ANA Offers Awesome Potential

Posted on 8/1/2006

Find out how the summer doldrums have affected the collecting market, and how this year's World's Fair of Money Convention is poised to turn things around.

With the prospects of the ANA World's Fair of Money Convention this month, the nation's most active dealers and serious collectors will be ready for an extravaganza. There are major auctions just before and during the show and, if you are looking for any kind of coin, this is the time and place to find it. The market should be back to a breakneck pace as the summer slowdown comes to an end. With the metals appearing to be stronger overall, the opportunities for rising FMV prices look endless. The Denver area is a great place for numismatics and is not that far away from the home of the ANA in Colorado Springs. This should be a show to remember.

Most dealers have monumental needs for their customers and the ANA Convention should provide dealers with many of their want-listed coins. There is plenty of money ready to be spent for the "right" coins and nearly every series has some degree of popularity. The degree of popularity depends on the FMV for every coin in relation to the number of coins available within a grade range. The census reports help numismatists immensely in gathering information pertaining to potential availability. It is all about percentages and we are finding more collectors doing research in their area of expertise. In fact, we are finding more collectors becoming as expert in their fields as the specialized dealers.

Now that the summer months are waning, dealers are once again concentrating on the coin business. The recent lethargic market was a result of too many major players (dealers and collectors) taking time off from the rituals of a grinding market. With so many numismatists out of the market, it makes sense that some series could and did suffer as a result. Areas that had market momentum ($5 and $10 Gold Indians for example) before the summer began, have drifted aimlessly the past six weeks. Of course, we are referring to generic dates. However, even some of the better dates have fallen as the higher prices actually brought some coins into the market and temporarily satisfied the current demand. Now we are seeing some of these more common dates being offered in the wholesale arena on a daily basis.

The FMV for the common date $5 Indian has dropped from $4,470 in MS63 in June to the current $3,310. In MS 64, it was $6,250 versus today's $4,500. Granted, most of the coins available are the most common, the 1909 D, but some of the P Mint issues have also dropped as a result of the market losing energy. On the positive side, we have seen several of the key dates move higher as serious collectors try to locate specific dates to complete their collections. Of course, the 1909 O being the most valuable issue of this series and relatively not available above MS 63, we have seen a major push to draw coins out of hiding over the past two months. The MS 64 has moved from $129,380 to the current $143,750. More impressive is the MS 65 which has seen the FMV more than double as a couple of major dealers are consistently trying to outbid each other for a coin for their customer. The June FMV was $237,500 and today it is $487,500. Wow, if you only had a couple of these in your portfolio!

The $10 Indian series has suffered from the same malaise of the past few weeks. Indifference has decelerated its momentum and we have seen the common dates fall to recent lows. Although, the $10 Indian had not moved up at the same pace as the $5 Indian. In June, the MS 63 $10 Indian had an FMV of $2,250 while today it is showing $2,160. The MS 64 fell from $3,240 to $2,940. In this series, the dates most often offered at discounts are typically 1926 and 1932.

As a collector, you have to determine if these are a legitimate downturn in the marketplace with supplies more than enough to satisfy current demand or, as we suggest, just indifference to the overall market during the summer months. If it is indifference, then today's levels will present good buying opportunities for the future. If supplies continue to be available in the wholesale market, then prices will remain tenuous. If the market does turn around and start to head back up, this will be a good time to look for the common dates at current levels that will have a little more premium to them when the market is stronger. Lower census coins, or extra eye appeal, are always good requisites to follow when purchasing coins.

A couple of areas that have held strong through the summer are gold-related as well. The early issues of the $5 and $10 coins remain very active at higher FMV levels. Some market makers continue to raise their buy prices in an effort to corral any of the available coins in VF to Mint State grades. The coins must be accurately graded and cannot have any negative eye appeal. One of the reasons many of these coins are moving higher is that it is difficult to find coins with these requirements. There are no more than a handful of coins available across all the grades and the owners of these available coins will want substantially more than the money being offered. Each time the buyers move their prices higher, the potential sellers do the same thing. We are speaking about very rare coins with low original mintages, low survival rates, and low census accountability. Most of these coins are in the strong hands of collectors that do not have a need to sell or the inclination to take profits at this time. When these coins do become available, usually in one of the major auctions, there is very aggressive competition for them. Simply take a look at the upcoming auctions and see for yourself.

A comparison of FMV prices from June of this year shows how this market has risen consistently for these early issues. The $5 Small Eagle Bust Right has increased from $34,380 in AU 50 to $38,130 today; in MS 60, the FMV has jumped from $56,880 to $62,500. The higher grades seem to advance in more dramatic fashion. In MS 63, the FMV was $142,500 and now it is up to $165,630. In some cases, when these higher grade coins do come on the market in a major auction, the competition becomes so fierce that the listed prices seldom resemble the final price realized. At least this helps us to establish the FMV for the particular issue.

The early $10s are finding higher FMV prices nearly as potent. The AU 50 $10 Capped Bust was listed at $49,810 in June and now it has an FMV of $54,380. In MS 60, it moved from $91,880 to the current FMV of $93,130. In MS 63, the June price was $240,500 and now it is a sizzling $251,550. We don't know where the overall market is headed, but with the current economic atmosphere aligned with all the dealers and collectors participating in numismatics, it is an easy hypothesis that we are still headed to a higher overall 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.

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