The ANA Worlds Fair of Money in Rosemont, IL ended a few weeks ago. It was a blow-out of a coin show, with lots of activity both in buying and selling—particularly in selling. We were surprised at how active the buyers were, and we sold a number of coins in 4 figures as well as coins in the under $1,000 price range. Although our total sales were still a relatively small number, at least compared to dealers’ in non-error U.S. coins, who sell often hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of coins at a coin show, we were surprised at how many error sales we had. Most of the time, not a lot of error collectors make it to coin shows, being spread out across the U.S. as they are, and so naturally sales are low. But at this show, sales were hotter than we expected.
(Above) Sullivan Numismatics Booth
Additionally, buying was pretty good, although we had more trouble than usual acquiring inventory relative to past years. Collectors and dealers are more in the “acquiring” frame of mind than they are in the selling. Both often hold out for the top dollar, and if they can’t get it, coins often keep them or they go to auction where many will sell for many multiples of what they are worth, with only some coins falling through the cracks (which we try to purchase!)
Some collectors opt to buy out of major auctions with mixed results. It’s always difficult when a customer shows us an error coin they paid twice (or more) what it was worth in an auction, and are asking “did I get a good deal?” We answer honestly of course, but in a market where many coins have gone the auction route during Covid lockdowns, etc, the competitive nature of auctions often makes the coins sale for far more than they are worth, unfortunately. If you do seek a coin in an auction, we do offer mint error coin consultations for reasonable fees around 5% of the hammer price. Getting good advice on rarity, value, and condition of a coin makes this a bargain in our opinion. Contact us for more information on our auction consultation service.
At the coin show, dealers in U.S. coins had phenomenal levels of activity with every dealer we talked to saying they had a good show, and many saying they had record or near record good shows. There is lots of enthusiasm and activity in the coin market based on this and the prior coin shows.
Some of the hottest areas of the error market include older type errors, such as Morgan dollars, the Barber and seated coin series, buffalo nickels and Mercury dimes, Indian cent errors, and other popular designs. Also, modern major errors that are business strikes (non proof) are generally hot with some exceptions. Major striking errors, off-metals, and visual errors are popular. State quarter errors have had a surge of interest for truly rare as well as visually exciting errors. Areas of weakness including proof errors in the 1960’s-1970’s era for the most part, as well as double-denominations of the more expensive types (over $2,500.) Part of this weakness in proof errors is due to the larger numbers of proof errors that have come on the market in the last number of years. Prices on them will likely be all over the place for years to come, but once it settles down the rarer pieces will move back up in price and the more common pieces will not in our estimation. Be careful overpaying for them, but at the same time, when a lot of a particular coin type comes on the market historically, there will be both winners and losers at the end of the day, so opportunity also presents itself.
We look forward to our next coin how in Baltimore, Maryland in a few months. In the meantime, we look forward to helping out our customers through our website and email. Look for a lot of fresh mint error material coming to our website in the coming weeks.