The State Of Coin Collecting: Strong, Weak, or Something Else ?
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82 posts in this topic

15 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

Only pennies on the dollar ?  Did you buy alot of stuff "high" or it just never moved up ?

I'd say on balance my stuff, going back 20 years or so, is up because of the low prices I paid for some silver and gold coins, esp. bullion or quasi-bullion.

No nieces or nephews or friends of the family who are into coins ?  What about responsible financial investors....someone like that might appreciate coins as a quasi-investment.

Nothing wrong either with enjoying the proceeds, esp. if $$$ are tight.

I meant pennies on the dollar in today's market, ie, they would have no idea what to sell them for or to whom. And because of their lack of interest, would sell for less than market to get rid of them and have a little cash.. Tha vast majority of the coins I have were collected back in the 50's and 60's. The value has risen tremendously if I use that as a cost basis.  I could go buy a roll of silver dollars (morgans and peace) for 20 dollars at the bank.  I have several thousand of those that are circulated in various conditions..

Money is not tight, but that is not the issue. I worked hard collecting what I have, and just do not want someone who they have no meaning to selling them. I would rather be the one to do it. I could chose who gets them, like collectors rather than some local gold and silver dealer who would just buy for melt prices.

 

Oops, sorry about the double post. Must have clicked quote instead of edit. :$

Edited by MorganMan
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2 hours ago, MorganMan said:

Money is not tight, but that is not the issue. I worked hard collecting what I have, and just do not want someone who they have no meaning to selling them. I would rather be the one to do it. I could chose who gets them, like collectors rather than some local gold and silver dealer who would just buy for melt prices..

Some people entrust illiquid asset sales to a friend (sometimes specifically enumerated in their Will or Estate Plan).  Some enlist a friend in the same business.  A dealer or fellow hobbyist.

You could also have approximate FMV's for each of the coins, or a range, to assist.

I worked in 2 private banks and dealt with some HNW and ultra-HNW individuals.  One guy had a collection of foreign and ancient coins in the thousands and had an Excel spreadsheet with all the data, including approximate value, so his stuff didn't sell for too cheap a price.

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32 minutes ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

One guy had a collection of foreign and ancient coins in the thousands and had an Excel spreadsheet with all the data, including approximate value, so his stuff didn't sell for too cheap a price.

My collection isn't this large or presumably worth anywhere near the same amount but I follow the same practice.  Current value is a very inaccurate estimate but it does record how much I paid, when I bought it and who I bought it from.  Also where it matters include brief comments and whether I think the coin might be worth keeping financially.  Need to write more detailed instructions at some point.

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In another thread, I wrote about the far less visible footprint.  Yes, I know that it's easier than ever to collect anonymously online but if I am wrong about the public's familiarity with the hobby, this is the likely reason.

Other than through eBay, not sure how often the non-collector is exposed to it online.  I see banner adds all the time but that's because of my search history.  I have no idea if  and how often someone who doesn't visit coin related websites sees anything..

It's my inference that there is more research now and recently than ever before but probably depends upon what you collect.  If accurate, seems to support interest by a larger number of hardcore collectors.

ANA and coin club membership?  Heard ANA is flat but don't know about coin clubs.  I consider it somewhat important (more for coin clubs) but don't believe it says much about overall interest.

US Mint sales?  Annual proof and mint set volumes have completely collapsed over the last 30 to 50 years but I attribute this mostly to a decrease by casual and maybe even gift buying by non-collectors.

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HA, SB, and GC should be a good source here as they can tell us how many users they have.....active users.....winning bidders....repeat bidders who win....etc.

They have been pretty active now for a few years each (HA longer, I believe).  But social media took off the last few years so let's see where all the online bidders are by 2024 or so and that might give us some good information.

Eventually....if the pie is getting bigger and the collectors universe is expanding....you should see it show up in both rising coin prices (maybe including gold and silver bullion) and also attendance at premier coin shows (this happened to me).

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6 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

Some people entrust illiquid asset sales to a friend (sometimes specifically enumerated in their Will or Estate Plan).  Some enlist a friend in the same business.  A dealer or fellow hobbyist.

You could also have approximate FMV's for each of the coins, or a range, to assist.

I worked in 2 private banks and dealt with some HNW and ultra-HNW individuals.  One guy had a collection of foreign and ancient coins in the thousands and had an Excel spreadsheet with all the data, including approximate value, so his stuff didn't sell for too cheap a price.

I have 95% of the coins cataloged in Coinmanage. So there is a value set on the coins. But how many young people nowadays will wait it out on something they are not interested in to get the best price? 

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8 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

HA, SB, and GC should be a good source here as they can tell us how many users they have.....active users.....winning bidders....repeat bidders who win....etc.

They have been pretty active now for a few years each (HA longer, I believe).  But social media took off the last few years so let's see where all the online bidders are by 2024 or so and that might give us some good information.

I believe you are right but that eBay is the most relevant source to measure the participation of the typical collector.  Most collectors don't buy most of the coins in the price range sold by Heritage or Stacks.  GC probably more of an alternative to eBay.

8 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

Eventually....if the pie is getting bigger and the collectors universe is expanding....you should see it show up in both rising coin prices (maybe including gold and silver bullion) and also attendance at premier coin shows (this happened to me).

In the past, I have guesstimated that the US collector base approximates 2MM.  However, eBay currently lists slightly over 2MM listings worldwide.  From this data, my estimate seems far too high.

The reason I have assumed such a large number is because most coins are very common, including many thought by many collectors to be "scarce" or "rare" due to the "low" mintage.   Even though prices are set at the margin, doesn't seem that a much smaller collector base could absorb the potential supply at current prices (using estimates such as Coin Facts where it is at least occasionally directionally accurate), unless there are a lot of hoarders and a noticeable proportion owned by non-collectors.

This especially applies to generics (pre-1933 gold, Morgan dollars, Peace dollars, etc.) where the TPG populations are already in the tens or hundreds of thousands.  Even with my estimate, since only a low proportion are likely to own an individual coin, this would mean somewhere in the vicinity of 90% aren't owned as a collectible.

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The hobby is more vibrant than I've seen it since the first crash in 1964.  There were actually two crashes for the coin market in the transition to clad.  The first was the BU roll/ mint set/ proof set/ modern coin market in early 1964.  This crash was severe but was mostly contained to speculative coins "investments" and was caused by the announcement that a transition to base metal was coming because of the coin shortage.  The second was more drawn out and encompassed much more of the hobby.  It was brutal, drawn out, and disheartening.  It began with the announcement of the date freeze and worsened as new bad news came out culminating with the Bible Bill that would have outlawed all modern coin collecting. Modern coin collecting proved so uniquely unpopular that the bill was deemed unnecessary and then the mint spent two years unsuccessfully trying to get people to collect clads.  

The number of collectors simply began to shrink in 1964 and only returned to that level in ~2015 and now far surpasses even the number in 1963.  The population hit it's lowest point in 1998 when states coins went into production. 

The funny thing about the future is no one sees it coming and don't even notice when it gets here since it comes in in tiny bounds and leaps.  We don't notice changes until they accumulate.  Well, the new collectors have accumulated.  We shaped this future over the last twenty years by our posts and our actions.  13 year olds don't want to be mauled and they don't need condescension which is why they generally prefer to hang out with one another and they are scarcer here.  The markets are going to continue to evolve to reflect the desires of those who are ACTIVE in them.  Much of this activity will be net selling by older collectors and net buying by younger collectors. Nothing will prevent this because it is analogous to the tide coming in.  Like most all of history there are patterns and cycles that are highly predictable even where details of the present are not always clear.  

The demand from new collectors is also highly predictable though the exact way it unfolds is to remain unknown and be caused by events that haven't happened yet.  They will be acquiring more expensive coins and more will collect $6000 quarters.  

 

I believe the future is bright for all coins for at least the next quarter century.  There will be ups and downs and unexpected twists but the demand from this generation and the next is likely to be more eclectic and widely based.  Even the most obscure coins, tokens, and medals are likely to enjoy a market.  Coins that are more popular (like US coins) will have very strong and spirited interest,.  I would predict that these markets will develop over the next 20 years and those who are around to see it won't even see it coming because it's going to sneak up on them.  

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FWIW, I used only Ebay for probably a decade while buying coins.  Never even had heard of HA.  Got active in these and other forums and learned about them.  Checked them out, saw stuff within my budget that I could afford, joined and buy from time-to-time, $$$-depending.

Actually, I've bought far more in terms of quantity and $$$ value in currency via HA than coins.  Active in HA for just over a year or so I believe.

Coins only from GC, active there less than a year.

No account at SB or others.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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20 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

I think most Americans, even those in the investor class, are not aware of our rich history and artistry involving our currency and bills.  I know I wasn't and I'm a voracious reader and historian.

Rather than lack of awareness, I suspect that few care at all. America is a mercantile culture, built by those out to profit materially, not historically, creatively, or artistically. Our creative background is largely imported and is both brief and minuscule compared to any non-Western Hemisphere culture.

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40 minutes ago, RWB said:

Rather than lack of awareness, I suspect that few care at all. America is a mercantile culture, built by those out to profit materially, not historically, creatively, or artistically. Our creative background is largely imported and is both brief and minuscule compared to any non-Western Hemisphere culture.

My sentiments, more or less.

The other point I have made is that there isn't much if any actual history associated with coin collecting.  The coin existed and exists and that's about it.  This is even more true of the highest quality and most expensive coinage where the reality is usually nothing more than it sat in a coin cabinet or coin folder for decades or centuries until more recently where it now possibly resides in a TPG holder.  Most of this "history" is actually nothing more than romanticized imaginary fiction.

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1 hour ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

FWIW, I used only Ebay for probably a decade while buying coins.  Never even had heard of HA.  Got active in these and other forums and learned about them.  Checked them out, saw stuff within my budget that I could afford, joined and buy from time-to-time, $$$-depending.

Actually, I've bought far more in terms of quantity and $$$ value in currency via HA than coins.  Active in HA for just over a year or so I believe.

Coins only from GC, active there less than a year.

No account at SB or others.

I bought mostly off of eBay from 1998 to 2004 after I resumed collecting.  Found out about Heritage and Goldberg through eBay when it used to include live auctions.  From there gradually found out about other firms eventually finding Sixbid which is an auction portal mostly for foreign (European) firms.

I buy far fewer coins than I did until about 2008, more regularly since from Heritage, Stacks, and Sedwick with occasional purchases elsewhere.  Always on the lookout though because coins I want will show up in unusual places.

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48 minutes ago, World Colonial said:

The other point I have made is that there isn't much if any actual history associated with coin collecting.  The coin existed and exists and that's about it.  This is even more true of the highest quality and most expensive coinage where the reality is usually nothing more than it sat in a coin cabinet or coin folder for decades or centuries until more recently where it now possibly resides in a TPG holder.  Most of this "history" is actually nothing more than romanticized imaginary fiction.

Disagree...there are great stories and history associated with many coins, notably Saints and Morgans.

I'm pretty sure RWB would agree -- 'cause he kind of wrote some books about them !! (thumbsuxD

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1 minute ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

Disagree...there are great stories and history associated with many coins, notably Saints and Morgans.

I'm pretty sure RWB would agree -- 'cause he kind of wrote some books about them !! (thumbsuxD

Yes, I am aware of it .  But almost no coinage is hardly ever connected to any event of the time hardly anyone knows anything about.  This is my point since literally everything with a past has a history.

I have a reference on my current area of interest Gilboy's "The Milled Columnarios of Central and South America".  It includes the historical context at that time and is well written.  Most of it still doesn't have much of anything to do with the coins.

I first became interested in history at age 13, mostly ancient near east.  Also read Egyptian, Rome and Greece.  I was first interested in coins at age 10.  More recently, I have read up on 19th century British Empire and the 2nd Anglo-Boer War which is related to the South African coinage I used to collect..

My interest in coins never had anything to do with my interest in history and still doesn't .  If it did, I'd collect something else.  For others, maybe it does and maybe it doesn't.   

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Did I read somewhere that HA has 900,000 registered users ?  Anybody confirm ?  Anybody know someone at HA who can tell us how many ACTIVE (bidding monthly or buying at least once a year) users there are ?

Users for both GC and Ebay also of interest.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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6 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

Did I read somewhere that HA has 900,000 registered users ?  Anybody confirm ?  Anybody know someone at HA who can tell us how many ACTIVE (bidding monthly or buying at least once a year) users there are ?

Users for both GC and Ebay also of interest.

HA makes you register if you want to look at realized prices.  I registered a month ago or so and haven't participated in any auction yet.  Couldn't believe how many emails they send, sadly they're in my spam filter so I'll never get any more emails from them.

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7 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

Did I read somewhere that HA has 900,000 registered users ?  Anybody confirm ?  Anybody know someone at HA who can tell us how many ACTIVE (bidding monthly or buying at least once a year) users there are ?

Users for both GC and Ebay also of interest.

Here are some assumptions:

A noticeable proportion collect another specialty offered by Heritage other than coins.

A low minority are coin collectors based outside the US.

Even if my prior 2MM guesstimate of the US collector base is directionally accurate, a noticeable proportion must be a combination of casual collector or (almost) never buy from them.  Mostly "window shoppers".

I first bought through Heritage at the June 2, 2006 Long Beach auction.  In 14+ years, 39 lots at somewhat over $11,000.  Four lots in the last three years with one for about $1700.  Not much really but probably still above average.

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4 hours ago, MK Ultra said:

HA makes you register if you want to look at realized prices.  I registered a month ago or so and haven't participated in any auction yet.  Couldn't believe how many emails they send, sadly they're in my spam filter so I'll never get any more emails from them.

I'm sure you can opt-out.  It looks like, aside from items where I am bidding and getting OUTBID or status emails, that I get 2-4 emails a week about upcoming auctions.  

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2 hours ago, World Colonial said:

Here are some assumptions:  A noticeable proportion collect another specialty offered by Heritage other than coins. A low minority are coin collectors based outside the US. Even if my prior 2MM guesstimate of the US collector base is directionally accurate, a noticeable proportion must be a combination of casual collector or (almost) never buy from them.  Mostly "window shoppers". I first bought through Heritage at the June 2, 2006 Long Beach auction.  In 14+ years, 39 lots at somewhat over $11,000.  Four lots in the last three years with one for about $1700.  Not much really but probably still above average.

I would agree with the thrust of this post.  Ironically, I've used HA mostly for currency -- I think I only have 1 or 2 coins from them.  I've BID alot -- just mostly "stink bids" hoping to get something 30% or so below FMV (no luckxD ).

The BEST and SIMPLEST way to gauge our hobby is to compare attendance at coin shows (monthlies, regionals, or the Big 3).  It's easy to tell if attendance has been going up or down over time there.  Plus, if you went up the last 5-10 years as the internet exploded, that was an even better sign.  Of course, C-19 disrupted all of this for 2020 and probably parts of 2021, too.

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3 minutes ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

I would agree with the thrust of this post.  Ironically, I've used HA mostly for currency -- I think I only have 1 or 2 coins from them.  I've BID alot -- just mostly "stink bids" hoping to get something 30% or so below FMV (no luckxD ).

The BEST and SIMPLEST way to gauge our hobby is to compare attendance at coin shows (monthlies, regionals, or the Big 3).  It's easy to tell if attendance has been going up or down over time there.  Plus, if you went up the last 5-10 years as the internet exploded, that was an even better sign.  Of course, C-19 disrupted all of this for 2020 and probably parts of 2021, too.

I believe Heritage is a good indicator of the more affluent US based coin buyer but not for the typical one.  Looking at the archives, my inferences include:

There are a lot of sub $100 coins listed but it's my understanding they are trying to get away from that or if not, raising the minimum buyer's fee to $19 should eventually reduce what they offer in this price range noticeably.  Most of the coins I bought from them were below this cut-off but only because I couldn't buy it anywhere else.

At the large coin shows I attended, the "budget" section had a cut-off below $300.  My guess is that as many as 80% of all collectors don't buy above this level or hardly ever, depending upon someone's definition of "collector".  It's this collector predominantly buying sub $100 coins from them, most of are US, and essentially every single one can be bought elsewhere (practically) all of the time.

NCLT is generally a noticeably under represented segment and likely to stay that way.

Most of the more expensive world coins are bought by US collectors.  I infer this because the majority of the high dollar coins are European, most of these buyers don't care for TPG, and even if they care somewhat, the coins are usually common enough where they can buy an essentially identical replacement or a comparable substitute for (a lot) less elsewhere without too much difficulty.  There are a few exceptions (such as Chinese and South Africa) but don't think it's many.

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35 minutes ago, World Colonial said:

I believe Heritage is a good indicator of the more affluent US based coin buyer but not for the typical one. 

Definitely agree, Ebay is the Schlitz or Budweiser of coin acutions.  HA is more like an imported craft beer or upscale liquor. xD

35 minutes ago, World Colonial said:

There are a lot of sub $100 coins listed but it's my understanding they are trying to get away from that or if not, raising the minimum buyer's fee to $19 should eventually reduce what they offer in this price range noticeably.  Most of the coins I bought from them were below this cut-off but only because I couldn't buy it anywhere else.

Wasn't aware of this change, thanks.  Most of what I bought on Ebay, coin and currency, was < $100.  I think I bought some Silver Certificates for like $10 or so (maybe less) including S&H.  If there are now minimum fees sellers may have to package multiple items together.  I'll pay $12 for something nice if it really should only sell for $5 but I won't pay mid-$20's.

35 minutes ago, World Colonial said:

At the large coin shows I attended, the "budget" section had a cut-off below $300.  My guess is that as many as 80% of all collectors don't buy above this level or hardly ever, depending upon someone's definition of "collector".  It's this collector predominantly buying sub $100 coins from them, most of are US, and essentially every single one can be bought elsewhere (practically) all of the time.

At FUN, there was a budget section but I believe you weren't forced to go there, they just had about 20-25 dealers who all wanted to congregate together for those who came to FUN with small $$$.

35 minutes ago, World Colonial said:

Most of the more expensive world coins are bought by US collectors.  I infer this because the majority of the high dollar coins are European, most of these buyers don't care for TPG, and even if they care somewhat, the coins are usually common enough where they can buy an essentially identical replacement or a comparable substitute for (a lot) less elsewhere without too much difficulty.  There are a few exceptions (such as Chinese and South Africa) but don't think it's many.

Agreed....at FUN, most of these dealers had stuff that wasn't graded.  I think the people buying these coins are sufficiently knowledgeable that they can judge the quality on their own.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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44 minutes ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

Wasn't aware of this change, thanks.  Most of what I bought on Ebay, coin and currency, was < $100.  I think I bought some Silver Certificates for like $10 or so (maybe less) including S&H.  If there are now minimum fees sellers may have to package multiple items together.  I'll pay $12 for something nice if it really should only sell for $5 but I won't pay mid-$20's.

It's been a couple of years at least.  A PNG member dealer told me they were trying to reduce consignments valued below $250 but I don't know if he actually knows it or just thought so.

Last year, I bought three lots from them for $22, $34 and $34.  So you can see the buyer's fee was almost as much as the winning bid.  These aren't "junk" coins either, just with low demand.  Two are MS-66 Bolivia earlier decimals with one relatively common but the other not.  

Last month, I bought an 1864 PCGS MS-62 1/10 Boliviano from Stacks for $90 or $117 "all-in".  This is effectively an impossible coin to buy and really nice, but few want it.  I saw it in the Sedwick archives selling maybe 10 years ago but missed it.

These Bolivian coin have minimal collector base but the higher fees noticeably reduce the appeal of buying most low priced coins.  You have to really want it and usually be willing to treat it as a consumption expense.  eBay used to be a good outlet to get reasonable prices but the large number of "Buy It Now" listings tell me it isn't anymore.  It's still better than the alternatives for this price range but not what it used to be.

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1 hour ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

At FUN, there was a budget section but I believe you weren't forced to go there, they just had about 20-25 dealers who all wanted to congregate together for those who came to FUN with small $$$.

I don't actually know whether dealers were required to be in this section.  My guess is "no" but that they do it for the reason you gave, to make it more convenient for their target customers.

When I go to shows, I don't stop at dealer tables that sell only US or don't appear to have anything I collect.  I never buy on impulse and don't buy anything outside my specialties either, so there is no point to it.  Many of these US coin dealers typically sell coins mostly above my price point anyway.  I'll glance from a distance or as I pass by but that's all.

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On 11/10/2020 at 1:24 PM, World Colonial said:

I don't actually know whether dealers were required to be in this section.  My guess is "no" but that they do it for the reason you gave, to make it more convenient for their target customers.

I thought they all wanted to be together but maybe a veteran of these shows or an actual dealer can chime in.

The place was so big -- the OCCC where FUN is held -- that as a 1st-timer I was overwhelmed the first day, not finding anything of interest to me and walking and scouring the aisles haphazardly.  By the 2nd day I had a plan and was alot more efficient.

When you are used to coin shows with 30-50 dealers and maybe 75-100 tables, seeing 600 dealers and 1,000 tables or whatever was at FUN can be intimidating.  It was for me on Day 1 ! xD

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I saw some of the non-PM numismatics from The Bob Simpson Sale on Heritage tonight.  Got me thinking.....

(1)  Does anybody know how super-high end Morgans/Barbers/SLQ's did after the Bubble to the present ?  I know that coins that the "average" collector could buy (like MS-65's) took a bath, down 70-80%.  I'm wondering if the super-high ends with populations in the single digits or close to that (MS-67 or MS-68) took a similar hit and/or came back STRONGER the last few decades ?

(2)  How have both traded in recent years (last decade or so) ?

You have 2 different markets IMO.  The middle class and upper-middle class deals in the coins costing $50 - $1,000 which they can afford.  You have thousands of collectors there and tens of thousands of potential buyers.  It's close to a "true market" because you have lots of buyers and also lots of sellers (more buyers obviously than the dealers).

But the rich and super-rich deal in the super-rarities I saw tonight where the coins cost $5,000 - $500,000.  Buyers are more price-insensitive because they can afford to splurge -- but the absence of 1 or 2 Big Buyers can impact the market, whereas you need large numbers of the middle-class buyers to impact the middle-tier coins.

Am I right to see segmentation of coin collecting of the same coin type within different grades costing much more and thus having their own supply/demand dynamics ?

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A good friend of mine while I was in the camera store and photo lab biz, lost his shirt during the crash after the 1980’s coin price bubble, and hanged himself, leaving a wife and two children. I am no fan of sudden market moves. He was the guy left holding overpriced stuff when the music stopped. Financialization of collectibles is an evil.

The “state” of coin collecting is bad, getting worse, and it deserves to be. Too much stupid greed to ever be able to live down its legacy sins.

Worse yet, it’s still intentionally damaging people, as with  so-called “gold IRA’s you can hold yourself”. It’s just a pure lie.

Edited by VKurtB
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1 hour ago, VKurtB said:

A good friend of mine while I was in the camera store and photo lab biz, lost his shirt during the crash after the 1980’s coin price bubble, and hanged himself, leaving a wife and two children. I am no fan of sudden market moves. He was the guy left holding overpriced stuff when the music stopped. Financialization of collectibles is an evil.

OMG....terrible...:(....see, I always thought that a dealer was NOT supposed to speculate on the price of a numismatic or bullion....keep inventory low and/or hedged....like a bookie not betting on 1 team but collecting the vig....I know you can't not be 100% unexposed and that was a WICKED reversal, literally overnight.  Still....tragic.

1 hour ago, VKurtB said:

The “state” of coin collecting is bad, getting worse, and it deserves to be. Too much stupid greed to ever be able to live down its legacy sins.  Worse yet, it’s still intentionally damaging people, as with  so-called “gold IRA’s you can hold yourself”. It’s just a pure lie.

If the worst you can claim is "Gold IRA's" (and I'm not a favor of investing IRA $$$ in gold unless you have a 7-figure IRA)....that's not too bad.  Got any more examples on the lousy state ?

I sat through your entire speech that was posted on another thread...the stuff you cited there is thankfully not part of the mainstream of coin collecting.  When I went to FUN earlier this year, I'd say that 95% of the dealers were not overhawking stuff.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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1 hour ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

OMG....terrible...:(....see, I always thought that a dealer was NOT supposed to speculate on the price of a numismatic or bullion....keep inventory low and/or hedged....like a bookie not betting on 1 team but collecting the vig....I know you can't not be 100% unexposed and that was a WICKED reversal, literally overnight.  Still....tragic.

If the worst you can claim is "Gold IRA's" (and I'm not a favor of investing IRA $$$ in gold unless you have a 7-figure IRA)....that's not too bad.  Got any more examples on the lousy state ?

I sat through your entire speech that was posted on another thread...the stuff you cited there is thankfully not part of the mainstream of coin collecting.  When I went to FUN earlier this year, I'd say that 95% of the dealers were not overhawking stuff.

If you want me to start naming actual names, I can. But know now it includes quite a few of the industry’s most revered dealer names. There are extraordinarily few sets of clean hands. I sat through some of the early advisory board sessions that became the Council on Tangible Assets, including at a March ANA show in downtown Dallas. The ONLY THING most cared about was the tax treatment of gold IRA’s. I was present because I was invited by a now past Executive Director who was using me as her Pennsylvania “early warning alarm” after Governor Wolf targeted coins’ sales tax exemption. Pennsylvania’s largest wholesale dealer eventually hired Chip Brightbill, a past Senate Majority Leader, to run that interference on a paid basis. 
 

And I am now less than a week from retirement from state service of what might be the most corrupt state government in the land of the free. 
 

By the way, by any method of “ciphering” that is honest, the coin hobby is not only shrinking, it’s collapsing into itself like a main sequence star that has run out of fusionable fuel. We are this generation’s candlemakers and blacksmiths.

Edited by VKurtB
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2 hours ago, VKurtB said:

If you want me to start naming actual names, I can. But know now it includes quite a few of the industry’s most revered dealer names. There are extraordinarily few sets of clean hands. I sat through some of the early advisory board sessions that became the Council on Tangible Assets, including at a March ANA show in downtown Dallas. The ONLY THING most cared about was the tax treatment of gold IRA’s. I was present because I was invited by a now past Executive Director who was using me as her Pennsylvania “early warning alarm” after Governor Wolf targeted coins’ sales tax exemption. Pennsylvania’s largest wholesale dealer eventually hired Chip Brightbill, a past Senate Majority Leader, to run that interference on a paid basis. And I am now less than a week from retirement from state service of what might be the most corrupt state government in the land of the free.  By the way, by any method of “ciphering” that is honest, the coin hobby is not only shrinking, it’s collapsing into itself like a main sequence star that has run out of fusionable fuel. We are this generation’s candlemakers and blacksmiths.

(1)  The tax treatment of gold IRAs is not a big thing....it's an arcane tax issue.  This is NOT like some boiler room having senior citizens buying $50 Morgan dollars for $200.

(2)  States have different laws on sales tax.  Again, if that's the worst, I have no problem with it -- just a business/hobby looking out for their own interests.  In this case, getting the greedy hands of government off something that is NOT "income" as defined by the 16th Amendment.  We used to have an Internet sales tax exemption, no more.  Maybe when dealers are as wealthy as Jeff Bezos....xD

(3)   As a Board Member of my local astronomy club, I feel it is my duty to inform you that you need a critical mass of coin dealers, er solar masses, to collapse into a white dwarf or neutron star or black hole. xD  The success of Heritage, Great Collections, and Ebay says that the coin business is holding up and re-inventing itself.  I wager that overall silver and gold bullion ownership rates are higher than in the 1970's and 1980's....and pure coin collecting is holding up too.  Quasi-bullion (silver and gold) quasi-numismatic appears to be the growth area (Saints, Morgan,s Mint products, etc.).

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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