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Coronavirus Cripples the Business of Coins

By Richard Giedroyc

The economic downturn due to the spread of coronavirus has crippled the business of coins as it has with most other businesses. Coin shows have been canceled worldwide. Public auctions have been moved, postponed or put on hold. Dealers have been forced to shutter their retail shops. Sales on the Internet are increasing. Coin clubs have canceled their meetings. Major third-party certification services closed momentarily, then re-opened.

Coin bargains

While all this may have been anticipated, it was not anticipated that the spot price of gold and silver would follow the decline in prices of equities. This impacted the price of bullion and bullion-impacted coins, with an ensuing increase in demand that world mints are challenged to meet.

A recent Bloomberg news report states, “One of the world’s leading mints is adding shifts to boost production of refined precious metals including silver after worried investors depleted stock.”

At about the same time, a contributor to this column commented, “Everyone here in the Central Valley of California believes that the posted spot prices for gold and silver are fiction. No one can find silver to buy for under $18 per ounce. The market-makers have become incredibly dishonest.”

The truly dishonest people are those in South Africa who went door-to-door seizing bank notes supposedly infected with coronavirus, giving people fake receipts to take to their banks to redeem for fresh currency.

Many dealers are holding inventory purchased at prices significantly above current intrinsic values. People anticipating buying or selling scarce to rare coins via auction are at least temporarily frustrated. Consider this a temporary situation in which you might want to consider bullion-impacted coins – if you can find them at the right prices.