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Gold

Julian Jarvis was the first dealer to point out to me that the premium on bullion gold and silver American Eagles was returning to normal levels. This could be a sign that the unusually high demand for physical bullion coins is coming to an end and the usual cash and carry markets are fully functioning again.

He told me this in a Coin Chat Radio interview that I turned into a news story in the May 12 issue. Both the online radio interview and the news story were very popular with collectors, so popular in fact, that I decided I needed to talk to him again for the June 11 radio program for an update to see what is going on currently.

Jarvis said the trend continues. He said the premiums on the bullion coins have now fallen to the lowest point he has ever seen. Anyone who wants to buy the 2009 gold or silver American Eagles can get immediate delivery.

Is this an indication that the world financial crisis is settling down and more normal long-term patterns of trading are taking hold? That would be a logical conclusion, though gold bugs are waiting for yet more external shocks to demand as might occur if, say, the State of California goes bankrupt or China decides to buy as much gold as it can without regard to price.

These scenarios are all plausible and that is why I like to talk to Jarvis as sort of a reality check.

He mentioned that in addition to the lower premiums, overall volume of bullion business for him is declining. This is a situation that bears continued watching.

Gold and silver are nice, but the jackpot topics for collectors seem to be Jarvis’ experience with the coins that we are all thinking about virtually every day, the new Lincoln cents, the 2009 District of Columbia and Territories quarters and even dimes and nickels.

Julian says the cents are still hard to get, but he is sticking to his guns when it comes to long-term price. He thinks $1.50 a roll will be more than adequate when the novelty wears off and banking distribution becomes more normal.

Though the Guam quarters now officially have the lowest mintages for 2009 quarters, the Philly D.C. quarter is more difficult to acquire.

Jarvis talked about state quarters. He has been running a buy ad in Numismatic News and the level of response has been so high that he has two staffers doing nothing but processing what is shipped to him.

Wow. That’s what an ad is supposed to do and I am glad that is what he is experiencing.

By checking it on the Buzz page, you can see what is currently hard to find. He mentioned that one investor had enough Connecticut quarters to supply his needs,  so that he backed off his buy price.

Dimes and nickels are the current forbidden fruit. News that production may have stopped for the rest of the year has multiplied the number of phone calls Jarvis has received asking about them.

There is nothing like telling a collector he might not be able to have something to get him to scramble around for it. Who would have thought dimes and nickels could have such appeal this year?

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