US Coins

Sales total in billions of dollars in 2017

Business generated in the U.S. coin market in 2017 totaled between $3.4 billion and $3.8 billion, not including sales by the United States Mint of bullion coins, such as gold and silver American Eagles, according to the Professional Numismatists Guild’s auction survey.

Cumulative prices realized, including buyer’s fees, for U.S. coins sold at major public auctions in 2017 totaled $306,199,305, with Heritage Auctions and Stack’s Bowers Galleries sales combined accounting for 80 percent of that overall total, according to the survey.

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Heritage reported $169.1 million sold at auction, and Stack’s Bowers Galleries reported auction sales of $74,099,305. Stack’s Bowers sold at auction a Class I 1804 U.S. Draped Bust silver dollar for $3.29 million and a 1794 Flowing Hair dollar for $2.82 million.

The PNG noted some changes in the marketplace in 2017.

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“Over the decades, the rare coin market has moved in cycles,” explains PNG President Barry Stuppler. “High-grade, historic coins valued at over $50,000 and so-called ‘collector’ coins under $500 generally did well in 2017. Unlike the last few years, there were few old-time collections that came into the marketplace, and some of the investment money that may have gone into numismatic purchases went into the booming stock market and the speculative cybercurrency market. Despite that, demand for extremely rare investor-collector coins rose in 2017.”

Eight auction firms responded to the PNG survey: Bonhams; Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers; GreatCollections Coin Auctions; Heritage Auctions; David Lawrence Rare Coins (which reported private sales of two coins for $1 million or more); Legend Rare Coin Auctions; Scotsman Coin & Jewelry; and Stack’s Bowers Galleries. 

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