NumisMedia Market Report: Markets Offer Developing Prospects

Countless fundamentals have advanced the coin market over the last ten years, not the least of which has been the recent rise of metals.

With all the developments came a major increase in novice collectors, many purchasing the latest minted coins in the highest grades they could afford. Along with rising metals, modern coin collecting stimulated the entire coin market as these new collectors began to expand into earlier collector series. With the advent of Registry Sets by NGC and PCGS and competition for the highest quality within a specific series, the coin market flourished. Nonetheless, when the economy collapsed, many collectors lost their ability to continue buying coins and, in fact, were forced to sell into a market that was already losing many of these new collectors.

Since then, many of the highest graded Modern coins have fallen due to an increase in populations and withering demand at previous FMV levels. Let’s take a look at what has transpired in the Modern Commemorative Dollars series over the last four years in the highest grades. We selected the PR 70 Ultra Cameo grade for a comparison of FMV values for November 2007 versus the current FMV of November 2011.

Date FMV Nov 2007 FMV Nov 2011
1986 S Statue of Liberty PR UCam $350 $213
1987 S Constitution PR UCam $500 $238
1989 S Congress PR UCam $940 $730
1991 S Mount Rushmore PR UCam $720 $325
1992 S Olympics PR UCam $780 $525
1993 W WW II PR UCam $600 $425
1993 S Thomas Jefferson PR UCam $2,000 $810
1994 S World Cup PR UCam $575 $394
1994 S U.S. Capitol Bicentennial PR UCam $810 $575
1995 S Civil War Battlefield PR UCam $720 $575
1995 P Olympics (Gymnastics) PR UCam $910 $630
1996 S National Community Service PR UCam $630 $500
1997 S Jackie Robinson PR UCam $1,380 $970
1998 S Robert F. Kennedy PR UCam $880 $700
1998 S Black Revolutionary War Pat. PR UCam $1,560 $720
2000 P Library of Congress PR UCam $1,750 $1,250
2001 P Buffalo PR UCam $980 $650

In this comparison you can see the dramatic difference in FMV over the last four years. To be fair there are some others that have increased because they have maintained a very low population and or there is still strong demand for the coins. The 1995 P Olympics Cycling in Ultra Cameo PR 70 has a current FMV of $720 against the prior 2007 FMV of $690. Also, the 1996 P Olympics Paralympics in Ultra Cameo PR 70 is now at $550 FMV and the previous value was $500. With no improvement in the economy in sight, this market is lackluster; however, when the economy turns around and unemployment becomes less of a factor, these high grade coins could regain some of their previous status. There are opportunities out there; it is just a matter of finding them.

The lack of premiums for US Gold coins has been a major concern for the dealer community over the last few months. While Gold has fallen from over $1,900 per ounce to just under $1,600 the lack of demand has nearly everyone waiting on the sidelines to see what happens next in the world economies. Over the last two weeks, Gold has once again strengthened and regained much of the recent losses, and is currently at $1,743. However, there are still plenty of inventories overhanging the market. Premiums remain low compared to the norm and investors have the advantage at this time.

In January 2008, Saint Gaudens were $1,370 FMV in MS 64 with Gold at $846. This is a premium of 62%. Today, with Gold at $1,743, the MS 64 Saint has an FMV of $2,330 which translates into a premium of slightly above 32%. For strictly bullion buyers, the MS 60 Saint was $1,110 FMV with a premium of 31%, while today that premium is only 24% with MS 60s at $2,160 FMV. To say that investors are in the driver’s seat should be obvious. What may be even more interesting is that there is very little spread between the grades of MS 60 to MS 64. Surely, the difference in quality between these grades should be more than $170. Sometime in the future, collectors and investors will look back and say “Why didn’t I buy the higher grades?” This is much like the sentiment shared by many old-timers as they reflect upon the fact that they did not buy Saints at $300 those many years ago.

Liberty Seated coins are very popular series for collectors. However, they are very difficult to complete because there are so many rare dates within each series. Not only are many of the Mint State coins unavailable, but the circulated issues are infrequently on dealer inventory lists. We recently updated many dates within the Quarter series as a result of authenticated sales of specific dates. Most of the advancements appear in the Very Good to AU 58 grades. Some of the most difficult dates to acquire are from 1878 to 1889. These are not only low mintage coins, they have very low populations by grade at NGC and PCGS. Some of these dates have very little price difference from one grade to the next higher grade. Because of this when one price changes, it may affect several of the higher grades. For example, the 1884 increased in Fine all the way through MS 62. Liberty Seated Quarters presents some of the best opportunities in numismatics. We will report on this series in more depth in future articles.

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.

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