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Modern Commemorative Market

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Pillar of the Community
United States
1198 Posts
 Posted 09/21/2021  1:27 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Ballyhoo to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Scrolling through the pages on EBAY something occurred which left me questioning the values of modern commemoratives in the not so distant future. Looking at the dollar denomination, a large percentage dated before 2019 are selling between $30 and $50. Which is not much over the issue prices for most of them. The 2020 and 2021 are the same, slightly over issue. Which is where my questions begin. With one in particular selling for around $100, the actual mintage figures are in line with those selling for much less. In other words, I would think that either those prior to 2020 should rise or the 2020 and forward drop there by closing price gap. I can not help but think of the mint sets of the seventies/eighties and how they are selling below issue. All things being equal it makes little sense how such a large gap could continue. Am I missing something?
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Edited by Ballyhoo
09/21/2021 1:31 pm
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United States
12020 Posts
 Posted 09/21/2021  1:48 pm  Show Profile   Check spruett001's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add spruett001 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think it's simple supply & demand. New releases maintain higher prices until true demand is discovered and then the price adjusts accordingly. Some commemoratives, like the 2001 Buffalo (which I have been eyeing for a while now) are popular enough to maintain relatively high premiums. (unfortunately )
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Edited by spruett001
09/21/2021 1:50 pm
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 Posted 09/21/2021  1:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I picked up a few for Bullion value ($20-$22), I don't see much current value for these short term.
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Australia
19151 Posts
 Posted 09/21/2021  8:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It has been my experience for the last 30 years or so,
that the price of new issue Mint product around the World is such that it is impossible to make a profit relative to the new release price on re sale, within a period of at least 20 years of the initial release date.

More often it is usually far easier to buy modern Mint product at a very substantial reduction to the new release price, but still difficult to re sell for a profit soon after.

I do have a small number of modern silver proof coins, but most of them have been bought at very little over their melt value. These coins I probably would be able to re sell at a small profit, but have been more tempted to just keep them, as silver rounds as a silver stasher would.
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 Posted 09/22/2021  05:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My experience is that in almost all cases you can purchase modern US commemorative issues below their original sale price within a year of release.

These should not be thought of as 'investments' but acquired for their artistic/historical value and collecting interest.

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 Posted 09/22/2021  12:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
These should not be thought of as 'investments' but acquired for their artistic/historical value and collecting interest.
Amen!
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 Posted 09/24/2021  08:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
t has been my experience for the last 30 years or so, that the price of new issue Mint product around the World is such that it is impossible to make a profit relative to the new release price on re sale, within a period of at least 20 years of the initial release date.

I understand this is a statement of personal experience, but, IMO, it is too broad in its scope. For example, there are a good number of exceptions within various US coin series. I have had many opportunities to profit from the sale of modern US commemorative coins that I purchased directly from the US Mint, for example. I didn't sell any of my coins, but the opportunity for profit was there and I did have honest offers.

A data-driven study of the marketplace will reveal that, within the modern US commemorative series, some issues got "hot" for a period within a few years of release (some almost immediately after issue). During these periods, market prices soared and profits were easy. For example, the Uncirculated (BU) versions of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Silver Dollars all had an issue price of $31.95, but there was a time when the Rowing and High Jump coins regularly sold for over $300.00. Another example, the BU 1997 Jackie Robinson 50th Anniversary Gold Half Eagle had an issue price of $205; a few years later, after its relatively low mintage became more widely known, the coin had a market price of approximately $4,000. In each case, market prices retreated as time passed - today they trade at a fraction of their market highs - still above most of the other coins in the series, but no longer by such wide margins.

It's important to realize that many today view the modern US commemorative coins as essentially bullion pieces and, thus, their market prices are greatly impacted by precious metal spot prices. I'm not sure if this link will ever be severed.

Here's a list of modern US commemorative coins that today sell for noticeably more than their issue price and have a numismatic premium above their bullion content (there may be others):

- 1996 Atlanta Olympics - Swimming Clad Half Dollar (BU)
- 1996 Atlanta Olympics - Soccer Clad Half Dollar (BU)

- 1996 Atlanta Olympics - Tennis Silver Dollar (BU)
- 1996 Atlanta Olympics - Paralympics Silver Dollar (BU)
- 1996 Atlanta Olympics - Rowing Silver Dollar (BU)
- 1996 Atlanta Olympics - High Jump Silver Dollar (BU)
- 1996 National Community Service Silver Dollar (BU)
- 1996 Smithsonian Institution 150th Anniversary Silver Dollar (BU)
- 1997 National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Silver (BU)
- 1998 Black Revolutionary War Patriots Silver Dollar (BU)
- 2001 Buffalo Silver Dollar (BU, Proof)

- 1997 Jackie Robinson 50th Anniversary Gold Half Eagle (BU)

Of course, deals on any/all of the above may be found, but a knowledgeable seller will seek a premium on each of the above.

As noted by nickelsearcher and seconded by jbuck, modern US commemorative coins "should not be thought of as 'investments' but acquired for their artistic/historical value and collecting interest."



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United States
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 Posted 09/24/2021  2:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BearlyHere to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The irony about the REALLY valuable commems is that most were poor sellers and therefore have the lowest populations. I love my MS70 Rowing, Tennis, & High Jump.
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 Posted 09/24/2021  2:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NumisEd to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Any particular reason for the Atlanta Olympics Commemoratives to have appreciated in price so much relative to other Commemoratives? I mean, all those that wanted these coins could have bought them from the Mint when issued. Why the wait and sudden interest (from 2004 on)?
Edited by NumisEd
09/24/2021 2:53 pm
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 Posted 09/24/2021  5:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@NumisEd...

I'll try to answer your questions, but first a query for you:

I'm curious why you indicated that the price increase happened in 2004 and beyond. The 1996 Atlanta Olympics silver dollars began separating themselves from most other SDs in the series, in terms of market price, in Q1 2000.


My answer to your questions:

By 1995-96, collectors were suffering from modern US commemorative coin fatigue - too many issues without enough inspiring designs. Many stopped buying. This fatigue lasted for several years.

In September, 1996, Congress enacted restrictions on the modern program including limiting releases to two per year Public Law 104-208; the law took effect on January 1, 1999. It took a little time, but this limit positively impacted collector interest. Compared to many earlier issues, the mintage figures for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics silver dollar were low - a common trigger for collectors to develop sudden interest and the urge to buy! More collectors looking to buy = price increases!


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 09/24/2021  5:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NumisEd to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I'm curious why you indicated that the price increase happened in 2004 and beyond. The 1996 Atlanta Olympics silver dollars began separating themselves from most other SDs in the series, in terms of market price, in Q1 2000.


Perhaps my sample was too narrow, but if you look at the 1996 Swimming in MS68 condition the biggest rise started in 2005: https://www.PCGS.com/pricehistory#/?=9712-68
For the 1996 Soccer MS68 as well: https://www.PCGS.com/pricehistory#/?=9714-68
Same story with Rowing: https://www.PCGS.com/pricehistory#/?=9728-68 And High Jump: https://www.PCGS.com/pricehistory#/?=9730-68
Edited by NumisEd
09/24/2021 5:38 pm
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 Posted 09/24/2021  7:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@NumisEd: Thanks for the info on your sources.

The price for the Atlanta Olympics SDs rose for several years, but the rise started in Q1 2000. It was during that period that their market prices crossed the $100 threshold while nearly all other SDs traded in the $15 to $35 range.




Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 09/24/2021  9:25 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NumisEd to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You think that the PCGS price info is not correct? Or perhaps incomplete?
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 Posted 09/24/2021  9:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Commons, I've never shopped for the olympics comms as I'm not interested but of all the ones listed I will agree with the Native American museum reissue of the Bison nickel as a silver dollar. That was the only one I paid over what it was issued for. Even the Smithsonian I paid a little more than bullion at $30. The others I got I paid from $14 without the OGP to $22-$24 in the OGP. Even the dual proof sets like the Mt Rushmore I paid less than the US Mint price.

That's not to say one shouldn't buy them. I'm happy for the ones that I got. But I for one will buy them in the secondary market. I still don't have the Apollo 11 Comm as it's still a little expensive and that is another I want.
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 Posted 09/30/2021  7:34 pm  Show Profile   Check Lancek's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Lancek to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've gotten in to these precisely because they are easy to pick up cheap. And I like history. Although I hate how much room the OMP takes up, and the cloudy film many proofs develop. So off to ANACS during one of their $10 per dollar and $39 conservation for up to 20 coins specials. They come back looking great.

I've got one of those aluminum 50 slab holders with the clear top. With Anacs' angled top I can quickly find the year I want. And the whole thing makes a nice display piece when I show it to friends.

I'll never understand how ASEs command a big premium over silver. While many of these I basically get for melt. For more than 20 years every ASE was essentially the same design. A very beautiful design. But I love the individual design of each commem. And they mark a place in time (olympics) or remember something from our past. Maybe there just aren't enough history buffs out there.

First time I ever saw one wasn't even the coin. It was outside the Prisoner of War Museum in Andersonville, GA. They had a large plaque saying how some of the proceeds from the sale of that coin helped build the museum. I eventually got one. I just picked up an second one to give to my daugher. Coins aren't her thing, but she did think having that particular one would be a nice memento of our trip.


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Australia
19151 Posts
 Posted 09/30/2021  8:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There is one very notable modern commemorative that goes against my experience, as mentioned in my earlier post:

2009 ultra high relief Double Eagle:
151,000 minted.
Issue price $1189, spot gold at the time $860 (38% premium above spot).
Current price $2625 in MS-69, spot gold $1760 (49% premium above spot).

My opinion is that this Mint product will always be a 'gilt edged' investment. The US Mint expended a huge technical effort, and lost financially in the production of it.

One of the few modern coins that I would really like to have in my collection. The premium above gold spot price will continue to grow slowly but steadily, over the long term.

Another way of looking at this investment is that it has had an average growth rate above inflation of 4.9% year on year.
Edited by sel_69l
09/30/2021 8:33 pm
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