If sales generated during the recent annual American Numismatic Association convention in Chicago are any indicator of the market yet to come, these sales suggest the market for collectible coins will remain solid for some time to come. Several dealers at the event admitted they set their expectations low due to inflation and recent stock market declines. They were pleasantly surprised to find collectors continue to participate on a higher level than anticipated. The only recent change in this sector is that dealers are finding it easier to restock than in the recent past.
The scarce to rare market is increasingly becoming the realm of serious buyers with deep pockets. The interest in this top-of-the-line portion of the market has spilled over from U.S. to foreign and ancient coins, not only selling within the United States but selling overseas as well. Records are being set for rare coins regardless of their age or place of origin.
Not all of these buyers are coin collectors. One market analyst recently suggested that rare coin buyers may be viewing these coins as an under-priced asset class rather than as desirable collectibles.
Other non-numismatic collectibles appear to be experiencing the same scenario. Auctions continue to be the venue of choice for such material. A Mickey Mantle baseball card recently sold for $12.6 million, still short by $8 million for the record for a coin. A specialized collection assembled by Christopher J. Salmon consisting of 128 Massachusetts colonial coppers realized more than $2.9 million or an average of about $23,000 per coin in an Aug. 22 sale. Event more rarities not made available in years will be auctioned throughout the fall. Expect to dig deep if you want to own any of these.