By Laura Sperber, - Legend Numismatics Market Report - Re-posted with Permission on CoinWeek
Last week a copy reputed to be the finest of Superman #1 sold for a remarkable $2,160,000.00! Keep in mind, this is a regular for circulation to the masses comic book-NOT the original art work.
For the life of us, even though we have friends who are the top collectors and dealers of comic books, we could never understand how they justify and sustain value. They are commercially printed in quantity and have no monetary value. If you saved your first blank check you ever got for your check book, would that be worth anything? NOT! Regardless, we think the sale price of this comic book has huge relevance towards the rare coin market.
There still is a lot of money out there looking for places to go. Quietly, we've slipped back into a tangible asset mentality among investors. If people can justify putting $2 million dollars into a single comic book, then collectors out there certainly can justify buying even more coins. In most areas of collectibles, people are buying and are causing price increases. Rare Wines have become hot, Stratovarius violins are red hot at several MILLION dollars per instrument, a check list for an Apollo moon mission just bought several hundred thousand dollars and the list can go on and on. Yet prices in the rare coin market are crawling up selectively.
From what we know is proven, coins are far more liquid and do still have a larger world wide market than rare comic books. Only the supply of rare coins right now exposes a major problem. That problem: there is too much dreck in the market place. The hobby all of the sudden woke up 2-3 years ago with a bad hang over from 10+ years of not paying attention. So its hard to make a crappy looking MS65 Saint worth $4-$5,000.00 now that gold has finally hit all time crazy price levels. Even great Type is still selling really for cents on the dollar. You can buy a pretty GEM Proof 66 Barber Quarter for UNDER $3,500.00 with a pop of UNDER 10 and a mintage of UNDER 1,000 pieces. These should also be $5,000.00 coins. You can still buy a 50C any date Bust MS67 CAC for about $50,000.00 (if one ever appears). These should be $75,000.00-$100,000.00 coins easy. Even Common date Walkers in MS66 at $225.00 and MS67 Walkers+Morgans below $1,000.00 seem too cheap. We'd much rather have an Ultra High Relief at $2,000,000.00 than a comic book! Call us jaded!
Our point is, there is substantial money out trolling right now for places to go. Its coming into coins at a slow pace. Collectors are not stupid, they know the coin market has its issues. As we clean up our messes (and stop the coin docs), we can see the rare coin market substantially increase in value in months and the money supply coming in to buying coins radically increasing. There are not that many really nice coins available to buy. When a comic book sells for $2.16 million its time to seriously look at great rare coins as undervalued (in our opinion). The potential for the coin market is tremendous.
Our TWO motto's have always been, #1 "do not be afraid to pay 20-40% premium for a great coin today. Your not looking to make 10% on it in a year. Your looking many years down the road for extraordinary gains." #2 "there is no substitution for quality".
Background from the Hollywood Reporter
"Nicolas Cage’s nearly-pristine copy of Action Comics No. 1 featuring the first appearance of Superman sold for a record $2,161,000 in an online auction that ended Wednesday. It is the first comic to sell for more than $2 million at auction. The previous record was $1.5 million for a less well-preserved copy of Action Comics No. 1 sold in March 2010...... Experts believe only about five others, all in private hands, are of near-equal quality to Cage's copy and only one -- the legendary "Edgar Church Collection" copy, which has never been publicly viewed -- might exceed it."