The 2002 F.U.N. show is history, leaving behind pages emblazoned with prices that reflect an ever strengthening market and optimism that would have been unthinkable only a few short months ago. "The market is so good that it's almost unbelievable," one dealer reported. "Everyone wants to do business."
"Do business" is exactly what they did in Orlando. The Professional Coin Grading Service recorded the largest single day of show submissions in years and the second-largest in its 16-year history. Dealers reported selling more coins than at any time since the 1989-90 boom years. Collectors swarmed the auction rooms and bourse floor as well. There is no need to put a label on the activity such as a "new bull market" or anything of the sort. It is sufficient to say that the market is excellent, and almost everyone is delighted with the promise that the future holds.
Bowers & Merena "Rarities Sale" shows across-the-board strength.
The one-day sale held by Bowers & Merena Galleries [The RARITIES Sale, January 8, 2002] realized some prices that needed double verification but turned out to be absolutely true. Did the 1936 Walking Liberty half dollar in PCGS Proof 66 really bring $27,600? Yes, it did! Here are some of the other highlights of this sensational sale. It's a much longer list than usual, but I still had to leave out some prices that were virtual equals in the realm of remarkable records.
|1797 Large Cent||PCGS MS65BN||$8,625|
|1820 Large Cent||PCGS MS65RD||$9,200|
|1844 Large Cent||PCGS PR64RD||$16,100|
|1856 Flying Eagle Cent||PCGS PR64||$13,225|
|1868 Indian Cent||PCGS PR65RD||$6,900|
|1865 Two Cent Piece||PCGS MS67RD||$9,775|
|1871 Two Cent Piece||PCGS PR67RD||$20,700|
|1854 Three Cent Silver||PCGS PR64||$12,075|
|1792 Half Disme||PCGS AU58||$103,500|
|1794 Half Dime||PCGS MS64||$24,150|
|1805 Draped Bust Dime||PCGS MS64||$13,800|
|1919-D Mercury Dime||PCGS MS64FB||$8,625|
|1796 Draped Bust Quarter||PCGS MS63||$54,050|
|1913 Barber Quarter||PCGS PR67||$12,650|
|1807 Draped Bust Half Dollar||PCGS MS63||$13,800|
|1853 Arrows & Rays 50c||PCGS MS65||$14,375|
|1893-S Barber Half Dollar||PCGS MS65||$20,125|
|1936 Walking Liberty 50c||PCGS PR66||$27,600|
|1795 Flowing Hair Dollar||PCGS AU53||$11,500|
|1802 Draped Bust Dollar||PCGS MS61||$14,375|
|1873 Liberty Seated Dollar||PCGS PR66||$46,000|
|1895 Morgan Dollar||PCGS PR66CAM||$36,800|
|1875-CC Trade Dollar||PCGS MS64||$12,650|
|1882 Trade Dollar||PCGS PR66CAM||$12,650|
|1854 Gold Dollar (Type Two)||PCGS MS64||$17,250|
|1848 CAL. $2½ Liberty||PCGS MS64||$80,500|
|1900 $2½ Liberty||PCGS PR65||$13,800|
|1799 $5 Capped Bust Right||PCGS MS63||$29,900|
|1806 $5 Capped Bust Right||PCGS MS64||$19,550|
|1859-S $5 Liberty||PCGS MS62||$25,300|
|1890 $5 Liberty||PCGS PR66||$27,600|
|1915 $10 Indian||PCGS PR64||$23,000|
|1876 $20 Liberty||PCGS MS64||$21,850|
|Judd 1637 $4 Stella (Gilt)||PCGS PR64||$24,150|
|Judd 1639 $4 Stella (Gilt)||PCGS PR62||$27,600|
|1850 Dubosq $10||PCGS VG08||$29,900|
Almost every auction has its "hot spots" where a few prices show surprising strength, but this sale flexed its muscles from beginning to end with only a few exceptions.
Spike in gold prices pushes generic gold higher.
With all of the activity in rare coins has the generic and semi-generic gold market been ignored? "Things slowed down following the rush of business after the September 11 tragedy, but it's picked up again in recent days with the spike in gold prices," says Brad Rodgers of Numismatic Emporium in Sherman Oaks, California.
"Prices are up from 3% to 5% in the past two weeks, with the most active areas being MS63 and MS64 $20 Liberty gold and MS63, 64, and 65 $20 St. Gaudens. Actually, everything is selling, and there's a lot of demand for premium dates. Anything that is a little better, such as a 1914-S $20, sells instantly."
Is there a supply problem? "When we talked a few weeks ago I mentioned that there's no market overhang. I'm out of coins and what I have coming is also sold. I sold out of physical coins at the F.U.N. show. The market premium over melt for MS63 Saints is the lowest I've ever seen it. With the high demand, something's got to give."
1895 Morgan Dollar PCGS PR66CAM sold at the Rarities Auction for $36,800