The scarce to rare coin market continues on its dramatic roll. Demand continues to outpace inventory, resulting in strong prices being paid for both better grade and better date coins. Leading the recent charge is an 1861 Paquet Coronet $20 double eagle that realized $7.2 million at auction, this being one of only two examples known.
While rarities may dominate the headlines, more available yet collectible coins remain in high demand as well. Modern commemoratives and proof sets continue to show surprising strength as well, these being market sectors that in the past have sometimes performed as laggards. Their upbeat activity is good news since this is often viewed as the entry level for many new collectors.
The spot price of precious metals always influences current prices for bullion and bullion-impacted coins. Stack’s Bowers Galleries has recently developed an innovative approach to selling such commodity-oriented coins, having introduced what the company calls the Precious Metals Auction (PMA) platform. Using the PMA, gold, silver, platinum and palladium coins that are directly impacted by the metals markets will be sold by freezing the "spot" metals prices just before each auction begins, setting the bidding minimum at 90 percent of that spot figure.
Another innovation that may or may not eventually impact the coin market is operated by Cardscore.com, which is currently focused exclusively on sports cards. Cardscore.com invites sports card collectors to submit their cards for crowd grading. Cards are scored or graded by between 50 and 100 collectors, Cardscore’s technology is also being offered at select retail sports card stores. Could this crowd grading concept spill over into collectible coins, especially for low value coins?