By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez, COINage News Editor
Gold is on fire this week, hitting the $1,500 threshold on August 7 and hovering at that mark over the past 48 hours. This is the highest price gold has hit since spring 2013, when prices were sliding after hitting decades-long highs. The golden bulls are at it once more, with geopolitical tensions including rocky trade talks between the United States and China, continued peril in the Persian Gulf, and the stock market showing troublesome weaknesses lately.
Whether or not this activity in the gold market signals the next big breakout as we saw in the multi-year run from 2002-2011, when gold hit an all-time nominal price of almost $1,850, is yet to be seen. But what we do know is this: the feverish bullion market is helping to keep coin dealers very active these days, as more and more collectors and especially precious metals investors look to cash in on the fortunes — and potential bigger fortunes — the yellow metal provides.
Those in the numismatic arena should keep an extra close eye on trading conditions in the coming weeks to see if positive trends form in overall market activity, as often happens when bullion prices make notable, prolonged leaps. Will the increasing gold prices help spur even more activity in the coin market? We may see more activity among bullion coinage as well as common, circulated pre-1933 gold coins, with worn generic gold double eagles trading at levels closer to melt than even American Gold Eagles. If bullion prices stay elevated, spillover speculation could reach other areas of the coin market, including those in which prices are less dependent on prevailing bullion levels.