What was once a market almost entirely tied to collectors the rare coin market has become a multi-billion dollar investment market. In fact, reliable estimates for 2017 indicate the overall U.S. rare coin market in 2017 was between $3.4 and $3.8 billion for auctions and direct sales. These estimates exclude world coin sales, sales by the United States Mint and bullion coins, such as gold and silver American Eagles, Krugerrands and other bullion coins from around the world.
The U.S. Mint generated sales of $2.5 billion of bullion coins and collectible coin sales. When adding in the sales from the U.S. Mint and bullion coins minted by private and foreign mints the rare coin and bullion market in 2017 was likely well over $8 billion.
Truly rare U.S. coins enjoy a strong, vibrant market thanks to collectors and investors willingness to buy rarities for between $500 and $50,000. In fact, great rarities are also in high demand four U.S. rarities actually brought over $1 million as the result of
United States rare coins selling for $50,000 or more, and those selling for $500 or less, generally did well during 2017. Four incredibly rare U.S. coins sold for $1 million or more during the year; two public auctions and two by private sales.
Price realized for U.S. coins sold at major public auctions in recent years offers a glimpse of the liquidity in this market:
• 2017 totaled $306 million
• 2016 totaled $342 million
• 2015 totaled $439 million
• 2014 totaled $536 million
• 2013 totaled $393 million
The most valuable U.S. rare coin sold at auction in
2017 was one of the famous 1804 silver dollars that sold for $3,290,000, and
second most valuable being one of the first and ultra-rare 1794 silver dollars
in mint state condition which sold for $2,820,000.