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Indicators Point to ‘Mixed Market’

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There is a lot of interest in circulating commemorative quarters. This is important since it draws the general public into coin collecting. Coin collecting got a huge bonus on Oct. 6 when the U.S. Mint unveiled its first American Women Quarters Program coins. Due to the subject matter, this being a diverse group of historically important women appearing on the reverse of each coin, the news hit the national as well as the numismatic news. Connect the dots to some of the other high-profile, made-for-collector coins the Mint has been issuing so far this year, and you have all the right ingredients that should draw more people into coin collecting.

This comes at just the right moment, since the sheen on the prices of gold and silver American Eagle and bullion-impacted coins appear to be tarnishing as the spot price of these metals continues to retreat. While gold bugs are preaching, “Don’t trade the headlines, follow Treasury yields,” the facts are that a recent rally in the spot price of gold collapsed after the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes hit the 1.6 percent mark. Nonetheless, the demand for bullion and bullion-impacted gold coins doesn’t appear to be interrupted. There may be a warning sign in that the U.S. Numismatic Stock Index percentage of 52-week average was 4.1 percent lower than one month earlier, yet the counter news is that the composite index remained steady.

Another item worth noting is that top certified Barber half dollar prices have become soft, yet values are getting stronger for top certified grade Walking Liberty half dollars. Perhaps we are looking at a flat-line market ahead, but these indicators bring the words “mixed market” to mind. The temperature of the market is still hot ­– everyone into the pool!