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of numismatics for dealers, collectors, and
investors of United States Rare Coins
Assembling a Dream Portfolio of Rare Coins
If you had the opportunity to build a million dollar portfolio, you may dream of starting with the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel. Of course, the reality is that this nickel is worth quite a bit more than a million dollars. The Walton 1913 Liberty Head Nickel just sold for $3,172,500 in the Heritage Platinum Sale at the Central States Convention in Schaumburg, IL. This PCGS PR63 nickel, authenticated in 2003 at the Baltimore ANA, had been lost for 41 years; in fact, at one time, it was mistakenly declared to be a fake. With only 5 coins known and its distinguished history, this is indeed a coin that dreams are made of and the attraction could certainly build a fresh fascination for new numismatists for years to come.
The following graph shows the path of the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel over the past eight years when the Fair Market Value was $2,500.000. With no trades the market was clearly waiting for the next signal for valuation.
Again, since there are only five known 1913 Liberty Head Nickels, we can’t include any of them in our million dollar portfolio, so let’s take a look at a few other options.
Today’s portfolios are a mixed bag depending on what approach you take toward collecting and investing. If you look for extreme rarities, it would not take many coins to fill your million dollar portfolio. However, if you want a little more diversity, you can spread the same amount of money into several areas of the market. Let’s begin with a six coin package of limited availability coins followed by a more reasonable approach to our million dollar portfolio. Listed is the coin with the grade and the number of coins certified by NGC and PCGS combined for the grade along with the current FMV.
|Denomination||Grade||Total Certified NGC/PCGS||FMV|
|1794 Half Dime||MS65||10||$88,400|
|1918/7 D Buffalo Nickel ||MS65||4||$262,500|
|1796 Bust Dime||MS66||14||$115,630|
|1804 Bust Quarter||MS62||4||$162,500|
|1795 Half Dollar||MS64||9||$212,500|
|1795 Dollar Three Leaves||MS63||11||$175,000|
| || ||Total FMV||$1,016,530|
|Denomination||Grade||Total Certified NGC/PCGS||FMV|
|1884 Three Cent Nickel||MS66||5||$22,750|
|1885 Three Cent Nickel||MS66||16||$23,400|
|1880 Shield Nickel||MS65||10||$66,950|
|1795 Half Dime||MS65||13||$42,250|
|1796 Bust Dime||MS65||14||$96,880|
|1805 Bust Quarter||MS64||8||$34,450|
|1795 Bust Half||MS63||16||$93,130|
|1799 Bust Dollar||MS64||24||$95,310|
|1851 Seated Dollar||MS64||7||$85,630|
|1878 CC Trade Dollar||MS64||12||$76,880|
|1884 S Morgan Dollar||MS64||22||$137,500|
|1802/1 $2 ½ Gold||MS63||14||$81,250|
|1800 $5 Gold||MS64||13||$70,850|
|1800 $10 Gold||MS63||19||$86,450|
| || ||Total FMV||$1,013,680|
In reality, both of these two dream portfolios would be very difficult to fulfill. However, Portfolio #2 is much more attainable than Portfolio #1. The first portfolio contains coins that are very close to the highest grade available. The second group is mostly Early Type coins, with the exceptions of the Seated, Trade, and Morgan Dollars. Most of the coins in the second set were selected because there are multiple higher grades available. Finding gaps in the population reports and price charts in lower and higher grades can reveal strength in the current price and predict future stability in value.
While the coins in Portfolio #2 are more likely obtainable, there is still a question of market availability. These coins are not found in dealer inventories or in major auctions very often. But that is why they were selected; these are the types of coins that most collectors and investors are looking to put away for the long term. Most dealers would recommend coins that have stood the test of time, building a portfolio of traditionally heavy demanded coins. For true stability, the shrewd investor will consider areas where populations are low and supplies are not going to increase.
There are hundreds of other coins that could have been carefully chosen that would undoubtedly show eventual long term results and be just as effective as the coins selected above. Building a portfolio for the long term takes time and research.
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Our monthly article detailing specific areas of numismatics for dealers, collectors, and investors of U.S. Rare Coins