Read Bill's "State of the Token" below and get on The Copper Corner mailing list by contacting Bill at Copperman@thecoppercorner.com .
"The 'State of the Token'. One of my good friends in London popped in on the latest DNW sale, and sent me a note that he feared he had 'lost the thread' of token values, as the prices were all over the map.
Yes---in the last couple of auctions they have been.
The Dollar has gained a bit vs. the Pound---at this writing about $1.77. If you are figuring prices, always add about 3 cents, as the banks charge it to exchange currencies, and sometimes more than three. Check with your bank to see just what is charged. Thus, $1.80 is about what most Americans will pay, at the moment.
It has helped a bit, but not too much by itself. Other factors have had a big influence.
In October 2004, the first Spence sale was held, with the first part of the Litrenta sale after that, followed this year by Spence part Two, and in December 2005 another sale with many rarities. This, essentially, has amounted to 4 major offerings in a space of little over a year. What has been seen is interesting.
The 2004 sale was the first major sale in some time, and nearly everything was hotly contested---the collectors found pieces not offered for years, and the dealers needed stock!! Prices were high across the board, and the dollar was around $1.90+---not a good combination for either the collector or for me!!
With the Litrenta sale, the stance softened somewhat, but prices remained pretty high.
Spence part Two contained 462 lots, and there was only so much money to go around. The really 'important' rarities sold to collectors at very high prices, while the “medium” rarities found homes for prices ranging from high to low---once in a while no one was looking, and a bargain was had.
The latest sale brought more of the same, with prices all over the map.
The coin and token business is one of supply and demand. Demand really has not changed, but for some reason many collections have come on the market at once, giving me - and you - opportunities to buy interesting items, and some at reasonable prices. Thus, the supply has, to some extent, outpaced demand.
I have seen this before---just as I have gone through periods when there were no tokens for me to buy, and my stock was getting REALLY low. About the time my stock gets down to nothing, another wave of tokens comes available, and I can build inventory again. Token availability, and to some extent prices, are cyclical.
So- what am I saying here? Spence II and the latest sale in December presented lots of tokens, with Spence II having NO unsold lots, and the latest sale having only a handful---thus the buyers are there, and the hobby is quite well. The sheer number of tokens in auctions of late have allowed for some bargains for the buyer with an eye for them be he/she dealer or collector.
Prices on some of the common material will probably soften a bit due to the dollar/pound adjustment in the last year--- but the rarities seem to just keep on going up no matter what happens. Just as water finds its own level, the token market does as well. Overall, the market for the tokens has continued upward over the last year, and is now finding its own level with the dollar/pound corrections and the supply and demand situation.
It has ever been thus is the coin and token business. Overall, coins and tokens have been extremely 'hot' and history tells us that nothing really goes down much, or for long. The smart buyer will look at prices and determine if the price being paid for a particular token is right for him/her based on what one can find out. If a token is bought correctly, it will be able to be sold correctly, and the collector will have value for the money paid.
Good material will always find a home." Bill McKivor