base will support noticeably higher prices, not in "real money".  Exception is for "grade rarities" and maybe "undergrade" where it is a 67.  As a 66 or 66+, most dates are likely to be too common if my estimates of almost entirely R1 and R-2 are remotely correct.  I know you consider current prices low but that's only because I don't believe you have made a comparison to comparably common coins, such as late dated US classics.  The price differences between the two groups are generally financially immaterial.

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Six Mile Rick   
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World Colonial,

 Your previous post is all swell if I was an average collector just filling slots in a set. Quarter set MS60 to MS65 sounds to me like slabs to crack and build a album set. Of course after many rolls of searching I can get MS67 and higher and those are the few that you won't have in your set unless you pay the piper (submitter or seller). :bigsmile:

Edited by Six Mile Rick

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cladking   
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15 hours ago, World Colonial said:

 

With respect to the higher grade coins (mainly 66 and 66+), my contention is that there are enough collectors like you who have saved more or a lot more of these coins than is apparent in the population reports today, even excluding random coins.  You never saved any rolls of the somewhat earlier dates?  Wondercoin must have too from his posts, as he has been a modern collector almost as long as you.  The number is certainly low but the probability that this incremental supply represents an outsized percentage of the actual supply I think is a lot more likely than you seem to believe.

 

I've told stories before about how and where I found Gems in the old days.

Here are some observations on a date I never found; 1983-P.  In 1983 as I had become accustomed to I drove around the regions these were distributed on my vacations sampling the coins in banks.  Unlike other years though I just never got lucky and found a roll of nice attractive coins so I could purchase rolls at the source.  I also bought a roll or two from each of the few sources that supplied them retail hoping to find some nice ones so I could buy a quantity.  As in 1982 I searched all the privately made  mint sets and then spent the next decades  searching the souvenir mint sets as I found them. I found only ~200 but these should constitute an actual sample and a fairly substantial percentage of the mintage.  Other dates I could find by searching circs in rolls because their problem was  bad strikes but strikes on the '83-P weren't too bad but they were all banged up from the mint so tracking them by finding AU's was impossible. 

I advertised for years back in the early and mid-'90's to pay $40 each for quarter Gems of '82 and '83 but, incredibly, never got an '83-P!  I did pay for a couple but they weren't true Gems, just nicer BU's.  I'd grade them MS-64 but the services would probably be kinder. 

I never found a true Gem for this date and in all my searching I never ran into other searchers or any evidence other searchers left behind.  I found what were obviously nice attractive original sets that had Gems of other coins in them that no knowledgeable collectors would have passed over but no Gems of the Philly quarter. 

I have no "horde" that includes every date.  I have  most of the 75 or 100 of the date I saw (a few were not available or not available cheep) but not a single Gem.  Keep in mind though that I did concentrate my effort on the toughest coins and I didn't consider this one tough until later.  It is apparent that there was a batch or batches of Gems of this date I never saw and this is where most of the high grade one came from.  Moderns were made in huge numbers and a few people apparently saw and saved some nice ones. 

You're envisioning bag upon countless bags in thousands of hordes but this is not the reality.  There might be no '83-P Gems today if not for stories in Numismatic News in 1985 that this date was "rare" and wholesalers couldn't find them.  A lot of these coins hadn't entered circulation yet and the stories caused some to be intercepted.  I doubt the total number in BU today is even 100,000.  Of these how many true Gems can exist if I found the incidence to be 0 in ~10,000? 

There are other dates that are also going to be highly elusive and other dates that are still more interesting than the '83-P.  For everyone setting aside coins "luck" becomes a factor in their results but without people out there looking for them there is very little luck even in aggregate. 

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cladking   
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Keep in mind though that my points in this thread have far less to do with supply than they do with demand.  In all collectibles demand plays a far more important roll in the determination of price than does supply.  The supply has not changed dramatically year over year but demand does appear to be changing and for the very first time ever in any circulating modern it appears that the demand for Ikes is exceeding the available supply. 

I believe the Ike market is the canary in the coal mine and in this case it's the coal mine running dry. 

Nothing breeds success like success in coins.  Price increases simply cause more demand.  This could prove a very volatile mixture in a market with almost no demand and little supply.   While none of the regular issue Ikes are scarce in typical Unc some of the other denominations are very elusive.  Several of the Ikes are quite tough in nice attractive condition and "typical Unc" can be extremely ugly. 

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