Coins are selling, regardless of if they fit into the scarce to rare, available yet collectible, made for collectors only, or into the bullion-impacted categories. In an August auction in Las Vegas, the ESM Collection of U.S. large cents realized more than $4.6 million. The Bruce Morelan specimen of the 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar is among other rarities soon to be auctioned. This silver dollar sold for $10 million when it was last offered seven years ago. Offerings of coins of this caliber draw attention to the hobby, but so does the rising spot price of both gold and silver.
Bullion and bullion-impacted coins are likewise in high demand. Many dealers are spending the bulk of their time buying business-strike silver coins and ingots rather than in selling to collectors. The supply of gold and silver intrinsically valued coins, be they 1964 and earlier dimes, quarters and half dollars or pre-1933 common date and condition gold denominations, is being outstripped by demand.
According to a recent Bloomberg news report, “It may be much harder to pry gold and silver from their current owners if they are unsure current prices are high enough to properly value them.”
Premiums on silver and gold American Eagles are rising for this reason. Collectors are finding themselves competing with investors and speculators, encouraging higher prices. How many of these non-collectors may join the hobby ranks has yet to be seen, but if the past is any indicator there will be many. Coin shows are beginning to cautiously re-emerge despite the coronavirus pandemic. The so-called “new normal” may yet be replaced with a different new normal for coins: a vibrant market with lots of participants.
This article was originally printed in the Sept. 29 issue of Numismatic News.