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Hobby Changed, Not Destroyed, by Pandemic


The year 2021 was marked by record prices virtually across the board. I’m not just talking about rare coins. Coins in general saw a surge in both interest and in values. Yes, the intrinsically valued coins were impacted adversely as the spot price of gold, silver, and platinum declined late in the year, but in general it was a strong coin market no matter what sector you might examine. 

Another important change in both the hobby and business can be summarized by Publisher Ursula Kampmann, who on Dec. 23 commented, “Covid has accelerated the digitalization of the numismatic world in a way nobody could have imagined two years ago.” 

The pandemic may have transformed the way we collect coins, but it didn’t destroy the business or hobby of coins as was feared by some. To illustrate how well collectibles in general performed ,consider that Christie’s International’s 2021 sales totaled $7.1 billion, up 54 percent from 2020; Phillips sales totaled $1.2 billion, up 63 percent from one year earlier; and Sotheby’s sold $7.3 billion. 

Looking ahead to coin sales in 2022, the year will kick off with an attention-grabbing PF-66 Ultra Cameo (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation) 1879 Flowing Hair $4 Stella crossing the auction block. Other spectacular rarities will follow, as will other desirable but more affordable coins. The fact that such coins, tucked away for years, are now becoming available is because their owners have confidence in the strength of the current market. This spills over into what I will call "reasonably available" coins as well. The coins are being offered, but they are also selling quickly and at favorable prices to the seller. Things look good for a strong 2022 market for coins.