Well, not quite, but almost. This narrative on the coin market was published in The Numismatist by Editor Frank G. Duffield in March 1920. Today, in April 2019, as you read these words from long ago, the situation is somewhat the same. The coin market, taken on average, peaked in the summer of 2013, and since then the values of many coins have decreased. I will guess that what took $1,000 to acquire high-grade type coins in 2013 would cost $800 or so today. In a way, that suggests that now is a good time to buy. Psychology suggests otherwise. More people want to buy in an “up” market, thus forcing prices higher, than want to buy when the market is quiet, or lower. That said, here is what Duffield had to say nearly a century ago:
In the report of the United States Coin Committee of the American Numismatic Society, at the annual meeting in January, the statement is made that while the price of coins did advance slightly during the war, the advance was not at all in keeping with the increase in the cost of clothing and food. Those who have been buying coins for several years past will corroborate this statement. It does seem that with a doubling of prices for almost every other commodity within the past three or four years the price of coins should also have advanced sharply; but it has remained almost stationary. The advance in price of the necessities and luxuries of life is attributed to the increased costs under which they are produced. This, of course, cannot be applied to coins. And really there is not good reason why a rare coin should cost more today than it did 10 years ago, except that there are more collectors today, and therefore more competition for it than at that time. The number of pieces has been neither increased nor decreased by the war. The average line of coins has taken on a fairly standard selling price during the years they have been on the market, and the buyer of today perhaps feels justified in refusing to pay more than that price.
But with our dollar today buying only 50 cents’ worth according to the standards of five years ago, the fact remains that with but a slight increase in the price of coins, they are cheaper today than they have been at any time within the past 10 years, and almost anything in the way of a numismatic specimen at prevailing prices is a good investment, with the usual pleasure and enjoyment thrown in. The wise collector will not need to be urged to buy now to the extent of his ability.