Maurice Rosen is best known as the editor and publisher of the widely acclaimed Rosen Numismatic Advisory (RNA) which provides in-depth analysis and market commentary. The RNA has won more “Best Newsletter of the Year Award” honors from the Numismatic Literary Guild than any other newsletter: 30 annual awards since 1985.
Rosen is also president of Numismatic Counseling, Inc. (NCI), a Plainview, New York rare coin firm specializing in the acquisition and management of coin and precious metals investment portfolios for its clients. NCI was founded in 1976. Rosen has been a full-time professional numismatist since 1968.
Active Ambassador for Numismatics
Rosen is frequently quoted in numismatic and investment publications and is a popular speaker at investment conferences, trade shows and seminars.
Rosen’s strong pro-consumer advocacy stance has earned him considerable regard. Some of his better known articles include: “The 1980/81 Grading Renaissance,” appearing in the September 1981 Monthly Summary of The Coin Dealer Newsletter; his 1982 report exposing the weakness of ANACS (American Numismatic Association Certification Service) grading; his widely reprinted 1984 RNA report on the “Fallacy of Rare Coin Historical Price Performance Data;” and his 1994 interview entitled, “A Penetrating Look at Coin Doctoring.” These reports have helped to firmly establish
Rosen as an outstanding analyst and newsletter publisher who pulls no punches.
From 1987 to 1990, Rosen was a part-time grader at Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). His grading abilities and market expertise have been sought by various financial institutions and in court cases.
He was a contributor to the Official ANA Grading Standards of U.S. Coins and has been a longtime price consultant to annual editions of the popular Guide Book of United States Coins, also known as the Red Book. He is also a contributor to other publications which regularly publish coin pricing information.
Rosen was a founding member of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club (LSCC), and he holds membership in various other collector organizations. He is a member of the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG), and his firm is an authorized dealer in the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and is a charter member of NGC.
Rosen completed credits toward an M.B.A. degree in Finance & Investments (1970) at the Baruch School of the City University of New York (CUNY). He was employed as a security analyst’s aide before becoming a full-time professional numismatist in 1968.
COINage: Are coin collecting and investing mutually exclusive?
Maurice Rosen: In theory, that may be so for some folks. But I have yet to meet a collector who wasn’t aware of his or her numismatic financial successes or failures. Many even boast of their great buys. There’s no right or wrong in combining collecting and investing. The bottom line is that you should try to get your money’s worth and enjoy the hobby.
CA: What is the future of coin investing?
MR: The future is glorious, because as this is written in July 2019, we are at the start of a new bull market for rare coins. Much higher prices for precious metals will fuel a robust market for coins.
CA: How do you feel about grading services?
MR: They have been crucial innovations for the health and prosperity of the industry since their debut in 1986 and 1987. Their expert services guide numismatists to make prudent decisions when making transactions. Perfect they are not. But in an imperfect world, they’re doing a great job.
CA: You are an authorized dealer of the Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC). How do you feel about the service that CAC offers?
MR: CAC has taken the third-party concept one giant step farther. Headed by the world-renowned and respected John Albanese, an original founder of PCGS and later the founder of NGC, John is widely regarded as one of the very best coin graders in the industry. By applying stickers to holdered coins that meet CAC’s standards as being solidly graded, he has been helping coin buyers to recognize premium quality coins and to benefit when selling their coins.
CA: How do you feel about buying non-CAC coins?
MR: For me, it’s not a problem. I’ve bought non-CAC coins that I like and paid fairly for them. My preference, however, is to be selective and only buy those CAC-approved coins that satisfy my requirements. That gives me the most comfort and the best value for the money.
CA: Please offer your opinions about what you think is wrong with our hobby today. If you could turn back the hands of time and restore some hobby traditions of yesteryear, what would they be?
MR: The “thrill of the hunt” was a driving force for me and so many other young collectors decades ago. That was when collectible – not spendable – coins could be found in circulation. Imagine my joy finding a 1914-D Lincoln cent in my change after buying a soda! And later on, finding an 1889-CC Morgan dollar when I exchanged a $10 bill for ten silver dollars at a bank. That doesn’t happen today. In the 1970s when I was a young professional in the business, there was the thrill of looking for and buying “sleepers,” coins we researched as being undervalued. I recall devouring the early writings of such scholars as Walter Breen, John Ford and Don Taxay. Now there are very few sleepers yet to be found, as those “discovery” years are long gone thanks to the explosion of readily available research and data.
CA: How do you explain the precipitous decline in value of many high-grade coins?
MR: Coin prices are not immune to market cycles. I’ve been a collector since 1955 and a full time professional since 1968, and I have seen numerous up and down markets. Our last big up market concluded in 1989; then there was a nice rally high point in 2008. For the last 11 years, it has been a highly specialized market with certain rock-solid collecting areas doing well, certain truly rare and desirable coins doing quite well, and much of the rest treading water or declining. The decliners were mostly coins that were dependent more on investor demand than collector demand. Now is the time to be selective and be positioned for a renewed bullish market.
It’s all in the numbers – population and census numbers that is. Speaking about modern coins, there have been countless examples of the prices of very high graded issues with very low population numbers that collapsed when new examples were graded. That’s an area for the indifferent affluent who just want the glory of having the finest of the current moment and are not concerned with the cost. That’s way too risky a path for me. Besides modern coins, the declines were largely due to the end of the strong market in 2008.
Market premiums for those high-grade coins fell due to collector and investor liquidation and a diminution of buyers. That phenomenon was especially prevalent when certain high-quality coins were offered at big-name auctions and bought by overly enthusiastic bidders.