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Year in Review: Collector Market Stable

By Richard Giedroyc

There were six U.S. coins that sold for in excess of $1 million each during 2019. Five of them were sold by auction. The other was through a verifiable direct sale. The truly scarce to rare segment of the coin market is healthy and thriving – especially through auction sales. The balance of the market is active, but hasn’t been as fortunate from a financial point of view.

The Barber, Walking Liberty and Franklin half dollars, especially when certified to be in unusually superior condition, have appreciated noticeably. Most other areas are at best in narrow trading ranges, but price appreciation doesn’t appear to be on the horizon. It may come as a surprise, but even the ever-popular Morgan silver dollar sector of the market is continuing to see more minus than plus signs. While the spot price of gold rose about 18 percent during 2019, the U.S. Mint sold 38 percent less gold American Eagle coins than were sold one year earlier.

1879 Morgan dollar

What all this means is that the collector market for coins is stable, but not increasing in popularity. The investor remains on the sidelines in all areas except for very rare coins. With the stock market continuing to rise, inflation under control and the U.S. dollar strong, coins remain in the hands of the dedicated collector. Without expansion of this market, it can be anticipated to remain stable but with little growth in such a scenario.