Coinflation - I thought I had invented a word today. My concept of the word was a combination of the post-pandemic increasing prices and the often-discussed concept of gradeflation. Both of these terms affect coins and their value. I googled it and went down a rabbit trail of reading. How did I get here?
I’ll admit, I don’t do most of the grocery shopping in my house. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to go and pick up whatever is needed, but if I was in charge of the shopping and cooking, there would be a lot of protesting. Also, my wife doesn't like taking me to the store, but that is a story for another time. However, I found myself picking up some odds and ends the other day, and I realized how much things have gone up in price. Yes, I’ve read about it (and I see the credit card bill), but it’s different when you “experience” it.
We often talk about the rise in prices across the hobby over the past two years. It has happened so quickly that we couldn't stop and analyze it. However, yesterday I was working on a group of Morgan Dollars and started noticing some shifts that relieved me. Morgan Dollars (mostly in the below $1,000 range) had gone up 100% in the past two years and they continued to stair-step in pricing. Sure, the demand was pushing these prices up, but that’s a percentage increase that would always be concerning. It’s too much, too fast. I finally saw some of these “settle” in pricing and it was a huge relief. I’m still unsure as to why they settled, but it seemed like the right time. Perhaps the “programs” that were being pushed which included these coins are migrating to another series, or, maybe it was simply that they filled their needs. Whatever the case, I think it’s a positive thing and that you should start to see some stability in pricing as it takes away a lot of the guesswork when establishing prices.
Of course, the concept of gradeflation also plays a huge part in this concept of “value”. For those of you who haven’t seen that word before, it’s simply that the concept of coin grading continues to loosen over time. Whether it’s an “improvement” to the system of grading or an evolution to accuracy, the concept of grading is subjective. With the continuous cracking out of coins, the constant regrading of collections, and the like, the value analysis seem to get a little muddier every day.
Are these changes in “values” a result of my concept of coinflation? I have no idea. However, I am a fan of the stabilization of prices. We’ll see adjustments over time, both upward and downward, but stability is often a good thing. Some coins will still jump in value - It’s a given. But, I think that will be the exception, not the rule over the next few months until we see where things sit as we get ready for the start of 2023.
John Brush and Your Friends at DLRC
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