“Numismatics Gold Coins are Like Stamps, Not Stocks”
– Peter D Schiff (Chief Global Strategist, Euro Pacific Capital)
Unlike bullion coins, numismatics sell for multiple times the value of its gold content. The reason for this is that numismatic gold coins are treasured for their appeal and rarity. Although some people invest in numismatics with the sole purpose of flipping them to make money, it is generally purchased as a collectible, like a vintage car.
The Most Expensive Numismatic Gold Coins
As of November 2011, one of the most expensive numismatic coin is the 1933 Saint Gauden Double Eagle. It was sold in a private auction for a staggering $7,590,000 in 2002. Other Saint Gauden series, such as the Double Eagles from 1907, are also widely demanded. The highest asking price for this series is $2,990,000, so far.
Edward III Double Florin, minted in 1343, is another expensive numismatic coin. Also known by the name of Double Leopard, the face value of this medieval coin is 6 shillings. The lone surviving coin of the series, the Double Florin was auctioned for $6,800,000 in 2009.
In May 2011, a unique variant of the 1794 Flowing Hair dollar numismatic coin, graded PCGS SP66, was sold for approximately $7.85 million. The latest numismatic treasure to make news is the unique Brasher Doubloon gold coin. It has reportedly been purchased by a Wall Street investment firm for nearly $7.4 million.
Gold Coins: General Pricing Policy
The US Mint adopted a flexible pricing policy for coins in early 2009. It allows making adjustments to the price as frequently as every week. The policy lays down that the average price of gold is to be computed on the basis of the London Fix prices, starting Thursday every week and ending Wednesday the next week. Additionally, the pricing tiers are set at intervals of $50.
Initially, the pricing policy was only applied to the variants of the American Gold Buffalo, American Gold Eagle, American Platinum Eagle and the First Spouse Gold Coins. In early 2011, the policy was extended to include commemorative gold coins. The gold commemorative coins releases this year contain about 0.2418 troy ounces of gold. During Nov-Dec 2011, the gold prices fluctuated in the range of $1,700 to $1749.99 an ounce.
Purchasing Numismatic Gold Coins: Outlook for 2012
Jeffrey Bernberg, the President of the PNG (Professional Numismatists Guild), has stated that the numismatic gold coin market is likely to boom in 2012, with increased demand over different markets:
• Modern issues: The coins in these series will continue to be in high demand, as observed with the recent release of the US Mint’s 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle. The coins were sold-out within a day of release.
• Mega rarities: Numismatics like the 1894-S dimes and the 1804 dollars will be highly sought-after in 2012, predicts Bernberg. It is also anticipated that record auction prices can be expected for ‘one-of-a-kind’ rare coins in the coming year. “The current prices for these Mona Lisa’s of numismatics will seem cheap in years to come,” he added.
• Generics and specific mintmarks: The premiums, percentage over the coins’ melt value, is likely to increase significantly for generics. This is because their availability is projected to dry up soon. Higher numbers of large purchase orders, as seen this year, can be expected in 2012 as well.
Additionally, the latest US Mint report revealed that the sale of 2011-dated is set to expand in the near future; primarily because they are a popular holiday gift items. The demand for the 2011 commemorative coin series, which is scheduled to conclude sales in Mid-December, is also likely to peak soon. This is a bullion coin set as opposed to numismatic gold coins.