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U.S. Rare Coin Market Quite Active Despite Pandemic: PNG

U.S. Rare Coin Market Quite Active Despite Pandemic: PNG

Auction houses set records with over $167 million in winning bids during first half of 2020


The market for rare, high-quality United States coins remained active during the first six months of 2020 despite pandemic-related closures and the cancelation of dozens of coin shows and numismatic conventions, according to the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG). The PNG is a nonprofit organization composed of many of the country’s top rare coin and paper money experts.

“Even with economic uncertainty and the lack of face-to-face transactions and in-person floor bidding, major auction firms reported selling more than $167 million of U.S. rare coins in online public auctions during the first half of the year. Dozens of record prices were established for coins selling for five, six and even seven figures,” said PNG President Richard Weaver.

One of the many examples of superb quality rare coins commanding record prices was the $101,251 winning bid for the finest known 1905 Barber design silver quarter-dollar graded PCGS MS68 CAC offered by GreatCollections. It sold for four times its price guide value.

Over a half dozen coins brought $1 million or more. The two most valuable U.S. coins sold at auction so far in 2020 were a record $2,160,000 for a 1927-D Saint-Gaudens gold $20 double eagle graded PCGS Mint State 65+ CAC sold by Heritage Auctions, and $1,920,000 for an 1854-S gold $5 half eagle graded PCGS About Uncirculated 58 CAC sold by Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

In addition to the reported auction results, PNG conservatively estimates that least another $150 million of U.S. coins were sold by these auction firms in private transactions in the first half of the year.

“Sales of precious metal bullion coins, such as gold and silver American Eagles, also have been active and premiums over their intrinsic value have risen as supplies dwindled due to pandemic-related interruptions of coin production at the United States Mint,” said Weaver.

“As always, to avoid counterfeits we recommend that buyers of rare coins or bullion coins should only purchase from reputable, knowledgeable dealers, such as members of the Professional Numismatists Guild and its Accredited Precious Metals Dealer (APMD) program,” he emphasized.

Auction firms responding to a PNG request for information were Bonhams; Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers; GreatCollections Coin Auctions; Heritage Auctions; Kagin’s; David Lawrence Rare Coins; Scotsman Coin & Jewelry; and Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

Additional information also was obtained through online auction archives at Christie’s; Legend Rare Coin Auctions; Sotheby’s (www.Sothebys.com); and Spink.

Professional Numismatists Guild members must adhere to a strict code of ethics in the buying and selling of numismatic merchandise. For additional information, visit www.PNGdealers.org or contact the PNG by phone at (951) 587-8300 or email at [email protected].

Professional Numismatists Guild
Professional Numismatists Guild
The PNG is a nonprofit organization composed of the world's top rare coin and paper money experts. As numismatic professionals, our primary mission is to make the hobby safe for collectors and investors by maintaining rigid standards of excellence for our member dealers.

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