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Auctions Keep Coin Market Buoyant

High-profile coins turn up the heat

The bad news is that the bellwether Florida United Numismatists (FUN) show has been canceled. This annual January show usually kicks off the season for collectors and dealers alike. The good news is that the heat in the room has been turned up yet another notch as even more of the very highest profile rarities are coming onto the market despite public numismatic events continuing to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. Among these is a 1943-S bronze composition Lincoln cent that drew 47 bids at a recent auction. The selling price of $504,000 may be impressive, but the sheer number of bids illustrates the all-important enthusiasm the coin’s appearance drew.

That auction may be history, but there are other attention-grabbing coins on the horizon. Among these is an 1894-S Barber dime, 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar and an 1879 Flowing Hair $4 Stella. The “Big Mo” collection of Civil War coinage is also on the numismatic horizon. The rare coin market has exuberance, yet it does not appear to be irrational exuberance. The fact that such rarities “just keep coming” indicates that the sellers have faith in the financial strength and audience for this market sector.

While the scarce to rare coin sector may overshadow everything else, there is plenty of activity in the more available yet collectible arena in which most collectors participate, as well as the new Mint product market that includes commemoratives, privy marked issues, and mint and proof sets. The bullion market has taken some hits in value, but not in demand. It appears we have a market that remains sustainable.