By Richard Giedroyc
Some very impressive rare coins are appearing in auctions during February and March. Strong prices should continue as the already heated auction market fires up even further.
It’s difficult to determine the extent of this venue since, although total and individual prices realized are often available, the annual number of coins being offered via auction is not. Although this is the sector of the collectible coin market that is the most visible and likely at the moment the most successful, the majority of collectors seek less stellar coins, often due to price. Here, the market paints a different picture.
The spot price of gold and silver continues to impact much of this market. Since both metals have been volatile for some time, collectors are seeing relatively stable prices but realizing that selling to a dealer can be a less than satisfying experience. Bullion coins remain volatile as well.
Gold has been working its way towards $1,600 an ounce, but silver continues to underperform in gold’s wake. There has been a lot of noise that silver is ready to move, but seeing is believing. Anyone collecting modern commemoratives, Proof, or Mint sets from the U.S. Mint should continue to be cautious, as many of these issues have proved to be a flash in the pan with disappointing secondary market performance. The mint plans to increase the price of silver proof sets in 2020, while adding the West Point mint mark to nickels in an effort to sell more product to collectors. Tread carefully when purchasing these items.