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New signs point to improving market

The glimmers of a more dynamic market ahead for the business of coins continue to peak through the clouds. During January, a copper composition 1943 Lincoln cent sold for $204,000 against an estimate of $170,000 to $200,000. An incorrect estimate of $1.7 million published by South West News Service might have thrown some cold water on the transaction as far as the non-collecting general public was concerned, but nonetheless this and other prices realized at recent auctions are a sign there is strength to the rare coin portion of the market.

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The overall market, which includes common but collectible coins as well as bullion issues, still has a ways to go. Some coincidence barometers are starting to point upwards rather than horizontal or down. Attendance at the 2018 World’s Fair of Money (sponsored by the American Numismatic Association) was officially at 9,939 as compared to 8,638 one year earlier. This, however, is still paltry when compared to about 15,000 attending the recent World Money Fair in Germany or the approximately 30,000 people reported to have attended the China National Convention in November 2018.

The U.S. portion of the Numismatic Stock Index recently rose to 59.4 percent of its 52-week average as compared to 55.8 one month earlier. (The international portion still outpaced this at 72.2 percent, up from 67.5 percent one month earlier.) The spot price of gold and silver was rising for several weeks, but at the time this is being written, they appear to have taken a breather. The future for the business of coins may not yet be Brilliant Uncirculated, but it’s getting there – slowly.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

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