PNG 2019 Rare Coin Market Report

NEWS: Hundreds of Rare Coin Record Prices

Professional Numismatists Guild Annual Report

Each year, the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) conducts an annual update on the Numismatic Rare Coin Market.

The PNG surveyed a dozen major auction houses to calculate the amount of U.S. rare coins sold at major public auctions in 2019. There was a dip in overall auction sells in 2019, totaling over $325 million, the second lowest year in seven years;

The Professional Numismatists Guild is a nonprofit organization composed of many of the country’s top rare coin and paper money dealers.

  • 2019 = $325 million
  • 2018 = $345 million
  • 2017 = $316 million
  • 2016 = $342 million
  • 2015 = $439 million
  • 2014 = $536 million
  • 2013 = $393 million


The prominence of superb quality and exceptional rarity in the United States rare coins proved strong, with hundreds of record prices reached at major public auctions. Six U.S. coins sold for over $1 million in 2019, five at auction and one in a private sale. Additionally, three rare U.S. bank notes also sold at auction for $1 million or more, however, they were not included in the aggregate 2019 auction total.

Overall, top dealers state that the coin market seems very healthy, with a major focus on quality rare coins with good eye appeal. Common generic coins are plentiful, and values continue to slide, as do non-graded, non-bullion-based coins in lower quality. There was increased interest in circulated, semi-numismatic pre-1933 U.S. gold coins. The bullion market is somewhat stronger dollar-wise, with spot prices increasing… Led by palladium at roughly 50%, platinum 18%, gold 15% and silver at 8% increases in 2019.

There seems to be an accumulation of precious metals, with renewed interest in U.S. Mint products, like the release of the 2019 Enhanced Reverse Proof Silver Eagle, which prompted collectors to purchase older date American Eagles to complete date sets.

Overall, U.S. coins that are easily available in lower grades declined in 2019, while hundreds of the Finest Known issues set price records at auctions. The most valuable U.S. rare coin sold in 2019 was a proof 1885 silver Trade dollar, graded NGC PR66, for a record $3,960,000 by Heritage Auctions. In 2019, HA sales totaled $181.3 million in U.S. rare coins sales at auction, followed by Stack’s Bowers Galleries which sold an aggregate total of $59.7 million of rare coins at auctions in 2019.