February, 2002  Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Newsletter IndexHome

(Continued from page 1)

      While many sectors of the economy have been affected, many have weathered the recession storm rather well.     The technological advances of the last decade, particularly regarding the Internet, software and inventory tracking have enabled  companies to slow down manufacturing to match consumer demand.  Inventories therefore remain low, enabling companies to respond to better economic times with more flexibility and effectiveness.

      This bodes extremely well for the rare coin market.  Lack of investment opportunities in stocks and bonds, coupled with significant cash availability encourage people to seek out “non-traditional” investment areas.  One result is an increasing demand for gold, which has caused the price of bullion to rise to the $300 level.  Since rare coins are considered a hard asset, it is no surprise


Pattern News

Economics and the Coin Market

Customized Numismatic Portfolios

Text Box: FAQ:  Who makes more profit, collectors or investors? 

Generally, collectors have better results in coins than pure investors.  Investors who do well almost always think like collectors.  This is critical, since the coin market is dominated by collectors, punctuated with periodic infusions of investor capital.  Finding underpriced gems, unusual coins or coins likely to experience

investor involvement, such as in common and some rare date gold, eye appeal is not the most critical factor, especially in lower grade coins, as these trade regularly in


the numismatic market is increasingly active. 

      In the last few months, there has been increasing pure investment interest in rare coins.  One privately held rare coin fund is reportedly capitalized at 25 million dollars, and operating profitably. Investment may not reach the 1980’s boom levels, but steady growth of investment capital into rare coins is likely. 

      As reported previously in Rare Coin Report, collector interest in coins has increased strongly the last few years.   During the stock market explosion, many collectors cut back buying of rare coins to take advantage of stock market opportunities.  With those opportunities now limited, collectors are much more willing to “step out” and buy those coins they have always wanted.

  As a result, look for 2002 to be a very strong year for coin activity.  Price increases are likely, especially if interest in gold spurs more interest by new investors into the rare coin area.   

    I buy coins.  I pay great prices.  I buy any and all coins, from the very rare down to circulated Indian cents, pre-1965 dimes, quarters and half dollars.   I even buy foreign coins and old US currency.  

  Why sell your coins?  You may  have lost interest in them.  Perhaps you have common date coins not likely to rise significantly in value. 


Perhaps you paid too much for coins (usually between 1987-1990) and need a tax loss to offset a capital gains from the sale of stock or real estate.  Or you

You inherited coins and want to split the proceeds among the heirs.  Or, you might have accumulated a huge volume of “junk” coins collected over the years which you might like to trade for a more manageable collection of higher value coins which are more likely to appreciate.  Perhaps you have reached an age where making your assets completely liquid is appropriate.  Or, maybe you just need cash now. 


Whatever the reason, call me toll free anytime if you are interested in selling all or part of your collectors you want to Sell your Coins?

I’m buying!

BAAAAAAH?.    I recommend that before you call, you put together an inventory of your coins. A coin inventory should include the following:  a) Denomination,  b) Date and mint mark, c) Grade  d) Grading Service (if applicable), e) Purchase price (if you are looking for tax advantages)This way, I can take the information when you call (if the list is large, you may want to fax or email it to me) and make an appointment to talk with you about your collection’s value. 


the sight unseen market.

      In areas where collectors dominate, eye appeal is critical, for example with pattern coins. Even there, some “ugly” patterns go for high prices because they are rare, unusual or historically important.

  A pure collector is mainly interested in the eye appeal, and historical significance. For most collectors, buying what they like is the most important criteria.  Smart investors often use that same criteria. 

  That being said, astute collectors are value conscious.  They pay well for what they like, but they  pay careful attention to prices, mintages, and populations.  Knowledge is power.


location.    Word leaked months ago that the second price guide was finished, and would soon be published, but no guide actually appeared.

  What surfaces now is that the Robert Hughes, pattern expert and publisher of the first price guide is negotiating with Bowers and Morena Galleries, one of the largest publishers of numismatic material in the world, to publish the new price guide.

  So, while the research is apparently finished, and prices are apparently up, the mechanics of publication and perhaps of even inking the publication deal are preventing actual publication.

  This has an upside and a downside.  The downside, is that we don’t have an updated price guide.

  The upside is  that buyers of pattern coins will have a longer time frame for purchasing patterns at the lower price parameters of the February, 2000 guide, rather than the higher prices reported to be in the new price guide.

  Dealers, myself included will try to keep prices of patterns as close to the February, 2000 price guide as possible.  Once the new price guide is finally published, prices will automatically rise to that level.

  Furthermore, the existence of two price guides, with the later showing higher prices than the former, gives ammunition to dealers selling pattern coins.  Pattern coin demand should rise when the new guide is released. 

  This upswing likely will be amplified by how widespread is the distribution the guide receives.  If Bowers and Morena distributes, it should be widespread  and substantial. 

      For those following the saga of the new pattern price guide, accepting that it will be published this year might appear premature.  I had the same reaction.

      However, at the recent Long Beach Coin show, price guide author and leading pattern authority Robert Hughes said that the pricing part of the new guide is finished, and will be included in the new publication of the Judd Book,  to be published in June, 2002. The Judd Book is the basic catalogue of pattern coins.  

      While I wouldn’t stake my reputation or my money on it, this is the first time Hughes has been definitive about a release date. 

      The republication of the Judd book is a project that Bowers and Morena Galleries (owners of the copyright) have desired for quite some time.  As a leading publisher of numismatic books and catalogues, Bowers is known for its high quality production. 

      The current Judd book is twenty years old, and needs serious updating.  The new publication will include updating along with enhanced quality, indicating an expensive book to produce and purchase.  That adds up to a thorough and extensive promotional campaign.  Increased awareness of pattern coins is almost certainly the unavoidable result.

      Hughes also confirmed that pattern prices are up overall and up more so in the case of the more rare or unusual patterns, but he would not release prices until the book publication.  Some dealers, consultants on prices,  may have obtained advance price copies, so the impact of increased prices might be felt prior to publication.







Numismatic Fundamentals