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Coin Collecting Commentary: Trump and Numismatics

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What does the Trump presidency mean for coin collectors?

By Jeff Garrett for Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) ……
The presidential election this year was certainly a raucous event and the eventual winner was very much unexpected by most. Regardless of your political leanings, the question on many collectors’ minds is what does a Trump presidency mean for numismatics? Most had already factored in that Hillary Clinton would be our next president and that many of the Obama policies would continue. On election night, as Trump started to stack up electoral votes, the overseas stock markets dropped sharply. Markets generally hate surprises and this was a whopper!

Starting the next morning the stock market made a quick recovery. Since then the Dow Jones has risen over 1,000 points. The stock market clearly likes the idea of a Trump presidency. This is somewhat ironic considering the large support that Clinton received from Wall Street. Precious metals also rose initially after the election results became apparent, but have since fallen precipitously. Gold and silver now stand at about $1,200 and $16.50 USD, respectively. The markets seemed to have calmed down in recent days and will probably stabilize until it becomes clearer how Trump will govern.

What does this mean for rare coins and the hobby of numismatics? There is no doubt that Trump will be the most “business friendly” president in recent times. Most of his stated policies include less regulation and lower taxes. These business friendly proposals should be welcome news for many well-heeled numismatic collectors. In the long run this should mean more money in the pockets of those who spend the most on rare coins. The so-called “wealth effect” means that people who feel good about their finances will spend more freely.

The immediate downside, however, is that the stock market seems to be stealing all of the thunder from those feeling better about their investment spending. That is the most quoted reason for the fall in precious metals. Investors in the United States and around the world seem to be selling hard assets so they can ride the wave of equity increases. How long this will last is anyone’s guess. Low interest rates are still a driver for investors seeking a decent return.

In the long run many of Trump’s stated goals seem to indicate a possible dramatic jump in the deficit. Lower taxes and giant infrastructure spending could mean a substantial rise in the already stupendous national debt. Ultimately, this will be good for those invested in precious metals and other hard assets. How this all plays out over the long term is unpredictable in my opinion. Many individuals buy precious metals as an insurance against the unpredictable and this is likely to continue.

classic_us_thumbAs we all know, higher precious metals are a driver of the numismatic market. Prices for rare coins generally rise when gold and silver perform well.

Rare coin prices have been very depressed in the last few years. The biggest factor in recent price drops has been the oversupply of coins entering the market and not enough new collectors to absorb them. In the last five years there have been several immense coin collections liquidated to the highest bidder. The sales of the Gene Gardner, Eric Newman and Brent Pogue collections are just a few of the notable collections sold. The Pogue collection sales are nearly complete and there are no new monster collections on deck to be sold. This should help to stabilize the market.

Prices for many rare coins are near the lowest points I have seen in my career. There has never been a better time to start assembling a set of any of the following:

Proof Sets:

  • Indian Cents
  • Liberty Nickels
  • Seated Dimes
  • Barber Dines
  • Seated Quarters
  • Barber Quarters
  • Seated Half Dollars
  • Barber Half Dollars
  • Seated Dollars
  • Morgan Dollars

Commemorative Gold and Silver:

  • Morgan Silver Dollars in all grades
  • Mercury Dimes
  • Standing Quarters
  • Walking Half Dollars

Branch Mint Gold:

  • Dahlonega
  • Charlotte
  • Carson City

Indian Quarter Eagles
Indian Half Eagles
Indian Eagles
Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles

These are just a few ideas and, regardless of how the Trump presidency plays out, rare coins seem poised for success in the next few years.

* * *

Questions about the rare coin market? Send them to [email protected].

Jeff Garrett bio

Jeff Garrett
Jeff Garretthttps://rarecoingallery.com/
Jeff Garrett, founder of Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries, is considered one of the nation’s top experts in U.S. coinage — and knowledge lies at the foundation of Jeff’s numismatic career. With more than 35 years of experience, he is one of the top experts in numismatics. The “experts’ expert,” Jeff has personally bought and sold nearly every U.S. coin ever issued. Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t call on Jeff Garrett for numismatic advice. This includes many of the nation’s largest coin dealers, publishers, museums, and institutions. In addition to owning and operating Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries, Jeff Garrett is a major shareholder in Sarasota Rare Coin Galleries. His combined annual sales in rare coins and precious metals — between Mid-American in Kentucky and Sarasota Rare Coin Galleries in Florida — total more than $25 million. Jeff Garrett has authored many of today’s most popular numismatic books, including Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins 1795–1933: Circulating, Proof, Commemorative, and Pattern Issues; 100 Greatest U.S. Coins; and United States Coinage: A Study By Type. He is also the price editor for The Official Redbook: A Guide Book of United States Coins. Jeff was also one of the original coin graders for the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). He is today considered one of the country’s best coin graders and was the winner of the 2005 PCGS World Series of Grading. Today, he serves as a consultant to Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), the world’s largest coin grading company. Jeff plays an important role at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Numismatic Department and serves as a consultant to the museum on funding, exhibits, conservation, and research. Thanks to the efforts of Jeff and many others, rare U.S. coins are once again on exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History. Jeff has been a member of the Professional Numismatic Guild (PNG) since 1982 and has recently served as president of the organization. He has also served as the ANA President and as a member of the ANA Board of Governors.

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