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Our monthly articles detailing specific areas of numismatics for dealers, collectors, and investors of United States Rare Coins

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NumisMedia Monthly

April 2011

Dollar Advances Lead to Added Opportunities

       Over the last few months, Morgan and Peace Dollars have been as active as most dealers can remember. In 1979 and 1980, Silver was even higher than it is now; and MS65 Morgan Dollars have not been this high since August 2006 when the FMV was $218. Today it is $215. Even when markets were substantially higher, demand was limited to fewer dealers and collectors and the number of coins available was not nearly what it is today. Current demand is so widespread that the leading buyers need hundreds of coins but cannot get enough to supply their customers. It is not just the MS65 Morgan Dollars in demand, it is every grade all the way from Good to MS67. Not only are they leading the market but Prooflike and Deep Mirror Prooflike Dollars, as well as Peace Dollars are threatening to dry up in the marketplace.

The following FMV charts show how Dollars have progressed over the last five years. Back in January 2006, MS65 Morgan Dollars showed an FMV of $150. Silver was only $9.04 an ounce. Circulated Dollars in Good were only $11.21 each.


Morgan DollarsMS63MS64MS65
January 2006$41$55$150
January 2007$47$55$155
January 2008$44$56$153
January 2009$46$60$175
January 2010$46$60$163
January 2011$50$78$173
April 2011$74$102$215


As you can see, since January there has been quite a jump in the FMV. Further, there does not seem to be any let up in demand. In the last two weeks we have seen an increase in the number of dealers stretching their buy prices in order to acquire coins for their customers. Whether they are buying MS63's, 64's, or 65's, if they do not pay a little higher than the next dealer, they will not be successful in filling their needs.


Peace DollarsMS63MS64MS65
January 2006$31$48$137
January 2007$32$53$165
January 2008$30$52$163
January 2009$35$46$156
January 2010$34$47$141
January 2011$42$50$148
April 2011$67$80$175


Within the Peace Dollar chart you can see how they have performed since January 2006. The high FMV for MS65 Peace Dollars was $200 in July 2006. Since then, an increase in the populations and a decrease in buying interest had forced the FMV to the recent lows. However, during this latest run, the buyers are back and prices are climbing at a breakneck pace. Dealers are reporting that their clients have been putting away Peace and Morgan Dollars by the hundreds for future appreciation.

It is obvious that the higher metals are fueling the current coin market. In fact, they have been for the last two years. Silver is up from the $9 level in January 2006 to over $37 an ounce. That is four times what it was, while MS65 Morgan Dollars have only increased a little over 40% in the same timeframe. Most of this increase has been in the last few months. Keep in mind that there is a lot more Silver available than all the MS63 to MS65 Morgan and Peace Dollars combined. At some point collectors and investors may look back and realize just how inexpensive these Silver Dollars were in 2011.

While buyers are concentrating on Gold and Silver, there are a lot of coins being ignored. Washington Quarter sets (1932 - 1964) in Good condition are currently listed at an FMV of $841.23. In March of 2007 they were $592.60 when Silver was $14.31. With Silver up over $23 since then, the Quarter set is up only 42%. In MS60, the FMV in March 2007 was $4,563.32 against today's FMV of $4,881.03. This shows an increase of only 7%. An MS63 set was $8,962.35 and today it is actually lower at $7,533.36.

A look at Walking Liberty Halves (1916 - 1947) in Good condition shows that the FMV was $1,108.73, while today it is $1,560.01; up 40%. In MS60 the March 2007 FMV was $49,848 and today Walkers have an FMV of $57,416. That is just 15% higher. In addition, the MS63 set was $125,097 in 2007 and today it has increased to just $130,179.

If you look back at Morgan and Peace Dollar FMV prices just prior to this current run, you might notice that their percentage increases were relatively minor, similar to the current prices of Washington Quarters and Walking Liberty Halves. If history is any indication, at some point we may see a considerable run like Dollars are enjoying right now. Granted, the sets in Good condition may not be the most collectable, but it would seem that the better date issues would have to catch up at some point in the future, all things being equal.

These are just a few examples of coins or series that appear to be out of whack at this time based on the current metals market. If the metals continue to increase, or even maintain their current status, it would make sense that several other series would have to do some catching up over the next few years.


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