Multiple factors are at play in the world of euro collector coinage. The new issue market in Europe is as much a function of marketers (including mints) as it is of coin dealers.
Over the long term, dealers are the ones who generally provide the platform for buying and selling after the issue date. However, when a new coin is introduced, it is different.
Mints sell direct, through distributors engaged in direct marketing and through dealers. When coins are first issued, the wholesale prices mints charge are lower than those for collectors by varying degrees. However, sometimes, to get a better price, a dealer or distributor may buy too much, leaving the market oversupplied. Rather than hold these coins, they are sold at discounted prices, and soon after, prices seek their own level.
Another factor in secondary market pricing is the mintage figure of a coin. A startling statistic that bears mention is the consistently low issue levels in most countries (except Germany and Austria) where the most-established collectors and minting programs exist.
The Netherlands issued a coin for its new king, Willem Alexander, earlier this year, a silver €10 coin restricted to only 12,500 pieces, the same as for its other commemorative issues in that metal.
The Dutch made a realistic assessment of the size of their market. This and another 2013 silver coin, for the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht, are no longer available from the mint because both coins sold out. An astute collector will pay attention to mintage statistics.
Another point to consider: Collectors in the United States purchase their coins with dollars. But whether the American collector is buying from a seller in Europe or from an American source, the coins were acquired by the dealer for euros. So if the euro rises in value, the coins become more expensive. ■