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Rare Coins, Bullion Continue to Thrive

Obverse of the Walton 1913 Liberty Head nickel. (Image courtesy GreatCollections.)

Obverse of the Walton 1913 Liberty Head nickel. (Image courtesy GreatCollections.)

Rare coins continue to shine as their performance outpaces equities, real estate, precious metals and most other asset classes. The Walton specimen of the 1913 Liberty Head nickel was recently sold to Great Collections for $4.2 million. (The same coin sold in an auction in 2013 for more than $3.17 million.) Great Collections in turn has already resold the coin. This may be an outstanding example, but it is far from being alone. Truly rare coins, be they because of either their condition or they are date rarities, continue to move forward as equities, real estate and just about anything else continues to either flat-line or decline in value.

The balance of the market for collectible coins continues to perform well; however, there are spots of weakness depending on the denomination and series. Softness in a less popular area of U.S. coin collecting can often lead to a buying opportunity. Bullion and bullion-impacted U.S. coins continue to be in demand despite gold’s weak performance. Silver appears to have snapped its losing streak at the time this commentary is being written. While platinum-composition coins aren’t as popular, platinum as a precious metal appears to be more resilient than are gold or silver. Platinum American Eagle coins have very low mintages, making them an attractive buy in these uncertain times.

Recently produced made-for-collector U.S. Mint products continue to perform well. The general public will likely once more turn its attention to coins due to the Oct. 24 release of the quarters honoring Anna May Wong, another plus for coin collecting. Looking at the practical side of mint production, the U.S. Mint recently reported a mintage increase of 5.9 percent in September from one month earlier, although this is still 14.2 percent lower than the number of circulation strike coins minted in September 2021.