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Market Report – 01/16/13

The rare coin market has exploded out of the gate in 2013 with one of the strongest FUN shows in recent memory.  All signs point to rare coins trending upward in the coming year as we move beyond what was a solid 2012.  Perhaps the uncertainty of the outcome of the Presidential election or the slightly media-induced panic over the “Fiscal Cliff” held people in check over the second half of last year, but if this past weeks’ FUN show is any indicator (and it usually is), we’re in for a terrific year in rare coins.

Think of the annual FUN show as a metaphorical Groundhog Day.  Just as Punxsutawney Phil is tasked with prognosticating the emergence of spring or the persistence of winter, the FUN show serves a terrific indicator as to how strong the rare coin market could be in the coming months.  The 2013 FUN show had an amazing flurry of activity in all tiers of the market.  A behemoth of an auction that included over 12,000 total lots was swallowed up by dealers and collectors alike.  Every segment of the bourse floor was crowded with activity, from high-end retailers selling the finest certified examples to small dealers trading circulated collector coins, this FUN show had an energy unlike any we can remember.  The aisles were crowded with visitors, the mood was positive and business was brisk.

One area of the rare coin market that seems to be doing particularly well to start the new year is high-end proof type.  We sold an amazing Barber quarter graded PF69* Cameo by NGC as well as a seated liberty dollar graded PR66 Deep Cameo by PCGS.  However that’s hardly the only segment of the rare coin market that showed life.  We sold a healthy amount of both better date gold pieces as well as some jaw-dropping proof gold pieces with deep cameo designations that help further validate our belief that we’re in for a terrific year of rare coin trading. 

We’re also very excited about the coins we were able to purchase at the show.  Some of these pieces will make their way to our website soon, including some of the finest proof $2.5 liberty coinage ever graded along with a truly outstanding set of proof three cent silvers, some of which are the finest known.

If the industry has a weak spot right now, it would have to be the generic gold market.  The prices between the levels are still very compressed and there seems to be a general sense of ennui in regards to the trading of the product.  With the spot price of gold basically flat (up only 2.2% over the last year) and the market slow to digest the quantities available, our advice for the time being would be to focus on true numismatic rarities in lieu of holding a large position in an oversaturated market.