Barron's reports "serious support for investing in rare coins" despite gold dipRare coin
sales are on fire these days, with the top specimens commanding massive sums. January, of course, saw the first eight-figure sale of a coin in the form of a 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar. The high-end market is so hot that even Barron's -- a Dow Jones & Co. news organ that's usually more focused on stocks and bonds -- has had to sit up and take notice.
In a piece titled "Small coins, big money"
that details the recent sale of the 1913 Walton Liberty Head nickel for almost $3.2 million, Robert Milburn of Barron's writes: "More and more collectors are getting in on that kind of excitement. While iconic coins selling for more than $1 million used to be headline news, they now seem almost commonplace. ... If history is any guide, those gems will be worth even more down the road."
The market for high-end collectibles has especially picked up since the 2008 financial crisis, Milburn says. A Knight Frank Wealth Report
earlier this year found that gold has been the top-performing "investment of passion" for the past 12 years, and in the collectibles category, rare coins ranked No. 2 behind classic cars. The PCGS3000
chart below, though showing a dip in performance for the 3,000 coins tracked by the grading agency in the wake of April's gold correction, depicts a robust six-month moving average. Despite the drop in gold prices, Milburn notes "serious support for investing in rare coins."
Why? "In some ways, coins are a perfect type of object for collectors,"
Milburn observes. "Rare coins are small and can easily be insured and shipped via Brinks or FedEx, with next day shipping. Plus, coins have a standard grading system, certified by companies such as the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation or PCGS, that allows potential buyers an agreed on metric of quality. Storage costs are fairly reasonable, since safety deposit boxes or personal safes are sufficient for even the largest of collections. Insurance costs are also quite low."
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