NumisMedia Market Report: FUN Leads the Coin Market into 2010
Posted on 2/11/2010
The FUN Convention is known for painting a partial picture of what is to come in the new year. Sometimes it is a difficult picture to decipher. This year it is very easy to describe. The coin market (and the economy) is full of jitters. Most buyers do not know what to purchase in these times of uncertainty, but what is evident is that many want to acquire rare coins and any bullion-related coins. They are demanding hard assets that they can hold in their hands. Most consumers do not want investment funds or savings left in a bank; it is not as safe there as it once was. Banks are offering only one to two percent interest on savings, if that, while charging as much as 25% to 30% on credit card interest. If coin dealers tried to make half that spread, they would be run out of business. If you glean anything from the FUN experience, it is that we are in the right business at the most opportune time.
Gold cooperated and advanced right through the week at FUN. Rare coins changed hands as well as key dates, but some coins required minor discounts, while others brought premiums over current FMV levels. What this means is the overall market is mixed with activity in most areas. The only areas that remain soft are the common issues of modern coin series. Coins with high populations are steady at best with not much interest being shown by potential buyers. Anything after 1940 is not as active as prior, unless they are coins of the highest grade in a series. The highest-grade coins will still attract Registry collectors, especially if the populations are very low for the grade. In addition, bullion-related modern issues were very active as long as they were priced competitively with appropriate premiums above the intrinsic value.
Prior to the FUN Convention, Bowers and Merena Auctions began the auction season with the Orlando Rarities Sale. The sale contained nearly 900 lots that realized a little over $2.5 million. One of the more interesting highlights of this sale was the 1851 Augustus Humbert $50 Gold AU 55, which is missing the digits 88 from the inscription “880 THOUS” on the obverse. This coin is unique and sold for $115,000. Another important coin was the 1879 Flowing Hair Stella $4 Gold in Cameo PR 66; this beauty realized $182,500. Below is a list of other major rarities and the prices they brought. Please contact Bowers and Merena for a list of all prices realized.
|1867 Shield Nickel w/ Rays||PCGS PR 65||$54,625|
|1937 D Buffalo Nickel 3 Leg||PCGS MS 65||$35,650|
|1852 Seated Dime||NGC PR 65||$12,650|
|1852 O Seated Quarter||PCGS MS 62||$26,450|
|1916 St. Lib Quarter||NGC MS 65 FH||$24,150|
|1927 S St. Lib Quarter||NGC MS 66||$10,063|
|1795 FH Half Two Leaves||NGC AU 58||$16,389|
|1896 S Morgan Dollar||PCGS MS 65||$17,313|
|1855 $1 Gold TII||NGC MS 63||$10,350|
|1911 $2 ½ Indian||NGC PR 67||$39,100|
|1803/2 $5 Gold||NGC MS 65||$115,000|
|1812 $5 Bust Gold||NGC MS 64||$29,900|
|1885 $5 Gold||PCGS PR 64 DCam||$16,100|
|1926 D $20 Saint||PCGS MS 63||$31,050|
The Heritage FUN Auction brought a tremendous amount of enthusiasm to the overall market. Of course, much of this was a result of the appearance of the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel. The history behind this rarity always attracts collectors and non-collectors alike. When one of these coins is offered at auction, news travels around the globe and competitive bidding is sure to follow. In this instance, the hammer stopped at $3,737,500 and a record price was recorded for this NGC-certified PR 64. This is the second finest of the five known pieces minted and was the highlight of a sale that realized well over $36 million. An unusual Pattern Gold coin brought $1,265,000; the 1874 $10 Bickford grades PCGS PR 65 Deep Cameo. It is one of only two known to exist. A third million-dollar coin in this magnificent sale was the 1927 D $20 Saint Gaudens. This was the Ralph P. Muller coin and grades PCGS MS 66. It sold for $1,495,000 and will be the new highlight in an important collection. There were so many major highlights in the sale it is difficult to report them all, so we will list just a few below. For a complete list of prices realized, please contact Heritage Galleries.
|1943 Lincoln Cent Copper||PCGS AU 58||$218,500|
|1918/7 D Buffalo Nickel||PCGS MS 65||$264,500|
|1853 Seated Quarter A/R||NGC PR 65 Cameo||$230,000|
|1892 S Morgan Dollar||PCGS MS 65||$115,000|
|1879 $4 Gold Flowing Hair||NGC PR 67 Cameo||$299,000|
|1839 $5 Gold||NGC PR 61||$184,000|
|1899 S $5 Gold||NGC MS 69||$103,500|
|1795 $10 Gold 13 Leaves||PCGS MS 62||$115,000|
|1801 $10 Gold||NGC MS 65||$161,000|
|1899 S $10 Gold||NGC MS 69||$195,500|
|1870 CC $20 Gold||NGC XF 40||$184,009|
|1870 CC $20 Gold||PCGS XF 45||$230,000|
|1926 D Saint Gaudens||PCGS MS 65||$253,000|
We have no doubt that millions of dollars are available for rare coins. As we touched on earlier, unspent cash could be wasting potential profits. As you can see from these auctions, knowledgeable buyers are more than willing to purchase coins that have potential. Yet, this market is not for everyone. Collectors must be capable of grading coins and determining Fair Market Value. The track record for specific coins by grade is a major help in determining the future for profits. In addition, the Pop Reports can reveal just how many coins are available by grade. Most dealers feel that classic rarities are the best coins to purchase because they represent the core of long-term collections.
However, we do see many new types of buyers in today’s market. Many novices look to the current bullion coins for collector value as well as intrinsic value. New collectors feel more secure in knowing that they can follow bullion prices and know how their portfolios are doing. Although when speculation enters into the equation, premiums can become exorbitant, for example, in the area of Proof Gold Eagles. The FMV for one-ounce coins was as high as $2,720; currently the FMV is $1,890. Many dealers feel the premiums are still too high over the gold value. This could very well chase more of these new buyers into the “real” rare coin market.
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.