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Hobby Strong on Most Fronts

We’ve had proposed breadbaskets of coins to measure changes in their value over time, but we’ve also learned there simply is no way to accurately measure the daily or weekly performance of the business of coins. For that reason, I am always watching for coincidence barometers that may be useful.

A letter recently received from a reader supports the need for a new grading and authentication service, the reader having recently purchased coins sight unseen. He described the certification service that examined the coins as “missing the obvious,” that being damage on the coins. This coupled with Certified Acceptance Corporation’s plans to create a new such service suggest not only is there room for yet another service, but the existing services may be swamped with coins to examine. Yes, this is reading (perhaps incorrectly) between the lines, but it suggests that the coin business is still “booming.”

Readers likely collect coins almost exclusively, but it can’t be ignored that Holabird Western Americana Collections plans to sell the only known $3 State Bank of Newark (New Jersey) bank note, a note that, believe it or not, was recovered from the shipwreck of the S.S. Central America, known to coin collectors as the “Ship of Gold.” While the market for coins remains strong, so is the market for related items including bank notes, medals, tokens and exonumia. Auctions too reflect the mood of the numismatic market. We may live in tumultuous times economically, but it doesn’t appear this is overly impacting the coin collecting hobby.