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Community Voice Responses (Aug. 15, 2017)

From the July 21 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:


Should you be a more active buyer when coin prices are dropping?

Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.

When prices drop it could present an opportunity for a collector to pick up wish list pieces at an affordable price. Of course if you are looking for an investment, that could be a different story. Coin values are decreasing because there is less demand. There is less demand because there are fewer collectors and there are many, many more “pristine coins” available. So if you are a collector that does not care that he will not make money, buy, buy, buy!

Isn’t that what collecting is about?

Dom Cicio
Groveland, Fla.

Should I be an active buyer when coin prices are dropping? Well, duh! Of course, I should be buying when coin prices drop, and when silver bullion goes down, and when gold bullion goes down, and when platinum drops even further, and when paper money and exonumia and everything else related to numismatics drops through the floor. However, I seem to have made my mistake(s) the first 15-46 times this has happened. I’ve saved so much money by buying low and selling even lower, that I’ve had to go back to working full-time. I’ve read and followed too many professionals that have told me to “buy, buy, buy” that I’m broke, broke, broke! I have pretty much retired from the hobby, so I don’t think I’ll jump on the “buy” bandwagon again.

Douglas “Coach” Jennings
Address withheld

Yes, a serious collector will invest while prices are low. Silver will help lead the way for the long run.

Gary Kess
Sherman, Texas

Yes, I believe it is a good time to find nice coins at lower prices. Buying low and selling high is the heartbeat of any business, no less coins. There are unknown variables that cloud the picture. How low will the market go? Will prices remain depressed for long? What will the market be like when I look to sell my collection? For those who have the resources, it is a great time to purchase coins.

Timothy Scharr
Aviston, Ill.

I asked my coffee group that are not collectors, and they said to buy. I buy mostly graded dollars on eBay and still look to buy nice white coins at a low price. I wouldn’t sell any of my coins at current prices. Our daughter will inherit them.

David Kinney
Shenandoah, Iowa

Yes, absolutely, all of us ought to be more active buyers at this time.

I am most enthusiastic about all of us being most attentive to the market given the softness in precious metals and the subsequent lessening of faith among people who were otherwise staunch believers in same. Such softness in metals affects our U.S. gold coins and = BUYING OPPORTUNITIES.

(The focus of my monthly article at Rare Coins of New Hampshire is exactly upon this topic.)

We are about to witness a stream of U.S. gold coins from bent, damaged (up to and including all circulated grades), plus low uncirculated grades hit the market with increasing speed. Cash is very scarce and becoming scarcer with the helter-skelter economy throughout the entire world. How many of us are now seeing endless used cars and “stuff” all over this nation??

Cash, that other four-letter word, is what is driving the populace to dump even necessities. Well, the same is occurring within our hallowed halls, and we are just seeing the beginning. In these lean times, the coins faring best are all-original pieces. Yes, they will be at lower prices than their former highs from years back, but many exceptions are now seen at our major auction houses.

The CCDn’s headlines on 1/28/1994 stating “Slabs Yield Top Dollar When Sight-SEEN….” shows a better informed public and that auction prices have nicely offset the overall lower prices. Note: keep in mind that the coin market is statistically made up of coins that satisfy demand but do not reflect the upper-end/sight-seen echelon that is a far smaller percentage. However, the latter IS THE MARKET. Auction prices are often inconvenient truths, but reflect highly experienced buyers who have patiently awaited this very economic juncture to be a reality.

We are going to see some great pickings come to pass simply due to a dearth of cash to satisfy basic living expenses, let alone a few luxuries. Collectors and investors already know this, in my opinion.

Keep your eyes and ears open, as the best is yet to come in numismatics. Unfortunately, it will be at the expense of many other vital necessities.

These are my personal reflections and not those of Rare Coins of New Hampshire.

Paul Battaglia
Milford, N.H.

Yes, but only what you can afford

William Johnston
Address withheld

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

More Collecting Resources

• Is that coin in your hand the real deal or a clever fake? Discover the difference with U.S. Coins Close Up, a one-of-a-kind visual guide to every U.S. coin type.

• The Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money is the only annual guide that provides complete coverage of U.S. currency with today’s market prices.