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Community Voice Responses (December 13, 2016)

From the Nov. 18 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:

Are million dollar rarities overhyped?

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

While the vast majority of collectors will never own a million-dollar coin – including me! – all of us can admire, appreciate and, yes, envy the stratosphere in which those historic coins orbit the hobby. Most of the time, news about the sale of seven-figure rarities generate headlines in mainstream news media, such as the recent Pogue and Newman collections auctions. And that’s good for the overall coin market.

The Professional Numismatists Guild reported in January 2016 that 17 individual rare U.S. coins sold for $1 million or more in 2015, and that broke the previous year’s record of 12 million-dollar coins sold at public auctions in 2014.

To quote Sam Spade (actor Humphrey Bogart) in the 1941 film, “The Maltese Falcon” (and also a 1987 Carly Simon song title), million-dollar rarities are “the stuff that dreams are made of.”

Donn Pearlman
Las Vegas, Nev.

Your question about rarities reminds me of something my brother once told me when we were talking about what I thought my coin collection was worth. He simply stated that a coin or whatever it might be that you’re selling was only worth what someone was willing to pay to get it.

So, to answer your question, I don’t think that they are overhyped, for I know that, had I that kind of money, I too might be willing to pay that to get what I wanted.

Bob D. Allen
Address withheld

Absolutely not. If anything, they are under-hyped. When movie star/rock star memorabilia is sold for big money, absolutely not. When works of art are sold for tens of millions, absolutely not. Rare coins are pieces of history and beautiful in their own way. When a rare coin is sold for millions, and it is mentioned on the news, it’s usually a very brief mention.

Ginger Rapsus
Chicago, Ill.

Some items (due to being rare) may just be able to bring this price range at auction. Even some coin dealers who cater to high-end clients, can command this area. This also applies to “investor,” or retirement, accounts.

With the above in mind, most collectors don’t have this big of a pocket to purchase this area. These people can still put together a nice portfolio of material to enjoy, as well as for retirement. As cautioned, do your homework! This does go for the experienced as well as the novice. Money can be made, but look down the road for what may be.

As for the inexperienced, follow the above, and more. If not, this hobby is not for you. I speak (and type) from advisors and myself. Yes, I have made some profit along the way, with some in retirement. To each circumstance is their own. This goes for all.

Gary Kess
The Netherlands

Yes, in some ways the coins are overhyped, but it depends on the coins and also to the overhyped media coverage

William Johnston
San Antonio, Texas

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

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