The Rare Coin Market – An Upward Trend?

Rare collections – whether they be fine art, vintage cars or coins – can fetch a pretty penny (catch that? 😉 ) at auction.

You may have heard about the record-breaking coin collection auction that took place a year ago (March, 2017) that included a rare, 1804 silver dollar for almost $3.3 million, as well as an 1811 half cent that sold for $998,750, and a 1793 Liberty Cap cent that brought $940,000 (making it the most valuable circulated cent ever sold).

1804 Silver Dollar

A couple of years prior in 2015, an “1808 Quarter Eagle coin, worth $2.50 when it was minted, set a world record for any coin of that denomination when it sold for $2.35 million and became the most valuable 19th century U.S. gold coin sold at auction,” according an article in the Orange County Register.

Historically, the rare coin market has been more volatile than in the past several years. Beginning around 2000, the market appeared to begin to stabilize. The advent of the internet and access to more and better numismatic information by collectors likely contributed to this stabilization, according to Jeff Garrett of NGC. In an article in CoinWeek, Garrett identified 10 indicators that cause him to believe the rare coin market is trending up. Among the 10 his list included:

Rare coins are becoming more difficult to find
• Demand for rare coins has increased
• Auction prices for rare coins have been strong
• Coin show activity has increased across the board
• The industry has grown substantially on social media and mobile

You can read his rationale for the above as well as his other six indicators in the CoinWeek article.

So, what does all of this mean for small and novice collectors of numismatic coins?

At GMRgold, we believe that new, small and novice collectors should consider “modern rare” as a more affordable way to add to their collections. Some good examples of modern rare include the following 1 oz Silver American Eagles:

Rare Silver American Eagles

1986 1 oz Silver American Eagle MS70 NGC
Price Guide: $1,525
GMRgold: $975

1987 1 oz Silver American Eagle MS70 NGC
NGC Price Guide: $1,600
GMRgold: $785

1992 1 oz Silver American Eagle MS70 NGC
NGC Price Guide: $3,750
GMRgold: $1,295

While not inexpensive, these prices are not out of reach for serious collectors and are a good way to build a foundation or add to a series.

What should you consider when purchasing rare coins? 

1. Mintage (how many were originally minted)
2. Population (how many are currently in circulation)
3. What the market is demanding for the coin in terms of price (what the coins are actually selling for)

Of course, our team at GMRgold recommends that you establish a relationship with a trusted coin dealer that is knowledgeable about numismatics to help ensure that you’re purchasing pieces of value.

If you have questions about rare coins or would like to learn more, please drop your questions on our Instagram post of this article, and GMRgold’s president, Charles Stevens, will be happy to share additional thoughts and insights.