July 30, 2021 37
By Jeff Garrett for Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) ……
There is no doubt that the rare coin and bullion market in the United States has evolved considerably in recent decades. Thirty years ago, when I operated an auction company, my mailing list consisted of about 5,000 names. Of those customers, around 1,000 would participate in a given sale. My last FUN auction in the 1980s realized less than $5 million.
Heritage Auctions reported over $300 million in sales for just the first quarter of 2021 alone, including an internet-only FUN auction of an NGC-graded
June 18, 2021 53
The 1933 Double Eagle that realized $18,900,000 last week in a Sotheby’s sale was stunning news for the numismatic community. The final hammer price shattered the previous record price for a coin by nearly double.
The new price summit for a rare coin finally approaches that of fine art. It should be remembered that in the same room in which the 1933 Double Eagle sold, paintings have been bought for over $300 million. Sotheby’s orchestrated a masterful promotion of the coin and most likely drew the interest of several non-collectors for the bidding. The identity of the winning bidder has yet to be revealed.
May 20, 2021 25
The rare coin market evolves over time and many series go out of fashion. In the 1960s, BU Rolls and Proof Sets were all the rage. In the 1980s, generic gold coins dominated the interests of many collectors and dealers. Rarity seems to increasingly be the focus from the 1990s to present day. This has culminated in an extreme explosion in price for super-rarities. Multi-million-dollar coin sales are not the headline-grabbing news they once were, and they have become almost commonplace.
May 06, 2021 61
As part of President Joe Biden’s “American Rescue Plan,” individuals making less than $80,000 per year received $1,400. If you do not need to spend your stimulus check on immediate needs, I can think of few better ways to spend the money than to stimulate the numismatic economy.
Rather than buying a new flat screen TV or taking a trip to Disney World, consider investing the newfound money on your coin collection. Years from now, you will have something tangible that you may not have had the opportunity to purchase otherwise.
April 22, 2021 21
The numismatic press has been gleefully announcing the sale of multi-million coins on a regular basis in recent months. I’m sure the Heritage sale this week will also garner headlines as a few major collections make their way to the auction block.
The sale of the 1787 ‘EB’ on Wing Brasher Doubloon graded NGC MS 65★ for over $9,000,000 was a stunning reminder that billionaires have discovered our hobby. The upcoming sale of the only legal-to-own 1933 Double Eagle will probably make national headlines. Numbers above $10,000,000 are widely predicted. The 1933 Double Eagle has one of the greatest stories in all of numismatics. Another chapter will be written later this spring.
April 08, 2021 63
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the last Morgan Silver Dollar and the first Peace Silver Dollar. The 1921 Morgan and Peace Dollars are also front and center this year as the US Mint has announced 2021 examples of both issues to commemorate the centennial.
The US Mint will strike a minimum of six different coins in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco. Various finishes and privy marks have been discussed, but exact details have not yet been announced. The excitement surrounding these new issues will surely spur even greater demand for the vintage 1921 examples.
Morgan Silver Dollars are named after their designer, George T. Morgan. The coins first appeared in 1878 and were produced regularly until 1904, when demand was low and the bullion supply scarce. Production of Morgan Dollars resumed in 1921. Near the end of 1921, production began on the Peace Silver Dollar to commemorate the end of WWI. The coins were designed by Anthony de Francisci and placed into circulation on January 3, 1922.
March 26, 2021 32
For several years now, I have joked that people know so little about Bitcoin that they ask my thoughts on it because I’m a coin dealer. In general, most individuals that I speak with consider Bitcoin to be a speculative bubble waiting to pop. The recent rise of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) is making peoples’ heads spin, but the future of NFTs is up in the air until the tokens become more widely accepted and understood as an asset class.
February 11, 2021 21
For decades, the hobby of numismatics has provided me with more benefits than anyone could ever hope for, from years of enjoyment to a pretty good living. Since assembling my first Lincoln Cent album in the 1960s, my enthusiasm has never waned. Many of my non-numismatic friends envy that I look forward to going to work every day. I sincerely hope that the hobby remains relevant so that future generations can enjoy the same pleasures numismatics has given me.