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Collectors stay busy while investors hesitate

It appears the recent increases in the spot prices of gold and silver might have had some positive impact on values, even if not on the numbers, of collectible coins sold. Specifically, some modern commemoratives, the American Eagle series, First Spouse gold and generic U.S. gold coins, have seen prices rise with precious metals.

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Only about half as many First Spouse coins traded on eBay within the past month compared to one month earlier. However, most of these sold for better prices. The gold First Spouse coins that have low mintages but haven’t been increasing in value lately were withheld by potential sellers. They are hoping for better prices down the road.

Ironically, despite the recent performance of the precious metals, the sale of freshly minted gold and silver American Eagles fell to an 11-year low, suggesting investors are remaining on the sidelines.

Why do I write “investors” rather than “collectors”? Collectors can only absorb so many of these coins. Should the recent stock market declines, or a hint of inflation on the horizon, spark action by these investors, they can quickly jump back in and take new positions.

There appears to be a solid and dedicated base of coin collectors actively pursuing their goals, but their interest appears to be primarily in more recent coins rather than older issues. Perhaps the next renaissance in collecting will involve a permanent shift in areas of interest.

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

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