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How liquid is Medal's market?


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I am wondering how big market for Medals is. I had several silver old French Medals (1890+) and I tried to sell couple of them thru Ebay.com but there was no bids at all even the starting price was 0.99 and shipping $5 to USA/CA. Eventually I sold them out but the price was less than silver content (and I got even less after all the fees). So how big is the market?

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  • 4 weeks later...

"So how big is the market?"

 

I've been mulling this question. I note that auctions for nearly 6000 medals were completed on Ebay in the last couple of weeks (with roughly 50% actually sold) and another 1800 "buy it nows" (with perhaps 30% actually sold). So, a total of 3500 medals sold in just two weeks! Yet, this is a drop in the bucket compared to coin sales (we're just talking Ebay now.) Further, "medals" covers a lot of ground so that the market for any one segment (say 19th century French medals) might be a small fraction of the total.

 

Of course, medals can also be purchased from dealer inventories, public auctions and privately. So, in one sense, there's lots of medal "action" going on all the time, but does that translate into liquidity-can medals also be sold on a timely basis at a readily recognizable market price? I don't think so. If you like to upgrade and sell off mistakes and duplicates, I expect you will find this more difficult in medals (generally) than in US or world coins, even Civil war tokens or Conders. Liquidity might ultimately improve with growth in the collector base and third party encapsulation, but that's only in the fetal stages.

 

So, avoid medals? Heck no, it's a wonderful area to collect! Personally I hope it stays something of a sleepy backwater in the flipping, cracking, processing, PQ, CAC world of numismatics.

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I've noticed that in the UK, I'm starting to be outbid on a regular basis on the bay; mainly on French and Belgian bronzes. It's quite likely that as these have been hitherto fetching low prices, the market is waking up to the idea of good value.

Either that or I'm getting meaner in my old age.

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