We’ve said it a number of times in the latest blog posts, but the error coin market is hot as a whole. Recent auction results among some of the large auction firms showed strong prices on most of the mint errors sold. Yes, some fell through the cracks, but we were impressed with the results as a whole. Everything from common off-center cents to major proof errors all, as a whole, fetched strong prices. Off-metal cents on dimes, double-strikes, off-metals, cuds, clips--it's all hot right now!
So what is happening in the error coin market right now? We’ve noticed a large increase in activity in the error coin market, and also observed it in the regular U.S. coin market of late. This is probably due to a number of factors, the largest being the reopening of the economy, with coin shows (larger ones) finally being open once again. The reopening of the economy in general is giving collectors and dealer the confidence to step back into the coin market in a big way, and the strong bullion prices have also buoyed the coin market, putting money into both collectors and dealers’ pockets. We think this trend will not abate anytime soon.
As soon as the FUN show occurred this last July, coin activity reached another level of growth. Every month since, it seems to have gotten hotter and hotter, and auctions seem to be getting higher and stronger prices. This is due we believe for the reasons already stated, but also because dealers are having trouble restocking since they entered this year with thin, low inventory levels, and yet demand is high, and so they also are buying material often at top dollar, bidding up auctions, which further feeds the cycle of increasing prices. Collectors are also hungry for coins, and so they are competing against other collectors but also dealers.
In the frenzy of the market, do not get caught up overpaying for material. If a coin looks way too high, it is. Yes, paying for “good coins” is always something that has to be done, but even cheap errors have been selling for “moon money” in auctions. Some dealers have dramatically raised prices after seeing the prices realized in some of these sales. The problem (or reality check) is that those same error coins, which the dealer might be pricing at $500 because an auction result was $500, can be had from another coin dealer for “normal” pricing any day of the week for $250. Again, do not get caught up in the hype (and there is a lot of hype in the prices right now.) Recent auction prices realized are not indicative for pricing a coin except for a snapshot in time (this year.) We do not think it is part of a broad, multi-year price gain, but a single, fast surge in prices that will abate once the economy has been fully "reopened" for a few months or a year. Until then, look for prices to remain elevated. That's our best guess.
We are always working on getting fresh material in, and will be offering it as it comes in—it’s a challenge however, and it takes many, many hours every week of scouring the marketplace to find good material at reasonable prices. Let us know if you need help finding any errors, and will do our best to find them for you. Our next show is the Baltimore coin show in mid-November. It promises to be an excellent show, and if it's like the last few coin shows, will be very busy and heavily attended!