Crazy Precious Metal Markets and a robust Central States Show

By Steve Roach –
First published in the May 16 issue of Coin World –

As this is being written April 27, there is lots of optimism about the Central States Numismatic Society’s convention in Rosemont, Ill., from April 27 to 30.

Dealers are excited about the show being in an easy-to-get-to location, in a region with a large collector base and a major airport. With gold and silver at highs not seen in a generation, many dealers are hoping that some new buyers might be making the rounds of the bourse floor, looking for ways to diversify their investment portfolios with coins.

The CSNS show can serve as a guidepost for the market, with a major Heritage Auction Galleries Platinum Night.

In 2008, the CSNS show was held in Cincinnati, and many consider that show to represent the low point of the coin market in the last five years.

While the Heritage auction lacks a big star like the 1804 Draped Bust dollar that headlined the firm’s Cincinnati auction – and realized $3,737,500 – the Rosemont auction has a broad selection of coins that will test the resilience of the market for collectible coins at nearly all levels.

The strongest test may come for hundreds of classic Proof gold and silver coins. Many of these coins were purchased at auction in the past decade, allowing for interesting price comparisons.

In other news, precious metals started off the week with a bang.

On April 25, silver traded at almost $50 an ounce and came within a dollar of its 1980 all-time high. That same day, gold for June delivery in New York hit an all-time high of $1,518.32 an ounce before retreating to $1,497.50 the next day.

After the price of silver almost hit $50 an ounce, many silver investors cashed in their profits and waited for the April 27 announcement on new federal interest rates from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting.

The Fed’s announcement suggested that interest rates would remain low for the near future.

On April 27 the price of gold jumped nearly $20 an ounce to an all-time high of $1,531.40 an ounce during the day’s trading in New York City while silver ranged from a low of $44.86 to $48.32 an ounce during the day’s trading.

As the price of gold and silver rose, the dollar hit a new 2.5 year low. The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the dollar against other major currencies, has dropped 10 percent in the last 12 months.

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