The following is Steve Roach's Investment Column from the Feb. 1,
2016, print edition of Coin World:
The recent Florida United Numismatists show sets the tone for the
U.S. rare coin market with more than 1,000 dealers in attendance and
major auctions by Heritage that routinely cross the $50 million mark.
This year’s show was no exception and despite some recent bad global
economic news that led to stocks falling in the first days of 2016,
the rare coin market has held up well.
Numismatic Guaranty Corp. chairman Mark Salzberg made some comments
at NGC’s Collectors Society luncheon on Jan. 9 addressing these
confusing times. He stressed that despite the coin market’s ups and
downs, collectors should stick to the core fundamentals of value:
quality, rarity, and demand.
Salzberg cited NGC’s ancient coin grading program as an innovation
that brought order to an area that collectors were hesitant to enter
and that third-party certification could unlock value in coins by
making buyers comfortable.
Many NGC-certified ancient coins traded hands at the New York
International Coin Show in New York City, held the same weekend as the
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As a cautionary note, Salzberg also cited the exploding populations
of some top-graded coins — perhaps most notably the 1995-W American
Eagle silver dollar in Proof 70 Deep Cameo — as something that may be
confusing to buyers. At a March 31, 2013, GreatCollections auction a
Professional Coin Grading Service Proof 70 Deep Cameo 1995-W American
Eagle silver dollar brought $86,654.70; at that time, it was one of
just eight in that grade. In the years since, the number has grown,
and PCGS records 105 submissions that have received that top grade.
Prices have fallen, with PCGS Proof 70 Deep Cameo coins bringing
between $25,000 and $30,000 at auction this past summer.
Grading is fluid and grading lines between grades change in
conformance with current market standards. However, collectors would
be well-advised to consider the trajectory of populations when buying
a top-graded modern coin.
To help make this easier, PCGS announced the day before at its
luncheon that it would make its PCGS Coin Facts website available to
collectors and dealers for free. Coinciding with PCGS’s 30th
anniversary, the entire site will be free effective Feb. 3 and it will
launch an Android mobile application alongside the existing Apple iOS app.