Rare Coin Values Index

The Rare Coin Values Index follows the percent change movements of 87 carefully selected United States coins. The purpose of the Index is to assess the overall direction of the U.S. rare coin market over a period beginning in January 2000 to the current month.


Rare Coin Values Index Since 2000

Rare Coin Values Index: Since Year 2000

The chart above graphs the combined percent change in retail prices for 87 rare United States coins since January 2000, starting at an index baseline of 100. The coin market was strong throughout that entire decade, reaching its peak in March and April 2009 at an index rating of 370.51. The Index stumbled a bit in 2009-10, but battled back in 2011-12 and again in 2014 to barely eclipse previous highs. The year 2015 was a slight downer, while 2016 was an UP year, finally breaking into record territory in September. The high water mark was reached in December 2016, when the Index hit 396.98. As we move through 2017, the Index has drifted downward a tad, with the first positive month not coming until May, with little movement since. July score inched upward 0.32 points to 394.81. See chart below for blow up of Index movements over the last 12 months.

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The next Rare Coin Values Index chart focuses on the last 12 months. It is generated from the same body of data as the chart above, except it's "blown up" to give the reader a closer view of the most recent coin market activity.
 


Rare Coin Values Last 12 months

Rare Coin Values Index: Over Last 12 Months

This chart is a close up of the most recent 12 months of Rare Coin Values Index activity. Since September 2016, the Index has moved along in a very narrow band of  3.62 points, so there has not been much movement one way or the other for almost a year. Long periods of stability have been the norm for the Index since the Autumn of 2009, when the historic rare coin bull market of 2003-09 came to a halt (you can see it in the chart above). The Rare Coin Value Index is based on the combined percent change in retail prices for 87 rare United States coins and is updated monthly.

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How is the Index calculated?

Once a month, for each coin in the Index, the current retail value is estimated and compared to the previous month's estimated value, and a percent difference is computed (it could be positve, negative, or no change). The percent difference for all 87 coins are added together and divided by 87 to come up with an average percent difference of the entire group. Thus, each coin in the Index carries equal weight. Let's call this result the Current Month Index, or CMI. The previous month's Index score is multiplied by the CMI to arrive at an updated Index score.

How should I interpret the Index score?

You should interpret the Index score as a percent change in value collectively of the 87 coins that comprise the Index, which were chosen to represent the rare U.S. coin market as a whole. The Index begins in January 2000 at a baseline score of 100. Since, for example, the Index reached 200 in September 2004, you could say overall the prices of rare U.S. coins doubled over that 4.75 year period. In July 2017, the Index stands at 394.81, indicating the rare coin market is about 3.95 times higher than it was in January 2000. From 2009 to 2015, the Index moved sideways and up a little, a far cry from what we saw from 2003 to 2009, but still positive, and performed decidedly higher in 2016, ending the year at an all time high. 2017 so far has been stable, but down a tad.

Where does the value data come from?

We obtain coin values to input into the Index computation from a variety of widely respected coin price guides.

How were the 87 coins in the Index chosen?

Our objective was to choose a cross section of coins whose value fluctuations represented that of the overall market for rare United States coins. We focused on key dates the serious collector of average to above average means commonly aspires to own. The vast majority of coins tracked in the Index are in circulated grades, typical of the examples residing within the holdings of the rank and file collector. There are no ultra rarieties in the Index.

Which coins were chosen for the Index?

Meet the 87 coins that comprise the Rare Coin Values Index:

Members of the Rare Coin Values Index
Date Coin Type Grade Est. Retail Value Jul 2017
1793 Liberty Cap Left Half Cent G-4 3850
1802 2/0 Rev 1802 Draped Bust Half Cent G-4 1000
1793 Chain AMERI. Flowing Hair Large Cent G-4 10000
1794 Starred Rev Liberty Cap Large Cent G-4 35000
1799 Draped Bust Large Cent G-4 4500
1856 Flying Eagle Cent G-4 6500
1877 Indian Head Cent G-4 600
1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent G-4 600
1914-D Lincoln Cent G-4 170
1922-D (No D) Lincoln Cent G-4 550
1864 Small Motto Two Cent F-12 400
1865 Three Cent Silver PF-65 1750
1884 Three Cent Nickel F-12 650
1795 Flowing Hair Half Dime G-4 1400
1797 Draped Bust, Small Eagle Half Dime G-4 1500
1800 Draped Bust, Large Eagle Half Dime G-4 1100
1865 Seated Liberty Half Dime G-4 300
1879 Shield Nickel VG-8 550
1885 Liberty Nickel VG-8 675
1913-S Type 2 Buffalo Nickel G-4 325
1918/7-D Buffalo Nickel G-4 875
1937-D 3 Legs Buffalo Nickel G-4 475
1796 Draped Bust Dime G-4 2750
1822 Capped Bust Dime G-4 2000
1871-CC Seated Liberty Dime G-4 3250
1895-O Barber Dime G-4 375
1916-D Mercury Dime VG-8 1400
1942/1-D Mercury Dime VG-8 425
1875-CC Twenty Cent G-4 350
1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle Quarter G-4 12500
1804 Draped Bust, Large Eagle Quarter G-4 4000
1823 Capped Bust Quarter G-4 40000
1870-CC Seated Liberty Quarter G-4 10000
1896-S Barber Quarter G-4 725
1901-S Barber Quarter G-4 4750
1916 Standing Liberty Quarter G-4 2900
1918/7-S Standing Liberty Quarter G-4 1150
1923-S Standing Liberty Quarter G-4 300
1932-D Washington Quarter F-12 130
1794 Flowing Hair Half Dollar G-4 6000
1796 16 Stars Draped Bust Small Eagle Half Dollar G-4 40000
1815/12 Capped Bust Half Dollar G-4 1750
1836 Reed Edge Capped Bust Half Dollar G-4 1000
1870-CC Seated Liberty Half Dollar G-4 900
1892-O Barber Half Dollar G-4 327
1921-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar VG-8 375
1938-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar VG-8 75
1953-S Franklin Half Dollar MS-65 FBL 20000
1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar G-4 65000
1796 Draped Bust Small Eagle Silver Dollar G-4 1750
1801 Draped Bust Large Eagle Silver Dollar G-4 1000
1836 Gobrecht Dollar, Name on Base, Circ. Issue XF-40 12500
1873-CC Seated Liberty Dollar G-4 7500
1879 Trade Dollar PF-65 8500
1889-CC Morgan Silver Dollar F-12 800
1893-S Morgan Silver Dollar F-12 4000
1895 Morgan Silver Dollar F-12 (PF Only) 35000
1928 Peace Dollar F-12 275
1849-C Cl. Wreath Type One Gold Dollar VF-20 1300
1855-D Type Two Gold Dollar VF-20 9900
1861-D Type Three Gold Dollar VF-20 18500
1796 No Stars Capped Bust $ 2.50 Quarter Eagle F-12 52500
1808 Capped Draped Bust $2.50 Quarter Eagle F-12 23500
1826 Capped Head $2.50 Quarter Eagle F-12 9500
1838-C Classic Head $2.50 Quarter Eagle F-12 2500
1848 CAL. Coronet $2.50 Quarter Eagle F-12 25000
1856-D Coronet $2.50 Quarter Eagle F-12 4750
1911-D Indian Head $2.50 Quarter Eagle XF-40 4000
1854-D Indian Head Three Dollar F-12 9500
1795 Capped Bust Small Eagle $5.00 Half Eagle F-12 20000
1800 Capped Bust Large Eagle $5.00 Half Eagle F-12 4250
1808 Capped Draped Bust $5.00 Half Eagle F-12 3500
1821 Capped Head $5.00 Half Eagle F-12 15000
1833 Large Date Capped Head $5.00 Half Eagle F-12 16000
1834 Cross 4 Classic Head $5.00 Half Eagle F-12 1300
1861-D Coronet $5.00 Half Eagle F-12 15000
1870-CC Coronet $5.00 Half Eagle F-12 13500
1909-O Indian Head $5.00 Half Eagle XF-40 7500
1795 9 Leaves Capped Bust Small Eagle $10 Eagle F-12 55750
1804 Capped Bust Large Eagle $10 Eagle F-12 20000
1841-O Coronet $10 Eagle F-12 2850
1879-CC Coronet $10 Eagle F-12 9700
1911-D Indian Head $10 Eagle XF-40 2250
1930-S Indian Head $10 Eagle XF-40 20750
1859-O Coronet $20 Double Eagle VF-20 5750
1907 Wire Rim St-Gaudens $20 Double Eagle XF-40 12000
1921 St-Gaudens $20 Double Eagle XF-40 45000


See the 87 Index Coins