Coin News

Volume 39, Number 4, April 2002

Figures say it all - or nothing

Volume 39, Number 4, April 2002

As every businessman knows and every politician is quick to take advantage of figures can be used to prove virtually anything, good or bad! Statistics are used daily by large companies to prove to the world that their product is the most popular, governments spout out figures to give credence to their policies and the Opposition give even more figures to prove otherwise...and so it goes on. Every year figures are published to show the state of every market and the coin trade is no different. For the past eight years Richard Falkiner, numismatic correspondent for the Antiques Trade Gazette, the weekly organ of the antiques trade, has taken the time and effort to compute the "figures" for coins, medals etc., sold at auction in London by the major auction houses and it makes for interesting reading. We all know the true state of the Market as we are part of it, judging by the amount of interest in the magazine and the frenetic activity at the many fairs we have attended over the past few months, we would say that numismatics is thriving, indeed with the advent of the Euro and the collecting phenomenon that this has set off, we would even go so far as to say that it is enjoying something of a boom. However if you read the table it would seem that business was down some 8.87% on the previous year. . . but these are only figures! During 2001 the internet virtually "took off", undoubtedly taking a large slice of the trade, and in addition many of the smaller auction houses had record years. Most dealers we have spoken to have reported and increase in turnover and we have been delighted to welcome a number of new full-time dealers into the trade. With all this increase in activity it would be an interesting (although probably quite impossible) exercise to compute the total amount of money spent on coins in the UK in any one year and compare that figure year on year. With ATG figures showing almost £11 million for 2001 at London Auctions alone the figure must be enormous... but then again they are only figures! The ATG table could not be replicated on-line however it is available within this month's COIN NEWS.

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