The multi-billion dollar rare coin market for US coins in 2017, according to PNG

US Rare Coin Markets with coins selling for $50,000 or more and those selling for $500 or less generally doing well in 2017, according to the Guild of Professional Numismatists (PNG), a non-profit organization made up of many of the best dealers in rare coins and paper money. Four historic U.S. coins sold for $1 million or more during the year; two in public auctions and two in private transactions.

PNG estimates that the overall rare coin market in the United States in 2017 was between $3.4 billion and $3.8 billion, not including sales of the United States currency or bullion coins, such as gold and silver american eagles.

The aggregate prices realized for U.S. coins sold at major public auctions in 2017 totaled $306,199,305. Two auction houses accounted for nearly 80% of the overall total, with Heritage auctions reports $169,100,000 sold at auction and Stack Bowers Galleries at $74,099,305.

Stack’s Bowers sold at auction one Class I silver U.S. dollar dated 1804 for $3,290,000 and one 1794 silver dollar for $2,820,000.

All totals include the buyer’s premium to reflect the actual full prices paid by winning bidders.

“Over the decades, the market for rare coins has evolved in cycles”, explained the president of the PNG Barry Stuppler.

“High-quality historical coins worth over $50,000 and so-called ‘collector’ coins under $500 generally did well in 2017. Unlike recent years, there were few antique collectibles that came into the market, and some of the investment money that could have gone into numismatic purchases went into the booming stock market and speculative cyber-currency market,” said Stuppler. “Despite this, demand for extremely rare coins for investors and collectors increased in 2017.”

The auction companies that responded to the PNG survey are: Bonham’s; Auctioneers Ira and Larry Goldberg; GreatCollections Coin Auctions; Heritage auctions; Rare pieces by David Lawrence (which reported private sales of two pieces for $1 million or more); Legendary Rare Coin Auction; Scottish coinage and jewelery; and Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

The Guild of Professional Numismatists was founded in 1955. Merchant members of PNG must adhere to a strict code of ethics in the buying and selling of numismatic goods.

For more information on PNG and a full list of member resellers, visit online at or call PNG headquarters in Temecula, California at (951) 587-8300.

Comments are closed.