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."