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3.31.2011

Bidding On Silver & Gold Coins? Numismatic Or Bullion? Which Way Should You Go?

I still can't get over the coin auction I attended last Friday evening in New York. It was a night like any other, the parking lot seemed like a ghost town and it was just minutes before the auction was scheduled to kick off .. This looked promising!
I knew exactly what was on the auction block and my heart had been racing for about three days straight.
Dreams of mint state American Eagle Silver dollars were floating in my head, in fact, a complete set of MS65 to MS70 basically untouched Silver Eagles coins to be exact. I was starting to hyperventilate just thinking about it .. but I needed to stay cool, the others bidders can smell blood in the water and the last thing anyone wants to do is start a impromptu feeding frenzy. I decided to lay back in the shadows so I could start sizing up the competition, that's when I noticed a few new faces .. this wasn't good. A couple of the new guys looked like pros, I'd never seen them before .. I was starting to sweat. I needed to come up with a new "alternate plan B" just in case .. but switching up my game plan just as the auction was starting.. not a good idea.
The new dudes were looking more and more liked trained hit men, maybe Blackwater .. ?
I started to re-calculate my bid strategy. This was not looking good ..
Before I knew it, the night was over and I was mentally near death.
My Silver Eagle Dreams were dashed and anything resembling a score was nothing more then a distant memory .. I had completely missed on the Silver Eagles, I was blown out of the water on a gorgeous, complete set of Franklin Half Dollars all in MS65 or better, I even choked on a bunch of PCGS and NGC MS70 proof Eagles that went up individually ..Everything Silver or Gold was selling, I saw Elvis Presley rounds and Santa Claus Bullion bars being fought over like they were the last ones left on earth ..
Mercury dimes, beat up junk silver .. It was all selling and selling big.
I was pissed.. But not surprised.
But here's my point. All of these coins and anything Silver or Gold are in tremendous demand, and the word is out! The prices that the coins sold for were exorbitant, and lets just say that most people attending auctions like me, DO NOT want to pay retail! I was counting on the fact that up until lately, most of the guys at this auction were more interested in 1909 Lincoln VDB's and mint sets, not the modern stuff ..
 I would also have to say that most of the time, bidding resembled being on the floor of the New Stock Exchange and I think I may have even witnessed some panic buying. It definitely got interesting .One thing you can expect is modern issue U.S. Eagle coins as well as Liberty Half's, Franklin Half's and even certain Kennedy Half's to become extinct in the near future. The days of the easy auction deals are over, but keep an eye on Auction Zip.com because you never know?