Why so many people — even crypto fans — are buying rare coins: Prices are at ‘never before seen’ highs

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While investors continue to pour money into all things crypto, there is another type of currency that is gaining traction.

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And it’s as “real” as money gets – as in rare coins.

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By many accounts, the coin (or numismatic) market has seen a tremendous increase in the number of sales and the prices of demanded items since the start of the pandemic. Indeed, in 2021, a 1933 Double Eagle Gold US coin, billed as the “holy grail of coins,” sold at Sotheby’s for $18.9 million, with the auction house saying the price was a world-record for a coin. Almost doubles the mark.

David Tripp, an exclusive coin advisor at Sotheby’s, told Businesshala that the sale of Double Eagle “acted as a catalyst” for the industry.

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“Since then, realized prices for high-end rarities … have never been seen before, or even dreamed of,” he said.

Private dealers also report that business has been brisk. Brian Kendrella, president of Stack’s Bowers Gallery, one of the most prominent dealers in America, says his sales increased 100% in 2021. He also says that his company has been behind some significant sales in recent years, including $4 Million-Plus One for a 1913 Liberty Head US Nickel, another highly prized coin.

Kendrella said interest in the coins is coming from everywhere, whether it is new collectors or “those who have been dormant and are re-entering the market.”

“Holy Grail of Coins”: This 1933 Double Eagle Gold US coin sold at Sotheby’s auction for a record $18.9 million.

Courtesy Sotheby’s and Squaremoose

Mark Salzberg, president of Numismatic Guarantee Company (NGC), a grading service for coins, says there has also been an unexpected twist that people who have made fortunes from cryptocurrency are joining the coin bandwagon.

“I don’t think they trust stocks,” Salzberg told Businesshala.

Overall, the prices of major rare coins, as tracked A popular industry index Created by Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS), is up 16% from a year ago. Perhaps more remarkable, the index has risen by 6,315% since its inception in 1970.

In a sense, the coin boom speaks to an overall boom in collectibles since the start of the pandemic – and it’s a trend that includes everything from baseball cards and comic books to comic books. Barbie and Cabbage Patch Dolls,

Experts say interest in all these categories is being driven by the fact that people have had more time to pursue their collecting interests during the pandemic – and in many cases, they have more disposable income. At the same time, investors have been looking at tangible assets of late as an alternative to stocks and bonds – to say nothing of the fact that they are often seen as more “real” in the troubled and unpredictable financial world. that they appeal as a hedge against inflation,

Why so many wealth coins? The people of the area point to the fact that coins have many advantages, starting with the fact that they are a collectible, many of us know from our childhood days that old money or nickels can be kept as keepers. as requested.

The US Mint has begun shipping quarters featuring poet Maya Angelou (lower right). It is the first of five new American quarters celebrating American women. Others will portray Wilma Mankiller, Nina Otero-Warren, Anna May Wong and Sally Ride.

Marketwatch Photo Illustration / US Mint

“The Numismatic Zone has been popular for a long time,” said Kevin Foley, an executive at the NY International Numismatic Convention, an annual event currently underway in the city. In fact, the convention, which focuses heavily on foreign coins, is marking its 50th anniversary, which itself is a testament to the ongoing appeal of the sector.

Another major advantage coins offer is that they are often made of gold and silver – in fact, they are intrinsically bound to precious metals, tangible assets that are near and dear to many people. Or put another way: the paper that goes into the most valuable comic books is nothing but the gold or silver in coins that always have a certain matching value.

Kendrella also points out that coins are a relatively fuss-free asset to store, in particular, compared to collectible cars or fine wines. “You can put them in the shoe box,” he said.

But which coins should you collect, especially if you are thinking of an investment strategy? Experts will note that the numismatic market is broad, with collectors specializing in any one of several categories. American coins are the most popular, but so are those who seek out foreign coins—Foley said Chinese coins have become popular of late—and ancient coins as well. new issues, such as Sleep And the silver ones, from the US Mint, appeal, too.

,“If you buy the world’s coins, you understand how civilization developed.”,


— Coinage expert John Feigenbaum

Right now, most categories are seeing an increase in prices, experts note. But some also caution that, like the stock market, it’s hard to say whether the growth will last forever. Louis Golino, an experienced observer of the coin market, has pointed out that the 80s saw boom after boom. “Things didn’t end well,” he wrote CoinWeek. a story for, an industry publication. Golino also cited examples of once hot coins that now “sell for a fraction” of their former prices.

Some suggest that collecting coins has a value that goes beyond any potential financial gain.

John Feigenbaum, publisher of the Coin Dealer Newsletter, a well-known industry price guide, told Businesshala that the hobby can teach us about history and culture, especially since many prominent figures – from presidents to poets – have appeared on coins.

“If you buy the coins of the world, you understand how civilization developed,” he said.

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