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CICF shows strength in world coins

The coins of India have joined those of Russia and China as the most active issues in the world coin field. World dealer Allen G. Berman of Fairfield, Conn., pointed this out to me as did several others.

It is one of the nuggets of information I took away from the Chicago International Coin Fair this past weekend.

Berman also noted that Russian buyers were broadening their interests to countries in northern and eastern Europe.

“Like everybody else on the planet, they are looking for quality Chinese,” he said.

Berman also pointed out that prices are rising for high-grade world coins and falling for coins in lower grades. This has the effect of widening the price differential between upper and lower grades.

At this observation, American collectors might well roll their eyes and exclaim, “Duh.”

Even now the world field is much more like what American numismatics was when I was young before the third-party grading services existed.

These services both help hobbyists with deep pockets identify the very best coins and push up their prices and the services record populations to provide an insight into true rarity of these pieces.

Subdividing the Mint State grades is relatively new to the world coin field and from Berman’s comments, this occurrence is having the same affect on world coins as it did on U.S. coins 25 years ago.

Any worry that I might have had about Central States siphoning off business because it was held the prior weekend seems to have been misplaced. The bourse floor was active.

I was told by world gold dealer Kent Froseth of Minneapolis that there had been no time for him to refresh his inventory between shows so some sales indeed had occurred at CSNS that might otherwise have occurred at CICF, so my initial fear was not totally groundless.