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Current News and Analysis
of the United States
Rare Coin Market

Market Poised for an Upswing

June 17, 2019

     The recent Long Beach Expo may not have been the catalyst for a change in market direction, but it well could mark the week the coin market turned around. Long Beach drew the largest attendance in quite some time and dealers benefited as buyers took advantage of the strong advance in metals. Confidence built throughout the show as sales increased according to several dealers.

     The Heritage Auctions Signature Sale was another source for market optimism as collectors and investors had a tremendous selection of rarities to bid on. One of the surprising highlights of this sale was the 1889 CC Morgan Dollar in PCGS MS62 Prooflike that brought $60,000 against the current Market value of $34,500. Even the MS63 Prooflike has a Market value lower at $42,500. The coin is in an old holder so bidders may have felt it was a potential candidate for a much higher grade in today’s market.

1889 CC Morgan Dollar PCGS MS62

1889 CC Morgan Dollar PCGS MS62 sold for $60,000 at the Heritage Auctions Long Beach Expo U.S. Coins Signature Sale in Long Beach, California, June 6-9, 2019

     The 1797/5 $5 Gold Large Eagle with 15 Stars certified by PCGS as MS61, a coin highlighted in the last Market Report (June 3, 2019), realized $192,000, well over our previous Market value of $165,000. There were as many as 38 active bidders vying for this rarity. Below are some of the other highlights from this Heritage Signature Sale.

1797/5 $5 Gold Large Eagle 15 Stars PCGS MS61

1797/5 $5 Gold Large Eagle 15 Stars PCGS MS61 sold for $192,000 at the Heritage Auctions Long Beach Expo U.S. Coins Signature Sale in Long Beach, California, June 6-9, 2019

Date/DenominationGradePrice Realized
1856 Flying Eagle CentNGC PR65$24,000
1909 S VDB Lincoln CentPCGS MS67 Red$50,400
1837 Dime No StarsNGC PR66$45,600
1896 S Barber QuarterNGC MS64+ *$31,200
1892 CC Morgan DollarPCGS MS66$20,400
1839 D $2 ½ GoldPCGS MS62$50,400
1875 $2 ½ GoldPCGS PR65+ DCAM $108,000
1912 $2 ½ Gold IndianPCGS PR66 CAC$33,600
1881 $3 GoldPCGS PR64 DCAM CAC$21,600
1813 $5 Gold Capped BustPCGS MS64+ CAC$54,000
1834 $5 Gold w/Motto Plain 4NGC MS61$50,400
1908 $5 Gold IndianNGC PR67$66,000
1923 $20 Gold St. GaudensPCGS MS66$33,600

     There are quite a few series in this current rare coin market, especially those dated prior to the 1900s, that are at their lowest levels in many years. In some series, mostly in the grades of MS63 and below, the spreads between grades are so slim that it makes sense to pursue the next higher graded coins at the nominal increase in price.

     Spreads between grades can also make the lower grades appear more reasonable in today’s market. Common date MS65 Morgan Dollars are at a current low of $101 Market; these were $155 in early 2012. The Morgan Dollar in MS63 is $44 and the MS64 is $53.The gap between the MS64 and the MS65, in this case, makes the lower grades seem reasonably priced; the MS64 might see an increase in demand. Dealers are monitoring today’s market, seeing value in many areas, and some speculate that a market turnaround will create quick advances in many popular series of at least 20%.

     Just four years ago, common MS65 Barber Half Dollars had a Market value of $2,400; today it is just $1,600. Buyers who can locate top quality coins at current levels will surely benefit over the next several years. The MS64 is down nearly the same percentage with the 2015 Market value at $1,125 against the current price of $860. At some point buyers will look back at these levels and realize how “silly cheap” these coins were.

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