Why are old state commems so cheap despite rarity?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Gam3rBlake, May 1, 2022.

  1. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    I’m not talking about the State Quarters.

    I’m talking about these old school silver ones made almost a century ago.

    520CA14A-92CC-416A-B558-AB26A76C6CF0.jpeg 154C78B1-6BD2-4CAF-9165-D9203E0492DD.jpeg
    (NOTE: NOT MY COINS - PCGS Images)

    Last Christmas my uncle got me a
    1925-S California Diamond Jubilee commemorative half dollar and since I got it I have seen a lot of the different states and I’m curious why almost all of them are so cheap (based on mintage) even in GEM condition?

    When you think about it almost all of these commemoratives have lower mintages than the uber rare 1893-S Morgan Dollar.

    Im guessing the low price is due to low demand but that just makes me curious why these state commems have such a low demand?

    A full set of MS65 Gem coins would be something extremely rare yet oddly attainable to the normal person despite the super low mintages of every single coins.

    Idk what do you guys think?
    Last edited: May 1, 2022
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  3. green18

    green18 Unknown member Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    I guarantee, my friend, that the coins you have as imaged examples (not yours) are not cheap. And how do you define 'cheap'? I've never been able to find 'cheap' commems. If you have, then my hat's off to you. :)
    KSorbo, NSP, ZoidMeister and 7 others like this.
  4. Vertigo

    Vertigo Did someone say bust?

    Well most of these coins were generally saved. So a lot of the mintage exists in mint state. For one.
    NSP, harrync, coolhandred24 and 2 others like this.
  5. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    No no I wasn’t talking about the ones in my images. I’m saying you can get an MS64 or 65 example of most of them for like $500.

    It’s not “cheap” per se. $500 is a lot of money. It just seems the coins should be worth much more in that condition.
  6. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    Because there are so many different coins involved in completing the collection, and because most are available in quantity in gem condition, the obstacle to completion of sets by average collectors would be a financial one if the prices elevated too much.

    Those coins truly rare in gem justify the high prices in my mind (think Missouris, Alabamas, Sesquis, etc), while commons in gem should probably be low (Colombians, Stone Mountains, Long Islands, etc).

    Fluctuating interest drives price changes in response to market making, and to promotions related to specific events and anniversaries, but generally, the existing market pricing bears this out.
    green18 and Gam3rBlake like this.
  7. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    That’s true but even so the mintage is so low that they are still extremely rare.

    Some of them have mintages under 30,000.

    Also I’m sure many were lost, melted or damaged/circulated enough to not be Gem.
    Stevearino likes this.
  8. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    But if you think about it there must be more Morgan Dollar dates & mints than there are different state commemoratives.

    Idk I just feel like a full set of Gem examples would be a beautiful sight to behold while being attainable with enough motivation at the same time.

    If each coin averaged $500 and you got 1 from each state that’s a $25,000 collection. It does sound like an enormous sum but spread out over 30 years of collecting and it’s about $800 per year, or about 3 new coins every 2 years.
    Stevearino, MIGuy and ToughCOINS like this.
  9. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    I get what you're saying, but there are far more collectors for sets of Morgan Dollars than there are collectors for sets of commems.

    Pricing is driven by actual demand, not by perceived value. The simple fact that you are wondering if commems are a good prospect, rather than making a commitment to the series is an example of that. Wondering does not increase demand . . . actually adding another collector of the series does.
  10. Oldhoopster

    Oldhoopster Member of the ANA since 1982

    As others have said, there hasn't been much interest in classic comments in a while. As long as the supply meets the demand, it isn't rare regardless of how many or how few are out there.

    The best time to put together a set is when prices are low and the series is out of favor. If you like the coins, buy them. If you're speculating on a price increase? Who knows.
    UncleScroge and green18 like this.
  11. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    Folks have been talking about a major increase in the prices for these, for many years but it really never change much. Some of the really high end coins with nice toning bring strong prices.
    coolhandred24, Gam3rBlake and green18 like this.
  12. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    I guess I always assumed there were enough Americans out there with that sense of American patriotism to maintain a demand for them.

    The same kind of people who collect State Quarters. Except this is like a serious version of that.

    There is definitely no better set to represent America as a whole. Even if the person just picked 1 example of each state and ignored the coins that have multiple issues like Oregon.

    I guess I just don’t understand why people don’t like them. They’re old, they’re silver and they are all unique.

    The best way I can say it is that it they seem under appreciated. The designs on some of them are pretty good! I think the California coin design is at least as beautiful as the Walking Liberty Half.
    Maxfli, daniel a DiBiasio and Scott J like this.
  13. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    P.S. I’m not trying to be argumentative. Just trying to understand and it’s just a shock to me.

    If each coin didn’t have such a low mintage I would be less surprised but collecting a 50 coin set in Gem BU condition with each coin having a mintage under 100K just seems like it would be a huge challenge and require the wealth of a Sheikh.
  14. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    I can’t predict any date in specific but I wouldn’t be surprised if they went up.

    A full 50 coin set of these in Gem BU condition would be a beautiful sight to behold.

    The art on most of them is pretty good too. Some of them are beautiful. Although some are boring too.
  15. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    There might be more demand if there actually were 1 from each state making a 50 coin set. Unfortunately such a set doesn’t exist.

    Barry Murphy
  16. Oldhoopster

    Oldhoopster Member of the ANA since 1982

    Are you saying that you aren't patriotic unless you collect classic Commemoratives?

    People collect what they like. I'm sure there are things in my collection that you'll find uninteresting. Does that mean you're boring or have no interest in world history? Of course not. Just because you've discovered classic commems and think everybody should be going crazy over them, doesn't mean everyone has the same opinion. If you like them, buy them. If you don't, enjoy another series
  17. okbustchaser

    okbustchaser I may be old but I still appreciate a pretty bust Supporter

    One thing to keep in mind is that these are not a "state" collection. Although several states are represented most are not. Here's one of my favorites.
    Jim Dale likes this.
  18. okbustchaser

    okbustchaser I may be old but I still appreciate a pretty bust Supporter

  19. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    No o_O. Please don’t put words in my mouth. I’m saying that there are always those people who want to collect things that show their love of America and this set with a coin from each state does a good job at that.

    Just like how there are some people who like to collect proof Silver Eagles because it’s like a patriotic themed collection.

    Also I didn’t “just discover” them or “go crazy” for them. I’ve just been wondering for a while as I see them being sold.
    Maxfli likes this.
  20. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Really?? Which state is missing? I’ve seen some extra coins that aren’t states but I thought every state minted at least 1 of them.

    Well darn that ruins the whole concept :/. No wonder they’re so cheap!
    Maxfli likes this.
  21. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

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