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Why the Price of Coins is Dropping

Why the Price of Coins is Dropping

27 Feb 2017

1921 Walking Liberty Half DollarThe price of coins is dropping, and they have been consistently going down for a really long time now. A lot of people have been trying to figure out why this has been happening. Some coin sets that used to be as valuable as ten to fifteen dollars a set are now two to three dollars a set. That’s a pretty significant drop to say the least.

And it’s not just coin sets either. Certain valuable coins have really been hit hard in recent times, such as the:

  • 1877 Indian Head cent
  • 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln cent
  • 1916 Mercury dime
  • 1916 Standing Liberty quarter
  • 1921 and 1921-D Walking liberty half dollars
  • and an array of early type U.S. coins

Let’s look at some examples here that might shed some light on why coin prices are dropping, because honestly there are so many theories on this subject that a short story could be written on why coin prices are dropping. So, a $200 coin, if sold as quickly as possible and perhaps for a low ball price, can feed a family of four for a week or two, right? Probably. Selling a $1,000 coin may help fix your leaky roof and keep your home from falling apart as a result. Parting ways with a treasured $5,000 coin may pay for uncovered expenses after a medical emergency and the health insurance just doesn’t quite meet all of the ends. Are you starting to see the line of thinking that a dedicated numismatist must adopt when times get tough?

And let’s face it. Times have been tough a lot lately. In fact, since the end of the 1990s, just when times start to look good, something bad happens, and we experience a new problem in this country that throws us for a loop to one degree or another.

Blaming It on the Turn of the Times

1921 Walking Liberty Half Dollar (Back)

The theory here is that, times have been troubling enough lately, that as a steady trend for almost two decades coin values have been going down because collectors have been more inclined to sell as opposed to hang on to their treasures. The result? When numismatists sell their prized possessions left and right and up one side and down the other this can mean two things:

  • A hefty assortment of rare U.S. coins will appear in the marketplace for buyers to snatch up.
  • There will also then be a subsequent decline in the values of rare U.S. coins, the decline being affected by multiple different factors.

We’ve seen this happen time and time again, so there’s no arguing that it isn't happening. This can be a very frustrating situation too if you’re in the coin game for profit. Depending on when you started collecting, chances are the value of your total rare coin portfolio has probably fallen by as much as 20 to 30 percent or so, possibly more depending on what you have.

This is not all bad news though, especially if you are looking at getting into coin collecting, or if you are looking at expanding your current collection of coins. A drop in the overall prices of coins means that you may be able to afford the rare coins you thought you’d never be able to purchase because the prices used to be too high.

Looking to the Future

Everyone’s instant question is always, “Well, when are the prices going to go up again?” And the honest answer is, “We don’t know!” No one can say what will happen, but if you look at trends on a more decade to decade basis, the trend is that prices dip then rise then dip then rise and so on and so forth. Those of us who have coins that we bought when they were more expensive, hold onto them until prices go up, and those of us who want to collect more, then now is the time to buy, buy, buy and buy in droves while the costs are down!