After correcting immediately after the President’s Day holiday, gold regained strength in the subsequent trading days, holding comfortably above the important $1,200 level. Widespread reports of significant physical demand persist, and the market is buying large amounts of paper gold as well: according to U.S. fund flow data for the two weeks ending February 17th, $3.2 billion was poured into gold funds. Using the same data set, in the seven weeks ending February 17th, $53 billion was pulled out of equity funds, signaling major uncertainty about the stock market amongst investors.

One metal whose performance that has been overlooked in these pages is platinum. It opened the year at $890 and fell to $816 in mid to late January, looking like it was going to continue sliding down an endless hill. However it sharply reversed course and by February 11th it had climbed to $960/ounce. Despite trading a bit choppy since then, platinum has maintained a trading range between $930 and $950, charting a new higher support level. Looking at the national coin show calendar, the next major convention is the American Numismatic Association National Money Show in Dallas, being held March 3-5. Meanwhile, regional shows abound, with the Greater Chicago coin show and the Sarasota, Florida coin show taking place this week.

NEW EARLY DIME VARIETY DISCOVERED BY NGC
Earlier this month NGC announced the discovery of a second example of a rare die variety of the 1796 dime. Early dimes are attributed by “JR” (John Reich, the engraver) numbers as described in the standard reference “Early United States Dimes,” and this particular example is classified as JR-7. Due to the fact that this variety was first discovered in 2002, the JR-7 is not listed in the above reference. This second JR-7 dime has been certified Very Good-8, making it significantly higher grade than the original discovery coin, which according to NGC is “extremely worn and damaged.” According to the submitter of the coin, it is “part of an old collection that has been off the market for upwards of 60 years.”

THIS WEEK’S MARKET
Gold Type: MS64 Saints and type 3 $20 Libs continue to be in demand, along with circulated Indian gold especially $5’s and $10’s.
Morgan Dollars: A handful of dates in VG are bid higher this week as observed on CoinPlex message traffic. We also continue to evaluate this series as a whole, because the volume in which these coins are traded dictate that there are always prices to be adjusted.
Mint & Proof Sets: Bids for proof and mint sets get a thorough review this week, bringing the prices into line with the current market levels, based on bids from a major market maker.
Walkers: This series has been solid as of late, with good support at auction for accurately graded pieces, and our updates this week reflect this.