US Coins

How the precious metals slump affects the coin market

Among the highlights of Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Nov. 3 Rarities Night auction at the Whitman Expo is this colorful 1918 Illinois Centennial half dollar graded Mint State 68 by PCGS.

Images courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

The rare coin market is in a tentative state as collectors and dealers await the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and little is getting dealers and collectors excited. 

Precious metals have taken a hit in recent weeks, though with no clear market indicators to provide a solid reason why. Gold, which hovered at the $1,350 an ounce level at the end of summer, currently sits at the $1,250 level while silver ended summer at the $20 an ounce level and currently sits at $17.50. The drops have been sudden and sharp.

The flood of massive collections coming to market through auctions has subsided, which limits the fresh material entering the marketplace. Part V of the D. Brent Pogue Collection will take place March 31, 2017, in Baltimore rather than New York City, timed to coincide with the Spring 2017 Whitman Baltimore Expo.  

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Leading Pogue V will be the famed Dexter Class I 1804 Draped Bust dollar graded Proof 65 by Professional Coin Grading Service, though the sale will lack the stellar gold coins that added heat to previous Pogue auctions. 

The next installment of the Whitman Baltimore Expo will take place Nov. 3 to 6, featuring Nov. 2 to 4 auctions by Stack’s Bowers Galleries including a Rarities Night sale set for Nov. 3. In the latter, a 1918 Illinois Centennial commemorative half dollar graded Mint State 68 by PCGS is one of the finest known and it joins several other beautifully toned, high grade classic silver commemoratives in the auction. 

After Whitman’s Winter Expo, the market takes a break as it prepares for the massive Florida United Numismatists show, though online auctions and several strong regional shows will keep things moving. 

The winter 2017 FUN show will be in Fort Lauderdale, Jan. 5 to 8, and Heritage has already started announcing some impressive collections to anchor what is often the largest auction of the year. The show and its associated auctions set the tone for the year.  

The U.S. Mint’s recent product offerings haven’t really caught fire with collectors. The Mint lifted its household ordering limit for its 2016-W .Standing Liberty .9999 fine gold quarter dollar as less than half of the product limit of 100,000 sold in the first day. 

As gold drops in value, these coins become more affordable, since the Mint adjusts the sales price in accordance with its market-based pricing grid. 

The Mint is set to release a 2016-W Walking Liberty gold half dollar on Nov. 17. This will complete a trio of gold coins that started with a 2016-W Winged Liberty Head gold dime released earlier this year, which quickly sold out at the Mint with a mintage limit of 125,000. 

Many are not optimistic about success for the gold “Walker”; as the heaviest gold coin in the series, it will be the most expensive of the trio, and as the gold quarter dollar crawls towards its mintage limit, few may be in a rush to purchase the new coin. 

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