Gold and silver are up. Platinum is down, reacting to weaker oil prices and dismal auto production. Premiums on popular gold and silver items have totally returned to normal historical levels as I said they would four months ago, the only exceptions being Buffaloes and fractional gold Eagles. Older bullion-related U.S. gold coins are maintaining their premiums, but with much greater selectivity by the major buyers. I see the possibility of some further premium adjustment especially in the high-end circulated issues.
One dealer newsletter talks about the current market as a “down market.” I strongly disagree. Yes, there are weaknesses, but nearly all are related to higher end “investment items” and overpromoted silver and gold issues that in many cases have just lost their exorbitant premiums. We need to look at the big picture; your house may be down 20-50 percent in value. Are your coins? No. Gas and oil may be half what they were. Are your coins? No. You get the picture.
The Long Beach show has begun and there is much apprehension, yet the Goldberg auction brought in $4.6 million with an 84 percent sell-through rate. Considering that most major auctions will contain a fair number of lots from dealers looking to move items they were unable to sell elsewhere, I consider that pretty good.