>This is bad news for collectors of the series
>that are most heavily represented in that
>hoard, because their holdings are certain to
>decline over time.
While I agree that the values of similar
coins goes down as supply goes up, I do not
agree that it is "bad news for collectors".
1. It is not really "new" news. I believe the
market already reflects (to some extent) the
anticipated increase in supply for these coins.
The web page cited by Donn Pearlman announced
that 5000 of the 1857-S $20 coins would be sold
starting in March. The discovery has been
known since about 1987, and we knew that coins
from that wreck cannot be dated later than 1857.
So there was an obvious risk to any collector
buying pre-1857 dates since 1987. Even before
1987, the SS Central America was a well known
wreck and obvious high-tech salvage target,
so there was a tangible risk to holding coins
from that period.
2. Any price changes will affect anyone
holding those coins, which could be dealers
as well as collectors. Price changes don't
necessarily have a "collector bias".
3. Price changes could go either way. Prices
could rise if the supply increase is less than
what the market has guessed.
4. If the promotion of coins from this era
happens to bring many new collectors into the
market, there could be a demand for similar
coins from this era (i.e. dates not found
in the wreck).
5. Once the cataloging and sales are completed,
the uncertainty about this source of supply
will *finally* be gone. So people who have
been staying out of this market due to the
obvious risk can re-enter.
In my opinion, Manley, et al are to be applauded
for their huge efforts in ending this legal mess.
I doubt that Manley et al initiated the
secrecy about the inventory of coins. The
asset holders knew that secrecy had to be maintained
to maximize value to any potential buyers.
We know a full inventory of the recovered
coins will be published in Bowers' book. So the
coins are in good hands, as far as making this
interesting information available. Naturally
I would expect the higher volume dates will be
sold before the book is published. But I bet
the coins will be sold at a fairly rapid pace;
$100 million in inventory makes it expensive