When Stack’s Bowers Galleries conducts its world coin auction Aug. 10 and 12 for the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, the usual categories of coins will be included.
From ancient Greek and Roman coins, to English and European coins, and gold coins of the world, nearly 1,600 lots will be offered.
Interestingly, the auction includes an abundance of modern and even “ultra-modern” world coins.
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Some of the coins offered are evidence of an extremely high market velocity, the speed at which coins re-enter the market after their purchase. Several offerings are 2015- and 2016-dated world mint issues with limited mintages or tight sales periods, or through exclusive distributors, or under a combination of several of these factors.
It may be impossible to be certain why these coins are re-entering the market so soon — after all, there are many reasons to sell coins, from exciting things like changing interests or completing a set, to sadder reasons like a greater financial need or mortality. But the auction represents a good chance to obtain them now for collectors who missed buying the coins when they were first offered.
What is ‘modern’?
Traditionally, “modern” coinage refers to pieces issued after 1500 A.D., though modern is also calculated in other ways.
For United States coins, most collectors use the 1965 date, when silver shifted out of circulating coins, as the demarcation.
In Chinese numismatics, 1979 is considered the first year for the modern commemorative series, spurred by two commemorative programs.
Whatever metric you use, it’s important to recognize that the modern market is just like every other area of the hobby, with good buys, ill-advised purchases and items that hold their own but never seem to slip into higher gear.
First-year Panda a bear
First year of issue coins often soar in popularity (and price) as later issues are released and more collectors become aware of the series, forcing mintages to expand.
When China issued its Panda gold coins in 1982, the pieces instantly became key to the coin series that developed.
Peter Anthony, in Gold & Silver Panda Coin Buyer’s Guide, 2nd edition, explains how the popular precious metal piece fared at the time.