Thoughts on the 2010 Boston ANA Show

Posted on August 16, 2010 by

The biggest show of the year…the summer ANA show…is now over. I thought, and said here, that this would be a bellwhether show for the rare coin market…telling us a lot about the current state of the market. And this show did exactly that.

I was at the show from start to finish. i actually arrived early and attended both the Bowers & Merena and Stack’s auctions, and I stayed until the show closed Saturday. I looked at every coin in all three auctions. I looked at even more coins at the show. I talked to a lot of dealers and collectors.

I have some definite feelings about this show and what it tells me about the market. I won’t go into the specific coins. You’ve probably already heard about them…the PCGS MS68 1944-P half at $109,000, the two Barber halves that brought more than $100,000 each in the Duckor sale. I can say that they were more six figure coins sold in the auctions than I can ever remember happening…and two coins sold for over a million. Overall, prices in the auctions were strong and prices at the show were also strong. The main difference in the show and the auctions was that there were a lot more of the juicy coins to buy in the auctions than on the bourse floor. Yes, there were a lot of great coins at the show, but you’d expect that at an ANA. But there weren’t that many, and the dealer asking prices were usually high. As a dealer, it was very hard to buy at the show. It was also very, very hard to buy at the auctions unless you were willing to stretch on your buying price limit.

What does the above and the other show action tell me? Simply put, the rare coin market is doing very well. With one exception, all areas of the market are doing somewhere between so-so and great. The only area of the market that is soft is generic U.S. gold coins, and the cause of that seems to be a very significant supply overhang. Premiums for generic gold coins are very low (perhaps a great buying opportunity?), but this market comes and goes and often marches to a different beat than the rest of the coin market. But all other areas of the rare coin market are A-OK. I have to tell you, when I left the show half the dealers had already packed up and left, but I had the real strong wish that the show would last another day or two. I felt regret as I left the show for the last time and I haven’t haad that feeling for many years. I have a very good feeling about the coin market.

The positive aspect of the rare coin market extends to most other collectibles markets as well. Before Boston, I was in the Baltimore for the the National Sports Collectors show. I saw a Cap Anson bat sell at auction (Heritage strikes again!) for over $300,000, a new record. And I saw many other strong prices. The story is similar in other collectibles fields. Outstanding collectibles are bringing good prices. Most collectibles are doing very well considering the current economic recession, or downturn, or whatever it is we’re in now. And I can tell you for a fact that rare coins are doing best of all. This is probably an indictment of the U.S. dollar (and its deteriorating value) and/or current government fiscal policy…the smart money in the world is obviously betting on future inflation.

Once again, I have a very good feeling about the rare coin market. And I must say I had a blast (though I really worked hard) at this year’s ANA. I hope you’re having as much fun with coins as I am.

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  1. […] and coin market reports following the 2010 Boston ANA show from David Hall of PCGS, Doug Winter, and Legend […]

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