As the Long Beach Expo gets underway precious metals have been spiking while the dollar has been sliding. In the past four trading days gold has moved from $1,117 per ounce up to a high of $1,155, a 3% jump and a level not seen since November. In the same time frame silver rose 3.7% from $14.24 to $14.89. Conversely, the U.S. dollar has reversed trend and, after steadily rising for weeks, has dumped nearly 2% with the Japanese Yen and Euro gaining strength. It is poignant to comment on the wider economic climate as stocks and oil continue to suffer, and news of two large international financial institutions, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, reported losses of $2.7 billion and $5.8 billion, respectively, in the fourth quarter of last year. The auction house, Sotheby’s, is expected to post a loss of $12 million in Q4 2015, a reflection of the largely mixed art market. It’s possible this could encourage individuals to look at alternate tangible and liquid assets such as rare coins.
HERITAGE AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS LONG BEACH
Heritage’s Long Beach auction is underway this week and one lot that is definitely worthy of further attention is a well-matched nine-coin 1856 proof set. Every coin in this set is CAC approved, and every coin is PCGS graded PR66 or better with the exception of the 1856 Flying Eagle cent, which is PR64+. 1856 is an important year as the Mint began the transition from large cents to small cents which would eventually be completed in 1857. The quarter in this set is graded PR67 Cameo, and the dollar is PR66+ Cameo with a Gold CAC sticker, with only an NGC PR67 Cameo finer. Each of these nine coins have less than 100 pieces known. Another highlight worthy of study is an 1838 Gobrecht dollar, Judd-84, certified by NGC PR65 and formerly in the Norweb collection. This coin is an early restrike with die alignment IV and bearing no (designer) name on base, and is a rare variety of these famous trial pieces. Tremendously rare, the 1839 No Drapery proof half dollar (lot 3238) and is a chance for Liberty Seated specialists to add this to their holdings at a level that will not last. Turning to gold, one head-turning piece is a 1911 $10 Indian, certified by NGC as MS68, one of just four at this level. All in all, Heritage will offer over 2,400 lots in southern California. The idea that rare coins are at “value” levels at this moment in time is beginning to spread, and collectors have the chance to be contrarian in this environment.
CAC REPORTS DEMAND FOR GENERIC GOLD
As we go to press this week, John Albanese of CAC reported to us that demand for CAC-approved gold coins has “seen a sharp uptick in the last week, following the nice boost of bullion prices over this time.” Readers will note a pluses in the U.S. gold type coin chart (page 2) based on higher bids posted on CoinPlex this week.
THIS WEEK’S MARKET
Gold Type: Higher bids for MS64 and MS65 Saints lead the way for gold type this week, as gold spot increases demand for generic gold.
Mint State & Proof Type: We have adjustments in some of the nickel series this week, to match pricing we have published in this month’s Summary.
Eagles: Collectors are bullish on this market segment as higher spots, along with the freshly minted 2016 silver eagle, fuel demand.