US Coin Blog: News and Updates

Mint Hint Coin Values Blog

The purpose of our US Coin Blog is to:

(1) Serve as a source of news about US coins, which includes the latest from the US Mint as well as major activities in the private sector.

(2) Keep you informed about changes to this website, as we are actively updating and adding new material of interest to US coin collectors.

(3) Periodically highlight rare U.S. coins with good potential for rising in value. If you're going to buy coins, might as well get something that's going to be worth more than you paid for it, right?








Nov 11, 2018

Nov 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Hops into Record Territory

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The Rare Coin Values Index hopped 1.39 points higher in November 2018 to close at 415.53. While no one should confuse this for a kangaroo leap, (it was more like a little bunny hop), it was enough to land the Index at another new record high.

What is the goal of this Index? In a nutshell, the Index tracks the combined monthly performance of 87 key date coins in an effort to gauge the overall price movement of the United States rare coin market. In other words, are rare coin prices in general moving up, down, or staying the same?

Regular issue dates from the Half Cent to $20 Double Eagle are included in the Index. The baseline of the Index is January 2000, so this month's reading of 415.53 indicates the combined prices of all 87 coins in the Index are about 4.16 times what they were in January 2000.

As readers of this blog already know, I do not advocate rare coins as a primary investing strategy. HOWEVER, a well informed coin enthusiast can build a collection destined to rise significantly in value over the long haul. It's like you can have your cake and eat it too! That's the basic gist of my website https://www.us-coin-values-advisor.com/. (Please forgive the cheap plug!)

At the risk of sounding like a crooked coin telemarketer from the 1980s, it might be fun to compare the Rare Coin Value Index (a.k.a. RCVI) performance to the DJIA.

Let's imagine all 87 key date coins tracked in the Index were somehow equally weighted in a mutual fund of sorts called RCVI. Over the last 10 years, RCVI gained just under 15%. Not good, especially when juxtaposed with the Dow, as it powered its way to a 190% improvement over the same time period.

Over a longer time frame, the favorability rating flips. Since its inception in January 2000, the RCVI has increased by 316%, outshining the Dow, which rose "only" 144% during the same period. Most of the RCVI's gains occurred during the rare coin bull market of 2003-09. It is important to note the RCVI has NOT surrendered those gains, unlike previous run ups in the late 1970s and again in the late 1980s. That is because the 2003-09 raging bull was fed by sound fundamentals (more consistent grading and supply vs. demand forces impacted by true scarcity), whereas earlier booms were fueled by speculator activity and over hyped expectations.

Bottom line: Enjoy your coins, read up on them, choose your purchases wisely, and you'll end up with an enviable, valuable collection. For retirement planning, follow the advice of a good financial planner.

Continue reading "Nov 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Hops into Record Territory"

Oct 10, 2018

Oct 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Resumes Moves Sideways

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The Rare Coin Values Index took the month off in October, remaining unchanged from September at 414.141

A change of 0.00 might seem like a bit of a statistical oddity, but of the 223 months this Index has been tracking rare coin market activity (dating back to January 2000), there have been 36 instances when there was no movement from one month to the next.

Most generally, the Index does not move rapidly in one direction or the other. But there has been a bit of volatility in the tracking history. The biggest point drop ever occurred in January 2015 when the Index lost 7.48 points, or 1.95% of its value. The best month was June 2008, when the Index exploded for 28.46 points, or 8.89%.

As regular readers know, the Rare Coin Values Index tracks the price movements of 87 key date United States rare coins, then combines their overall performance to arrive at a composite score, in an effort to gauge the direction and strength of the U.S. rare coin market. The Index uses January 2000 as its baseline (i.e. the Index score that first month was 100.00). Regular issue coins from the Half Cent to $20 Double Eagle are represented in the Index.

My website, www.us-coin-values-advisor.com, publishes price trend data going back to 1950 for a large number of collectible United States coins. Many collectors dig through this data to identify which coins have the best chance of increasing in value over a long period of time, based on historical performances.

Continue reading "Oct 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Resumes Moves Sideways"

Sep 13, 2018

Sep 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Resumes Winning Ways

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The Rare Coin Values Index rebounded from a couple of moribund months, rising 0.86 points in September to 414.14. Isn't that number kinda like a palindrome? Don't know what a palindrome is? Google it, or better yet, use Duckduckgo.com (where they promise to respect your privacy).

I am sometimes asked why I didn't include more top grade MS or PF coins in the Rare Coin Values Index. After all, don't coins in the highest grades rise in value faster when compared to their well worn counterparts? (or so some say)

When creating the Index years ago, I purposely featured many key date coins in lower grades (G and VG), because that is where most of us ordinary collectors are. Rare, key date coins in the highest grades are priced above what most of us can afford. However, many of us can relate to same coins in G and VG.

As for value appreciation, yes, key date coins in the highest grade will increase in value greater in terms of raw numbers, but not necessarily in terms of percentage. For example, a coin valued at $1000 in a high grade that increases 40% over a 5 year period has a value increase of $400. If the same coin in a lower grade worth $100 increases in value by $50 over the same 5 year period sees an increase of 50%. So while the lower grade coin has a value increase of $50 versus $400 for the higher grade coin, it actually does better in percentage comparison.

This sort of thing is very common. If you study the coin value tables on my site (gateway to the tables is https://www.us-coin-values-advisor.com/US-coin-values.html), you will see the higher grades for a given key date do not necessarily appreciate at a greater percentage rate compared to its lower grade counterparts.

Speaking about high grade stuff, did you hear about the August 15 sale of the finest known (PF-66) ultra rare 1913 Liberty Head Nickel? It went to a new home at a cost of $4.56 million. Sounds impressive, but when you learn the exact same coin (called the Eliasberg specimen) last sold in 2007 for $5 million, it shows even stratospheric rarities are not immune to stumbles. FYI, the Eliasberg nickel sold for $1.485 million in 1996, so that's is still a 5.67% gain annually over the last 22 years.

As regular readers know, the Rare Coin Values Index tracks the price movements of 87 key date United States rare coins, then combines their overall performance to arrive at a composite score, in an effort to gauge the direction and strength of the U.S. rare coin market. The Index uses January 2000 as its baseline (i.e. the Index score that first month was 100.00). Regular issue coins from Half Cent to $20 Double Eagle are represented.

Continue reading "Sep 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Resumes Winning Ways"

Aug 12, 2018

Aug 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Takes Half Step Backwards

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The Rare Coin Values Index did something it hasn't done since March-April 2017, and that is to lose ground in two consecutive months.

The August 2018 Index came in at 413.28, down only 0.55 points from July and 1.09 from its most recent record high in June. Really nothing to wax concern over, so put away your Paraffin for now.

Because the United States rare coin market is but a minor player in our overall universe, it doesn't get heavily politicized, thank goodness. Otherwise, with this speck of negative news, there'd be people pushing innocent bystanders out the window to create a climate of hysteria in an effort to convince you to jump out of the window too.

Personally, I think the most negative thing happening in the world of coin collecting is counterfeiting. While I get a few readers sending me pics of amateurish fake coins, there are some con men globally that have gotten highly talented at fabricating replicas of rare coin dates. Some of them are encased in counterfeited PCGS and NGC holders!

Thankfully, we have pros on our side who have commensurately developed their skill sets to keep up with the fraudsters.

Don't be afraid to purchase rare coins for fear of counterfeiters. The best advice to avoid this and other potential pitfalls is to deal with reputable coin sellers. I have a section devoted on my site where you can learn more about finding reputable dealers: https://www.us-coin-values-advisor.com/coin-buying.html.

For those of you who may be new readers, the Rare Coin Values Index tracks the price movements of 87 key date United States rare coins, then combines their overall performance to arrive at a composite score, in an effort to gauge the direction and strength of the U.S. rare coin market. The Index uses January 2000 as its baseline (i.e. the Index score that first month was 100.00). Regular issue coins from the Half Cent to $20 Double Eagle are represented in the Index.

My website, www.us-coin-values-advisor.com, publishes price trend data going back to 1950 for a large number of collectible United States coins. Many collectors dig through this data to identify which coins have the best chance of increasing in value over a long period of time, based on historical performances.

Continue reading "Aug 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Takes Half Step Backwards"

Jul 16, 2018

July 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Stalls

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The Rare Coin Values Index took a bit of a breather in July, dipping a measly 0.54 points to land at 413.83.

Over the last year, we've become accustomed to pale green arrows pointing up, so this month's reading is somewhat of an anomaly. A minor irritant, kinda like what happens when you bite into a sandwich not knowing there is a jalapeno pepper hiding in there (at least for me, it's that way). Or maybe it's just the doldrums of summer.

Some people have asked me about the future of the coin hobby. There is some concern the demographics of the collector base (seemingly mostly older guys) does not bode well a couple of decades down the road.

Sure, its the old guys doing the lion's share of numismatic buying and selling, but that has always been the case because that is the group with the largest amount of discretionary income. Plus, in general, America is becoming grayer.

There are more young people enthusiastically involved in coin collecting today than meets they eye. Hobby leaders are actively engaged in outreach projects designed to get teenagers interested in coins. And they are having success. The AmericanNumismatic Association recently completed their summer education program for Young Numismatists. All sessions were well attended by motivated kids hungry to learn. Don't believe me? Check out the Seminar Report Page and scroll down a bit. See what I mean?

It's not just the ANA that is making inroads with younger folks. Social media is crammed with coin collecting bustle. There are tons of organizations and individuals involved, too many to keep track of. Facebook alone has millions of self identified coin collectors. These aren't all just a bunch of old fogies, either.

Gone are the ubiquitous coin shops and neighborhood coin clubs and shows. They didn't vanish due to lack of interest, they've simply been replaced by more modern means of communication. And that's not to say brick and mortar shops don't exist anymore; they do, but in smaller numbers than 50 years ago.

Coin collecting will NOT be extinct one generation from now, but the hobby HAS changed compared to when many of us were kids. Today, collecting interests are connected through the Internet. On balance, numismatics may not be as personable as it once was, but cyberspace has literally opened up an a new world of opportunities.

Continue reading "July 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Stalls"

Jun 14, 2018

June 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Moves Higher for 10th time in 12 Months

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The Rare Coin Values Index moved higher again in June, climbing 2.82 points to reach yet another record high at 414.37.

The Index has been positive 10 out of the last 12 months. If a baseball team wins 10 out of 12 games, we'd be talking about a potential contender for the World Series... unless the team was, say, the Cincinnati Reds, in which case we all know this is a temporary aberration that will quickly correct itself back to consistent mediocrity.

I have a confession to make. Last month, I made a mistake for the first time ever. More specifically, I erred for the first time ever in computing the Index score. In May, the Index score was reported at 411.92. In actuality, it was 411.56. Not a major blunder, but a goof nonetheless.

I'll blame the miscalculation on my computer. This keyboard has been funky for some time now. Not all the Excel formula cells were highlighted before copying over from April to May, leaving out a few data points that should have been included in the calculation.

I dunno, maybe if more people visit my website www.us-coin-values-advisor.com, I could afford another keyboard (a new computer would be even better!).

New readers may ask what exactly is the Rare Coin Values Index? Let me explain, in the briefest of terms... The Index tracks the price movements of 87 key date United States rare coins, then combines their overall performance to arrive at a composite score, in an effort to gauge the direction and strength of the U.S. rare coin market. The Index uses January 2000 as its baseline (i.e. the Index score that first month was 100.00). Regular issue coins from the Half Cent to $20 Double Eagle are represented in the Index.

Continue reading "June 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Moves Higher for 10th time in 12 Months"

May 14, 2018

May 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Has Best Month Since 2016

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Although the Rare Coin Values Index had its best month since 2016, it's not as if it thumbed a ride atop a Saturn V booster rocket. Read on.

In May 2018, the Index climbed 4.47 points to hit another all time high of 411.92. That's the best one month point performance since September 2016, when the Index improved by 5.09 points.

Although May's jump of 4.47 points (that's a 1.1% gain) is a welcome deviation from the rather mundane (but steady) performance of the rare coin market over last couple of years, when put into perspective, it rates nowhere near the best in the history of the Index.

The Rare Coin Values Index tracks the combined price movements of 87 key date United States rare coin since January 2000. In the 220 months since then, the biggest one month jump occurred in June 2008, when the Index catapulted 28.46 points (an increase of 8.9%). The second best month was May 2006, when the numbers were 17.98 and 7.3%.

In fact, 11 of the best 12 months in the history of the Index happened during the boom years of 2003-09, the last big run up for the rare coin market. In terms of points gained, May 2018 ranks 25th on this list. Now you understand this is not a Saturn V rocket booster month.

Once again, the Index was pushed higher in May by advancing key date U.S. gold coins. If someone asked me if I could provide just one piece of advice for aspiring collectors seeking coins destined to rise in value faster than average, I would steer them toward key date U.S. gold coins. Some examples of good dates to acquire are found in the roster of 87 coins tracked in the Index. These are listed on https://www.us-coin-values-advisor.com/rare-coin-values-index.html. From there, you can branch out to study individual coin charts in detail. As you'll see, most have an impressive record of price hikes, some spectacularly so.

Another good place on my site where you learn about rare gold (as well as other key dates coins) is here: https://www.us-coin-values-advisor.com/U.S.-Coin-Types.html.

As you will quickly note, the price tag for high demand/low supply gold coins is quite a bit higher than stuff you'll find in the dealer bargain bin. Consider this: It is far better, IMHO, to buy a rarity like a 1861-D Coronet $5.00 Half Eagle for $15K than 150 common date collectible coins for $100 each.

That's all for this month. I'm heading down to the launch pad to see if any Saturn V rockets are getting fueled up.

Continue reading "May 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Has Best Month Since 2016"

Apr 14, 2018

April 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Stubs Toe

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Have you ever stubbed your toe? Hurts, doesn't it? But there are varying degrees of "toe stubbness". Sometimes it hurts so bad you see stars and cut loose with a string of expletives. Then there are times where the pain spikes for a few seconds and then subsides quickly. And then you get on with life as if nothing happened.

April was like a nuisance toe stub for the Rare Coin Values Index, falling just 0.28 points, from 407.72 to 407.44. Meh. One of the most boring months in the history of the Index.

While this month's decline was but a minor event, it did have the consequence of ending the five month Index winning streak. Thus, the record of 14 consecutive months hitting an all time high (set from September 2003 to October 2004) is safe. In fact, that mark is as unattainable as Cal Ripken's legendary feat of playing in 2,632 consecutive baseball games (didn't they say the same about Lou Gehrig's streak before Ripken?)

New readers may ask what exactly is the Rare Coin Values Index? Let me explain, in the briefest of terms... The Index tracks the price movements of 87 key date United States rare coins, then combines their overall performance to arrive at a composite score, in an effort to gauge the direction and strength of the U.S. rare coin market. The Index uses January 2000 as its baseline (i.e. the Index score that first month was 100.00). Regular issue coins from the Half Cent to $20 Double Eagle are represented in the Index.

The Index is a but small slice of what my website US Coin Values Advisor has to offer. There is voluminous data on long term coin value trends, key date analyses, numismatic basics, advice, and non-PC historical references. The website went online in January 2003, so its not some "Johnny come Lately" endeavor. [Full Disclosure: I sell advertising and earn commissions to earn a few bucks. Sometimes I wonder if its even worth the effort -- Thanks, Google (NOT) -- good thing I enjoy coins.]

If you've got a few moments to spare, could you maybe mosey over to my site and check it out? Here again is the address: US Coin Values Advisor. Better yet, if you discover the site to be useful, please tell your coin collecting friends about it. I need all the help I can get!! Thank you! (My theory is Google punished me for my non-PC stance and I lost more than 90% of my traffic)

I'll update the Rare Coin Values Index again in May. Until then, watch out for stubbed toes!

Continue reading "April 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Stubs Toe"

Feb 12, 2018

Feb 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Stays on Winning Streak

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Ho ho ho, it's four in a row! That is, the Rare Coin Values Index has risen in four consecutive months, reaching yet another new all time high in February at 407.44 when it added another 1.46 points.

To be sure, these are baby steps. Maybe not even a crawl. Over the course of the four month streak, the Index has advanced 2.2%. Over the last 12 months, it has improved only by a measly 3.2%, so at least we can say the gains are picking up the pace a little more as of late.

To put things into perspective, during the first 12 months of the big rare coin bull market of 2003-09, the Index shot up by almost 54%, absolutely dwarfing the 3.2% gain over the last 12 months.

No one should be discouraged. In fact, might be a good idea to add more coins to your collection.

The force pushing prices higher, albeit slowly, is coming from bedrock coin collectors. They are the salt of the earth in numismatics. Back in the late 1970's and again in the late 1980's, it was these collectors who were elbowed aside by herds of speculators trying to make a quick buck in coins. People who didn't know the difference between a Flowing Hair Large Cent and a Barber Dime were dropping millions into US coins, pushing prices to stratospheric heights, unsupported by fundamentals of supply and demand. When the bubble popped, coin values plummeted, in some cases by 90% (though rare key dates weathered the storm the best).

Outside speculators were not much of a factor in the boom of 2003-09. The impetus behind that surge was rank-and-file coin collectors, many of whom entered the hobby after finding interest in the 50 State Quarter Program. When the inevitable correction occurred, prices did not crater dramatically as they did in the previous two cycles. By the middle of 2010, the Rare Coin Value Index had drifted softly downward by about 5%. Since that time, The Index has been very stable, moving up ever so slightly.

For those new readers, the Rare Coin Values Index tracks the price movements of 87 key date United States rare coins, then combines their overall performance to arrive at a composite score, in an effort to gauge the direction and strength of the U.S. rare coin market. The Index uses January 2000 as its baseline (i.e. the Index score that first month was 100.00). Regular issue coins from the Half Cent to $20 Double Eagle are represented in the Index.

My website, www.us-coin-values-advisor.com, publishes price trend data going back to 1950 for a large number of collectible United States coins. Many collectors dig through this data to identify which coins have the best chance of increasing in value over a long period of time, based on historical performances.

Continue reading "Feb 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Stays on Winning Streak"

Jan 11, 2018

Jan 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Opens Year Moving Deeper into Record Territory

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Lately, the Rare Coin Values Index is behaving like it thinks its the Dow Jones. That would be an exaggeration of course, because the Index is not climbing at THAT meteoric pace, but it has now closed at a record high for three consecutive months. This was last accomplished in late 2016, so its not that big of a deal, but are we at the beginning of another boom cycle?

The most consecutive months of closing at a record high is 14, occurring in 2003-04. This coincided with the beginning of the last great bull market in US coins, lasting from 2003-09.

The January 2018 Index score settled in at 405.97, up 2.13 points from December. Once again, strength in US rare gold coins fueled the rise. It's not just gold coins that folks are getting excited about, however. A 1793 Chain Large Cent in MS-63 grade (one of the dates tracked in our Index) sold last week at the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) convention in Tampa for an astounding $300,000. That price was so startling it generated media headlines throughout the world.

The Rare Coin Values Index tracks the price movements of 87 key date United States rare coins, then combines their overall performance to arrive at a composite score, in an effort to gauge the direction and strength of the U.S. rare coin market. The Index uses January 2000 as its baseline (i.e. the Index score that first month was 100.00). Regular issue coins from the Half Cent to $20 Double Eagle are represented in the Index.

My website, www.us-coin-values-advisor.com, publishes price trend data going back to 1950 for a large number of collectible United States coins. Many collectors dig through this data to identify which coins have the best chance of increasing in value over a long period of time, based on historical performances.

I also have a "Coin Types & Key Date Analysis" section (https://www.us-coin-values-advisor.com/U.S.-Coin-Types.html) highlighting some of the best performing dates across the entire spectrum of regular issue United States coinage.

Continue reading "Jan 2018: Rare Coin Values Index Opens Year Moving Deeper into Record Territory"

Dec 16, 2017

Dec 2017: Rare Coin Values Index Closes 2017 at Record High

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The Rare Coin Values Index gained 3.06 points in December to close at 403.84, its highest level ever attained. Leading the charge this month was the US gold coin segment of the Index.

The Index increased by 6.86 points in 2017, translating to +1.73%. However, most of that modest gain occurred during the final two months of the year.

As was the case in December 2016, the year 2017 closes out on an all-time high. Perhaps Santa is stuffing stockings with rare coins to push the market higher? If so, don't forget to visit my house, Santa. All I'm asking for is a 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar. Good-4 condition is fine. Certified, of course. If you run out of those, I'll happily settle for a 1796 Draped Bust Quarter in Fine-12.

It's been almost 10 years since key date coins have been consistently depicted with dark green arrows everywhere pointing upward. No one can ever say for certain, but based on the timing of previous boom/bust cycles, it may not be much longer until the next big surge. We have finally hit the 400 point level. Will it take another decade to hit the 500 barrier? History says it will not.

As regular readers know, the Rare Coin Values Index tracks the price movements of 87 key date United States rare coins, then combines their overall performance to arrive at a composite score, in an effort to gauge the direction and strength of the U.S. rare coin market. The Index uses January 2000 as its baseline (i.e. the Index score that first month was 100.00). Regular issue coins from the Half Cent to $20 Double Eagle are represented in the Index.

My website, www.us-coin-values-advisor.com, publishes price trend data going back to 1950 for a large number of collectible United States coins. Many collectors dig through this data to identify which coins have the best chance of increasing in value over a long period of time, based on historical performances.

Continue reading "Dec 2017: Rare Coin Values Index Closes 2017 at Record High"

Nov 11, 2017

Nov 2017: Rare Coin Values Index Finally Passes the 400 Level!

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In November 2017, the Index gained a modest 2.06 points, but that was enough to push the Index north of 400 for the first time ever. It's kinda like the Dow finishing above 20,000 for the first time, but without the obnoxious closing bell and foaming-at-the-mouth Pavlovian-like traders screaming on the floor.

Although we have come close to the 400 point plateau several times, it has never been crossed until now. Relatively speaking, it took a long time to get here. It was September 2007 when the Index hit 300, and from there, 122 months passed before reaching the 400 milestone. IOW, it took more than 10 years for the Index to increase by 33%.

By comparison, it took 46 months to go from 100 to 200 (a 100% increase) and only 35 months from 200 to 300 (a 50% increase). Much of this growth occurred from 2003-09, considered the last big bull market for rare US coins.

Why did it take so long to get to 400?

It's because coin prices move in cycles. Although the Rare Coin Values Index charts the movements of 87 key date US coins every month since January 2000, we have data going back to 1950. Period of robust growth lasting for a few years were all followed by a longer cooling off interlude (sometimes initialized as ugly crashes, like we saw in the early 1980's and early 1990's).

It's been almost 10 years since key date coins have been consistently depicted with dark green arrows everywhere pointing upward. No one can ever say for certain, but based on the timing of previous boom/bust cycles, it may not be much longer until the next big surge. We have finally hit the 400 point level. Will it take another decade to hit the 500 barrier? History says it will not.

As regular readers know, the Rare Coin Values Index tracks the price movements of 87 key date United States rare coins, then combines their overall performance to arrive at a composite score, in an effort to gauge the direction and strength of the U.S. rare coin market. The Index uses January 2000 as its baseline (i.e. the Index score that first month was 100.00). Regular issue coins from the Half Cent to $20 Double Eagle are represented in the Index.

My website, www.us-coin-values-advisor.com, publishes price trend data going back to 1950 for a large number of collectible United States coins. Many collectors dig through this data to identify which coins have the best chance of increasing in value over a long period of time, based on historical performances.

Continue reading "Nov 2017: Rare Coin Values Index Finally Passes the 400 Level!"

Oct 08, 2017

Oct 2017: Rare Coin Values Index Poised to Breach the 400 Level?

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For months now, we've been eyeing the possibility of the Rare Coin Values Index finally breaching the 400 point level.

The Master of Ceremonies checked the microphone, ready for the big announcement. The band was warming up to a lively Sousa march, ready to herald a new era. Drummers ready to roll. Surely October was to be the occasion to reach an historic stratospheric altitude, on par with Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier in 1947.

Uh, not so fast.

The fanfare will have to wait at least one more month. In October, the Index fell 0.66 points to close at 398.73. The 400 point territory remains unchartered space, for now.

The Rare Coin Values Index tracks the price movements of 87 key date United States rare coins, then combines their overall performance to arrive at a composite score, in an effort to gauge the direction and strength of the U.S. rare coin market. The Index uses January 2000 as its baseline (i.e. the Index score that first month was 100.00). Regular issue coins from the Half Cent to $20 Double Eagle are represented in the Index.

My website, www.us-coin-values-advisor.com, publishes price trend data going back to 1950 for a large number of collectible United States coins. Many collectors dig through this data to identify which coins have the best chance of increasing in value over a long period of time, based on historical performances

Continue reading "Oct 2017: Rare Coin Values Index Poised to Breach the 400 Level?"

Sep 13, 2017

Rare Coin Values Index Hits All Time High

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In September 2017, the Rare Coin Values Index jumped 3.86 points to 399.39, the closest flirtation ever with the 400 point barrier. Was it the act of flirting that aroused the Index from its year long slumber? Probably not a valid consideration, LOL.

The 3.86 gain is the best monthly showing over the last 12 months. Strength in gold coins over the last month was the catalyst that pushed the Index to its highest level ever.

The broad based U.S. rare coin market has exhibited minimal growth over the last 8-9 years, and now stands like a coiled cobra ready to strike. This is in keeping with other market cycles in the past. To reap the benefits of the inevitable price explosion, the most important thing for collectors to remember is to 1) acquire key date coins with proven long term demand (the 87 coins charted in the Index is a good place to start), and 2) deal only with reputable sellers providing properly graded, certified coins. Learn more at www.us-coin-values-advisor.com/coin-buying.html. Also, the American Numismatic Association (www.money.org) is a valuable resource for locating honest dealers.

In case you're new to my blog, the Rare Coin Values Index tracks the price movements of 87 key date United States rare coins, then combines their overall performance to arrive at a composite score, in an effort to gauge the direction and strength of the U.S. rare coin market. The Index uses January 2000 as its baseline (i.e. the Index score that first month was 100.00). Regular issue coins from the Half Cent to $20 Double Eagle are represented in the Index.

Continue reading "Rare Coin Values Index Hits All Time High"

Aug 12, 2017

Rare Coin Values Index Up Again in Aug 2017.

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If the Rare Coin Values Index was an EKG readout, it would be a flat liner and the patient sent to the morgue. Wellllll, that's not a real good analogy, but the point is that there just ain't much extraordinary happening overall in the rare United States coins. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however. Steady as she goes, ready for the sails to catch the next gust of wind.

In August 2017, the Index gained 0.71 points to reach 395.52. This is the first time since late last year the Index has posted back-to-back monthly gains. Over the last 12 months, the Index has floated along in a very narrow band between 394.37 and 396.98.

The 400 point plateau has been threatened repeatedly, but never breached. Just as we reminisce about passing the 300 point milestone in September 2007, we'll be someday laughing at how long it took to finally blow past 400. That's 119 months. For the record, it took 46 months to go from 100 to 200 and only 35 months from 200 to 300.

To be sure, activity is hot elsewhere. In the ANA annual show earlier this month, a 1794 silver dollar graded MS-64 brought an astounding $2.82 million, along with plenty of other highlights. The last time this gem sold (1988), it sold for $242K. That's growing at an annual clip of 8.84%, but who's counting? Modern numismatic products marketed by the U.S. Mint are flying off the shelves as well.

The Rare Coin Values Index tracks the price movements of 87 key date United States rare coins, then combines their overall performance to arrive at a composite score, in an effort to gauge the direction and strength of the U.S. rare coin market. The Index uses January 2000 as its baseline (i.e. the Index score that first month was 100.00).

My website, www.us-coin-values-advisor.com, publishes price trend data going back to 1950 for a large number of collectible United States coins. Many collectors dig through this data to identify which coins have the best chance of increasing in value over a long period of time, based on historical performances.

Jul 12, 2017

Rare Coin Values Index Stable Again in July 2017.

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The Rare Coin Value Index in 2017 continues to show about as much gusto as a four-year-old being forced to eat cauliflower. The Index rose a meager 0.32 points in July to 394.81. Is broccoli on the menu for August?

For the year, the Index is down just 2.17 points, so do not pull the Chicken Little costume out of the closet just yet. The year 2017 isn't much different from what we've seen since 2009, when the last big run for coins ended. Since then, the Index has gained less than 25 points, translating to less than one percent growth annually over that time.

Coin prices DO move in cycles. Although the Index charts the movements of 87 key date US coins every month since January 2000, we have data going back to 1950. Period of robust growth lasting for a few years were all followed by a longer cooling off interlude (sometimes initialized as ugly crashes, like we saw in the early 1980's and early 1990's).

It's now been eight years that coin values have been in a state of semi-dormancy (at least at the level where most of us ordinary collectors dwell. The stratosphere of numismatics -- think Pogue -- seem to be breaking price records left and right). All I can do is guess, but based on the timing of previous boom/bust cycles, it won't be much longer and we'll see the Index shatter the 400 point level, rocketing toward the 500 barrier.

The long term price trends of collectible coins is upward, most especially for key date coins. Someone recently mentioned to me that rare coins are not the best investment vehicles. I agree and it's wise advice never to put all your investment eggs in a numismatic basket.

The primary goal of my research is to help coin collectors figure out which coins have the best chance of increasing in value over a long period of time, if that is something that interests them. I think it's a fair statement that many, if not the majority, of collectors buy coins in the hope they'll someday be worth considerably more than what they paid for them.

Coins are a wonderful pastime, to be enjoyed for their history, beauty, and vast educational opportunities. An astute, well informed hobbyist can reap these benefits while simultaneously assembling a collection that also shines on the family balance sheet.

Continue reading "Rare Coin Values Index Stable Again in July 2017."

Jun 15, 2017

Rare Coin Values Index Fails to Generate Momentum in June 2017

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The Rare Coin Value Index couldn't generate any positive momentum from the flat tire bounce it got in May. The June scores comes in at 394.48, down 0.50 points from last month.

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. Stability has mostly been the story for the Index since the Autumn of 2009, when the historic rare coin bull market of 2003-09 came to a halt.

Since October 2009, the Index has grained only 10.7%. Not so hot, when spread out over an eight year period. It's really not so bad, if one considers the long term record. Please continue reading.

US Coin Values Advisor has coin price data going back to 1950, researched from the library of the American Numismatic Association. There have been a number of market run ups, followed often by a dramatic collapse, as we saw in the early 1990's, for example.

Happily, a crash and burn did not happen when the bulls stopped stampeding in 2009. That's because the 2003-09 price run up was based on numismatic fundamentals (rarity, quality, demand). What occurred in previous price explosions is that speculative forces (not bedrock collectors) artificially drove the market to great heights by promoting overgraded, generic material. And then reality sunk in and the bottom fell out.

Historically, every bust has been followed by a boom. At some point, this market is going to take off again, with prices spiking everywhere. The 400 point Index ceiling will be shattered as we zoom toward 500. No one should be alarmed that prices have been flat for practically ten years now. Rather, it should be viewed as a buying opportunity.

As regular readers know, the Index tracks the price movements of 87 key date United States rare coins, then combines their overall performance to arrive at a composite score, in an effort to gauge the strength of the US rare coin market. The Index uses January 2000 as its baseline (i.e. the Index score that first month was 100.00).

Continue reading "Rare Coin Values Index Fails to Generate Momentum in June 2017"

May 13, 2017

First Time in 2017: An UP Month for the Index

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So far in 2017, the Index movement has been reminiscent of a snail racing through a jar of molasses. IOW, very slow, and mostly sinking. May was the first positive month of the year for the Index, gaining 1.63 points to close at 394.99.

Since the end of 2016, the Index has fallen only 0.5%. That's one-half of one percent, folks. See what we mean about the snail and molasses?

Will we ever see another incredible rare coin market ala 2003-09? No one can say for sure, but keep this in mind: for as far back as we can find records, every stagnant or negative period of coin value trending has been followed by surge in prices (especially for key date coins). It is cyclical, as is just about everything related to money.

One thing rare coins has going for it that stocks and bonds don't is the joy of the pursuit. The coin hobbyist who delves into history, value trend research, while developing an eye for quality crosses into the realm of numismatist, and is well positioned to capitalize on inevitable price rallies.

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.

Continue reading "First Time in 2017: An UP Month for the Index"

Apr 11, 2017

Rare Coin Values Index Did Something Not Seen Since 2009

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The year 2017 continues to show weakness. The year is now about 1/3rd over, and we still have not seen a winning month. The Index dipped another 1.55 points in April, closing at 393.36.

That's four consecutive months of losses for the Index. The last time that happened was May-August 2009, which marked the end of the great coin bull market of 2003-09.

No need to jump out of a tall building just yet. Losses so far in 2017 amount to 3.62 points, down less than 1% from December.

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.

Continue reading "Rare Coin Values Index Did Something Not Seen Since 2009"

Mar 09, 2017

Rare Coin Values Index Moves Down Again in March

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The year 2017 has started off weakly, posting slight losses in the first three months. The March Index score came in at 394.91, down 0.54 from February.

No drama here, but the Index has now posted losing numbers for three consecutive months. The last time this happened was August-October 2015.

IF, and that is a big IF, the Index falls again in April, it will mark the first time since May-August 2009 the Index lost in four consecutive months.

It should also be noted that the losses so far in 2017 COMBINED amount to only 2.07 points, or only about a 0.5% down from where the Index finished in 2016. A trend? Not hardly, more likely just statistical noise.

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.

Continue reading "Rare Coin Values Index Moves Down Again in March"

Feb 12, 2017

February is a Dwoner (but just barely) for Rare Coin Value Index

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The year 2017 started off on a weak note as the index fell 1.38 points in January to 395.60. That loss broke a six month winning streak for the Index, its longest since 2008.

The Index moved downward again in February, though by a tiny 0.15 points, to 395.45.

Nevertheless, it was a loss, and for the first time since December 2015-January 2016, the Index has registered a negative number in two consecutive months.

If your goal is to buy coins today with the expectation of seeing them gain in value over time, here are the basics: Buy properly graded, key date coins with long established records of demand from rank-and-file coin collectors. This does not mean any coin fitting this description will do nothing but go up in value all the time. To the contrary, some of them stumble a bit before resuming their normal pattern of higher prices. In fact, we have compiled a data-driven "Sleeper Report" highlighting rare US coins whosevalues have temporarily receded.

Our website, US Coin Values Advisor, contains a great deal of historical pricing information to assist coin enthusiasts with an eye toward the future in making their purchasing decisions. All the information is available at no charge (but we hope you don't get too annoyed at the advertisements running on our site!).

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.

Continue reading "February is a Dwoner (but just barely) for Rare Coin Value Index"

Feb 11, 2017

Morgan Dollar Value Trend Report Updated for 2017

Morgan Dollar Value Trend Report

The Morgan Dollar Value Trend Report has been updated for 2017.

The report shows how retail prices have changed since 1950 for individual dates of the Morgan Dollar series, across a wide spectrum of grades, ranging from Fine to Proof.

Collectors seeking to purchase Morgan Dollars with the best potential for future price appreciation will find this report a valuable tool. Most dates have demonstrated a lackluster performance, while a few key dates have found favor with coin buyers over a long period of time and have consequently enjoyed much more impressive gains.

The report includes a "Collector Index" score for every date and grade, making it very easy for you to spot "Blue Chipper" Morgan Dollars with the best track records and hence the best potential for the future. The "Collector Index" feature is something a little extra and is exclusive to our downloadable PDF reports.

Our website, US Coin Values Advisor, contains a great deal of historical pricing information to assist coin enthusiasts with an eye toward the future in making their purchasing decisions. In addition to Morgan Dollars, many other popular US coin groups are analyzed. All the information is available at no charge, other than the PDF reports (please excuse the somewhat annoying ads, but they do help pay the bills!).

Continue reading "Morgan Dollar Value Trend Report Updated for 2017"

Jan 26, 2017

Coin Value Tables Updated for 2017

US Coin Values Advisor is pleased to announce Value Trend Tables for the following coin groups have been updated for 2017:

These tables report how retail prices have changed over a long period of time for nearly every date in the group, over a wide spectrum of grades.

This data is especially helpful for collectors seeking to select dates with the best potential for future price increases. Dates that have done well over a long period of time are also the same coins with the best odds of continued price advancements.

You can check out all the coin groups for which we've published Value Trend Tables for by visiting HERE. Many of the groups most popular with coin collectors are represented. All data is available online at no charge. A sample table is partially pictured below:

US Coin Values Advisor Coin Value Table


Continue reading "Coin Value Tables Updated for 2017"

Jan 14, 2017

Rare Coin Values Index Gets Begins 2017 in Negative Fashion

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The year 2017 started off with a whimper, as the index fell 1.38 points to 395.60. The loss broke a six month winning streak for the Index, its longest since 2008.

Thus, the 400 milestone is safe for another month.

A survey conducted by Professional Numismatists Guild suggests United States coin market activity (not including bullion or US Mint sales) totaled more than $4 billion in 2016, with some weakness (compared to 2014-15) detected at coins valued at the $100K altitude and above.

The Rare Coin Values Index attempts to gauge the environment where more ordinary collectors dwell, and from our vantage point, interest in rare coins remains consistent, at the least. The Index registered positive in 10 out of 12 months in 2016, albeit all gains were modest.

That 2017 began on a negative note, in no way portends a downward trend. Let's see how things look in a couple of months.

If your goal is to buy coins today with the expectation of seeing them gain in value over time, here are the basics: Buy properly graded, key date coins with long established records of demand from rank-and-file coin collectors. This does not mean any coin fitting this description will do nothing but go up in value all the time. To the contrary, some of them stumble a bit before resuming their normal pattern of higher prices. In fact, we have compiled a data-driven "Sleeper Report" highlighting rare US coins whosevalues have temporarily receded.

Our website, US Coin Values Advisor, contains a great deal of historical pricing information to assist coin enthusiasts with an eye toward the future in making their purchasing decisions. All the information is available at no charge (but we hope you don't get too annoyed at the advertisements running on our site!).

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.

Continue reading "Rare Coin Values Index Gets Begins 2017 in Negative Fashion"

Dec 11, 2016

Rare Coin Values Index Closes Out 2016 at Another New Record High

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In December 2016, the Rare Coin Values Index extended its monthly winning streak to six, rising 1.09 points to finish the year at 396.98.

The last time the Index gained in six consecutive months was Feb-Jul 2008, when US rare coins were nearing the end of strong bull market that began in early 2003.

The year 2016 was steady for rare coins, but not spectacular, despite gaining in 10 out of 12 months. As we entered 2016, the Index stood at 372.79, and gained 24.19 point through December, computing to an increase of 6.49% for the year. This is the best performance since 2011, when the Index rose 7.34%.

A completely unscientific supposition here: Most numismatic professionals prefer a slow, methodical upward pace, compared to a mad dash fueled by speculative forces. As we saw in the 1980s and 1990s, extreme price surges based on non-fundamental numismatics end in crashes, devastating to hobbyists and investors alike.

We anticipate 2017 to be similar to 2016, as ordinary collectors continue to form the foundation of US collectible coin buying activity.

If your goal is to buy coins today with the expectation of seeing them gain in value over time, here are the basics: Buy properly graded, key date coins with long established records of demand from rank-and-file coin collectors. This does not mean any coin fitting this description will do nothing but go up in value all the time. To the contrary, some of them stumble a bit before resuming their normal pattern of higher prices. In fact, we have compiled a data-driven "Sleeper Report" highlighting rare US coins whosevalues have temporarily receded.

Our website, US Coin Values Advisor, contains a great deal of historical pricing information to assist coin enthusiasts with an eye toward the future in making their purchasing decisions. All the information is available at no charge (but we hope you don't get too annoyed at the advertisements running on our site!).

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.

Continue reading "Rare Coin Values Index Closes Out 2016 at Another New Record High"

May 22, 2016

Sleeper Coin Report Released

Sleeper Coin Report

For those who may not be familiar with the term "Sleeper coin", think of it as a highly collectible, rare coin being sold temporarily at a bargain price, generally due to normal fluctuations in supply and demand. Sooner or later, it will reassert itself and jump in price, but at the moment, it is being sold for less than what it normally does.

The problem most Sleeper coin seekers run into is how do they know when they've found a coin temporarily depressed in selling price? Without value trend data from the past, the selling price of today cannot be put into historical context.

Because I have many years of numismatic value trend research under my belt, I can recognize a Sleeper coin when I see one. That's why I've produced the Sleeper Coin Report. With this data, collectors can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in their quest to add quality dates to their numismatic holdings.

To learn more about the Sleeper Coin Report, click the link below and visit the info page on my site, US Coin Values Advisor, where you can get more details and see a sample Sleeper Coin chart and supporting data.

Continue reading "Sleeper Coin Report Released"

Feb 20, 2016

US Coin Values Advisor Blog Archive

If you wish to see our blog entries from 2015 and earlier, they are available. Clink link below to go to our blog archive page:

Continue reading "US Coin Values Advisor Blog Archive"



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