The spot price of gold has jumped 12 percent since last August. That grabs headlines. Silver established itself in a new trading range above the $15-an-ounce level several weeks ago. Gold has recently broken through the $1,300-an-ounce resistance level and does not appear to be backing off. Platinum unfortunately has failed to follow, although its impact on coins is significantly lower.
This positive activity in the precious metals is drawing interest to bullion and bullion-impacted coins. What is hoped for is that this in turn will draw some of these precious metal buyers to take an interest in more collectible and less bullion related coins. The collectible and what I call “scarce to rare” coin segments of the market remain reasonably steady but need an influx of active buyers if we are to see price appreciation in either of these sectors.
The weakest part of the market appears to be Morgan silver dollars. The scarce to rare portion of the market appears to be dominated by auction companies more than by over-the-counter sales. This also is making a difference since there are many potential buyers who simply don’t want to get involved in a live or an online auction. It’s all very exciting for collectors to learn a Proof-66 1884 Trade dollar recently realized $1.14 million at auction, but remember this doesn’t grab headlines in the mainstream media. The public doesn’t know what it is. It’s not as sexy as is a 1943 copper Lincoln cent, which recently sold for six, not seven, figures.
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