Martin Kaplan forwarded this Coin Update article by Michael Alexander interviewing Richard Lobel of Coincraft in London. Thanks. The main
topic is the secondary market for Mint products. Here's an excerpt - be sure to read the complete article online. -Editor
As a leading voice in the field of the coin world’s secondary market, I had an opportunity to ask Richard Lobel, owner/director of
Coincraft in London, what he believed the shape of the secondary market is currently in and if there should be cause for concern. The company he and
his wife Claire run has been rightly described as a numismatic department store and is just opposite the British Museum, which has become a landmark
for coin collectors both in the UK and for those who visit London from far and wide. Next year, Coincraft celebrates the 65th anniversary of its
founding, which the management say they are very much looking forward to.
Michael Alexander: Many collectors visiting London will be very familiar with Coincraft since your company has had such an unmissable
presence and impact in British Numismatics and has been a pivotal driving force. It’s safe to say that what you do not know about the secondary
market frankly isn’t worth knowing. So, what do you believe is the main ailment of the secondary market at the moment? What is its biggest failing or
concern for you?
Richard Lobel: The secondary market in this country, and in other countries, is not working because of the word “too.” Too many products
being issued, prices are too high, and there are too few collectors for the material. That, combined with the lack of support from mints in the
secondary market, means that collectors have nowhere to go once they decide to sell them. Quite simply, the mints do not support the products that
they have sold. Their customers may have bought from them because they are a mint, but once these collectors go to sell, they realise that no mint
will re-purchase the items. The secondary market is made up of the dealers who really don’t want a mint’s overpriced issues. They do not have the
facility or space to handle quantities. Their main business is normally older numismatic items, real collector pieces.
MA: I’m sure you’ve seen the familiar scenario of collectors believing they made smart investments with purchases directly from mints and
marketing companies which ends up disappointing collectors and puts them off coin collecting permanently. This also leaves the activity with an
undeserved reputation. Can you share your experiences having handled these kinds of visitors to your shop over the years?
RL: We know from our own experience that there are a number of mints and marketing companies who suggested to their own customers if they
have something to sell which was bought from them, then contact Coincraft! Auctions list these items at melt value or less, and dealers are tired of
being called crooks when they make a legitimate offer on material which is based on the metal content, and we coin dealers are not to blame. The
mints and marketing companies who sell collector’s pieces, hinting that they’re investment, are the ones who are in the wrong. We did not sell you a
new crown-sized silver coin and I use the term “coin” advisedly, with £7 ($9) worth of silver for £80 ($104) or more. The mints do not want
to get involved once they have sold the coins so they are responsible for killing the market. I say to them: “If your items are so great, why
don’t you buy them back?”
To read the complete article, see:
Is it time to re-think the secondary coin market?
Wayne Homren, Editor
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