There are many answers to that question. Some will point to price guides. Others will argue that one price guide is better than others. Then some people will deliver a dissertation about supply and demand and the commodity price of the metals to explain their answer.
The price of a coin is whatever the price one person will pay.
In an auction, people will bid until the price exceeds what all but one participant will pay.
This past week, Heritage Auctions sold a 1935 George V silver Pattern “Waitangi” Crown sold for $72,000, a New Zealand coin record.
In Las Vegas, Stack’s Bowers Galleries sold the only privately owned 1822 Half Eagle for $8.4 million. The other two examples are in the Smithsonian Museum. It is the second-highest amount ever paid for a U.S. coin.
These sales come the week after a George VIII Gold Crown sold for £1 million, a record price for a British coin.
Back down to earth, those who were shut out of the 2010-W American Silver Eagle sale are finding the secondary market selling these coins for upward of $150, double their sale price. Collectors trying to maintain complete collections are paying these markups.
Over a year after the coronavirus pandemic shut down the country, there seems to pent-up demand by collectors. All types of numismatic auctions, except scripophily, are experiencing extraordinary realized prices from auctions.
The strong demand is bringing people out of the woodwork trying to cash in. Major auction houses are lowering their commission to attract new sellers of high-end merchandise. Medium-sized auction houses have been contacting collectors looking to sell smaller collections usually left to estate and liquidation auction services.
Collectors are paying higher prices for coins. A recent liquidation auction, an ungraded 1880-CC Morgan Dollar with many problems, including questionable toning, may be worth about $100 according to the price guides. The coin sold for over $200 with buyer’s premium.
If this is how the market is reacting while contact continues to be limited, imagine how it will be when everything is fully open for business.
And now the news…