FUN Blows Away All Expectations; Market is Sizzling!

It’s been a while since we have found the time to do a market update. Our apologies for the delay. Much has happened since our last Baltimore report, most of it positive. The coin market remains starved for fresh, good material. Not every coin is hot, but what is, is RED HOT! So, which areas are leading the way? Key-date 19th and 20th century coins remain extremely strong, many trading at their highest prices in almost 30 years. A few examples of coins that everybody seems to want but far fewer people have for sale, include: 1856 Flying Eagle 1c, 1877 Indian 1c, 1909-S VDB Lincoln 1c, 1922 No D, Strong Reverse Lincoln 1c, 1885 & 1886 V 5c, 1916 DDO Buffalo 5c, 1918/7-D Buffalo 5c, 1937-D 3 Leg Buffalo 5c, 1895-O Barber 10c, 1916-D Mercury 10c, 1901-S Barber 25c, 1913-S Barber 25c, 1916 SL 25c, 1918/7-S SL 25c, 1932-D Washington 25c, 1921 P, D & S Walking 50c (especially in higher grades), virtually every better-date Morgan $1 and Peace $1….and the list goes on. Filling an inventory with these coins presently, is all but impossible. That is plainly evident by the number of these type of coins appearing on collector want lists. Further, we find virtually every time that we sell one of these coins, we have to pay even more to replace it. The other option is to pass at some of these seemingly inflated levels, only to have the next person in line buy it. This can create a quandary, especially for the smaller dealers and collectors on a disconnect. We saw this phenomena play out repeatedly last week at the highly-anticipated FUN show in Orlando, Florida. Attendees with their Greysheet in tow, trying to buy coins at what they perceived to be “market levels” found themselves lonelier that the Maytag Repairman (a reference that only some of our older readers will understand). By most other measures, the FUN Show exceeded just about everybody’s expectation. It should be noted that the bourse floor was affected by a combination of COVID-related absences, and those who abstained from travel challenges, which had been manifesting for months. But even with some empty booths, the show still flourished. Florida relaxed their mask requirements which helped the public attendance figures. Honestly, we noticed no drop-off in the public attendance. It was solely the dealer contingent that seemed smaller. With that said, NO dealer who did attend reported a bad show…none….nada…not one! Conversely, we heard terms like, “best show ever”, “blew away all expectations”, “stupendous” and other similar accolades. The mood of the show reflected the mood of the market-AGGRESSIVE! We are usually cautious when reporting a FUN Show, because Orlando in January can almost serve as reason enough for a positive vibe. But, this FUN Show was clearly different. There was a different feel about it, a feel that transcended being in a warm climate in cold month, a feeling that transcended the typical beginning-of-year optimism. This show felt like the real deal, sparked by intense collector demand compounded by a limited dealer supply. Somehow, we still figured out a method to buy new coins, and plenty of them. Perhaps, we were just resigned to doing whatever it took to buy new coins at the new levels, accepting that willing buyers would be ready to pay a bit more yet. That has been the pattern of the post-COVID market, and we see no let-up in sight. We will try to stay more regular with our market reports, especially during this dynamic and fast moving time. A numismatic paradigm may well be upon us-time will definitely tell.