Through decades in the coin business we have seen many coin trends come and go. There has been amazing growth in collecting and one of the largest movements in the spot prices of the metals themselves. As we have discussed before, we all collect for different reasons and the majority of us have a lot of fun passing along what we know about coins. That being said, have we reached an era of coin overload? Are there so many choices in coin collecting that you feel overwhelmed?
As little as 25 years ago, the Morgan Silver Dollar was the most collected coin in the U.S. and modern gold and silver coins were just bullion that NGC and PCGS didn't even certify. Most "collectors" looked down their noses on bullion and bullion investors didn't understand why a collector would spend $1,000 on a Morgan. The world of coins is a different place today.
In 1999, everything would change. It wasn't necessarily evident in the moment but the humble statehood quarter program would change U.S. coin collecting forever. Suddenly, the general public was searching their change for the next quarter they didn't have and waiting for their own state to finally circulate. Most of you reading this will remember it fondly. Coin collecting had moved from the "rich man's" hobby to a fun chase that anyone could enjoy. With Y2K fears and a questionable economy, people who had never considered purchasing gold and silver were soon loading up on precious metals. The Mint was well aware of this too and more and more programs were made available. Let's jump to present day.
Today, the American Silver Eagles have surpassed the Morgan Dollars as the most collected coin in the United States! Not only have they struck more coins but the Mint has continued to produce unique sets and strikes that would have been impossible to make 120 years ago. They have struck Silver Eagles in bullion, proof, uncirculated, reverse proof, enhanced, enhanced reverse proof coins... and oh yeah, they have many different mintmarks too! Just keeping up with the different releases requires a lot of effort today.
The Mint's Product schedule has 73 products listed through August and another 4 months to come! Coin collector's today have more choices than ever before but it comes at a cost. Not just monetarily but also mentally. Many of the collectors we deal with have to have constant reminders of what is out, what they have, what they're missing, and the biggest question... what they need.