Some financial instrument observers continue to gleefully throw out statistics arguing in favor of their assertion that coins and bank notes are on their way out and will be replaced with a cashless society. If this were true, then why are so many people flocking to coin collecting, and why are record-breaking prices for rare coins continuing not only in the United States, but worldwide? Electronic payments may be convenient for particularly expensive purchases, but the instruments have their limits, not to mention their lack of privacy. We need to pay attention to statistics these people use to defend their position, but statistics can be manipulated to make any argument sound plausible. Realistically, cyber money will likely become one more monetary instrument alongside checks, credit cards and much more; but cyber money will not replace physical cash.
The U.S. Mint continues to issue incredible volumes of coins. More than 1.27 billion coins were produced during April.
You don’t have to look far to see how collectible coins are performing. The Heritage auction held at the recent Central States Numismatic Society convention realized more than $42 million. Gold coins may have been shining at that sale, but there is much more to collector coins than that. Common date but condition rarities comprised of other metals such as a certified PF-67+ 1907 Barber and a certified PF-67+ Cameo 1867 Seated Liberty quarter were among recently auction offerings. So were proof coins, an area of coin collecting that is often viewed as a market laggard. The demand for bullion coins continues despite some recent precious metal spot price declines.
Ask any coin dealer how quickly his inventory is turning over. Coins (and bank notes) are here to stay. The collector market for them continues to thrive.