I’ve been involved in numismatics for well over 20 years. In that time, prices have risen drastically and not just because of general inflation. There are many varied reasons for this change and many of those explanations will continue to affect the industry in the future.
Silver and Gold:
Precious metal markets are a huge influence on the cost of collectible coins. Many historic issues have intrinsic silver and gold value that is tied to those markets. As with numerous other consumer purchases, coin prices go up easier than they come down. Each time there is a spike in the precious metals market the cost of collectible coins rises more than it falls when things stabilize.
Fewer Remain Each Year:
The availability of collectible coins is also always in decline. No more historic coins will ever be produced, the number of pieces minted in the past is never going to rise. And the total number of historic coins that exist decreases every year due to melts and attrition.
And due to the law of supply and demand, the fewer coins remaining, the higher the value of those that have survived.
Everyone Loves Coins:
Rising population and worldwide interest have also greatly expanded the coin market. There are many more collectors today to compete for the dwindling number of historic coins available in the marketplace.
The internet has had a drastic influence on this transformation. Information and coin knowledge are much more widely available now than at any time in the past.
Another pressure on the numismatic market is the fact that financial planners often suggest having a wide diversity of investments. Collectible coins are often considered as a way to balance out a portfolio of stock offerings, which adds to their popularity.
Where to Go From Here:
Although it is difficult to see prices rise in the numismatic marketplace, the demands on the industry make the changes understandable. As we collectors adjust to higher prices, we need to be sure to appreciate the fact that coins in our collections have probably risen in value due to the same conditions.
Happy coin hunting.