As pricing editors, we are always looking for ways to bring more information to our readership. Today’s business environment, regardless of the industry, is built upon rapid transfer of data and immediate access to information. There is little argument that the access to information provided by the Internet and traditional published literature has grown the rare coin market. A novice collector can come up to speed on numismatics much more quickly than in previous generations. One area of the market which gets plenty of attention, and is the focus of many large firms in the rare coin business, is certified modern coins. CDN has always been the de facto pricing reference for classic U.S. coinage, but one cannot deny the significant sum of money spent each year on certified moderns, whether they be silver eagles, commemoratives, or circulating issues such as Eisenhower dollars and clad Washington quarters.
One of the arguments against buying such coins is that the certified populations are ever-increasing. While this is certainly true, a bigger issue is that is there is little reliable pricing information for these coins on a wholesale level. When dealers- whether in a shop or at a coin show-are presented with a collection of certified moderns, they often do not know what to pay because of this lack of information. This leaves the collector disappointed and
disillusioned. As a result, we have been contemplating the inclusion of some of these series in the Bluesheet, starting with Silver Eagles. By doing this, we may bring some sense of legitimacy to this market which is presently lacking. We are very interested to hear feedback about this idea of pricing modern issues.
Looking at some recent auction activity for certified moderns, one will observe some impressive prices realized. In the Heritage FUN auction, a 1992 silver eagle certified PCGS MS70 took home $16,450. In the same sale, a 1989 silver eagle graded PCGS MS70 realized $4,230, while another brought $5,170 in last September’s Long Beach sale. In that same Long Beach auction, a 1994 PCGS MS70 silver eagle sold for $11,163. Looking at a single example of modern silver commems, a 1996-P Paralympics graded NGC PR70UCAM sold last month of $3,290. Clearly there are collectors spending real money on these coins, and dealers can benefit with furthering their knowledge of the subject. It’s also worth remembering that today’s modern issues are tomorrow’s classics. Maybe I’m just getting older, but 1986 Silver Eagles don’t seem so “modern” now.