October, 2004  Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Newsletter IndexHome

(Continued from page 1)

opportunities to make large fast profits in the stock market. 

      In contrast to the Dot.com boom, today’s economy is stable, with  a slight up trend in most economic indicators. Likewise, the stock market is stable, interest rates are low, and even the recently explosive real estate market has peaked or at least slowed down. 

      The one negative market trend is oil prices, but this tends to send metals prices up, and  encourages coin buying particularly in gold. This might be behind the push in purchasing of rare gold, and could spark a long term bull market in those coins. 

       Furthermore, high oil prices act like a tax on the economy, which inhibits investment interest in the stock market and other traditional areas. 

      Finally, up trending


Pattern Composition

Economics and the Coin Market

Customized Numismatic Portfolios

Text Box: 	Rarity is crucial to rare coins.  A rarity scale has been developed to help classify the rarity of coins, as follows: 

Unique     ( 1 coin)
Rarity 8   (2-3 coins)
Rarity High 7  (4-6)
Rarity Low 7 (7-12)
Rarity High 6 (13-20)
Rarity Low 6 (21-30)
Rarity 5  (31-75)
Rarity 4 (76-200)
Rarity 3 (201-500)
Rarity 2 (501-1250)
Rarity 1 (1251 + )

Rarities are often abbreviated such as RH7, R5, R8, and so on.  This scale is extremely helpful when dealing with exceptionally rare coins such as patterns.

coin prices encourage investment minded collectors to put more assets into coins.

      The considerable buying power available to the consumer from home refinancing and reduced stock and bond investment means no shortage of capital for coin buyers. 

      As a result, conditions in today’s economy strongly favor buying for the long term as well as selling and trading for the short term.  They also point toward continued strength and support for coin buying continuing indefinitely.   

      It doesn’t get much better than this.

      The variety of metals used is a fascinating aspect of Pattern Coins. The metals used for pattern coins are listed in order of the number of designs that use them.


Copper           703

Aluminum         380

Silver            355

Nickel           203

Gold              75

Copper/Nickel         71

White Metal          57

Bronze             30

Brass              22

Oroide             12

Goloid             11


Other metals/alloys used infrequently include:  tin, steel, billion, platinum, gold/silver, German silver, copper electrotype, lead, copper/bronze, copper/silver, zinc, copper/aluminum, silver plate, silver/nickel, manganese, plastic, bakelite, hard rubber, zirconium, monel, stainless steel, silver clad metal, silver and copper rolled and columbium.

Leaving Rare Coins as a Legacy

      One reason mentioned for assembling rare coins is for a legacy of value to pass to your children or grandchildren.

      This wonderful and generous action presents serious potential difficulties.  As the son of an attorney who specialized in handling wills and estates, discussions about problems in inheritance were dinner table conversation.  The biggest problem is that improper planning can spawn fights  over perceived

“unfairness” in shares.

      Avoid this by “pre-dividing”  coins into equal or  specifically delineated shares. 

      For five heirs, leaving five equal shares will prevent fighting and avoid making a sad situation worse.   It is also smart to include with each share a reference to a trusted coin dealer (preferably me) so that heirs can get good advice and information about their coins.

      Finally, I advise taking care to develop a legacy of coins that are likely to rise in value. 

Strongly increased value only increases the emotional value of remembrances.

      For some heirs, a well assembled collection might mean a down payment on a house, or rescue in an emergency.  Often, trading bulk, ordinary coins for fewer valuable ones makes the process easier and often increases value.  Fewer but nicer coins always pack more emotional punch.  Furthermore, it is much easier for heirs to handle a few good coins than large boxes of bulk ordinary ones.