coin prices are crazy....

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by panzerman, Sep 17, 2020.

  1. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I have lost on my last ten coin auctions:(. Even though I bid 2X -4X estimates, I got outbid. Only US coins are stable, World/ Ancients are on fire!
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  3. kazuma78

    kazuma78 Supporter! Supporter

    Its pretty insane right now. I've just selected a strategy of conserving cash until I find something I love enough to go all out for.
  4. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes? Supporter

    Any particular countries/regions of world coins that you've noticed on fire?

    What do you suspect is the reason that US coins are "stable" and foreign coins are "on fire"?

    (questions open to anyone, not just the Tank Man)
    Stevearino likes this.
  5. serafino

    serafino Well-Known Member

    I'm seeing the same issue with 1700-1915 Italian silver coins. Even low grade coins are selling for considerably higher on Ebay than a year or two ago. Good if you're selling, not so good if you're buying.
  6. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I would say everything/ esp. high quality (World/Ancients)

    The US market has been declining for past 20 years. Reason, these coins where vastly overpriced to begin with.
    A US 1857-S Double Eagle in MS-65 still goes for $10K+/ hundreds known in 65 grade. A Transylvania AV Dukat in MS 3-5 known, sets you back same price.
    That "Ides of March" AV Aureus in upcoming Roma Sale is estimated at 500K/ a 1933 Double Eagle (17 known/ maybe more) sold for 13 M. Now I am off to trim hedges:happy:
    serafino likes this.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    I don't believe they are stable. In general, values on US coins have been steadily dropping for 12 years now, with only minor upticks along the way quickly followed by more dropping.

    I first wrote about it in Numismatic News in 2003 when values for world coins in general began climbing. And I wrote about it here on this forum, and other forums, even before that. And it hasn't stopped, or even slowed, since then. If anything, prices are climbing even faster now than they ever have.

    In the beginning, I believe it was all for legitimate reasons. World coins were badly undervalued and had been for many decades. To a degree, perhaps a large degree, that was because they just weren't all that popular. I think the climb began for the same reasons I predicted it would, as mentioned, world coins were undervalued, their scarcity was far beyond that of US coins, there was far more history (as in years) behind them, a great many had fabulous designs which many collectors fell in love with once they became exposed to them, and they were readily available to those with a little patience. The climb was slow and steady for almost 6 years.

    And as usually happens with any bull market - people jump on the bandwagon. I believe when many collectors, saw the US market rapidly declining in 2008, they jumped on the bandwagon of world coins which were still going up. And by that time the general popularity of world coins had greatly increased, not just here in the US, but most other countries as well. People simply like winners, and strongly dislike losers. And the bigger that bandwagon got the more people there were who jumped on. And the longer that run-up lasted, the more jumped on. The bandwagon effect, this much at least is normal with any market, always has been.

    Today, the run-up has lasted 17 years. That's an unprecedented length of time for a bull market in coins. Of course, 12 years is also an unprecedented length of time for a bear market in coins. And the two, happening at the same time, well, I believe in a way feeding on each other. In other words, each one is directly and or indirectly causing the other. This has happened before, but only to a much, much smaller degree, and for a much shorter period of time.

    The question that people should be asking themselves is - what's gonna happen next ? The answer is inevitable, steady and steep declines always end. Steady and steep increases always end. Neither one of them goes on forever, at least they never have in recorded history. Declines always reverse and turn into increases, maybe slowly for a few years, accompanied by small ups and downs along the way, usually resulting in a sideways movement for a period of years. And eventually the run-ups return. Same kind of thing happens with increases, but in a slightly different way. The declines are much faster (as in drop further), and typically occur in a shorter period of time. Eventually, once they reach bottom, they end up moving sideways for a few years.

    The thing is nobody ever knows there the bottoms and tops are gonna be nor exactly how fast and or slow each will occur. But what pretty much everybody knows is the pattern never fails to repeat. Sooner later the same things happen all over again.
  8. The Eidolon

    The Eidolon Well-Known Member

    I like your analysis quite a bit, and it seems sensible. I might add a couple of points to suggest:
    1) The world population has gone up compared to the US, particularly in Asia and Africa, over the last couple generations. The number of potential collectors has gone up, while the supply of historic coins is approximately flat. So it would make sense to see a long-term sectoral shift towards strengthening of prices in world coins, at least from selected countries.
    2) The wealth in formerly "Third World" countries has also gone up markedly in the same time period. Coin collectors tend to come from people from the middle class or wealthier, who have some discretionary income. As countries pull out of poverty, there are a lot more potential collectors of that country's numismatic history.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is the US has a mature collector's market for coins, while in many other countries it was still developing. So it makes sense to se a long-term shift in coin prices in world coins from countries which had weak domestic demand. That shift may be different from the typical bull and bear markets, as it is caused by a real shift in demand curve.
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  9. serafino

    serafino Well-Known Member

    I think you are correct, new disposable income in many countries has helped fuel the coin market in those countries. It's stopped me from buying Italian coins that have shot up in value compared to what they were just a few years ago. Glad I was able to pick up some good buys back then when they were better priced.
    robinjojo and The Eidolon like this.
  10. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Nice Italian coins, especially pre-20th century, have been tough to find at a reasonable price. The demand has been constant, and premium coins command firm prices. That's been my experience.

    I was really happy securing this ducatone of Milan, 1622, Philip IV of Spain for under $600 on eBay from a Florida dealer. It's one of the best that I've seen in quite a while.

    31.7 grams

    Philip IV Ducaton, 1622, 31.7 grams, eBay, 8-25-20.jpg
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  11. serafino

    serafino Well-Known Member

    That's a very nice coin , what was the percentage of silver in that issue.
  12. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    That's a good question. I would assume that the purity level would comply with the Spanish standard used in Spain and her colonial mints: 93.1% for that period. The fineness declined over the next two centuries, to around 91.7%.
    serafino likes this.
  13. serafino

    serafino Well-Known Member

    That's a purity level above sterling silver for the earlier coins like yours. I've seen the early 1600's Spanish occupation Sicilian coins from the Messina mint and they are very crude compared to your 1622. Adding to the problem is they used to clip the edges of silver coins down in Sicily and Naples.
  14. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Yes, that is very true, especially with the hammered coinage.
  15. robp

    robp Well-Known Member

    I can't speak for areas I don't follow, but it has been apparent that since the financial crash in 2008, prices for British coins curved markedly upwards. I think this event prompted a lot of better-heeled people to go into coins as an alternative way to preserve wealth. Also, quantitative easing post-2008 put a lot of money into the market place without any commensurate increase in the quantity of physical assets with the result that asset prices increased.

    The increased selling prices were not spread across the board, with the best examples far outstripping the middle of the road examples which only marked time or increased by a small amount. Essentially, when money isn't an issue, the buyer will aim to achieve the best available (or close to) which then separates out the market into one for the elite (define as you will) and the vast majority of collectors who are constrained in their budgets. It has been particularly noticeable in gold where 5 guinea prices for example seem to increase exponentially. Last week, Spink's sales made 3 million compared to estimates of 1 million.

    As a general rule the price/grade differentials have widened, so whereas 15 years ago Fine - VF - EF would have say doubled for the next grade up, the VF to EF difference rapidly went from 2x to 3x for many issues and more for some. The increase in collector base meant that something I had routinely purchased at auction for a few years around £200, suddenly leapt to £400.

    One saving grace is that many of the newer entrants can have a reasonable feel for the in your face grade, but do not have the knowledge acquired over the long run for rarities within a type, so for all the general increases, some things still go under the radar.
  16. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    I agree with GDJMSP with the exception of today's U.S. Gold and Silver prices they are over the top!
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