U.S. Coin Price Guide

Coin Collecting

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Coins weathering storm
By Mark Ferguson

The coin market has been and remains to a degree one of the brightest areas of the current economy, which is experiencing great difficulty.

The most active area of the coin and bullion market is the precious metals segment. Heavy demand for the bullion coins has created a two-tier price level for precious metals.

For example, at this writing the spot price of silver on the exchanges is a little below $10 per ounce. However, if a customer wants to purchase American Eagle silver coins for their bullion content, the cost can be expected to be about double the spot price or more. If a buyer gets lucky by buying from an uninformed dealer, or buying from other private individuals who want to sell, a lower premium may be possible.

The price differential shows the impact of the extraordinary demand for bullion coins. On the other hand, precious metals exchange prices may be artificially low, because many of the largest players in the bullion market have been under duress to sell, forcing exchange prices to remain low.

On the grander stage, central banks of various countries buy and sell gold in huge quantities, which very often impacts the price one way or the other.

The market has definitely slowed for collector coins, but a safe assumption could be made that much of the capital collectors have available to purchase numismatic coins has gone into purchasing precious metals instead. Also, collectors have obviously been hit with the same higher living expenses as most Americans are experiencing – higher food and gasoline prices in addition to other higher living expenses.

So while dealers are having a slow time selling collector coins and many other buyers are temporarily out of the market, this is a great time to negotiate more favorable prices on the numismatic coins one wants to purchase. But keep in mind that this won't work for every purchase.

Numerous well-heeled collectors are still in the market and will jump at the chance to buy particular coins they have been seeking.

Many collectors have spent years hunting difficult-to-find pieces. When such become available, often dealers have multiple collector clients ready to buy.

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