I heard a good one the other day. A client of ours who is not a collector per se but purely an investor has been thinking about selling his collection of early half eagles. He has no interest in building a collection of value over a long period of time and frankly has lost interest in coins for the most part. He has some neat early gold half eagles and doesn't know what he wants to do with them. Doesn't know if there are any tougher varieties and doesn't know if any of his coins will "upgrade" based on current grading standards. Doesn't seem to want to send the coins in for an evaluation either. Seasoned collectors would say, "what an idiot" ( ? ) right? I suppose. One of my contacts who is one of the largest buyers of early and better date gold in the world, who year after year for decades spends in excess of many millions of dollars on this type of material told me, "Tell this guy, the Nasdaq is 4500, now what do you want to do?". I thought long and hard about that and did precisely that. I called him and said almost those exact words. What did the client do you might ask? He wants to "think about it.!" What a...shame.
The rare coin market is in a very different atmosphere from almost every coin market we've seen. Certainly different from anything yours truly has seen in over 2 decades of living, breathing, sleeping and eating rare coins. And there are a number of variables for this interesting market and many of these variable are subject to speculation whereas some of them are so plain as day, the issue of buying, selling and trading becomes merely common sense...if you have the information in which to base your opinions. The bottom line is "how can the layperson, or part time information gatherer make an informed decision when in fact the real decision makers, who invest millions of dollars and do this full time (who aren't even known to most dealers, much less to part time investors) certainly aren't articulating their next moves to the press or to people in general?
This is all leading us of course to "what do you do now with the Long Beach Convention coming up in a few weeks? Buy? Sell? Hold? Let us offer some opinions and hints. Firstly, do you subscribe to any of the weekly coin newspapers like Numismatic News or Coin World? If you don't, you are missing out on a lot of great information about what collectors are doing, what they think and what's happening at coin shows and auctions. Do you subscribe to any other newsletters like the one you are reading now? Are they merely self serving letters trying to sell you something or are they offering you any real information about the market in general and are they "qualified: to do so? If not then why waste your time? Get on a couple of newsletters that inform and report reality and not just fluff in order to sell more coins. Do you own any in-depth coin books as in Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia? Why not? You should as it offers you more information about numismatics which is relevant to your own knowledge about coins and will help you make better decisions as to what are good coins and what are not which will obviously impact your investment in gold and silver coins. If you haven't already done so, go to Amazon and look thru the coins books section and make a small investment in coin information. This will help you reap big rewards over time.
And lastly for this months newsletter anyway, DO talk with your dealer about what your real goals are and if you don't know what they are, articulate what you think they are or what would make you happy when buying coins. We as dealers aren't mind readers and all to often a negative experience can be avoided by simply communicating with the one you are trying to not only do business with but the one who you are trusting to help you in your investment and collecting endeavors. Most of us try to see with your eyes and do what would make US happy, but what about you? And if your dealer doesn't know or is too busy to help provide you with the tools to help yourself, then maybe you should seek out another dealer. After all it is your money.
That's the way we see it from here.
For now we'll close and we do hope this chapter in our newsletter will be helpful to you. Don't forget that Long Beach is right around the corner and we will be writing a play by play (or coin series by coin series) report as it happens in the next Coin Market Report!
Thomas M. Pilitowski
U.S. Rare Coin Investments
P.O. Box 496607
Port Charlotte, Florida 33949 Tel: 941-629-4765 Fax: 941-629-6532 Toll Free: 1-800-624-1870 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org