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Gold marks start of 2016

Could 2016 turn out to be a better year for coins than 2015?

John Krupka, owner of Point Coin, Stevens Point, Wis., said several factors are influencing 2016’s market.

“The market depends on metal prices, commodity prices, and the results from the presidential election,” he said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty right now over the elections, so people aren’t really thinking about coins. I believe better times are ahead, but not this year.”

Other factors are helping the market, particularly with online sales, he said.

“It’s winter, so I imagine the average collector is sitting at home and looking up coins to buy online,” he said. “Lower gas prices are also helping buyers. They now have a few extra bucks to spend on coins instead of gas.”

He said his online sales are on the upswing in 2016.

“My eBay sales have increased compared to 2015,” he said. “I’ve been encouraged with the amount of sales there.”

The online coin market has been especially strong in classic coin series, he said.

“Morgan dollars are doing well,” Krupka said. “Even lower grade silver coins like Walking Liberty halves, Franklin halves and Standing Liberty quarters are selling on eBay.

“Any gold coins will go quickly. I had some French gold coins that, if they were in the store, may have been looked at eventually. Online, I was able to sell them almost immediately.”

Mike Schiller, owner of Allouez Rare Coin Gallery, Allouez, Wis., said his online sales are also doing well in 2016.

“In the store, collector coin sales are not so hot,” he said. “One week we have a lot of people in the store and the next week we’re just twiddling our thumbs, waiting. On eBay, sales are brisk. The site has been a tremendous boon for us.

“We’re averaging six to eight coin sales a day, usually certified items with prices in the sweet spot of $50 to $250. That seems to be where all of our sales are at.”

He also said gold bullion is doing well in 2016 compared to 2015.

“We’re selling an awful lot of gold,” he said. “I’ve had to replace my initial gold order 12 times now since mid-January. Gold seems to be way more active this year than silver.”

He said strong gold sales won’t pay all the bills, though.

“The margins are too low on gold bullion,” he said. “Volume is not at the level where I can say we’re covering our overhead on bullion sales. In 2011, we had lines out the door and our bullion sales were more than enough to cover overhead.”

World coin collectors will want to check out the Chicago International Coin Fair, held April 15th to the 17th.

World coin collectors will want to check out the Chicago International Coin Fair, held April 15th to the 17th.

Where the price of gold goes throughout 2016 is going to influence buyer demand, he said.

“As long as prices stay at this range, people will view pullbacks in the price as good buying opportunities,” Schiller said.

Michael Fuljenz, owner of Universal Coin and Bullion, Beaumont, Texas, said 2016’s gold price movements are already attracting more buyers to the market.

“Sales in January of this year were about the same as January of 2015,” he said. “We had more customers though, which is good. I’d rather have more buyers and the same amount of sales.”

He said the spike in buyer interest is also due to increased marketing by coin selling firms.

“We’ve seen gold go from $1,082 at the start of January to $1,207 now,” Fuljenz said. “Silver went from $14 to $15.29 that same period.

“Whenever metals move, dealers look for new buyers through advertising. This has a latent effect of getting people involved in coin collecting.”

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.

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