Commentary on the State of the (somewhat) Esoteric Side of the Market
From Pierre Fricke's latest newsletter - one of my favorite copper dealers:
The market continues to be strong. Both web site and coin show sales are doing well. Buying things is harder, but I’ve raised my buy prices to meet the market. Unfortunately some of the major price guides are not keeping up with the market and their bid or retail values seem to reflect the least common denominator (marginal notes or coins in third party graded holders). Anything with eye appeal or even better choice for the grade commands prices considerably to significantly higher than these price guides.
The early American copper market is generally strong, especially Fugio cents as there are more type collectors adding this to their type set and people interested in collecting – even the rare varieties are commanding more rational premiums than in the late 201s. Red book half and large cents are strong. Other rare varieties remain a mixed bag with some going strong and others remaining weak. One thing I continue to see are slab details coins only priced at modest discounts if any to the graded version. Some details coins are quite nice and are worth a significant fraction of graded versions. Many other deserve discounts of 1-2 or even 3 grades depending.
Confederate paper is generally strong – high grade and high appeal choice for the grade notes are the strongest. 1864 type in most graded are strong. Others remain somewhat softer. See the updated April 2023 price guide for more details on this market.
Southern State notes are strong as they have been since the late 2000s. Texas notes and high-grade PMG 63 or better Southern state notes in general are setting new records. But even circulated southern state notes are in demand. These languished for 10 years during most of the 2010s and have been gaining strength since 2019-20. Despite these increases, these notes remain cheap compared to Confederate Treasury notes, Federal large size 1861-69, and coins.
Obsolete notes also have gained strength. Notably, proof notes and high grade remainders are seeing the greatest price gains. Proof obsolete notes have been lethargic for most of the 2010s as well and were grossly undervalued for their rarity and beauty. This is beginning to change. Rare obsolete notes that are issued and circulated also are getting stronger.
US large size 1861 t 1869 have been a white-hot market. To the point that popular price guides have fallen behind indicating the actual market. Don’t expect to buy these even at the “collector” value as these have galloped past those levels. This date range is popular and with a few exceptions of later notes (Educationals) are in greater demand than the later notes and are rarer – hence the higher prices.