Skip to main content

Spotlight: good or bad?

A columnist in the New York Post wrote about the continuing high demand for bullion coins, both U.S. and foreign. I happened to see it and John and Nancy Wilson kindly e-mailed me a copy in case I had not. My thanks go to them.

There was nothing in it that the numismatic media have not been reporting for some time now.
What is significant is the fact that it is mentioned in a non-hobby paper. Often when numismatic trends are discussed outside the hobby, the trend is getting close to coming to an end.

We had wonderful press in 1989 about coins going to Wall Street. That year happened to be the high point for Morgan silver dollars. They haven’t returned to those heights since. The rest of the hobby areas also began a downturn that lasted until the mid 1990s.

We’ve had a great run since the last coin market bottomed. This was fueled in part by the state quarter program.

But another factor that helped is that gold and silver bottomed out in 2001 and began an upward climb. Now don’t get me wrong, bullion speculation is not numismatics, but there is a connection.

Many dealers generate nice cash flows handling bullion coins. When demand gets particularly hot, as has been the case this year, the demand for metals spills over into coins not usually as appealing to the bullion coin buyers because they are not even troy weights, such as U.S. $20 gold pieces.

While it is always good to be noticed, pardon me if my first thought this time is “Yikes.”