By the majority of accounts, the FUN convention in Florida started the new year off on the right foot. Based on the feedback we received from visitors to our table at the show and from dealers, the outlook going forward is positive. Harry Laibstain of HLRC stated “Based on FUN’s bell-weather status and HLRC’s performance in Fort Lauderdale, I would expect 2017 to be a positive year for the coin industry. The show surpassed expectations with heavy trading on the bourse floor and a strong performance from the HA auction. New buyers combined with the faithful are in acquisition mode and dealers appear more confidant. A continuing trend sees the right coins outperform the overall market, often setting records. Other areas have stabilized at lower levels creating new and safer opportunities.” Likewise, Laura Sperber of Legend Numismatics told us “the Fun Show clearly ushered in a good start to 2017. Unlike the past few years, the attitudes were totally positive and activity was strong.”
The Heritage U.S. coin auction realized over $42.3 million in total, a strong result which is more than $8 million higher than last year’s FUN sale. While there were no million-dollar coins this year, it can be argued that the market showed more breadth throughout the auction. Interestingly, the top lot of the sale was not a coin but rather a massive gold ingot recovered from the S.S. Central America shipwreck. The bar, weighing in at 328 troy ounces, was manufactured by Justh and Hunter and this historic artifact of the Gold Rush realized $564,000. The sale topping coin was a PCGS MS66 1792 half disme. This coin, celebrating its 225th birthday this year, realized $493,500. The famous 1884 proof-only Trade dollar, formerly in the collections of King Farouk and the Norwebs, graded PCGS PR63 brought $423,000-a strong price. The top gold coin was also a piece connected to the Gold Rush, an 1851 $50 Humbert-U.S. Assay Office octagonal graded PCGS/CAC MS63 selling for $352,500. There was a three-way tie for the top Federally-issued gold coins: an NGC AU58+ 1797 $5 Small Eagle, a PCGS PR67DCAM 1886 $20, and a PCGS/CAC PR64+CAM 1864 $20: all bringing $305,500.
THIS WEEK’S MARKET
Gold Type: Bidding activity, which had been absent for a number of weeks, has returned to this market, signaling demand on the back of a rising gold spot price. Type 3 $20 Liberty double eagles, in particular, are sought after.
Classic Commems: A number of decreases in MS67 for the silver commem series, as CAC stickered coins sold a little soft at the FUN auction.