Article Published January 13, 2007
By Ken Kashuba
The advice for 2007 is for type set collectors to buy your dollar coins now!
The 2007 release of the Presidential small dollar program is set to begin in February and will add to the ever growing list of 21st Century circulating commemoratives. If the new dollar coin series follows the same patterns as the Statehood and Louisiana Purchase programs then we will see interest in other dollar series climb along with their prices.
Do not take current prices for granted. Before the Louisiana Purchase series I remember needing a 1942D nickel to complete a 1942 type set. I was never worried about running out and buying one as a BU example could be acquired for $12 so I focused on some other coins with the intent of buying the coin at a latter time. Once the new nickel series started that same BU coin was suddenly $22 and finding an attractive BU example has become more difficult. Will the same hold true for dollar coins? For some specific years or mints probably and for others probably not but after the nickel experience it would be wise not to assume that supply and prices will remain the same as today.
The new Presidential program will probably provide a well needed shot in the arm to many of the dollar series that have seen anemic growth or interest over the years. Susan B. Anthony, Eisenhower, and Peace dollars should all begin to see a rise in prices.
For most new collectors, coin supply and low entry prices usually dictate their early collecting habits, two characteristics currently found in modern material. So, it makes sense that modern material will more than likely be the first to benefit as supply is readily available to both collectors and dealers. For the most part, modern dollar coins have been a sleeping series amongst collectors so currently many dealers have an ample supply. Yet, as demand increases dealers will have to restock to meet demand and that restocking will incur costs that will subsequently put pressure on prices. So we'll begin with analyzing modern dollar coin series.
Common date Sacagawea dollars may be the exception to the rise in value theory. Within the Presidential Coin act of 2005 is a subsection that requires the mint to continue producing Sacagawea dollars in addition to presidential dollars with a mintage that is no less than 1/3 of the Presidential dollars. This one subsection will guarantee an ample supply of Sacagawea coins for many years to come. Currently, Sacagawea dollars can easily be obtained in a BU grade for as little as $2 and I see little change in this price over the years.
From a public opinion, the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin has been the ugly duckling of dollar series coins and its current demand reflects opinions. Susan B. Anthony dollar coin can be easily be obtained in a BU grade for as little as $2 but these will probably rise to $3-$3.50 over the next several years. Though Susan B Anthony in a BU condition will get a boost, I wouldn't count on any circulated coins to grow in value.
Common copper/nickel Eisenhower dollars in a grade of BU currently run at $3 with silver BU coins at $8 and a Bicentennial BU coins at $4. Like the small dollar series, I wouldn’t be shocked to see values increasing anywhere from 40% to 60% over several years.
Common date Peace dollars can currently be acquired at $16 in AU and $18 in BU. Not a very big spread between the two grades but I’m betting that changes. Over the next few years we may see common date AU coins around $21 and common date BU coins around $30.
The Morgan dollar has always maintained a high interest and consistent rise in value so the presidential program will most likely add more fuel to the fire. It’s difficult enough trying to predict this market so I’m not even going to try. The only recommendation here is to make a Morgan Dollar one of your first purchases.
Trade, Seated Liberty, and Bust Dollars are not as popular with new collectors and its unlikely if their interests will expand into 19th century dollar coins. But, these coins currently have been rising anywhere from 5% to 8% annually over the last 5 years so its still in your best interest to acquire these pieces early in your hunt for dollars. The only downside is cost. A Trade or Seated Liberty dollar grading VF is hovering around $350 while a Bust Dollar in Good is around $800. For those on a restrictive budget, you may have to pursue the reproduction route.
Renewed interest in a coin series is both a boon and bane to type set collectors. On one hand it introduces thousands of new collectors to the hobby and increases the value of our type sets. On the other hand it also becomes more costly for those still attempting to complete their type set.
During the mid 1990’s, one could assemble a very attractive 20th century type set of AU/BU coins for a cost of $400 to $500. Today, thanks to renewed interest and increased demand, the same set now costs $600 to $800.
I have no crystal ball and the predictions here may never come to be. Additionally, what will this do to the overall hobby? We have no idea where new collector demand may turn. For all we know, it may take a turn and put more focus on other dollar series such as non-circulating commemoratives or world dollar coins.
The coin hobby, as a whole, has been experiencing its longest bull run in price increases and this new commemorative program may keep the pricing bubbles afloat for a little longer. From a conservative gambler's perspective, I'll be taking the safe route and will be filling those dollar coins holes in my collection throughout 2007.