When Will Today's Common Coins Be Valuable?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by pairunoyd, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. pairunoyd

    pairunoyd Junior Member

    A 1998 Washington quarter.

    Let's say that coin is NGC MS67. Assuming the world is still civilized and the people in it tend to have interests similar to ours and assuming our dollars are equally as valuable as today, at what point would this safely tucked away coin become worth $300?

    According to NGC, a 1998 P MS67 is worth just under $50. On the open market, who knows what it'll bring, maybe $30?

    I ask this because Ive heard many investors, not just those numismatically inclined, that the best time to buy is when people aren't interested in that particular item. Doesnt mean you buy chewed chewing gum, just that you're sort of a contrarian and you buy in an area that is and will likely remain popular but you strongly consider those particulars within that area/sector that aren't inflated by buyers.

    Are coins such as the one I cite above poised to 'pay off' 10-30 yrs from now?

    And aside from that coin and aside from any investment talk, at what point do you think the higher grade coins (AU to MS65) that are now being minted will be worth a 'lot' (however you wish to define that)?

    I know nothing about ancient coins, but from what I've seen it seems their prices are a LOT lower than what I would've guessed. Are, for example, today's Morgan silver dollar destined to wane in value hundreds of years from now when our civilization is upon the ruins of others? I know there exists some priceless artifacts, but it seems theres a good number of old coins that have surprisingly low value because they lack an educated buying base.
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  3. dannic113

    dannic113 Member

    While MS67 is a nice grade and cert. #'s start falling off at MS67 and above a modern in 67 is worth $9-12 in the ebay/online/secondary market world. There are just way too many coins minted now a days. This isn't higher mintage 1958's here with millions made. We talking tens, hundreds of millions made. The only coins that may and it's a long shot MAY have any real substantial gain would be MS69 and 70's and PF70's but even then it always has been, is and will be what a buyer will pay for a "registry" quality coin. If you gotta have a MS69 cent then you may pay $300 most wouldn't. The only other gainers I see out current coin (barring anything bullion) are because of the economy as people stop buying clad and silver proof sets for example the mintages drop so values go up if and when demand goes up. The other long shot is if people stop collecting altogether we could see a drop like in the late 80's and 90's and prices could climb a bit in that regard but both would take 50-100 years before enough people start collecting and begin back dating. So you are right on your second point if people aren't interested prices drop or if an area is under appreciated or under valued. Like Bu and proof wheat cents and nickels sets, some type series.
    Morgans to ancients are apples to oranges. Morgans IMO will always be popular how popular will determine if you are paying $75-85 for that MS64 or over $110. They appeal to silver lovers, classic U.S. coinage collectors, dollar collectors, general coin collectors, some antiques collectors, and even wild west lovers/ history buffs(for these types its about holding a coin that billy the kid could have robbed off a stage coach to cali. kind of thing). Ancients are a small niche market of collectors that appeal to ancient collectors, some world coin collectors, and the occasional bronze, silver, or copper collector depending on the composition of the ancient coin. Same reason I mention above that some type coins are under valued because honestly how many collectors do you know that have more than one or two half cents, three cent nickel pieces things like that? To me it's not so much lack of education but lack of knowing they even exist to collecting time and budget constraints of going that far back in coin history to start those collections.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    10 years - no way. 30 years - I'd still have to say no. Although there may be some exceptions in various other denominations mint/mark combinations. But even then that is only because you are talking about conditional rarities. And conditional rarities have different dynamics when it comes to value.

    When somebody says "conditional rarity" most people automatically seem to think of "modern" coins as if the term is one that only applies to modern coins. But it isn't at all. Conditional rarity has always been with us and it applies right down the line to even the oldest of the old. It doesn't matter what the coin is, if it is a conditional rarity then it will be of more value than its lesser counterparts.

    However, if you look at coins that are 50 years old and graded MS67 you will see that the value of these is often only $20-$30. And had you saved those coins when from when they were 12-15 years old, as you example is, I wouldn't exactly call that paying off. But there are also some examples of 50 year old coins in MS67 that are worth a few hundred dollars. And some fewer that are worth considerably more. But as a general rule with denominations from cent through quarter the values tend to stay fairly low. With halves, that changes. But that is because it is harder to find larger sized coins in higher grades. But even with them, if you drop your example grade of 67 to say 65, the higher values disappear. And that is the conditional rarity dynamic in action.

    And as one would expect the older the coins that you choose to use in a conditional rarity example the higher the values climb. But even then it is the conditional rarity of the coin that creates the value. Take the conditional rarity away and the value plummets, even with the oldest coins. Taking into consideration the few exceptions and coins that are actually rare of course.

    And also as one would expect, as the age of a coin increases the lower the grade can be for the coin to be a conditional rarity. There are many factors that play a part in this but one that very few people ever think of is that the grade of a coin almost always decreases the older it gets. In other words, if a coin would grade 67 when save it or put it away, a hundred years later the grade of that same coin will have often dropped to 65 or lower. And no not because grading standards change, but because the coin deteriorates with age. Things like handling, toning, improper storage for even short periods, all of these things and more have a negative impact on the grade of a coin. And that is why the older the coin is the lower the conditional rarity scale drops. Everything is related and dependent upon everything else.

    When it comes to the value of coins, 30 years is nothing. In many cases even a lifetime is inconsequential. But a lifetime is often the beginning of the cutoff point, the point where age affects the conditional rarity scale and begins lowering that scale.

    It's pretty easy to see this for yourself. All you have to do is look up coins on a place like Heritage. And again, I am speaking in a general sense. There are exceptions, some coins do become valuable sooner than others. But when they do there are other factors that cause it, factors that make them exceptions. But those factors do not even become recognizable until long, long after you as a collector could do anything about it.
  5. pairunoyd

    pairunoyd Junior Member

    You really think that the typical selling price would be $20-$30? Sounds low, but then again, Im new to this. But you also must remember what the value of the ms67 from 50 yrs ago was worth 50 yrs ago. $1.00? I dont know and even if it was one dollar, Im not sure that if something went up 30 times in value over a 50 yr period itd be considered a positive investment considering inflation. But if those coins are twice what you suggest, then maybe itd be a lot closer.

    Ive just often wondered if buying a few boxes of the oldest and highest grade coins that are still reasonably priced (less than $100 each) and seem to be just below the escalating price trajectory of their nearest cousins and older brothers, would be a good idea.

    Also, someone else said that Morgans and ancients are very different. Of course theyre different now, but what about when the Morgans too become ancient? I know its hard to believe, but if the world still exists 1500 years from now, they'll likely have plenty of other interests and coins to occupy them. And these future beings wont likely have the sentimental attachment to them as some of us might. I also do believe that the small number of ancient coin buyers is related to their level of ancient coin education. Im not saying theyre dumb because they dont know all the details about ancient coinage. It's just that their interests havent taken them there, being influenced to varying degrees by their environment and the interest of those around them.
  6. mcrow24

    mcrow24 New Member

    I don't see any of the common coinds of today being worth anything in our life times. Too high mintage. I could see them becoming more valueable if they decide to drop pennies from production or something like that but even then it wouldn't be that much.
  7. ArthurK11

    ArthurK11 Member

    I'd say a little under a hundred years or so. I mean you said 10 years, would you pay $300 for an MS67 1988 quarter? What I think would speed this process up a lot is if the design of coinage changes and Washington quarters become rare in circulation.
  8. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I think there is two right answers. The first is we simply don't know, since its usually after the fact that we learn what was not saved.

    The second answer is they will always go up due to inflation. Will that coin be worth $300 in nominal dollars someday? Of course, and silver will be worth $1000 an ounce someday. Doesn't mean its worth anywhere near $300 today.

    It would be nice if it was easy to make money. :(
  9. LindeDad

    LindeDad His Walker.

    Buy the time it is worth what your hoping for coins will not of been made in any form for at least a hundred years.
  10. Morgandude11

    Morgandude11 As long as it's Silver, I'm listening

    This one is impossible to answer. Conditional rarities come up all the time, even nowadays. Try finding a 1995W Silver Eagle at a reasonable price. So, who knows what the supply and demand for certain series of coins, and particular dates will be in even 5 years? We've seen some spectacular price jumps in fairly conventional moderns, so there is no telling. Heavily populated dates of circulation coins is probably another story--they may never be valuable due to supply, and lack of precious metals to melt or horde, unless Copper becomes scarce. This is anybody's good guess as to future rarities or valuable series of coins.
  11. rodeoclown

    rodeoclown Dodging Bulls

    Collect coins for fun, don't collect thinking it's a good investment. To me, modern coins now might be worth something after you're already dead, well, worth as in a good return value from the original value purchased or obtained for.
  12. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    No, I don't think. I know it for a fact because I went and looked before I answered.
  13. cladking

    cladking Coin Collector

    It's interesting you pick an eagle reverse clad quarter and the one that is the least interesting coin in the most interesting series out there. Millions of these were set aside in rolls and mint set coins come very nice with Gems being common in the set. Gems are elusive in the rolls and MS-67's aren't often seen anywhere at all. In 1998 almost no one considered the possibility that clad quarters might someday be valuable but some could see the handwriting on the wall that people would be pawing through them looking for state coins for decades and finding the older coins invariably in poor condition. These rolls were set aside as well as the other dates available at the time in Unc including the '96 and '97.

    There are literally hundreds of 1998 quarters in MS-67 and if the price went to $300 dozens of them would be sent in and the price would collapse. The market has room to price tens of thousands of '16-D dimes at $500 or higher but a few dozen MS-67 quarters would kill the market.

    It's all a matter of perception and demand. The '50-D quarter got up to $200 in today's money way back in 1964 and is still worth $10 or more. But the majority of post 1965 nickels are scarcer than this in Unc and most wholesale at a dime or less. People collect '50-D nickels but don't care about a Gemmy 1980-D nickel or even having this date in their collection at all. Everyone knows it had a huge mintage so they didn't save any and they don't collect them.

    Of course the lack of demand is even worse with the clad. Many of the few who collect them seriously collect very high grade and the competition at the high end pushes prices to some eye-opening levels. People point and laugh at the buyers and call them suckers.

    Yes, I agree that the "sweet spot" is right below the price jump but this is not a good field for investors. There are no good fields for investors really because you need to know what you're doing whether you lead Berkshire Hathaway or collect art. An '82-P quarter right before the jump is just incredibly undervalued but a '72-D quarter before the jump will eat you alive while you wait for a buyer.

    I think the sweetest spot for those just wanting to get a position is in Gem and near-Gem issues. These won't cost much more than a song if you buy them raw and ultimately have as much potential as the high end since demand will materialize across the board and focus on nice attractive specimens. In most cases there are fewer than 100,000 nice attractive Gemmy clads and in many cases, far fewer. Your potential for loss is negligible if you're paying a dollar or two. Don't get suckered into buying countless rolls of common gems like '76-D quarters. Don't buy large numbers of just a few dates. Try to find all the dates much as a collector would do. It will take a lot more work than money.

    If someone did want to stick their necks out then at least put down your money on better dates below the point at which they get expensive and don't only buy what's readily available, shop around and find other dates.

    Frankly I believe the explosion in modern US coins is decades overdue. I don't know why there is so little interest but it can't last because most people in this country can't even remember anything in their change except clad. People are nostalgic and sentimental and these are among the largest reasons people have ever collected coins. This era in which most everyone hates the coins they use dayin and day out is the aberration to the norm. It is a certainty that at some point in the future that nostalgia will again become important as a reason to collect. That this might occur long after all clad users are dead is immaterial except to the potential of a '98 quarter in our lifetimes.
  14. BadThad

    BadThad Calibrated for Lincolns

    No joke there! I have WAY more hours of time invested in my memorial cent collection than I do in my wheats. I love it that dealers and collectors ignore these....saves me a ton of money when I find a sweet cherrypick.
  15. I think when coinage becomes obsolete (i.e., we move to exclusively electronic means), there will likely be a spike in demand for modern coins, especially high-grade coins. People may even start to hoard them. This is when values will go up significantly. TC
  16. KTO

    KTO Eager to Learn

    When will a high grade, but common date, quarter be worth $300.00? Maybe if the time ever comes that an ordinary loaf of bread sells for $36.00.
  17. pairunoyd

    pairunoyd Junior Member

    thats why i noted that itd be in today's dollars. If a loaf of bread went up 18 times, along with everything else, then that 300 would be 5400. The future $300 figure is the value of $300 today. Besides, the US dollar might not even be around much longer and we might be referring to it's value in 'credits' or in grams of silver or gold. Who knows.

    Cladking, with a name like that, Im going to assume your answer is a bit biased. lol. But being biased doesnt mean being wrong. I thank you for your answer. VERY VERY VERY nice! I have a HARD time getting answers. Most would rather critique my questions. Yes, theyre deserving of such criticisms, but you can also use your imagination.

    When I was a kid I was bad about driving my friends crazy with questions, especially questions about difficult choices, e.g., would you rather be burned alive or stalked and eaten by a lion? lol. I guess that interest in choices is what lead me to my interest in economics, hence my interest in money, hence my interest in gold and silver, hence my interest in numismatics. ;)
  18. Kirkuleez

    Kirkuleez 80 proof Supporter

    If they are common today, they will be common in 100 or 1000 years. It's not like they have any melt value, so they will be around forever. They make billions of pennys every year. If the worlds population doubled in the next hundred years and everyone became a US coin collector, there would still be so many pennys around that there would never be a shortage for the amount of demand.
  19. Danr

    Danr Numismatist

    Cladking strike again! You ought to work for the numismatic media
  20. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

  21. pairunoyd

    pairunoyd Junior Member

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