Back The Economist Numismatics—acquiring old coins—outperforms other investments
Search Sections 23 Nov
Close
Advertisement
18 May 10:46am

Numismatics—acquiring old coins—outperforms other investments

The Economist
BEHIND the heavily fortified door of Stack’s Bowers, a gallery of rare coins in New York, smiling salesmen show off their precious wares neatly displayed in pristine glass cabinets. To the untutored eye, it looks like pocket change. Numismatists, who study the history and art of old money, see well-preserved coins as aesthetic masterpieces worth many times their face value. At an auction organised by Stack’s Bowers on March 31st, an American cent from 1793 (pictured) sold for $940,000, becoming the costliest penny ever. An index of tangible alternative asset classes compiled by Knight Frank, a consultancy, shows that returns on rare coins over ten years to the end of 2016 were 195%, easily beating art (139%), stamps (133%), furniture (-31%) and the S&P 500 index (58%). Coins are more portable than paintings or furniture, and boast a higher value-to-volume ratio. Stamps may be lighter, but, come doomsday, cannot be melted...
Read full story
 Like Comment
Advertisement

Comments

No comments yet...
On the top

Date settings

Today is Thursday, November 23, 2017

+ 1 -
+ 1 -
+ 2016 -

Close

By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our cookie policy.

Accept

The Economist

Close