Coin Values Dropping
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Over the last few years I've noticed a consistent, yet scary drop in the value of many of my numismatic coins. WHAT'S GOING ON? As Collectors and investors I know we pay what we're willing to pay for coins, however I've seen several drops in Key Date Peace Dollars, Morgan Dollars, Anniversary ASE's etc?

Also I've been purchasing as many BU 1921, 1928 Peace Dollars as I can afford (two of my personal faves) So far i've had every coin graded, is it recommended to continue grading such coins or should I leave a few ungraded?

Lastly what direction should I take with my 24 coin complete set  of AU/BU Peace Dollars? The 1934 S is said to be only an AU 55 which sucks!!!

Please help!!!!

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Thank you for your question. I will move your post to another section to allow our other members to offer their opinion. NGC does not appraise, buy or sell coins so we are not able to provide recommendations on how to handle these scenarios. 

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I have been professionally dealing in rare coins for over 45 years and will state firstly the coin market is no different from the stock market.  The ups and downs are cyclical.  Coins have suffered somewhat obviously due to the stock market strength.  Most investors realize this upward growth will have an adjustment at some point. Consequently, hard assets like coins have adjusted. Over time we continue to witness housing market booms and busts along with the stock market. Each investment has its' risks which ultimately the potential investor has to evaluate and be comfortable with.  When dealing in coins I have always had one rule I try to stick with.  Buy for the enjoyment and buy something that if I get stuck with for whatever reason I won't have a problem with it.  In the end, the best that anyone can do is investigate before you invest. No one can predict where any one investment will be 5 years from now or even 5 weeks from now. What's nice about coins is the fact you can enjoy the best of 2 worlds.  You receive pleasure in collecting and the good chance of a return in the future. Personally, I get more satisfaction with coins than I do looking at a piece of paper or stock chart. Of course, these are just my own opinions from decades of my own experiences. I might add not all of the sectors of coins have declined recently. I know California fractional gold continues to get re-discovered by collectors and dealers pushing the interest and demand.  Above all, whether you collect or invest in coins pick an area that suits you.

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2 hours ago, Christopher Terry said:

I have been professionally dealing in rare coins for over 45 years and will state firstly the coin market is no different from the stock market.  The ups and downs are cyclical.  Coins have suffered somewhat obviously due to the stock market strength.  Most investors realize this upward growth will have an adjustment at some point. Consequently, hard assets like coins have adjusted. Over time we continue to witness housing market booms and busts along with the stock market. Each investment has its' risks which ultimately the potential investor has to evaluate and be comfortable with.  When dealing in coins I have always had one rule I try to stick with.  Buy for the enjoyment and buy something that if I get stuck with for whatever reason I won't have a problem with it.  In the end, the best that anyone can do is investigate before you invest. No one can predict where any one investment will be 5 years from now or even 5 weeks from now. What's nice about coins is the fact you can enjoy the best of 2 worlds.  You receive pleasure in collecting and the good chance of a return in the future. Personally, I get more satisfaction with coins than I do looking at a piece of paper or stock chart. Of course, these are just my own opinions from decades of my own experiences. I might add not all of the sectors of coins have declined recently. I know California fractional gold continues to get re-discovered by collectors and dealers pushing the interest and demand.  Above all, whether you collect or invest in coins pick an area that suits you.

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Thanks for the reply & great words of advice! I totally agree with all you wrote. I’ve only been collecting/investing seriously since 2012 so I’m definitely still learning & discovering fascinating & beautiful coins almost every day. The eye appealing, physical beauty of coins is what initially got me started that’s why I love numismatics. But my interest has expanded tremendously from learning the rich history behind each precious metal I own thus far... In just few short years to come the Peace Dollar will turn 100 years old & I’m already anticipating an amazing anniversary release from the US Mint. Perhaps a silver & gold set of 3 including 1 .999 BU, 1 Proof & 1 Reverse Proof. One can only dream and start saving now.

TR

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20 hours ago, Mr.TR said:

Over the last few years I've noticed a consistent, yet scary drop in the value of many of my numismatic coins. WHAT'S GOING ON? As Collectors and investors I know we pay what we're willing to pay for coins, however I've seen several drops in Key Date Peace Dollars, Morgan Dollars, Anniversary ASE's etc?

Also I've been purchasing as many BU 1921, 1928 Peace Dollars as I can afford (two of my personal faves) So far i've had every coin graded, is it recommended to continue grading such coins or should I leave a few ungraded?

Lastly what direction should I take with my 24 coin complete set  of AU/BU Peace Dollars? The 1934 S is said to be only an AU 55 which sucks!!!

Please help!!!!

From your post, I'm gathering that most of your numismatic coins are Classic U.S. issues.  From what I've seen there has been an overall downward trend in that part of the coin market in recent times.  Other areas, such as Classic World issues and Moderns from both the US and other countries seem to be either holding steady or rising in value, depending on the series.  While I do not have the amount of experience that Christopher Terry does, I have been collecting consistently since 1999 and I've been a vestpocket seller since 2008, so I think my experience and perspectives could provide some insight into the situation and why these trends are occurring.

1. Most Classic US coins are not actually rare to begin with.  The US Classic market is almost completely demand driven.  Even key dates, such as your 1921 and 1928 Peace Dollars, 1909-SVDB Lincoln Cents, 1893-S Morgans and the like are only rare in the context of the huge demand the series they belong to experienced in years past.  

2. The way younger collectors collect coins and currency is very different than how previous generations have pursued the hobby.  While series collecting of Classic US coins will likely never completely die out, most younger collectors I know are not pursuing this material or mode of collecting.  I'm 38, so I'd say for our hobby I qualify as a younger collector.  I'm mainly a thematic collector.  With coins, I mostly collect moderns which depict birds and other dinosaurs and babies.  Most other collectors I know that are my age and younger collect in similar ways.  I know a younger collector who collects modern coins depicting ships.  There's a collector here on NGC who pursues coins with horses on them.  Still another collector I know collects coins which depict famous scientists.  Yet another I know collects coins which depict different species of trees.  And, of importance to this issue, most of these collections contain no Classic US coins at all or they only contain small numbers of US Classic coins.  The demand for US Classic material among younger collectors is small and it's dropping, from what I've seen.  And, if the current collecting patterns of younger collectors remains the same going forward, prices will continue to drop.

3. The Registries have spurred a pursuit of perfection.  The advent of Registry collecting and the assignment of perfect 70 grades to Moderns has caused many collectors to abandon Classic US coinage, where perfection is impossible.  Perfect moderns can be elusive, but attainable and they are often more beautiful to many collectors than circulated Classic US coins or even lower grade Uncirculated Classic US coins.  Once some collectors have a piece that has attained numeric perfection, they desire to chase more perfect coins and to build sets of coins which are numerically perfect.  This mode of collecting is only possible with moderns, so this is why moderns keep holding steady while Classic US loses ground.

4. In this era of already decreasing demand, there's a lot of Classic US material coming on the market.  Most collectors of Classic US coins are Baby Boomers or older, from what I've seen.  Many of these collectors are starting to think about retirement or what will happen to their collections when they die.  Many of these collectors have families that are not interested in coins.  Also, even if there are collectors in the family, it is likely that they are pursuing collecting thematically or in other, non-tradtional ways.  So, many of these collectors are choosing the sell their collections during their lifetimes rather than waiting to pass them down in their wills or within the family at all.  This is why there is so much Classic US material coming onto the market currently.  You have a problem of increasing supply and decreasing demand, so you have falling prices.

 

 

 

Edited by Mohawk
Forgot a point I wanted to make

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I choose to collect coins, not because I overly like coins, but because I want a safe investment which is unlikely to fall much in value. This presents a very stable and safe investment to pair up with the various stocks I own which can have wild swings. I have also began to branch out into video games, comic books, and some magazines. I see them all as a safe investment which is likely to have cyclical movement in value. Right now comic books are all the rage due to so many superhero movies in production (and no end in the foreseeable future). Chances are high coins will see a turn around eventually. For now, just buy up as many as you can as the price falls. When the market flips, sell them as the prices rise. 

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I have noticed an increase in US interest in foreign coins.  Possibly because of NGC adding the free to use foreign coin price guide.  Picking up a whole stack of catalogs was pricey for someone just starting.  Or maybe just dabling in foreign coins.

The last coin show I went to had booth after booth of high grade Morgans, Peace, ASEs, modern commemoratives.  Each display shinier than the last.  With vendors twiddling their thumbs as people walked by.  One vendor had two tables of nothing but foreign coins.  Glass display cases plus lots of three ring binders full.  All of them with wear and toning.  Yet the booth was busy.  I had to wait in line to get a chance to look through the binders.

One of the coin dealers I work with has taken on an extra person.  To specialize in foreign coins.

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1 hour ago, Lancek said:

 

I have noticed an increase in US interest in foreign coins.  Possibly because of NGC adding the free to use foreign coin price guide.  Picking up a whole stack of catalogs was pricey for someone just starting.  Or maybe just dabling in foreign coins.

The last coin show I went to had booth after booth of high grade Morgans, Peace, ASEs, modern commemoratives.  Each display shinier than the last.  With vendors twiddling their thumbs as people walked by.  One vendor had two tables of nothing but foreign coins.  Glass display cases plus lots of three ring binders full.  All of them with wear and toning.  Yet the booth was busy.  I had to wait in line to get a chance to look through the binders.

One of the coin dealers I work with has taken on an extra person.  To specialize in foreign coins.

I've noticed the same trends.  World coins are hot and they're getting hotter.  They have a lot to offer.....beautiful designs, good values and, in many cases, a chance to pick up something much rarer than many of the Classic US key dates at a lower price (at least for right now).  From what I've seen, when younger collectors do decide to series collect, it's almost always non-US series.  World coins are also becoming popular with collectors of other age groups as well.  I think that World coins have a lot of potential and a bright future ahead of them.

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3 hours ago, aangelcg said:

I choose to collect coins, not because I overly like coins, but because I want a safe investment which is unlikely to fall much in value. This presents a very stable and safe investment to pair up with the various stocks I own which can have wild swings.

While I would never tell someone how to invest their money, I would also not characterize coins as a safe investment. History is full of examples of coins that have lost value rather than gained. And not just modern "condition rarities." ( Some of those have plummeted.) There are many classic coins that have fallen in price from their historic highs. For example, common S-mint Morgans in MS65 were fetching over $1000 in the late 80s. I seriously doubt that they will ever see that level again, at least not in my lifetime. And, it is not limited to common coins, either. A check of auction prices past will show many scarce to rare coins that have fallen in value over the years.

Just my 2c

Edited by Just Bob
Because I can't type

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On 10/17/2018 at 11:31 AM, aangelcg said:

I choose to collect coins, not because I overly like coins, but because I want a safe investment which is unlikely to fall much in value. This presents a very stable and safe investment to pair up with the various stocks I own which can have wild swings. I have also began to branch out into video games, comic books, and some magazines. I see them all as a safe investment which is likely to have cyclical movement in value. Right now comic books are all the rage due to so many superhero movies in production (and no end in the foreseeable future). Chances are high coins will see a turn around eventually. For now, just buy up as many as you can as the price falls. When the market flips, sell them as the prices rise. 

And this depends on the coins in question.  World stuff, yes.  That market has huge potential and the price increases are just starting as many younger collectors flock to this part of the market.  Moderns seem to be holding their own as well.  However, I don't know if Classic US coins will ever fully come back from the current drops they are experiencing.  That would require a lot of younger collectors moving into that area of collecting to replace the older collectors which are selling their collections of Classic US material off at high rate at present.  I just don't see that happening.  It would require a huge shift in collecting habits among younger collectors, which I highly doubt will ever happen.  Baby Boomers and collectors older than that generation had a connection to Classic US coins that younger collectors will never have.  Collectors of this age group remember when these coins were out in circulation and they could be found for face value, so they had that as a starting point to build collections from and to get them interested in the different series.  For younger collectors, that connection is not there, and I don't feel that the rarity factor (once again, most Classic US coins are not really rare) or the designs of Classic US coins are strong enough to compete against the options available in Classic World coins or Moderns.  I think that the long term trend for Classic US is one of lowered demand.  It will eventually plateau, but I don't think that these coins will ever fully recover.

Edited by Mohawk
Typo

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On 10/15/2018 at 7:53 PM, Mr.TR said:

Over the last few years I've noticed a consistent, yet scary drop in the value of many of my numismatic coins. WHAT'S GOING ON? As Collectors and investors I know we pay what we're willing to pay for coins, however I've seen several drops in Key Date Peace Dollars, Morgan Dollars, Anniversary ASE's etc?

Also I've been purchasing as many BU 1921, 1928 Peace Dollars as I can afford (two of my personal faves) So far i've had every coin graded, is it recommended to continue grading such coins or should I leave a few ungraded?

Lastly what direction should I take with my 24 coin complete set  of AU/BU Peace Dollars? The 1934 S is said to be only an AU 55 which sucks!!!

Please help!!!!

1921 and 1928 Peace dollars used to be popular collectibles, but they were never rare, and their values are correcting more than dropping. Morgan dollars have been very popular as well, but most are not rare. Because so many people focus on the series, prices have stayed strong. However, now more than ever, collectors are moving toward world coins and medals and getting away from many seemingly overpriced common U.S. coin types, which have held a monopoly on collectors hearts for many years. You can get dollar-sized rare Talers from the 16th and 17th century for a small fraction of the price of early US dollars, for instance.

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2 hours ago, coinman1794 said:

1921 and 1928 Peace dollars used to be popular collectibles, but they were never rare, and their values are correcting more than dropping. Morgan dollars have been very popular as well, but most are not rare. Because so many people focus on the series, prices have stayed strong. However, now more than ever, collectors are moving toward world coins and medals and getting away from many seemingly overpriced common U.S. coin types, which have held a monopoly on collectors hearts for many years. You can get dollar-sized rare Talers from the 16th and 17th century for a small fraction of the price of early US dollars, for instance.

That's a great example of some of what I was discussing in my response.  US coins have been hugely overpriced for decades, and many collectors just aren't interested in overpriced, relatively common coins when there are better options out there as far as price, scarcity and in many cases, aesthetic appeal.  Classic World stuff seems to be moving upward in price and demand as Classic US continues downward.  And, Talers are great coins!  I also enjoy Ottoman crowns, such as Yuzluks and 20 Kurushes......these are also great deals compared to older US material.

 

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On ‎10‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 2:36 PM, Just Bob said:

While I would never tell someone how to invest their money, I would also not characterize coins as a safe investment. History is full of examples of coins that have lost value rather than gained. And not just modern "condition rarities." ( Some of those have plummeted.) There are many classic coins that have fallen in price from their historic highs. For example, common S-mint Morgans in MS65 were fetching over $1000 in the late 80s. I seriously doubt that they will ever see that level again, at least not in my lifetime. And, it is not limited to common coins, either. A check of auction prices past will show many scarce to rare coins that have fallen in value over the years.

Just my 2c

I have followed your comments since joining this forum and you appear to be a person who knows what he is talking about,  So, here's a question for you:

In light of dropping bullion prices if you were to buy gold what pre-1933 coin would you recommend.  I put away bullion coins every once in a while but I mainly collect.

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First of all, thank you for the compliment.

I don't give advice on investments, mainly because I am so bad at choosing the ones that will rise in value. I personally collect for my own enjoyment, without the profit motive even being a consideration. If I decide to sell out one day before I die, I will be happy to break even.

That being said, I will answer your question, with the understanding that, if you choose to act on what I say, you do so at your own risk.

Quality and rarity will always be sought after, as long as there a collectors with spending money, so if I had unlimited funds with which to buy gold, I would go for a combination of low survival rates and original, mark-free (relatively speaking)  surfaces. Something like a Draped Bust half eagle in MS64 or 65.

But, that is way out of my league, so,let's bring it back down to earth. If I were going to buy gold today, I would look at common date  Liberty and Indian Head eagles in lower mint state grades, which are currently selling at close to melt value. See this thread here.

But, go back and read the first two sentences of my previous post. I still don't think coins in general are a "good investment." Some coins - yes. Many (or most) coins - no.

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Very well said. Coins are not a good investment. --- Coins are a fun hobby!!

 I totally enjoy collecting coins and at times I share my collection with others. The sales of coins I sell actually lower the costs of the coins I still have. So in the end I actually have more coin hobby friends than coins to sell and break even when I retire. :insane:

Edited by Six Mile Rick

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