NumisMedia Market Report: Dealers and Market Adjusting to New Levels
Posted on 9/15/2009
There may not be as many record-setting auctions lately, but there are some true individual rarities that have attracted very intense competition. Heritage Auction Galleries hosted a pre-ANA sale that produced nearly $25 million; there is plenty of money for rare coins if they are priced relative to today’s levels. The 1880 $4 Gold Stella, Coiled Hair, in NGC PR 62, sold for $546,250. This was well above what dealers were offering to pay in the wholesale market for a coin that had not been on the market for quite some time. An 1856-O $20 Gold in NGC AU 58 realized $460,000. This is the rarest of all Carson City $20 Liberties and one of the rarest in this series. With an original mintage of only 2,250 coins, there are only 22 certified by NGC and PCGS. The following list of highlights from the Heritage Sale includes many issues that have not been available for several years.
|1797 Lg Cent Rev 97 Stems||NGC MS 65 BN||$17,250|
|1858 Flying Eagle Cent LL||NGC PR 67 Cam||$41,400|
|1918 / 7 D Buffalo Nickel||PCGS MS 64||$77,625|
|1794 Half Dime||NGC MS 66||$69,000|
|1827/3 Bust Quarter Res||NGC PR 66||$69,000|
|1841 Seated Quarter||NGC PR 66||$207,000|
|1844 Seated Quarter||NGC PR 66||$276,000|
|1839 Half Dol No Drapery||NGC MS 65||$94,875|
|1795 Dr Bust Dollar||NGC MS 64||$109,250|
|1884 CC Morgan Dollar||NGC PR 66 Cam||$126,500|
|1796 $2½ Gold W/Stars||NGC MS 62||$172,500|
|1804 $2½ 13 Star Rev||PCGS AU 58||$322,000|
|1854-S $2 ½ Gold||NGC VF 35||$253,000|
|1795 $5 Sm Eagle S/D||NGC MS 65 P/L||$345,000|
|1920-S $10 Indian||PCGS MS 66||$345,000|
|1933 $10 Indian||PCGS MS 65||$460,000|
|1920-S $20 Saint||PCGS MS 64||$138,000|
|1927-S $20 Saint||PCGS MS 65||$126,500|
Bowers and Merena Auctions conducted the official ANA Auction and reported sales of over $12 million. Included was a long run of Private and Territorial Gold. Many of these coins are quite rare in circulated condition so the entry prices are quite high. An 1852 Humbert $50 Gold sold for $70,150 in grade AU 58; a Wass, Molitor & Co. $50 Gold brought $33,350 and this coin was graded VF 30. A rare 1860 Mormon $5 Gold, in MS 61, went to the high bidder for $54,625. Below is a partial list of other rarities and the prices realized.
|1864-L Indian Cent||PCGS PR 64 Rd||$94,875|
|1877 Indian Cent||PCGS PR 66 Rd||$14,375|
|1922 No D Lincoln Cent||NGC MS 64 RB||$46,000|
|1796 Dr Bust Quarter||PCGS MS 64||$103,500|
|1823 Bust Half Dollar||NGC MS 67||$21,275|
|1873 CC Seated Half N/Arr||NGC MS 63||$23,000|
|1796 $2 ½ Gold W/Stars||NGC MS 63||$163,875|
|1808 $2 ½ Gold||PCGS MS 61||$161,000|
|1915 $2 ½ Indian||NGC PR 67||$36,225|
|1862 $3 Gold||NGC PR 66 UCam||$74,750|
|1879 $4 Gold Flowing Hair||PCGS PR 63 Cam||$129,375|
|1915 S Pan Pac $50 Oct||PCGS MS 64||$80,500|
|1915 S Pan Pac $50 Rd||PCGS MS 64||$91,425|
Coins from the Carson City Mint are more popular than ever. The Bowers and Merena Auction contained several Twenty Dollar Liberties that attracted some very competitive bidding from serious collectors. The 1877 CC in MS 61 sold for $20,700; the highest grade certified is MS 62. This coin had a lot of eye appeal. The 1878 CC in AU 58 brought $15,525, which seemed like a bargain to its new owner. This was thought to be the nicest 1878 CC for the grade that had been available for a few years and it cost considerably less than others that had previously sold. The 1891 CC was another coin that does not come on the market very often in AU 58 and higher. This coin sold for $17,825 and looked like it was totally original. Some Carson City Twenties did not sell in this sale, but it was most likely due to expectations that were too high for the current market.
Most dealers, even ones who did not have a great ANA, are still convinced there are thousands of avid collectors looking to buy coins. However, it appears that these collectors are not willing to pay for coins at previous price levels. Thus, we have seen an onslaught of declines over the summer months. Add to this an increasing amount of sellers in the coin market, more than we have seen in the last several years, and it is easy to see why some series are suffering harsh declines. This is obviously not a good situation for the owners of coins who have been forced to sell into this market. Yet, it appears to be a great opportunity for dealers and collectors looking to add to their inventories and collections.
Buffalo Nickels have been hit hard in the last few months. There are more rare dates appearing on the market than the current group of collectors can handle. As we have said before, when you remove the most competitive buyers from a market, bidding activity can fall 10% to 30% in most major auctions. Now, instead of rare issues selling at a premium, they sell at discounts. The competition may be just as intense, but at much lower levels as buyers take advantage of the current market atmosphere. The Heritage Sale contained many high-grade coins that were bringing premiums over a year ago. In this sale, many coins were selling at discounts. Yet, some of these rarities were still bringing prices within 10% of the reported FMV. As you can see from these auctions, buyers are not afraid to spend their money if they think the coins are rare, have good eye appeal for the grade, and are priced according to current market levels.
This article is a guest article written by:
The thoughts and opinions in the piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.