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Serious interest focused on specialty areas

The question of whether coins are an investment or a store of value can be debated, but neither of these addresses the paramount issue of pride in ownership. Each individual must decide for himself if this is a hobby or an investment.

 (Image courtesy of

(Image courtesy of

Regarding values, market indicators continue to be an almost contradictory bag. The majority of changes seen recently in Morgan and Peace silver dollars have been reductions. The demand for these usually popular coins is difficult to gage, but the continuing downward direction their overall value has been trending suggests there may be more coins on the market than are there are collectors interested in buying them.

Taking the opposite end of the spectrum, the price of some proof Seated Liberty half dimes has increased dramatically throughout the past several years. The demand for silver dollars far outstrips that for half dimes, pointing to supply as being the reason for the appreciation of one and depreciation of the other market.

This trend appears to be consistent across U.S. coins at the moment – there is serious interest focused on specialty areas, but the more general categories, which can be entry areas to collecting, remain weak. This in turn suggests fewer entry-level collectors, while advanced collectors appear to know what they want and are willing to be fussy when it comes to obtaining them.

The irony is that U.S. Mint sales continue to be strong, but the crossover to more traditionally collected (non-modern) coins isn’t being bridged. Once again, a lack of new blood into the hobby is a continuing problem yet to be successfully addressed.

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

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