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    Modern Numismatics

    Louis Golino has been a collector of American and world coins since childhood and has written about coins since 2009. He writes about modern coins and other numismatic issues for Coin World. He is a founding member of the Modern Coin Forum.

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  • No Crystal Ball Required

    I read an article recently in CoinWeek.com in which the author, Peter Masiondz Jr., discussed the many collector coins issued by the Royal Canadian Mint.  He suggested one buy what one likes, which is of course sound advice and added: “Can you buy certain products, hold them for a few years, and then offering them for sale? Yes. But first let me borrow your crystal ball so I can see which issues are going to be good enough to allow me a nice profit. No one can predict which items are going to advance in value. You just have to be lucky.”


    Now, of course it is true no one can predict with certainty which modern issues will do well.  And the modern market can be very unpredictable and even fickle, making it hard indeed to know which issues will outperform.

    But I have to disagree with the notion that it is just a matter of getting lucky when a modern issue does well. 

    In fact, experienced collectors and dealers often agree about which issues have good potential to increase in value.  While they are of course wrong in some cases, or the interest fizzles out quickly, it is possible to learn a lot by studying trends and patterns over time.  That allows one to see which issues have tended to hold their value, and which did not, and which ones temporarily did well. 

    For example, sticking with the example of Canadian coins, the 2013 Superman issues did very well, especially the gold coin.  So it was hardly a surprise that the 2014 Superman coins also ended up performing well and selling out quickly. 

    Similarly, the just-released 2015 Superman coins have been selling very briskly with two of the silver issues sold out at the Mint within a couple days of their release.  The only surprise is that the new gold coin is still available.  

    If modern buyers were just guessing and getting lucky once in a while, we would not see certain issues consistently selling out more quickly than others and going on to increase in value.

    So the moral of the story is to do more than buy what you like.  Study what you buy, do your homework, and read widely about coins, and you too can learn to understand the modern coin market and not just leave things to chance. 

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