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NumisMedia Monthly


Our monthly article
detailing specific areas
of numismatics for dealers,
collectors, and investors
of United States Rare Coins

March 2013

Modern Rarities Holding Value

     The values for the majority of the modern bullion coins follow the market for their respective metals, especially the lower graded coins. That is, the prices fluctuate with the ups and downs of Gold, Silver, and Platinum. However, there are a number of coins that are truly rare because of the limited original mintage from the Mint, and some others by the limitation of the populations in the highest grades. One of the most popular modern coins is the 1995 W Silver Eagle Proof Dollar. Being the first Silver Eagle produced by the West Point Mint made it an instant success. However, with the low mintage of only 30,102, this rarity became quite popular with dealers and collectors alike. The fact that demand is so strong for this coin, whether it is in the original government packaging or certified by NGC or PCGS, simply makes it one of the most sought after coins in any modern series. The PR70 Ultra Cameo coin has an FMV of $18,130 and has been known to sell above the $20,000 mark on a regular basis. This coin is in very strong hands and continues to attract very aggressive buyers.

     The following graph shows the progress of this elusive coin since July 2005 when the FMV was just $5,560.

S$1 1995 W EAGLE PF 70 series.

     While there are many other modern rarities of distinction within the last 25 years, some of the most active coins appear in the $25 Gold Eagle series. Most dealers across the country will buy and sell all bullion coins but there are a few specializing in the better dates. The chart below shows the original mintage of selected dates with the current FMV for the MS69 grade. Common dates are currently listed at $1,030.

Date    MintageCurrent
1988   45,000$1,830
1989   44,829$1,860
1990   31,000$2,170
1991   24,100$3,050
1992   54,404$1,320
1995   53,474$1,490
1996   39,287$1,590

     The following graph illustrates the path of the 1991 $25 Gold Eagle in MS69 from July 2005 when the FMV was just $305 until today’s current FMV of $3,050. It is interesting to note that the first three years the FMV was very sporadic due to infrequent trades and a fluctuating Gold bullion market. Once the market makers placed many of the coins in the hands of collectors and investors they began to offer consistent buy/sell spreads which facilitated this formidable market.

G$25 1991 EAGLE MS 69 series.

     MS70 coins trade very infrequently because most are in the hands of registry collectors. Of the seven dates we listed above there are only 317 coins total certified by NGC and PCGS; the majority have been certified by NGC. The market for Modern Rarities is different than Classic Rarities. The minting process is much more advanced today and superior quality is expected. The keys for collecting the modern issues are twofold: look for low mintage compared to the other dates within a series, and more importantly, compare the populations of the two highest grades. Typically, the larger the population gap between the two highest grades and the lower the population for the highest grade can make a significant difference in the FMV for these coins.

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