Despite lower metal prices, sales have slumped for U.S. Mint gold and silver American Eagle coins. GAE sales for November were down 92 percent from the same period one year earlier, while SAE were down 87 percent for the same period.
Commerzbank analysts described the domestic demand for coins as “still very weak.” Commerzbank further described the trade as “down every month [during 2017] so far.” Societe Generale metals analyst Robin Bhar reasoned, “There may be diminished interest in holding gold as equity markets continue to make records and you have an opportunity cost of holding gold or Eagle coins.”
Kitco Metals Global Trading Director Peter Hug offers the observation, “This is an unprecedented time to pick up physical product at close to spot on items such as 90 percent bags and a variety of silver and gold bars.”
Somebody is doing something right, and it appears that while the number of collectors has declined, their interest in buying has not. One way to measure the market is through the few publicly traded coin businesses. Collectors Universe, parent company of Professional Coin Grading Service, was recently trading at 91.3 percent of its 52-week high, up from 85.4 percent one month earlier and 77.3 percent two months earlier. At the same time Sotheby’s, the only publicly traded U.S. auction house selling coins was at 80.7 percent of its 52-week high, down from 84.2 percent one month earlier, but up from 74.1 percent two months before. It appears collectors continue to collect.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today
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