The Business Of Numismatics: June 2024 Greysheet Editor's Letter

Recent auctions give insight into the current rare coin market.

by Patrick Ian Perez | Published on July 9, 2024

Coming off the back of a strong March and April, the Central States show in Illinois at the beginning of May was another chance to gauge the U.S. rare coin market. While the macro news still revolves around the gold spot price, rare coins themselves have seemed to have gotten beyond the correction phase of the market cycle. An easy conclusion is that the very healthy performance of the domestic equity market has spurred spending. It is much easier to devote financial resources to alternative investments such as rare coins when one feels wealthier. But beyond this, I feel that there are simply fewer coins available on the market because the buyer base has expanded, perhaps significantly so. Thus, a quiet pressure pushes prices on those pieces that are available. I see this not just in coins, but paper money as well. I was recently in Europe for the MIF paper money fair, and there are so many note types that have basically disappeared from the market.

As the trophy items in a given collectible genre disappear into strong hands, buyers begin to look elsewhere to invest, and that brings us to the theme of this month’s issue. For the first time ever, our feature article is on United States postage stamps. Some may immediately question this decision, since so many outside the hobby would consider stamps a “dying” market. However, when one of the best collections ever formed comes to market, it is a story. As can be seen in our dazzling cover, many individuals have the desire to own the best of everything, whether it be coin, stamp, watch, comic, or painting. In today’s world, there are many people who have the resources to pursue such a feat, and this breeds competition. With global markets connected as they are, we will see more and more of these blended collections. American auction houses have more international bidders than ever, and in talking to staff of European auction firms it is evident that they have plenty of non-domestic customers as well. In the end, I do not think that prices are the issue of the future; supply will be. Speaking of supply, the Heritage Central States Signature sales, consisting of both U.S. and world coins, is a huge offering full of important pieces. Among the highlights is yet another grouping from the Simpson Collection, featuring historically significant Pattern coinage.

Lastly, I wanted to acknowledge the passing of well-known coin dealer Walter Magnus. When John and I first started extensively revising and expanding the Greysheet in 2015, Walter was one of the very first dealers to offer feedback and helpful pricing information. Always polite, he helped us find inconsistencies and would identify areas we should review. A stalwart on the coin show circuit, Walter dealt in a wide range of material within United States coinage. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and the many friends he had in the industry.

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Author: Patrick Ian Perez

Patrick Ian Perez image Patrick Ian Perez began as a full time numismatist in June of 2008. For six years he owned and operated a retail brick and mortar coin shop in southern California. He joined the Coin Dealer Newsletter in August of 2014 and was promoted to Editor in June 2015. In addition to United States coins, his numismatic interests include world paper money, world coins with an emphasis on Mexico and Germany, and numismatic literature. Patrick has been also published in the Journal of the International Bank Note Society (IBNS).

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