From the May 31 Numismatic News E-Letter
Do you think a numismatic sales slump will hit this summer? Why or why not?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
While the rarest coins in the highest MS/PR grades should not be affected, as there is a lot of money sloshing around among the nouveau riche [think : Silicon Valley IPO billionaires], the long-term prospects for the rest of the market are negative, simply because of the supply/demand curve. Have you walked around a coin show lately? If so, what percentage of those in attendance were Millennials?Or even below age 50? Simply put, the hobby that the Baby Boom generation embraced is not being picked up by our younger generations in the numbers required to balance the supply and demand.There will be more sellers than buyers for at least several decades, as the Baby Boomers die off and their estates are dumped on to the market.
Guessing whether a coin sales slump will happen is as unpredictable as rolling dice. If past history is a guide, there is a numismatic sales slump nearly every summer. Collectors take vacations and make purchases unrelated to coins. The number of coin shows drops. In the fall, collectors usually resume acquisition spending patterns.
While Patrick Heller provided compelling reasons for an even worse summer slump this year, something could happen to trigger a surge in collector activity. For example, a world event could trigger a stampede into gold and silver. Or, a sudden drop in coin prices by dealers in anticipation of the slump could also trigger impulse buying.
Don’t blindly accept the argument that collectors don’t have money to buy. They are a very resourceful group when it comes to money management.
Bruce R. Frohman
We are already in a slump. The average collector cannot afford the ridiculous prices offered by dealers for bullion coins. The fun of finding coins in circulation is history.
I believe a slump will occur.
When you combine fewer young people entering the hobby with the increased usage of the difficult to store slabbing of coins, coin collecting will follow stamp collecting in terms of value. And I think we are already there.
New Orleans, La.
Sales slump? No, not for me. I’ve been actively adding to and improving my collection this year.I will continue to purchase through the summer.
Staten Island, N.Y.
I don’t foresee any changes in the status quo in relationship to Numismatic Sales slumps. Summer is always a time of reduced activity due to vacations, family time and whatever other warmer weather activities prevail. No need to worry, however, we will be back and ready to spend with a vengeance for the upcoming fall season. Collections must be added to and nice weather will be the only delay we face! Enjoy the summer, friends!
I do not know about the U.S. but in Britain things are going along very well. But you must remember two important points. First, in this country they are collector driven and not investment driven. Secondly our grading is a lot tougher than in the U.S. At auction you will see slabbed coins that are graded MS63 and the catalogue will read Good Extremely Fine.
I went to the big coin fair held in London three to four times a year. The line of collectors waiting to get in went out the door and around the block. British collectors are still very much interested in collecting and auction prices for collector coins have not only held up but are very firm.
Coincraft. London, England
Probably as much if not more this summer...many collectors are turned off by the Mint’s overzealous push of newcoins and “medals,” plus the poor quality of the strikes recently (cents.) EBay has turned into a circus instead of a market place. Even long time dealers I’ve dealt with are shying away from large purchases for inventory in fear of getting “stuck” with unsold items.
May is typically our slowest month, but this year it became one of our best months in sales! Not sure if there’s any rhyme or reason, however, most people do take the summer for vacation... playing in the sandbox instead of the coinbox.
Grove Minting Company