If you don’t like the measurement, change the yardstick.
The autumn coin collector season is now under way.
Some measure its beginning from the annual American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, which this year was held in the middle of August.
Some use the Labor Day holiday.
In some years it is measured from the Long Beach Expo – Coin, Currency, Stamp & Sports Collectible Show, which is held this week.
Whichever way you want to measure it, we are now in it.
Why do we bother to talk about the autumn collector season at all?
It usually coincides with an increase in collectors, dealers and investors and their cash re-entering the coin market.
Many are away during the summer months taking well deserved vacations.
There is a lull in business.
Autumn usually means a resurgence in business.
I use the word “usually” because there are exceptions.
When gold and silver are hot, such as in 2011, there is no summertime lull at all.
Dealers stay in their shops and offices and make bundles of money.
Some autumns are slow because people are fearful of new collector coin commitments.
However, it is these exceptions that prove the rule.
Activity usually coincides with rising prices.
Nothing would please me more than to be able to write a story or two about the pickup in market activity now that we are in the fall collector season.
I might be able to write a story about a sellout of the proof palladium American Eagle coin that the Mint will offer on Sept. 6.
That will help kick things off with a bang.
The palladium coin's obverse has the familiar Mercury dime design on it.
At my daily visit to the Kitco website this morning, I see we are not going to get a boost from the bullion market.
Silver is $14.07 an ounce, down 38 cents, and gold is $1,192.90, down $8.
Palladium is also down $7 to $970. But it is up $65 in the past month and that keep the proof coin buyers’ juices flowing.
The U.S. Mint's August bullion coin sales figures showed some life in silver bullion coin buyers.
August silver American Eagle sales were nearly double those of July.
The two figures are 1,530,000 and 885,000, respectively.
The August sales figure is well above the 2018 monthly average sales of 1,154,688.
If you leave out the month of January, which is when everybody piles in to get the new date, the monthly average sales for 2018 is just 857,500 (February-August).
So I can write that the August sales figure is nearly double the routine monthly average.
That’s what happens when we change yardsticks.
Will uptrends or downtrends win in this new autumn collector season?
Stick around and we will all find out together.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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