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Why are Morgans Down?
April 17, 2009

I had a phone call from a Numismatic News reader. She was looking at the weekly Coin Market at a Glance.

"The price of Morgans seeems to be down. Why?"

That's a pretty broad generalization. I asked her what her point of reference was and I wasn't trying to be funny. Was it Morgan prices 20 years ago, or from some other year in the past?

No, that wasn't it.

She was looking at the Coin Market at a Glance from prior weeks.

I stated the obvious. If the prices as printed are lower than those from prior weeks, then indeed prices were lower. If she needed a specific slant on a specific issue, I invited her to e-mail the editor of that section, Harry Miller.

She asked if it had to do with silver?

I asked what date specifically she was looking at.

She replied, the 1921-D. I said it was possible that some of the price fluctuation for that date was due to silver's moves. It is not a rare coin.

The caller pressed on. Why did the prices fall?

I told her I didn't know the answer to her question.

She volunteered that she was pricing a friend's collection and so she was noticing.

It is too bad I couldn't be more helpful, but one observation I can make is I am getting a large number of calls asking about prices. What this usually means is the family budget is being pinched and some prized coins are going to find their way to eBay or a local coin shop. If enough people are doing this, prices will indeed drop.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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