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Year End Review


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  • Benefactor

Since many are showing off their nice additions for the year I thought I would as well, though the number is very small.  It has not been a great year for adding anything to my collection, so what you see below is pretty much it (I do have a very nice Lucius Verus sestertius incoming).

A few thoughts.  This year seems to show that prices are remaining fairly high for many coins.  While I can see some softening of the market (likely due to fears of recession), higher grade coins still seem very strong.  One can surely get coins very cheaply when they are in lower grades or have problems, but any true 'good VF' or better is almost impossible to obtain at reasonable prices (as least what seems reasonable to me).  Luckily I am not caught up in obtaining the highest grade coins possible.  I am perfectly happy with worn coins, but for me they must have nice surfaces and patina.  Thus I am often able to find at least a few a year for the collection.  

I would be interested to hear what other thoughts are on the subject, from both a buyers and seller point of view.  This next year might be an interesting one, if only I had a crystal ball!


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  • Benefactor

Personally, from what it seems to me, the market was very strong at the beginning of the year, then softened around the middle, and is now strong again. This is coming, of course, from my myopic view based on what I collect.

For the first several months, I bought nearly nothing at auction due to the high prices. I instead purchased from dealers.

Around the middle of the year, I noticed that things were suddenly going under what I expected, so I started picking more up at auctions.

Just now, it seems that prices are very high again. I'm not sure if it's just the holidays and people spending excess money, but I see a lot of coins going for much more than they should. I'm starting to dial back my auction expenditures in favor of dealers. We'll see in the new year whether that continues.

Here's one I picked up around the middle of the year.


ELIS, Olympia. 111th Olympiad
336 BCE
AR Stater 22mm, 11.63 g, 6h
Hera mint. Head of Hera right, wearing ornamented stephanos inscribed [FAΛEI]Ω[N] / Eagle standing left, head right, wings spread, on rock; all within wreath.
Seltman, Temple 341–5 var. (dies FG/–); BCD Olympia 159 (same obv. die); HGC 5, 394.

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These are lovely.   I like all of them - the Spanish denarius and its tag are great and the Gunmoney halfcrown looks good.

My crystal ball is a little cloudy, but have the impression the peak of silly prices has passed.   A couple of days ago I bought a coin in a Heritage auction for less than I'd bid on the same coin in March, when I was the underbidder.   Since then, it's been cleaned (a little, just removing some red discolouration - I wouldn't have bothered) and slabbed, so not a good result for the seller - perhaps the slab numbers weren't good enough to tempt Heritage bidders? - "Choice VF 4/5, 3/5, scuff".


Edited by akeady
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  • 3 weeks later...

I agree/ that dealers are a great source to obtain top quality coins at more realistic prices. I ended up getting 12 additions thru some really good dealers on MA-shops site/


Also/ some of the more obscure auctions on sixbid offer some very rare/ high quality coins. Your chances to land them are way better then bidding in the "showcase" auctions/ where there are 10 times more potential collectors bidding against you.

As far as an overheated World market/ I would say no/ world coinage 670BC to 1918 are still a bargain considering rarity compared to same USA coin. Most high quality/ world material are valued at less then half what comparable US coins fetch.

With the odd exceptions like the 1839 "Una and the Lion" 1908 "Lady in the Clouds/Austria" and of course those neverending Attica "Owls"

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