Publisher's Message (April 2020 Greysheet)

CDN Publisher, John Feigenbaum, discusses his monthly report on the rare coin market as it appears in the April 2020 Greysheet.

by John Feigenbaum l Published on April 4, 2020

The market feels extremely complicated at the moment. On the one hand the first Q1 trade shows have largely come back with positive feedback from dealers. Word on the street was that the February Long Beach and ANA Mid-Winter (National Money Show) were too close together, which diluted both. All things considered, the market has been—dare I say it—somewhat robust these first three months.

The wild-card, ironically, is the combination of super-strong spot metal prices and the fear of the coronavirus and its unknowable impact on the global economy. One would think gold moving to decade-long highs in a short time would be exciting but the metals prices move often on secretive trades and the consumer is merely on for the wild ride. In most financial markets, trader demand is usually directly responsible for price movements, but gold and silver seem to move on their own leaving analysts and pundits guessing as to why. It’s not shocking at the moment to see gold move opposite the world equity markets, however it’s not lock-step.

Some traders currently believe that the primary reason for the current run has been due to current and forecast Fed actions regarding easing of interest rates and debt issuance. More cash sloshing around with low interest rates, as they argue, is ripe for commodities like gold and silver, so we are seeing a good bit of confidence, even at these high levels.

As I mentioned, the coronavirus is on everyone’s mind and we are truly saddened to say that the first fatality in California attributable to the illness was to a coin dealer. A store owner in Northern California, he was a decades-long subscriber to the Greysheet and the loss already hits too close to home.

One has to wonder how the pandemic will affect trade shows. As I write this the Baltimore Expo is still scheduled, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if the planners cancel in an abundance of caution. The problem is, what will come of the important auctions held during the show? There are so many incredible coins on offer (1804 dollar, 1885 Trade dollar, 1854-S $5, etc) that these sales—should they continue—may represent an incredible opportunity for the stoic buyer who can stomach the short-term scariness of the financial markets. Perhaps multiple people will feel the same way and look to rare coins as a haven for their investments. Stay tuned for our regular reporting on these events by subscribing to our email list. Visit for details.

Here at CDN we’ve been diligently working on improvements on nearly every front. In this issue you will see the culmination of many months of work by copper-specialist Chris McCawley. McCawley is a rare breed in that he crosses the line between EAC specialist and slab dealer. He is a copper guru yet still knows key type and gold coins, and long time friend of yours truly, which made him the perfect target for helping CDN expand our database of pricing to the specialized area of half cents by Cohen variety. You’ll find the results of this effort on page 37.

We’ve also greatly expanded our type coin price charts with CAC price columns in all grades (p.17). As we don’t have the space in print to show our CAC prices in most of the specific series, the type coin charts will give the reader an indication of the spreads, which only seem to be getting bigger over time.

Finally, as Patrick notes in his Market Report, we have also re-instated Greysheet values for Mint State and Proof-70 Silver Eagles. Populations and prices have balanced out to the point where we are comfortable publishing them. Readers have requested these values many times, and it’s a pleasure to present them again.

In closing, I return the topic on everyone’s mind these days. The CDN staff and I offer our best wishes to all that you and your loved one escape the worst of the coronavirus. If nothing else, a time to stay home and reacquaint yourself with your hobby.


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Author: John Feigenbaum

John Feigenbaum image The President, CEO and managing partner at CDN Publishing, John Feigenbaum, has been a professional numismatist since 1979. Formerly president of David Lawrence Rare Coins, John has taken on Publishing and executive responsibilities for CDN Publishing. John has written for numerous trade publications and published "The Complete Guide to Washington Quarters" in 1991. In 2014, John received the PNG Abe Kosoff Founders Award for "his steadfast dedication to the entire numismatic community".