I don't know if it's just me or the people I talk to, but there's been some concern lately that the broader economy may not be able to support the endless rise in rare coin & note values that we've come to enjoy in the past few years (or decade, whichever way you look at it).

So attending an auction in an atmosphere of uncertainty can be an enlightening experience - we all bring our own views of the market to the table when we attend an auction, but that doesn't mean we entirely disregard the views (and bids!) of others in the auction room. I had my work cut out for me to view pretty much the entire Noble auction in the space of less than a day (I normally take 2-3 full days), and hadn't had a lot of time to absord the views of the other dealers in attendance. Any thoughts I had about a possible easing of demand across the board for numismatic items were quickly discarded once the auction got underway.

Competition for the best quality items was strong as usual, however given the sheer scope of material on offer (something like 13 * 1930 pennies alone!), the prices realized probably showed that there was a lot of material to digest through one sale. Since we've come to expect prices well above catalogue for truly superior quality items (be they coins or notes), when this type of material didnt match those levels there was the odd raised eyebrow.

Although the term "among the finest known" is probably bandied about as much the hoary old chestnut "You just don't see 'em like that", the pre-decimal coins in the Wilson collection were truly superb. Many coins would have graded MS 65 and possibly even higher, a few items I'd never seen even approaching in that condition. As usual however, the Aussie gold probably wasn't particularly strong (how this can be the case when precious metal coins are pretty much always the most keenly sought items on eBay at the moment is beyond me), but all the other areas were reasonably solid.

That the credit crunch is starting to make an impact on not only mortgage rates, disposable income and enthusiasm to invest in anything other than cash hasn't seem to have hit the Australian numismatic market yet, let's see how the next 6 months go before breathing out a sigh of relief.

Category: Market News