This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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The gold silver ratio is closing in on 35 to 1 as I write this. Premiums on proof Eagles are already softening after rising a little more last week on IRA demand. Circulated gold type coins are back in demand after many months of disinterest and virtually all premiums have increased, a possible signal to much higher bullion prices. This is also a function of a higher euro. European banks charge more for U.S. gold coins based on the lower paper dollar values.
With non-gold type coins it is all about obsolete denominations. These have long been a favorite of mine and I often wonder why they are not more popular. In the current market there seems to a great deal of interest in Mint State and near Mint State 2-cent, 3-cent and 20-cent issues. When you consider the mintages and possible survivors, it is a wonder they are so inexpensive especially in the context of today’s depreciating Federal Reserve Notes.
The demand for large cents prior to 1840 continues strong with a special interest in those minted before 1816 and an almost insatiable demand for EF and above specimens with nice surfaces.
There is also notable interest in lower Mint State Seated Liberty issues as they play catch up with the previous strong move in choice to gem graded issues. Seated Liberty dollars in EF to MS-60 moved by as much as 10 percent in the last few weeks.