Skip to main content

Avoid auction fever and overpaying

Are we stuck in a rut? If you watch the trading range for bullion gold and silver you would say yes. If you watch the trading range for common date gold and silver American Eagle coins, regardless of whether they are proof or uncirculated, you would agree. Likewise, common date and common condition gold and silver coins have remained stable recently.


Most coin prices are going sideways. The same can’t be said for truly scarce to rare date or condition U.S. coins. While over-the-counter sales aren’t raising many eyebrows, the prices some of these coins are realizing at auctions are. The greatest challenge, as it has always been, is to find correctly graded and problem-free coins with great eye appeal, regardless of whether they are encapsulated by a major certification service or not.

The other challenge is to recognize when a coin has been bid up unnecessarily due to “auction fever.” This enthusiasm continues to be seen especially among bullion-related coins such as the uncirculated First Spouse issues. There doesn’t appear to be any single sector of the collecting market that is noticeably overachieving or underachieving right now. Silver dollars remain as popular as ever, but are currently in a horizontal posture just as is about everything other than the truly rare. The market remains healthy with optimism the watchword.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

More Collecting Resources

• Keep up to date on prices for Canada, United States and Mexico coinage with the 2017 North American Coins & Prices guide.

• Download The Metal Mania Seminar with David Harper to learn more about the metals market.