Editor's Note: This article was originally published as a news story on www.NumismaticNews.net and also ran in the March 24 e-newsletter.
By Patrick A. Heller
I recently discussed how the sales of bullion-priced precious metals coins and bars have been selling slowly in U.S. markets at the same time demand has picked up in China, India and many parts of Europe.
This slowdown in U.S. sales demand continues. One result of this sales decline is that dealers and wholesalers are piling up pre-2017 dated gold and silver bullion coins that they have purchased from the public at the same time a disproportionately high percentage of the retail buying demand that does exist is for 2017-dated bullion coins.
Owning physical precious metals does not need to be boring. There are a number of buyers who have turned acquisition of bullion-priced gold and silver into a collection by seeking issues from different mints and fabricators and collecting different dates of coins.
For instance, the company where I work has a multitude of collectors of one- ounce silver bars and rounds that like to collect every different style they can find, so long as they don’t have to pay any extra to do so. We also have many customers who come in once a year to purchase the current year issues, especially of the U.S. American Eagle and Buffalo series.
In order to move pre-2017 dated bullion priced coins, wholesalers and retailers are dropping prices. Wholesalers are now selling to dealers many such products at levels lower than it costs them to purchase 2017-dated coins from the various mints. For examples, dealers can easily find “any date” (meaning that is the choice of the wholesaler selling it rather than the coin dealer purchasing it) American gold and silver Eagles, Canadian Maple Leaves, South African Krugerrands, Austria Philharmonics and the like at these bargain rates.
For retail customers, expect to see slightly lower premiums on these earlier date issues compared to what it would cost to specifically obtain 2017-dated issues. For gold coins, figure that the premiums will drop $3-$5 per ounce from where they were at the end of 2016. For silver Eagles, as another example, earlier date coins in bulk may cost you 25-40 cents lower premium per coin.
If your regular dealer isn’t already dropping premiums to sell “any date” bullion priced coins, feel free to ask them if they are willing to make you a deal. If your standard supplier doesn’t cooperate, you may want to find another source eager to win your business.
Patrick A. Heller was the American Numismatic Association 2012 Harry Forman Numismatic Dealer of the Year. He is the communications officer of Liberty Coin Service in Lansing, Mich., and writes “Liberty’s Outlook,” a monthly newsletter on rare coins and precious metals subjects.
Email David C. Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your opinions to Viewpoint.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.
More Collecting Resources
• More than 600 issuing locations are represented in the Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800 .
• Any coin collector can tell you that a close look is necessary for accurate grading. Check out this USB microscope today!