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 purpose of the Index is to estimate the direction and strength of the market for rare United States coins. The coin market was very strong from 2003-09, reaching its peak in March/April 2009 at an Index rating of 370.51. For the next dozen years or so, the Index continued to move higher, albeit at a much slower pace, not breaching the 400-point level until late 2017. The Index in early 2023 continues to rise, after popping the 500 point plateau for the first time in late 2022. 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. As we enter Q2 2023, the coin market continues to move beyond the 500 point level. In April, the Index moved higher by 2.39 points, hitting yet at an all-time high of 509.75. The pace for 2023 has slowed a bit, but this is not an indicator the rare coin marketplace is ready for a nosedive. Contrast this to what occurred in the late 1970s and again in the late 1980s, when the market direction plummeted drastically following a ridiculously fast run up in coin prices, because much of euphoria was built on false premises. Today, the rare coin market is strong and stable, and continues to climb at a steady, but not spectacular, pace. The Rare Coin Value Index is based on the combined percent change in retail prices for 87 rare United States coins and has been updated monthly since January 2000.

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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 (1+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 500 in November 2022, you could say overall the prices of rare U.S. coins quintupled over that nearly 23 year period. In April 2023, the Index stands at 509.75, indicating the rare coin market as a whole is about 5.10 times higher than it was in January 2000.

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 Apr 2023
1793 Liberty Cap Left Half Cent G-4 4500
1802 2/0 Rev 1802 Draped Bust Half Cent G-4 1100
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 6500
1856 Flying Eagle Cent G-4 6500
1877 Indian Head Cent G-4 600
1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent G-4 625
1914-D Lincoln Cent G-4 170
1922-D (No D) Lincoln Cent G-4 550
1864 Small Motto Two Cent F-12 425
1865 Three Cent Silver PF-65 1750
1884 Three Cent Nickel F-12 1150
1795 Flowing Hair Half Dime G-4 1500
1797 Draped Bust, Small Eagle Half Dime G-4 1500
1800 Draped Bust, Large Eagle Half Dime G-4 1500
1865 Seated Liberty Half Dime G-4 325
1879 Shield Nickel VG-8 575
1885 Liberty Nickel VG-8 675
1913-S Type 2 Buffalo Nickel G-4 325
1918/7-D Buffalo Nickel G-4 775
1937-D 3 Legs Buffalo Nickel G-4 475
1796 Draped Bust Dime G-4 3500
1822 Capped Bust Dime G-4 2000
1871-CC Seated Liberty Dime G-4 3250
1895-O Barber Dime G-4 525
1916-D Mercury Dime VG-8 1250
1942/1-D Mercury Dime VG-8 425
1875-CC Twenty Cent G-4 250
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 9000
1896-S Barber Quarter G-4 750
1901-S Barber Quarter G-4 5500
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 90
1794 Flowing Hair Half Dollar G-4 5500
1796 16 Stars Draped Bust Small Eagle Half Dollar G-4 42500
1815/12 Capped Bust Half Dollar G-4 1750
1836 Reed Edge Capped Bust Half Dollar G-4 1250
1870-CC Seated Liberty Half Dollar G-4 900
1892-O Barber Half Dollar G-4 325
1921-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar VG-8 350
1938-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar VG-8 60
1953-S Franklin Half Dollar MS-65 FBL 27500
1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar G-4 75000
1796 Draped Bust Small Eagle Silver Dollar G-4 2000
1801 Draped Bust Large Eagle Silver Dollar G-4 1100
1836 Gobrecht Dollar, Name on Base, Circ. Issue XF-40 12500
1873-CC Seated Liberty Dollar G-4 12000
1879 Trade Dollar PF-65 6900
1889-CC Morgan Silver Dollar F-12 1250
1893-S Morgan Silver Dollar F-12 4000
1895 Morgan Silver Dollar F-12 (PF Only) 35000
1928 Peace Dollar F-12 225
1849-C Cl. Wreath Type One Gold Dollar VF-20 2500
1855-D Type Two Gold Dollar VF-20 25000
1861-D Type Three Gold Dollar VF-20 55000
1796 No Stars Capped Bust $ 2.50 Quarter Eagle F-12 70250
1808 Capped Draped Bust $2.50 Quarter Eagle F-12 55000
1826 Capped Head $2.50 Quarter Eagle F-12 17000
1838-C Classic Head $2.50 Quarter Eagle F-12 4500
1848 CAL. Coronet $2.50 Quarter Eagle F-12 40000
1856-D Coronet $2.50 Quarter Eagle F-12 15000
1911-D Indian Head $2.50 Quarter Eagle XF-40 3750
1854-D Indian Head Three Dollar F-12 32500
1795 Capped Bust Small Eagle $5.00 Half Eagle F-12 28500
1800 Capped Bust Large Eagle $5.00 Half Eagle F-12 4500
1808 Capped Draped Bust $5.00 Half Eagle F-12 4000
1821 Capped Head $5.00 Half Eagle F-12 32500
1833 Large Date Capped Head $5.00 Half Eagle F-12 22500
1834 Cross 4 Classic Head $5.00 Half Eagle F-12 1950
1861-D Coronet $5.00 Half Eagle F-12 30000
1870-CC Coronet $5.00 Half Eagle F-12 30000
1909-O Indian Head $5.00 Half Eagle XF-40 8000
1795 9 Leaves Capped Bust Small Eagle $10 Eagle F-12 108500
1804 Capped Bust Large Eagle $10 Eagle F-12 20000
1841-O Coronet $10 Eagle F-12 9750
1879-CC Coronet $10 Eagle F-12 22000
1911-D Indian Head $10 Eagle XF-40 2350
1930-S Indian Head $10 Eagle XF-40 31250
1859-O Coronet $20 Double Eagle VF-20 20000
1907 Wire Rim St-Gaudens $20 Double Eagle XF-40 11500
1921 St-Gaudens $20 Double Eagle XF-40 47500

See the 87 Index Coins