An old Chinese proverb (or curse) says “May you live in interesting times.” When looking at the various conditions that make up the numismatic world, these times are certainly interesting.
The big news of the week, the price of gold hit the $900 per ounce level before backing off and closing at just under $895. Quietly, the price of silver has hit historical highs, closing at $16.23. Regardless of a coin’s numismatic value, the metal values drives up the price of coins. So if you had a roll of circulated Jefferson War Nickels, those coins contain $36.53 of silver and a total of $37.39 in its total melt value. Your old hoards may now be worth something!
While rising metal values are exciting as a story, I have written about what it could mean in other areas of investments and in the economy. For numismatics, that means all prices will go up at least proportional to the rise in the price of metals. Even those early gold coins that are considered “common” whose price is tied to the value of the metals will now see a rise in price. I wish I had started watching the pricing trends with Saint Gaudens Double Eagles as the market was rising. In addition to their numismatic value, the common price of lower grade coins are over $1,000.
As I write this, the Florida United Numismatics (FUN) Show is underway in Orlando, Florida. FUN is always the first show of the year. With the current state of the economy, the rising prices, and the weakening of the US dollar, it will be interesting to hear the stories from the bourse floor—the guys and gals in the trenches. I hope they report that it is still a good market!