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Copper coins do better than others

 (Image courtesy Heritage Auctions)

(Image courtesy Heritage Auctions)

Gold and silver have achieved new and higher trading ranges from a month ago. The good news is that according to the World Gold Council’s Aug. 3 report, gold ingot and coin sales increased by 11 percent in the first half and 13 percent in the second quarter of 2017. Much of this was due to demand in China, India and Turkey, not in the United States. The bad news is that global demand for gold was down to 2,004 tons for the first half of 2017, having been 2,318.7 tons during the same period one year earlier. Demand for silver is similar. A lackluster performance has impacted the values for almost all collectible and bullion coins composed of either gold or silver.

Collectible copper coins appear to be steadier, with some recent upside. Collector interest has increased. Even the scarcest U.S. gold and silver coins are showing only modest increases in value, with overall demand continuing to be soft. Many gold coins are available for very modest prices just above spot. Several recent auctions have headlined overall sales achieved, but a closer examination will show only the best of the best outperformed expectations. Interpret this as a collectors market, but not necessarily an investors market. Despite the public having discretionary money, little of this is buying coins. The hobby needs an infusion of new collectors to get it moving.

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.

• More than 600 issuing locations are represented in the Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800 .