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Available Rarities Sign of Market Confidence

1794 silver dollar. (Image courtesy GreatCollections.)

1794 silver dollar. (Image courtesy GreatCollections.)

It’s becoming an almost weekly event – extremely rare coins being offered for sale for the first time in decades. The latest such coin appearing in the market was the only known specimen strike example of the rare 1794 silver dollar. I say “was” because the coin has already changed hands for $12 million. For many years, the idea of a coin selling for at least $1 million was almost incomprehensible. Today, individual coins selling in excess of this figure may not be commonplace, but such transactions are being reported significantly more frequently. Likewise, “name” coin collections, those assembled by a known collector, are once again being bannered at auctions, while only a few years earlier fictitious names were being used when an auction house wanted to draw attention to an accumulation of coins of significant value that weren’t truly from an assembled collection regardless of their individual rarity.

Central States Numismatic Society Convention Manager Larry Shepherd recently announced an expanded bourse for the upcoming April 27-30 show in Schaumburg, Ill., stating, “We’ve had extremely high demand for tables.”

What all this means is that there is confidence in the strength of the rare coin market. If there wasn’t such confidence, the rarities now appearing wouldn’t become available. Such coins would remain salted away awaiting a better opportunity.

The market for coins remains strong in all sectors, not just the scarce to rare realm. The recently released Maya Angelou coin to kick off the American Women Quarters Program is anticipated to prompt non-collectors to begin checking their change, which, along with renewed interest in bullion coins, will likely expand the coin collector base. Equity investors, many licking their wounds from the recent stock market correction, have been turning to coins as an attractive alternate investment.

Consider the market to be “solid.”