Market Strength Evident
By Harry Miller
appears that 2008 ended on a strong note for at
least two of the three precious metals. There
remains unprecedented demand for small (easily
stored, hidden and transported) gold and silver.
This proved helpful for the entire numismatic
market with the exception of some entry level
items like proof and mint sets and modern
issues, especially the heavily promoted MS/PF-68
to -70 items.
Scarcity breeds higher returns in an almost
geometric proportion to just plain old coins.
However, in the past year virtually all pre-1964
U.S. coinage has enjoyed appreciable gains. Many
of the lower grade older coins have enjoyed
demand from scores of new and returned
collectors because of the 50-state quarter
program and increased awareness from the
Internet. Promotion houses add demand, too.
The results are very pleasing. One year ago a
1793 half cent in Good-4 was $2,350, now $3,150.
Yes, many cannot afford this coin. A 1923-S
Lincoln in G-4 is up from $2.50 to $3.95, or a
1933-D rose $1 to $5.50. Classic Head half cents
that were $57 in Very Good-8 are $65 if you can
find any. How about the 1883 "no cents" nickel
in G-4? It moved from $5.75 to $6.75, or the
"with cents" counterpart from $15.50 to $18. The
Buffalo series 1914 was $17 and now is $18.50,
or the 1917 is up from $5.50 to $6.50. Quarters
have some impressive gains. A 1796 in Extremely
Fine-40 is up from $39,500 to $49,500. An 1804
in G-4 went from $3,950 to $4,950. An 1858 in
G-4 rose from $22.50 to $27.50. The 1896-S
Barber has blossomed from $675 in G-4 to $950
and the 1913-S has gained $300 to $1,850. The
1917 quarters are all up about 10 percent in
While most modern issues are soft or flat,
Georgia quarter rolls nearly doubled to $50.
Common Seated dollars were $245 in VG-8 and now
are really tough at $285. All the O-mint Morgans
have done well with 1881-O gaining nearly $300
in Mint State-65 to $1,650 and the rare 1893-S
in MS-65 at $325,000 sports a $110,000 gain.
Impressive gains were the rule in the high-end
elite Morgan DMPLs (deep mirror prooflike), with
gains of 20 to 50 percent across the board. In
common-date gold, 1924 Saints were $950 MS-60
and now are $1,165. In the $10 Liberty series
MS-60s rose from $495 to over $600. The half
pint $5 has gone from $265 to $345; not bad for
a terrible economy.