Status quo can be a good thing. Although the coin market falls short of gangbusters, it is nonetheless very healthy. We have witnessed steady sales throughout the fall season, without any let-up in sight. There has been a definite shift to less expensive coins, and dealers from all geographic and demographic areas of the country are reporting this trend. There are several ways to interpret what’s happening. As a rule, coins are generally worth less than they were five years ago, so some of this is just plain market devaluation. The other component is price softening of more expensive coins. Although the registry collectors will still vie for that special coin, overall there is less demand at the high-end sector. We definitely are witnessing a generational passing of the torch. Older, well-heeled collectors are being replaced by a younger group of collectors. Although their interest level is great, they may lack the same resources for buying coins. This is not to say that at some point in the future, this group’s purchasing power may be greater than the one they are replacing-time will certainly tell. The positive aspect is that coins are selling, and the audience remains highly enthusiastic.
Up this week for The Reeded Edge is The Vienna Quarterly Coin and Stamp Show followed next week by the quintessential Whitman Baltimore Coin Expo. Given the state of the coin market, we expect good things from Vienna and GREAT things from Baltimore (fingers crossed). As we have stated repeatedly, Baltimore has turned into one of the finest coin shows in the entire country. The downtown location, collector and dealer demographic and logistical ease of accessing The Baltimore Convention Center all contribute to this show’s success. But what really separates Baltimore from the rest of the pack is the first rate job that Whitman does in administering and marketing this venue. Both Rob and Robbie will be on hand for The Reeded Edge at their usual location, booth #440, front and center in the bourse hall. Of course, the guys will be aggressively buying, so please be sure to show them anything and everything in quality numismatic material that you’re considering selling. Their open checkbook policy will be in full effect. They will also have their extensive inventory of certified United States coins in tow, so be sure to call or email them with your want list. Or better yet, stop by their booth and do it in-person. Hopefully Baltimore will be in your plans next week, as the guys would love to see you at the show.