the silver melt is on
A few thoughts on Silver coins and the results of this second round of melt fever. Back in the early 1980?s (?) the Hunt brothers tried to corner the silver market and the result was one of the most drastic rushes to melt silver coins that we have seen since the civil war. The number of Mercury dimes and Roosevelt dimes, the Washington quarters, and the Walking Liberty and Franklin halves that were melted for the silver content is staggering to conceive. Along with those coins, the Silver Morgan?s and Peace dollars will be unknown for many years to come.
Now along comes this second wave of melt fever. With Silver now in the $20 dollar range and looking like it still has a way to go, prior to reaching some sort of top, we can expect that the number of coins that will be melted shall again be horrendous. And what will this melt consist of? Well my believe, and based on what I am seeing, the major amounts will be Roosevelt dimes, Washington quarters, and Franklin half?s, in mostly circulated conditions. What will the impact of all of this be? I think that a few of current collectors might agree with me that it may ruin our hobby in the future. If as we all hope, an influx of new collectors keep coming along, at some point they will want to escalate to building better and better sets. The Mercury?s and Franklin?s come to mind immediately, as they are the pretty ones. Now carry the assumptions forward, the melts have decimated the total number of Merc?s and Frankie?s in existence, so much so that the population consists of mainly the coins that have already been encapsulated. In the case of the Franklin?s, NGC and PCGS have a total pop of 254,039 coins, most in the MS-60 or above range. This total being the present number graded out of over 477.7 million coins that were originally struck for circulation by the mints. How many of those original 477.7 Mil still exist? How many will be available to beginning collectors who will need to start small with the lower circulated grades, because of concerns for their budgets? Will the available coins turn out to be only those already encapsulated, and the number of circulated raw coins be of either such bad quality or limited supply that they have a smaller population than the graded coins? What will this do to the prices of both, and will it preclude any new sets? And this is only the Franklin?s, I didn?t do the math on the Merc?s or the Roosie?s or the rest of the silver coins. I am sure that most of you can see where this is going.
Now I admit, that I am a retired person that gains a portion of my income from dealing in coins, and as such, the major drive is to make a profit. When the price that I can get for a group of Franklins is higher as a item for melt, than I can sell the coins to collectors for, and I can?t afford to hold them in inventory forever (I gotta eat today and the rest of the week, plus those bill collectors have no sense of humor) my choices of action is limited.
Being the seventh son of a seventh son, I predict that in the very near future, we shall see a major realignment of the prices of silver coins. And this hobby that we all love, shall be the major looser.
And what do you think????