By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics ……
We’re sitting here in Las Vegas at the end of the PCGS Invitational Show writing this rare coin market report. Its 100 degrees out side but a comfy 70 at the show! If you have not attended at one of these events, you really will find them worth while. There is no other venue where you can actually get face time with some of the leading experts in the hobby (at major shows they are just too busy). Plus, PCGS puts out one heck of a spread. The next show is in September – and we’re having a major auction (total bliss)!
THE FIRST 6 MONTHS OF 2016
Had some time to reflect. This year for the first half the rare coin market has been very choppy. The good news? Save for really expensive coins and DRECK, we see the market overall as bottoming.
The fears caused by Pogue, Gardner, and Newman all drowning the market have long subsided and have be proven false on coins below US$250,000.00. If you really think about it, the bulk (we’d say 90%) of all those coins are now deep in the black hole of collectors out there. You just do NOT see many retreads. Time has passed and collectors want more.
Hard to believe, the rare coin market on coins $1,000,000.00 and over is actually the most sluggish of any today. But then nothing is for sale of any substance. We did buy the $10 1933 PCGS MS66 CAC cheap ($750G hammer)-we have had three serious offers to sell it for a profit from collectors (its not for sale). This coin was expected to exceed $1,000,000.00 when it was auctioned at the beginning of June. Sometimes things go too cheap for NO reason!
We tried hard to buy GEM DMPL Morgans and found no more then a dozen coins the first half of the year (we’re talking REAL quality with full 8″clear mirrors). We could not buy TRUE GEM Saints. Even Choice Standing Full Head 25C are impossible to find. There is NO glut of coins of any kind-EXCEPT DRECK.
What is dreck? A dreck coin can be a a High Relief in MS63 that had been cleaned or has ugly toning. Value or grade does NOT determine if a coin a coin is dreck. Deck simply can not ever be cheap enough. Dreck coins sit around and continually trade lower, especially in auctions. In some cases falling Deck prices does hurt better coins (but not super star great coins). Sadly, there will always be dreck (because the services are always going to have a small % of error) lingering.
Coins pretty much sold based upon their quality so far in 2016. That is no surprise and that is what they should sell for. However, not all coins sold well. Type-MS+PR Seated and Barbers seemed to be the weakest of anything in early 2016. We do see that scenerio as slowly changing positive.
We also clearly saw NEW money start building collections starting in April-thats just what we noticed. ‘The NEW money is not buying widgets, they are seeking top-quality rarities or just plain NICE coins. We’ve seen more five and six figure better gold coins sell in the past MONTH of June than in the last half of 2015! We think this trend will only get stronger-as rare gold appears. The new buyers all have said to us how cheap they think the rare coin market has become especially vs other areas of collectables. These buyers are certainly spending when they can (when they find coins) right now.
To sum up, prices were hit or miss in the first half of 2016. Again, the quality of the coins had a lot to do w/that. In Feb the coin market suffered through a “perfect storm” of decline where the stock market, oil, and metals all crashed. Prices did take a 20% tumble. Regardless, there really were not a lot of coins too choose from in the first half of 2016 (even with Pogue). It won’t take much to make prices rise 20%. We expect a decent July and marginal August (even with the ANA Show). However, we expect a super strong finish of the year from Mid September to the end of December. If any nice, fresh, rare coins do show up-they will sell for strong premiums immediately and end up in that deep black hole.
Final Note: Legend had record sales for June. Our sales were strong for the first six months of 2016. Because we have the largest PCGS CAC inventory and a $20 million plus Want List, we do that much biz. We expect the second half of 2016 to be even stronger for us!
NOTE: ABOUT FRESHNESS
We thought many collectors understood what fresh was. Fresh is NOT a coin you bought and sat on for a year, or even two to three years. FRESH is a coin that has been off the rare coin market a minimum of eight-plus years (in our opinion). Dealers and collectors have long memories. Fresh coins DO bring substantially more money. Even if you buy something cheap today, it does NOT promise you will always be able to flip it in a year for a profit. A fresh coin ALWAYS attracts the maximum attention and strongest buyers.
We saw this coming. EVERYONE is now shopping hard for gold. Does not matter if it is a generic coin or a six-figure rarity (we are aware of two substantial pieces trading in the $300G range this past week). The prices of rare gold coins (NOT generics) are still steady. Generics right now are up only 5%-that will surely change (we expect to raise our bids later this week as we are almost out of generics)!
No one can predict where the price of gold will go. We’re watching the big smart money like the Soros’ of the world. When they start selling, game over. Only time will tell when that will be. We feel strongly with all the turmoil in the world, gold is still viewed as the ultimate “safe” haven and will continue to rise in the short term. All the indicators still have gold on the “buy” side.
We’ve offered many long-term ideas on how you can build great sets of gold. We strongly recommend PCGS CAC gold ONLY if you are buying better gold. If you buy generics, ONLY buy NON PCGS CAC coins if they are close to melt-not bids-MELT for the series (other wise stick to PCGS CAC generics). We can tell you there is not a lot of CAC gold out there. Spreads on generic CAC coins have only risen 5% in the last 30 days (we were just told a major wholesaler cleaned out another in a high six figure transaction). As demand perks up, we expect the spreads to rapidly grow–even during July!
If you have questions about buying Generics, building a Gold Type set, or starting a collection of gold coins, email or call us now! Don’t wait for the herd to show up and prices to rise, that will be a bit late!
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