The first few months of the year are typically very fun for coin and banknote collectors, There are big shows and new product releases. COVID has forced these exhibitions to rethink their model and mints to re-think their product launches. The Berlin World Money Fair went virtual January 29 – 31 and it seemed to be a success- at least for the mints. The Florida United Numismatists (FUN) show didn’t happen, but there were auctions and related events around the same time. The ANA Money Show was also cancelled.
Mints seemed to go forward with their 2021 product launches. The US Mint, Perth Mint, Bank of Greece, Monnaie de Paris, and Münze Österreich introduced new products. The World Fair partnered with several mints to promote their new products. Most of which seem to now be sold out. It was disappointing to not see some of the most innovative mints in person. The Australian Mint, UK Mint and Mint of Japan usually have large glittering displays showing off their new products at exhibitions. A survey of their websites indicates that they too are doing well and that their new products are selling.
NGC claims that the collector market is booming. Collectors Universe has also claimed the market is doing well, although the company is in the process of being purchased and going private. But the investor group seemed to have confidence that the market was strong enough to pay significantly above market.
How much of the success in the recent market is silver speculation and how much is collectors adding to their holdings? Certainly the mints have continued to create interesting products and pivoted well to an e-commerce model. Who has lost? Probably the little retailer or reseller. Only time will tell.