Here I go again, putting myself out on a limb to forecast what is going to happen in 2018. Making a forecast is a tradition stretching back many years. Just don’t bet the farm on any of these outcomes.
1. The price of gold will go up in 2018. I felt confident enough to cite a price per ounce for 2017, but this year I will simply say higher. Interest rates are rising. That could slow the rise down. A world crisis could speed up the increase. Let’s just say that in my view, the price of gold won’t be prevented from rising from its 2017 close of $1,306.30.
2. Silver will rise also. It ended 2017 at $17.06.
3. The Mint sold 302,500 ounces worth of gold American Eagles. It will sell more in 2018.
4. Silver Eagle sales will also be higher than the 18,065,500. But the final number will be a long way from either the 47 million sold in 2015 or the 37,701,500 of 2016.
5. The new proof palladium American Eagle coin will be popular with enough collectors to sell out when it goes on sale in the autumn of 2018. The Mint has not yet set a specific date.
Even though I believe that we tend to pay too much attention to what the Mint is doing relative to what collectors are doing on their own, it is hard to measure private activities. I am therefore grateful to the Professional Numismatists Guild for its estimate of market size. The non-bullion collector coin market was called at $3.4 billion to $3.8 billion at the end of 2017, down from $4 billion the year before.
My prediction number 6, therefore, is the collector coin market will increase in 2018 and the PNG estimate will be higher.
7. A Chinese buyer will purchase a famous American rarity in 2018. China is getting richer. Its collectors are increasingly active. Buying an American numismatic rarity will be a trophy.
8. Bitcoin is in the headlines. It has soared in value in 2017. It went up by nearly 20 times last year, reaching near the $20,000 mark. At year end, it was around $14,000. It will fall by half in 2018. Let’s say $7,000 just to be precise.
9. A new trend will confirm itself in 2018. United States circulating coin production will drop even though the economy is growing. This would be the second year in a row for such an occurrence. 2016 output for circulation was just over 16 billion pieces. The 2017 number is below that at 15 billion. The 2018 number will be less than 2017. It used to be a growing economy and growing coin production went hand in hand. No more. Americans are willingly giving up some of their cash.
10. Cents will continue to capture the imagination of potential newcomers to the hobby. It will be up to us to educate them about 1982 large and small dates, but more importantly, it is up to all of us to make bona fide collectors out of them.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.
More Collecting Resources
• Are you a U.S. coin collector? Check out the 2018 U.S. Coin Digest for the most recent coin prices.
• Keep up to date on prices for Canada, United States and Mexico coinage with the 2018 North American Coins & Prices guide.