Last week’s Vienna Quarterly Coin and Stamp Show was poorly attended. This was due in part to a forecast for a major storm for the D.C. area, which fortunately, never materialized. Additionally, the current iteration of this show has been under-promoted, relying more on word-of-mouth than traditional marketing methods. A factor that definitely did NOT contribute to Vienna’s poor attendance, was the coin market’s health. Market conditions have remained robust throughout January (which is a traditionally slow, post-FUN period). Inflationary worries have created a sense of urgency with both collectors and investors alike, as they scurry to buy coins at today’s levels. Limited supply and the reduced purchasing power of the dollar seem to be concerning the numismatic community, much the same way as this mindset is driving other areas of the economy. Curiously, amidst the current uncertainty, gold and silver have shown limited movement. If precious metals start to heat up, this could be the impetus to catapult a healthy, bullish coin market into a full-blown, raging bull market. Many feel that this component is not an if, but rather a when.
Twentieth century collector coins, Silver Dollars and post-1907 gold coins remain the hottest areas of the market, although other numismatic areas are also experiencing a renaissance. Finding pockets of value in this market is progressively more challenging by the day. As dealers, we have resigned ourselves to paying whatever seems reasonable to keep good coins in inventory. Again, it’s likely that tomorrow’s levels will make today’s prices look cheap. Equally as concerning, is that good coins are disappearing from the marketplace, many likely not to reappear anytime soon. There is quite a bit of speculative buying going on, with many well-healed buyers aggressively trolling the marketplace. It is quite an interesting dynamic, to say the least!