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Numismatic Integrity and Numismatic Knowledge

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Hello all.


One must be careful not to confuse Numismatic Knowledge with Numismatic Integrity.People who spout lots of Numismatic facts and are given slogans as forever great must be tested in their dealings with the ordinary hardworking financially strapped collector.


I leave you to draw your own conclusions.


A year and a half ago, I attended an international auction held in the best hotel in Madrid Spain by one of the top Numismatic Companies in the World started by Cayon and now continued by his three sons. (Any Spanish speaking old coin has a Cayon number - see Heritage)


At that auction there was the cream of South Africa's Coins , all raw and all really worth travelling for.There was a double nine that looked MS and authentic, a Finebeard that looked MS65,a Veldpond that I had graded eventually as MS63, a complete ZAR Proof Set that ended up grading the finest ever together with an 1892 Single Shaft Pond in one lot - the latter graded MS62. There were altogether 5000 lots in the auction and the ZAR proof set was sold on the telephone for 2.5 Million Rand, the highest price for any lot that stopped the sales dead and everybody in the Hall stood up and clapped.You could be very proud to be a South African that day.


When I sat down at the table before the auction, I was approached by Juan Cayon the son of the owner, who showed me these gems.(The door of the hall was protected by one armed guard) It was a profound occasion to see such coins and he also showed me a Sammy Marks Tickey. I looked at all these coins with my loupe in a hand that shook and said to Juan that all were amazing except for the Tickey. I thought the Obverse had been cleaned. He said to me that that was a matter of opinion. I replied that it was not a matter of opinion as I send coins for grading in the USA every month and that I was quite sure of my assessment. He, who is also a trained lawyer then turned to me and astounded me by replying that could I please teach him how to see that!


Now that for me is Numismatic and Personal Integrity the likes of which is rare in our coin community.I dont say I dont make mistakes but in medicine we are trained to search for the truth and look for Physical Signs that are not obvious to the untrained eye. Its not a bad training for Numismatics either.



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Hi Georg


I understand your frustration. Believe me.


While I have met Anthony I have never met you or Alex. I did meet Peter Bowles (once) in the mid 1980s - actually sold him a VF Griqua 1/4! Not sure if Peter will remember our meeting though.


Anthony has proven to me that he has integrity and I respect him greatly.


In another thread I predicted silver hitting US$20 by today - right now it is thirty five cents short.


My prediction failed (although there is still time for it to do it in US time.. ;-)


It is the Peter, Anthony and Alex's that make our hobby what it is. Imagine a clock without a second hand or a body without a heart .. well that's what they are to South African numismatics today.


They are your biggest assets in this hobby.. embrace that! I can say no more.


Kind regards



Scott Balson

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You could be very proud to be a South African that day.


In both issues of the Western Cape's premier newspaper in Afrikaans, "Die Burger" of yesterday (Thursday) and today (Friday) there were reports of the sale of "King of SA Coins" - the single "9".


Yesterday, they had a picture of the coin as slabbed by NGC with a short paragraph about its history in the financial section, but today they had a full blast artical on page 5 (a VERY prominent page)


My phone was ringing the whole day with non-collecting friends phoning me (who are well aware of my interest in coins). They were cracking jokes - some disguised as Wacket Simpson - about this FABULOUS publicity our hobby received out of the blue becuase of one transaction that made international headlines in the numismatic press all over.


Now that made me SO PROUD - a truly SA coin making the headlines all over and attracting (hopefully) new interest and collectors to our wonderful hobby.


On the flip side, this continuous backstabing on the one side, and "gatkruiping" on the other side, have made this hobby a bit of a no man's land of late.



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