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Monday, January 14, 2013

NY Numismatic convention

Like the NY Auctions, the NY Numismatic Convention was noticeably lacking in quality material.   The lack of material certainly feeds the high end of the market, as wealthy collectors battle over top offerings that do appear.  The Goldberg auction at the end of the month certainly has far more impressive material than anything that turned up in New York.  I have no doubt high prices will be realized there.

It is also interesting to note that at the FUN show in Florida, going on at the same time, there was an auction of Betts Medals of European Origin representing US related themes - amongst them a gold "new world colonies" medal of Charles 11 and a gold "Vigo Bay" of Anne, (the former in atrocious condition).  Both medals realized close to $40,000 an astounding price for medals that last sold a few years ago at 1/4 the amount.  Other medals in the auction brought similarly fantastic prices, including a Lord Baltimore Indian Peace Medal that garnered close to $200,000.   It shows the voracious appetite for top material extends across coins and medals - when presented properly in well-conceived and attended auctions.

But just below the high end that there is a curious paralysis to the market that seems to parallel other hard asset markets - most markedly real estate - where top properties are always in demand but at the high end of the middle class sellers are loathe to drop their prices while buyers are content to wait them out.

I heard many dealers with cabinets of middling material trying to put a good face on the show while betraying the same anxiety one hears expressed throughout all facets of the current economy.

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