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Precious metals push coin prices ahead

Gold neared a one-year high as this commentary was being written. The gold and silver American Eagle bullion coin prices are appreciating as a direct result.

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Popularly collected common date, common condition 19th and 20th century gold and silver composition U.S. coins are following Eagles higher. The importance of this is that investors as well as collectors are likely to take an interest in this positive development.

Most coin buyers are somewhere within this portion of the market. Truly rare coins are in another world, a world that is getting to be increasingly difficult to understand and maneuver in. The initial reason for third-party certification services were to standardize grading. We now have a situation in which high-end buyers are concerned with not only who certified the coin, but when the third-party service graded the coin, since it is perceived that there are periods in which coins were graded more liberally.

It now matters as well if the coin has been stickered by yet a fourth party certification service. Most of the coins in these upper echelons trade between high-end dealers, with well-heeled speculators and occasional serious collectors joining in an increasingly closed society. This can become a dangerously overpriced portion of the market, especially when the value between incremental Mint State grades can be enormous. What if the coin is perceived by the next potential buyer to be less than as certified, but you bought it as it is certified? We may be back to square one on grading consistency on these expensive coins.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today

More Collecting Resources

• Download The Metal Mania Seminar with David Harper to learn more about the metals market.

• Is that coin in your hand the real deal or a clever fake? Discover the difference with U.S. Coins Close Up, a one-of-a-kind visual guide to every U.S. coin type.