By Richard Giedroyc
The market for coins is healthy, even frothy. It doesn’t matter if you are into buying bullion and bullion-impacted coins, collectible but generally available coins, or “desirable” coins. I am using the term desirable rather than scarce to rare due to the keen interest in any coin someone deems to be desirable that is now increasingly widespread.
Stack’s Bowers Galleries recently realized more than $45 million at a public auction, with many individual lots setting record prices. The auction house relocated the auction from its originally planned location in Baltimore to the company’s California headquarters due to the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. auction houses and coin dealers are not alone. Fritz Rudolf Kunker GmbH in Germany and Baldwin’s in the United Kingdom each recently reported very successful auctions as well.
Investors and speculators seeking precious metal composition coins may be in a different world from that of the collector, but bullion-related coins are nevertheless a hot market. Gold coins have recently been selling for five to 10 percent above the spot price of their intrinsic value. Gold, silver, platinum and palladium coin demand surged just as the U.S. Mint shut down its West Point facility temporarily in mid-April, this being due to employee risk from the coronavirus. March sales of gold American Eagle coins was reported at 151,000 ounces, the highest sales figure realized since November 2016. The U.S. Mint reported 56,500 silver American Eagles sold during the first 15 days of April, while coin dealers reported sell-outs.