Well, for anybody wondering if this market is real, you need not guess any further. Trying to buy coins at last week’s Baltimore Coin Show proved taxing. Although there was no lack of availability, asking prices were at the least, optimistic, and at the extreme, downright maniacal. It was if dealers had a crystal ball, and could see auction results from the upcoming Stack’s Fairmont Collection and Rarities Night sales. In retrospect, dealers were not wrong. We were representing several of our advanced collectors in both Stack’s sales, trying to pick up some new additions for their collections. In all instances, we had a carte blanche to figure bids at OUR discretion, knowing that the primary objective was to buy coins. In ALL instances, we figured our bids at well over what anything comparable had sold for in the past. Our litmus test was trying to figure the most that a particular coin could be worth in today’s market, and then adding 20%. it didn’t work. We were not even the underbidder on a single lot, let alone the successful buyer. Most of the material in both sales defied our wildest expectations, making dealer asking prices at Baltimore the previous week look more realistic than we initially thought. The trajectory of this market is frenetic, with no let up in sight. One of our most respected trading partners, who has been a fulltime numismatist for over 30 years (and at the very highest level) proclaimed that he had never seen a market like this. Although, as many of you know, we try not to get too far ahead of ourselves, we must concur with our friend. In this market, if you want to own great coins, you’re going to have to resign yourself to being aggressive. Most coin dealers across the spectrum understand that they are in the driver’s seat; this is a seller’s market. The collector who insists on negotiating price, in many instances, is getting left behind. The operative question is, how much longer will this paradigm sustain. Alluding back to our aforementioned crystal ball, the safe answer is, if only we knew? We make a point of not reminiscing about the past or trying to prognosticate the future. Instead, we elect to deal in the present, and presently, we like what we see!