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Metals Market Report Weekly Archive
 

The Mike Fuljenz Metals Market Report

September 2018 - Week 1 Edition

Lower Population Coins are “Hot, Hot, Hot!”

Right now, the hottest trend in the numismatic world is coins with low populations near the “best seen” in their category – what I have called the “billionaire coin” category – since four or five notable billionaires are bidding up these coins in their attempt to create a collection of best-of-kind coins in each major type of U.S. coinage. Their active buying campaign has helped push up the next coins in line, so that many lower population coins certified by PCGS, NGC or CAC in the $1,000 and up range are feeling the lift from this added demand from super-affluent investors.  Call us today to learn about the limited number of low population rare silver and gold coins in our inventory that are hand-selected by Dr. Mike Fuljenz.

American Gold Eagle Sales Soar in Summer 2018 vs. Summer 2017

Gold maintained its foothold over $1200 during the last week of August after touching a low of $1,160 in mid-August.  This week began with a dip to $1190, due to a strengthening dollar, but gold bounced back to $1,198. As we have said, September is gold’s best month of the year and the stock market’s worst historical month, so it will be interesting to see how our year-to-date numbers change for the final four months of the year.   

American Gold Eagle Coin sales picked up noticeably over the summer months at the U.S. Mint this year. During the first four months of 2018, only 72,000 ounces of American Gold Eagle coins were sold, but total Gold Eagle sales escalated to 105,000 ounces in the next four months of the year, May to August.

More importantly, sales of American Gold Eagles more than doubled in the summer of 2018 vs. 2017:

American Silver Eagle coin sales also increased in August, even though American Silver Eagle sales are down for the year as a whole.  In August 2018, 1,530,000 one-ounce Silver American Eagle coins were sold by the U.S. Mint, almost 50% above the sales of 1,025,000 silver ounces in August 2017.       

Lower-Grade Mint-State $20 Saints and Libs are a Great Alternative to Bullion at Near “Spot” Prices

I believe we have finally reached an important turning point in the decline of the shipment of vintage United States gold coins from Europe. When America sold some of its gold to Europe in the early 1900s to settle debts and other obligations, we often sent $20 and $10 gold coins. These coins were easier to count than the smaller gold denominations of the day, like the $2.50 or $5.00 Indian gold coins. Most of the coins the Treasury sent to Europe were $20 Saint-Gaudens and Liberties as well as $10 Indians and $10 Liberties

In recent years, these $20 Saint-Gaudens and Liberty gold coins have flooded the U.S. market to the point where common-date circulated or lower-Mint State gold coins have approached their melt value in some markets.  That means fewer dealers are going to Europe, since common-date gold coins are selling too close to melt. There is no premium to be made. It is not profitable to pay for trips and sort through coins, and it’s not profitable for the European banks to sell them at melt. It’s often easier for everyone to melt these coins than to sell them as rare coins. As a result, a huge amount of these more common-date gold coins has been melted. They have become an alternative to bullion, so you can now buy vintage gold coins at near-bullion prices, a “double play” for both rising bullion prices and added increasing numismatic value. Check out our Website for our mint state common-date gold coin page for excellent prices on these coins.

This meltdown has created a future situation where fewer classic gold coins will be available for new buyers entering the coin market. Generations of new coin buyers will be looking for lower mint-state Saints and Liberties and they won’t be available at near-melt prices, so these more common-date gold coins in lower MS-60 to MS-63 grades should return to their historic numismatic value.  

I Meet the “Rock Star,” Don Everhart, Former Lead Sculptor at the U.S. Mint

At the World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia, I was able to meet the former Lead Sculptor of the Mint, Don “Rock Star” Everhart. He retired last summer. We had a nice chat about coin designs and his many years at the Mint and other projects.   Everhart joined the Mint in 2004 and created designs for numerous coins and medals, notably the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins (selected 2016 Coin of the Year), designing the reverse and sculpting both sides of the first curved coins produced by the U. S. Mint.

He designed and sculpted the common reverse for the Presidential $1 Coin and 14 obverse portraits in the series.  His designs appear on three of the 50 State Quarters coins.  Four of the designs in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program are his.

Among the many commemorative designs he has created are the 2016 National Park Service 100th Anniversary gold $5 (both sides) the 2015 March of Dimes Commemorative Silver Dollar reverse (selected the Most Inspirational in the 2017 Coin of the Year awards), the 2010 American Veterans Disabled for Life Silver Dollar reverse; and the 2006 Benjamin Franklin Commemorative Silver Dollar “Founding Father” reverse.

Everhart has also designed many Congressional Gold Medals, including the 2005 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Coretta Scott King medal obverse; the 2005 Dalai Lama medal obverse and both sides of the 2006 Dr. Michael E. DeBakey medal.  In 2016 he designed and sculpted both sides of the Barack Obama Second Term Presidential Medal and the reverse of the First Term medal.

Don began his professional career at The Franklin Mint, where he worked as a sculptor from 1975 to 1980.  From 1980 to 2004, he worked as a freelance artist, designing figurines, plates, coins, and medals for Walt Disney, Tiffany, the Royal Norwegian Mint and the British Royal Mint.

Private, Volunteer Help is Often the Best – Especially in Texas!

Right now, our employees are generously giving blood to the LifeShare Blood Center in Beaumont, Texas.  It was a year ago this week when our staff faced the high winds and destructive force of Hurricane Harvey. Amazingly, most of our staff were able to work during the high winds, but I am most proud of the voluntarism of many of our staff, rushing to help neighbors and disadvantaged communities recover from the flood waters. They provided boat rescues, food, water, shelter, blankets and other necessities. Some cooked meals for those in shelters. Also, in my hometown of Lake Charles, LA, the volunteer Cajun Navy provided Cajun Gravy meals (with their legendary great cooking) for those in need there.

Back in 2005, after Hurricanes Katrina in Louisiana and Rita in Texas, local volunteers in New Orleans and Texas performed the best rescue work. America has a great tradition of volunteerism – including church relief programs, volunteer first responders, Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, Samaritan’s Purse and the Stephen Siller Tunnels to Towers Foundation – so we need to thank and empower our religious and voluntary groups.  I’m very proud of our staff for always being ready and on the alert to help local families in need.

 

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