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Pierre_Henri

Proof Coins vs. Uncirculated Coins: Which is the most valuable?

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Pierre_Henri    14
Pierre_Henri

I know that my heading is a bit rhetorical, but until very recently, I believed that most coins from the old Union of South Africa series, were more valuable if they were in proof condition (vs. in uncirculated condition)

 

The reason for this is very simple: I blame it on the generations of coin catalogues that I closely followed since way back when.

 

These catalogues (from Kaplan in the 1950s to Hern in the 2010s) were/are always structured in the same way – the coin’s value would go up from G, VG, F, VF, EF, Unc - - - and then to the holy grail spelled PROOF... the most valuable of them all.

 

When one is talking about a series like the ZAR coinage, this is undoubtly true, but I am referring to the Union of SA series.

 

Since I have started to keep track of sales prices on Bid-or-Buy, I was shocked to see the difference in prices realized for Proof coins vs. Uncirculated coins – especially those of King George VI and Elizabeth II.

 

I have always been an advocate of buying late King George VI coins (1947 – 1950) but did not realize the enormous difference in what the catalogues tell you vs. what the market is willing to pay when comparing Proof vs. Unc.

 

There is a BIG difference

 

UNC is King ... Proof is the second best option (between the two)

 

When looking at the whole series (1923 – 1960) this is very obviously not applicable to all dates, but I would, if I had any influence – which I do not have – ask the catalogue compilers to take this VERY SERIOUS FACT into account.

 

Kind regards

 

Pierre

Edited by Pierre_Henri
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jwither    10
jwither

I have two primary comments to make on this subject.

 

The first is that yes, in instances where the proofs are actually common or not particularly scarce, that the circulation strikes should sell for a lot more than the proofs. The 1947-1950 are a good example, especially with the 1/, 2/ and 2/6.

 

I consider the 1947-1949 proofs to be overpriced at current levels. And that especially applies to the 1949 proof 1/. I believe that most collectors consider this coin to be "rare"when in actuality, it is not. It is common. It is not particularly common as a proof but it is as a business strike substitute which is the only reason that explains why it sells at its current price.

 

Most collectors apparently consider it necessary to have a complete set which makes no sense unless a complete set includes BOTH proofs and business strikes. There are no 1949 business trikes, so it is not necessary to own this coin for a business strike set. And as a proof, it is not remotely scarce. To get an idea that even as a date this coin is not scarce, consider that likely no KGVI shilling has as many business strikes in equivalent grade as this coin (or possibly in any MS grade) and that combined, only the 1951 and 1952 do. Based upon this entirely logical criteria, there is no reason to pay about $500 USD for it in a grade such as PR-65 which is what my specimen sold for about a year ago.

 

A similar but slightly different logic applies to the 1931 KGV proof set which I have heard termed the "glamor set". This set is actually the second most common date after the 1923. And the only logical reason to explain why it sells for more than another date such as the 1936 (and possibly the 1934) is that it is also bought as a substitute for the business strikes since no one to my knowledge has publictly claimed to own one. (I have heard that there is one such set, but this is a second hand report.)

 

Since I do not consider any proof to be a substitute for a business strike and believe each should be evaluated independently, I consider this set overpriced at current levels also and would definitely not be a buyer except at much lower prices.

 

On the flip side, I would expect that if other comporable KGV proofs and business strikes could be sold today in close proximity, that many of the latter would sell for substantial multiples of the former. I do not necessarily agree with this either. Which ones exactly would, I do not know. But the reason for this is that not everyone is going to prefer an MS business strike over a proof because high grade AU are also available while the absolute number of proofs is either limited or very limited.

 

Given the price spreads betweeen low grade MS and AU-58, it's obvious that the majority of collectors consider any coin below MS either inferior or not worth owning when from both a quality and value standpoint, this is absolutely false. Personally, there are many proof dates that I would likely rather own at current prices than their MS counterparts, though given the infrequent sale of both, it is hard to know what this price variance will be at any given time.

Edited by jwither

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Pierre_Henri    14
Pierre_Henri

 

 

Given the price spreads betweeen low grade MS and AU-58, it's obvious that the majority of collectors consider any coin below MS either inferior or not worth owning when from both a quality and value standpoint, this is absolutely false.

 

I surely agree

 

BTW, when I won this coin last night, I completed my Florin / Two-Shilling (2/-) George V collection in graded form by NGC or PCGS.

 

Graded Coins - 1935 2 SHILLING AU 55. RARE,RARE!!!GREAT DEAL!!! R1 START!!!!!!! was sold for R1,190.00 on 25 Mar at 21:16 by RC INVESTMENTS in Johannesburg (ID:34711935)

 

If you are interested, here are my 2/- graded collection (dates to 1939)

1923 XF-45

1924 AU-58

1925 VF-25

1926 VF-20

1927 XF-40

1928 AU-55

1929 AU-50

1930 AU-53

1931 PF-62

1932 AU-58

1933 AU-50

1934 AU-53

1935 AU-55

1936 MS-61

1937 AU-58

1938 XF-40

1939 AU-53

 

 

Obviously not a very top end collection, but I, like you, believe that AU coins are real value for money.

 

Regards

 

Pierre

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jwither    10
jwither

Congratulations on your set but you just confirmed my one of my points. I suspect that more than a few other collectors substitute the 1931 proof for its circulation strike counterpart because there essentially are no 1931 business strikes available. I have seen one in 12 years (the specimen Geejay sold on BoB last year) and have heard of two others. One a very low grade coin another collector told me about that sold here on BoB in the past and the MS specimen (per my prior post) that I have been told is part of the 1931 MS set.

 

As for AU, they are cheap versus MS but if I were you, I would try to upgrade them to an AU-55 or AU-58. I have one AU-50 in my collection (1935 2/) and I have to admit its not a particularly attractive coin. The wear is too noticeable. That is not true of the many AU-55 or AU-58 I own.

 

Also, if yoo are OK with "problem" coins, you might want to consider those IF the eye appeal is still good AND you are KNOWINGLY buying them as a "problem" coin. I have these: 1927 1/ (2 of them in AU), 1923 2/ (AU), 1925 2/ (XF) 1927 2/ (AU) and 1929 2/6 (AU). There are two reasons why I consider SOME of them good buys. First, it's entirely possible that some of them may receive a numerical grade in the future, either because NGC changed its mind on a resubmission under current standards or the standard for "market acceptable" itself may change. (The latter DOES happen.) Second, because like AU coins, I believe these coins are also unfairly penalized when the coin otherwise looks attractive. I never saw the coin in person, but an example to me would be the 1931 NGC "AU Details" 6D which sold on Heritage last year. It had "surface hairlines" but otherwise I saw nothing in the image to indicate that there was anything wrong with it.

Edited by jwither

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Pierre_Henri    14
Pierre_Henri

My own experience(s) in terms of the scarcity of the coins in my 2/- collection is rather interesting.

I have bought almost all of these coins on Bid-or-Buy over the past two years, but one that I really wanted NEVER became available.

Bar the 1931 date, everyone knows that the 1926 and especially the 1925 date is very scarce, and when these two came up in VF I just had to buy them.

But the coin I am talking about never came up, but as luck would have it, popped out of a low grade collection I bought for melting purposes a few months ago.

I send it to NGC who had it graded as a XF45, although I believe that it would grade AU the second time round (But I never resend coins)

The date I am talking about is the 1923 issue.

According to my records, NONE graded examples (bar proofs) were offered on BoB over the last year and a half with one exception being a MS62 that sold for R26 500.00.

So I am very happy with my find and I do believe that the 1923 Two-Shilling in top condition (non proof) is a rare coin indeed.

Regards

Pierre

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jwither    10
jwither

The 1923 2/ is a scarce date and yes, I believe that you will have a hard time finding a better 1925 and 1926. All I meant is that AU-55 or AU-58 are not that much more expensive in absolute terms than those graded AU-53 or below.

 

The 1923 I have is a very nice coin, just apparently with too many hairlines for NGC. But to me it looks like an UNC. I do not have a count of how many times I have seen it but to give you an indication of its scarcity, the Remick collection did not have one.

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dennrein    10
dennrein

Proof to UNC

 

You probably remember my post from a couple of weeks back, "1936 farthing revisited". My point was similar: business strikes have been fetching much higher prices than proofs. This is what would make it exceedingly attractive to turn proofs into attractive business strikes. And seeing as no-one can tell the difference, we might see this happening more often in the future, don't you think? I certainly hope not!

 

Regards

dennrein

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jwither    10
jwither

Yes, I do remember that post. But if you saw my reply, I did not and still do not agree with you. First, as I mentioned, a proof is either a proof or it is not. The determining factor is the strike, though with some coins, business strikes can also be prooflike or PL. There are a few such South Africa coins listed in the census though not many.

 

Second and more to your point, it might be possible to turn the appearance of a proof into a business strike but in the example you gave in your other post, it would not make sense financially because most business strikes graded below MS simply are not worth much money and therefore, the bother of making them look different.

 

As for changing proofs into an MS, I do not believe that either. As per the example of the 1947 2/6 I gave, NGC (or PCGS) might make a mistake now and then but if someone tried to do that intentionally (I do not believe that occurred with my coin), they would likely damage the coin and dramatically reduce its value which would make it self-defeating.

 

In the US, there are "coin doctors" that "artifically tone" coins because some coins with "rainbbow" or "monster" toning sell for ridiculous premiums to the "white" or untoned counterparts. There are also "coin doctors" who artificially enhance the appearance of a coin by expertly repairing it or disguising a defect to get a better grade from NGC or PCGS. Finally, there also some who alter coins to "create" a "rare" coin from a more common one. An example of this is by adding a mintmark such as on the 1916-D Mercury dime and 1893-S Morgan dollar.

 

Of the three above, the first some consider unethical but I do not. The reason for this is that toning is toning to me, regardless of whether someone did it on purpose or if it occurred naturally. I blame the buyers for being so dumb to pay absurd premiums for otherwise common coins.

 

The second and third are simply a type of fraud. I'm not sure whether the first is illegal or not (I do not think so) but I think an argument can be made that it is. At this time, the only case I am aware of is the civil lawsuit that PCGS brought against several of their submitters and to my knowledge, PCGS lost. In one sense, it is a gray area because the economic loss will only occur when the "doctoring" is discovered which in theory could be never.

 

Altering a coin to my knowledge is considered fraud. All three of these as I describe per law in the United States.

 

How does this relate to your example? Well, to my knowledge, I have NEVER heard of anyone successfully doing what you are worried about. And given that expensive US coins are worth much more than almost all SA coins and coins from elsewhere, if no one has been able to do it or could not be bothered to do it with US coins, I consider your concern entirely misplaced.

Edited by jwither

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dennrein    10
dennrein

Not many candidates, agreed

 

The previous post brings us back to the 1936 farthing. According to Mr. Urizzi, it used to be a proof which was - somehow or other - turned into an UNC business strike by removing the lacquer. I admit there aren't many coins where this would make sense to do. Apart from the 1931 silver proofs, they include the 1947 and 1948 one shilling, the 1947, 1948 and 1950 florins, as well as the 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950 halfcrowns and the 1959 crown, where it is very likely that more proof coins still exist today compared to UNC business strikes. Of course, the latter proof coins aren't lacquered and I won't go into technical detail on how I think one might "turn" them into business strikes. I won't dwell on this point at all any more, as I hope no-one will resort to it, but it pays to reflect what might happen, just to make sure you aren't caught unawares.

 

I'd be interested to hear whether the other collectors agree that the coins I have mentioned are more valuable as UNC business strikes than as proofs and whether you see any other candidates.

 

Regards

dennrein

Edited by dennrein

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Pierre_Henri    14
Pierre_Henri

Mister Master's Voice

 

The previous post brings us back to the 1936 farthing. According to Mr. Urizzi, it used to be a proof which was - somehow or other - turned into an UNC business strike by removing the lacquer. dennrein

 

Maybe one must ask Mr. Kleinhans or Mr. Jacobs or even Mr. van der Spuy, how a proof will turn into a unc when the lacquer is removed. Who knows, even Mr. Hern or Mr. van Rensburg might help us here.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Mr. Nortje

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jwither    10
jwither

I read the post where Alex described why the 1936 farthing was not a business strike. But I do not believe he stated that removing the lacquer changed the coin. I believe that he stated that NGC mis-identified it as a business stirke. As I stated before, it is the strike which determines whether a coin is or is not a proof. Adding or removing lacquer does not alter the strike, only the surface appearance.

 

As for the other candidates you listed, except for the 1959 crown which I do not consider to be a scarce coin at all, the others are much scarcer but still not worth that much more to make them worth the bother of trying to alter their appearance. And some of them are possibly or even likely not nearly as scarce as some probably think either. The 1948 shilling has a low mintage, but with over 30 in MS in the census at this time, it has a larger population than many other dates.

 

For example, if your concern is even possible, it would probably make more sense to try it with the 1944 or 1946 shillings even though the proofs are much scarcer than their 1948 counterparts as well. If my PCGS PR-66 1/ were an MS-66, It would be worth vastly more than its value as a proof, relatively and absolutely more than for the other coins you listed. This coin is not particularly mirror like, but it still does not look like any KGVI business strike I have ever seen. The strike is still sharper and though this is a higher graded coin, many or most KGVI MS business strikes I have seen are not particularly attractive for their grade. The problem with this exercise, as with the 1936 farthing, is that most collectors or "investors" would be skeptical of such a coin. There are zero 1944 1/ in the census and only a handful of the 1946 1/ at this time. So any questionable coin would likely sell for a (possibly substantial) discount to a "real" one.

Edited by jwither

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Pierre_Henri    14
Pierre_Henri

We are all waiting ...

 

. According to Mr. Urizzi, it used to be a proof which was - somehow or other - turned into an UNC business strike by removing the lacquer. dennrein

 

See previous post and please help us out here? Did he say that?

 

Pierre

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dennrein    10
dennrein

Here's the quote

 

Quote:

 

The proof farthings were all clear lacquered during this period and this was done to protect the surfaces as well as to improve the appeal of such coins. Removal of this form of coating would result in disastrous surface preservation damage no matter how such was done and the expected smooth, undisturbed & lustrous surfaces exhibited by proof coins would not be there. The thing with lacquering is that it attaches itself to the microscopic top layer of a coin and when you remove it it takes that layer with it and perhaps more because that layer is attached to layer below it! Such a coin would be dull and have an uneven texture to its surfaces as well as exhibiting none of its original prooflike surfaces. In actual fact there is a method I know of to change the proof like surface of a copper coin to something resembling a business strike. It is done by simply applying lacquer or nail varnish to the coins' surfaces and to remove it after it has been left to dry and take hold. Dangerous & futile in my opinion but it works if you have the patience to wait a few years for the coin to naturally tone back as any other artificial toning would not yield any worthy result except to show that its surfaces have been altered.

 

Regards

dennrein

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Pierre_Henri    14
Pierre_Henri
Quote: The proof farthings were all clear lacquered during this period and this was done to protect the surfaces as well as to improve the appeal of such coins. Regards

dennrein

 

Who applied the lacquer to ALL proof farthings during this period?

 

Was it the MInt themselves (or collectors) and what period are we talking about - the 30s?, and was it also done to Half Pennies and Pennies then? - because I have further questions but have to wait first for these ones to be answered please.

 

Regards

 

Pierre

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jwither    10
jwither

I'm not familiar with the specifics with how to best apply or remove lacquer, and whether it is applied by the Mint or afterwards to me provides no distinction. In the United States, private collectors in the past did so on their own frequently a long time ago. Sometimes the US Mint did so but to my knowledge, frequently or usually no one knows with certainty because there is no historical record to prove it one way or the other. It is a guess or hearsay.

 

If this is what actually happened with this 1936 farthing which graded MS-62 BN, whoever did so must have done a poor or very poor job with it. To my knowledge, NCS could successfully remove lacquer from the surface with minimal or possibly even no surface damage. And if NCS did so, then it should be usually evident that such coin is in fact a proof or a business strike, whichever applies.

 

But in any event, this is a very specific case. If it happens with silver coins, I have never heard of it or at least, do not recall it. And the fact that this coin only graded MS-62 indicates (to me) that most collectors would likely end up at best with a similar result. And an MS-62 KGVI at least is not a particularly attractive coin and worth only a MODEST premium for most of these scarcer dates, at least in absolute terms.

 

For most coins that have both proofs and business strikes, there are a sufficient number of specimens in existence in high grades where there is no need and no point to buy a questionable coin anyway. Except for coins such as the 1931 silver (which I have never owned), the only others which I consider to be BOTH that scarce and with a big price difference are the 1944 and 1946 1/, 1938 and 1946 2/, 1933 and 1946 2/6. The rest I have either owned myself in MS (such as multiple 1947 2/ at once) or could have bought them (usually on multiple ocassions such as the 1949 2/6) but declined to do so. Some of these such as my 1946 2/6 NGC AU-55, I consider vastly better values in AU anyway and would not pay the current going price for an MS, questionable coin or not.

Edited by jwither

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dennrein    10
dennrein

Lacquering of proofs

 

Here's another quote from a 1937 proof set sold by heritage auctions:

 

As with many of the South African Proof coins, these have been lightly lacquered at the time of striking, and during the past 80 years, the lacquer has deteriorated somewhat, leaving some toning spots. We believe that the grading service downgraded these coin because of the uneven tone.

 

I'm afraid I can't say how many sets are affected and from when to when.

 

Regards

dennrein

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Pierre_Henri    14
Pierre_Henri

Who lacquered these Farthings?

 

As with many of the South African Proof coins, these have been lightly lacquered at the time of striking, .

 

Regards

dennrein

 

I am at wits end here - my question is if the SA Mint lacquered these coins or not - according to Heritage they probably did - but then they surely must have done the same to the Half Pennies en Pennies, and to ALL the proof bronzes of that era?

 

Can someone please help me out here with an answer (or even a guess) because I would really like to move on to other questions regarding this issue?

 

Regards

 

Pierre

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dennrein    10
dennrein

1930's and 40's lacquered bronze proof coins

 

If you take a look at these bronze proof coins from 1931, I think you'll agree that they look lacquered as well. The bronze ones in this proof set and this other one, both from 1934, are lacquered as well, according to the Heritage auction . And the bronze coins in this proof set from 1944 are also lacquered, as the seller has pointed out. Of course that doesn't prove that all proof bronze coins from at least 1931 to 1944 were lacquered because it's hard to tell whether they were lacquered by the mint or by collectors. But it certainly seems to have been common practice. The statement in the 1937 auction (see above) implies that indeed the mint lacquered them just after striking which is also what Mr. Urizzi has stated.

 

Regards

dennrein

Edited by dennrein

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Pierre_Henri    14
Pierre_Henri

Was it the MInt or was it the Ownerr?

 

Although some mints did indeed did it, I still do not know, or can find any evidence, that the SA Mint lacquered their coins in the 1920s and 1930s.

 

I have only personally seen, but on more than one occasion, and inspect the 1923, 1931 and 1937 sets (in their original cases as issued) but have never found any evidence of lacquering.

 

Maybe, the SA or London mints did indeed lacquer SOME sets ON REQUEST – but I really doubt it if all sets went through the process - I am almost 100% sure it did not.

 

Does anyone have more info on this subject please?

 

 

Regards

 

Pierre

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geejay50    10
geejay50

Hi Pierre and Ernesto,

 

I was also until a few years ago under the impression that Proof is better than Unc and having a proof in a year was as good as or better than an Unc until between a few fellow collectors we started trying to put a set of Unc 1892 coins together. That marked a change in my views.

 

I now feel that in many cases, even with low mintages of Proofs, these coins were well looked after by collectors and by contrast, the business strikes were ignored and worn.

 

The George V Proofs with the exception of 1923 are certainly an attraction whatwith their really tiny mintages and if I see one at a good price , I cannot leave it alone. They so seldom come up for sale though. See pics of a recent addition 1935 Pf65 halfcrown NGC Pop 1 shared (2) - mintage 20 - NGC: 6 graded PCGS: 1 graded Pf67 - You will always sweat a bit to acquire such coins.

 

Interestingly of the 28 Business strike coins graded (mtge 345 099), there are 7 Mint State coins graded, all at NGC - exactly the same number as Proofs - with a ratio in mintage of only 1 Proof for every 17,256 business strikes - an indication of how well Proofs have been looked after !

 

Geejay

58f5a723707be_1935HalfcrownPfamp54.jpg.58416752b3a133ceb90f3e4a94a0487b.jpg

58f5a72375e1b_1935HalfcrownPfamp54.jpg.cdbeaa0f0dccda5cc8d2220004d82140.jpg

Edited by geejay50

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jwither    10
jwither

From a collectible standpoint, I would take a 1935 proof 2/6 over most 1935 2/6 MS any day. And the only reason I would choose the latter if both were offered to me for free is because collectors, in their irrationality, have at least until recently assigned a much higher price to them in many instances. I say recently because of the price that Heritage 1931 proof set recently realized. A price I might add, which I do not believe is justified by its scarcity (since it is the second MOST COMMON KGV proof issue) and can only be explained by someone buying it as a substitute for the business strikes just to get a coin with that date.

 

The reason for this is easy. If you want a proof, there are at most 20 of the 1935. But if you want a business strike, while there are only 7 MS, there are more available AU and like I have stated many times, it's not uncommon for these coins to look BETTER than their low grade MS counterparts. Moreover, I would expect that there are more of both available (MS or AU) still to be graded even if it is not that many. So how much sense does it make for someone to pay more for an MS over the proof when the AU is also available?

 

There are some instances where the MS deserve to sell for more as described before here. The 1931 silver and 1933 2/6 are the obvious KGV and so is the 1923 silver since the proofs are not scarce. The rest to me are not obvious at all and likely if the grades were approximately the same, from a collectible standpoint, I would rather own the proof for most if not all other issues, regardless of whether the MS is a "conditional rarity" or not.

 

Before, I would agree that MS were erroneously overlooked. Now, I do not think so. The pendulum has gone too far in the other direction in some instances.

 

If this 1931 set price is reflective of KGV proof prices generally (and I do not know whether it is or not), then the proofs will presumably now sell for more as they usually should. Additionally, while I do not find low grade MS more appealing than many AU-58, I find low grade proofs even less attractive. I'm not sure how many 1926-1936 fit this description (the census does not have very many but maybe it is because no one has submitted the inferior specimens) but however many it is, it will reduce the number of desirable specimens somewhat.

 

On the 1892 ZAR, I do not consider the circulation strikes to be scarce at all, except for the 1892 single shaft pond in MS. For the proofs, I consider the penny, half pond and pond rare and the crown somewhat so. The others, not really. They are certainly not common but have mintages OR apparent availability which is equal to or greater than all KGV proofs except the 1923 and I see them for sale far more often.

 

What I think is the case with the 1892 circulation strikes is that they are just harder to find than their actual scarcity indicates, unless the census contains an above average number of duplicates. Because these coins are very popular and worth a decent amount, I consider it far more likely that there are more duplicates in MS than for any KGV. But unless anyone here has specific evidence, I would not assume that the actual pops are much different than those listed. Most likely, the current owners just hold on to their coins while this does not appear to be as true for the proof 3D, 6D, 1/, 2/ and 2/6. I have seen these for sale relatively frequently while a coin like the MS 2/6, I almost never see for sale.

Edited by jwither

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geejay50    10
geejay50
From a collectible standpoint, I would take a 1935 proof 2/6 over most 1935 2/6 MS any day. ........

 

The reason for this is easy. If you want a proof, there are at most 20 of the 1935. But if you want a business strike, while there are only 7 MS, there are more available AU and like I have stated many times, it's not uncommon for these coins to look BETTER than their low grade MS counterparts. Moreover, I would expect that there are more of both available (MS or AU) still to be graded even if it is not that many. So how much sense does it make for someone to pay more for an MS over the proof when the AU is also available?

 

Before, I would agree that MS were erroneously overlooked. Now, I do not think so. The pendulum has gone too far in the other direction in some instances.

 

.

 

Hi Ernesto,

 

The pics show a Remick Collection MS63 1935 2/6 from my collection now - its not stunning in eye appeal compared to the Proof but it is one of seven MS coins graded and if you can get away from the patchy toning, it has very sharp details, without any wear and loss of lustre one would find in AU specimens.It was also the best Jerome Remick could find at the time.

 

Its really nice to be able to have both Proof and MS in this year - then one feels one is near the top in both.

 

Geejay

58f5a723be516_1935HalfcrownMS6.jpg.8649d22387a79977d5938838e55f0fdc.jpg

58f5a723c2e59_1935HalfcrownMS6.jpg.c9705ae108c74dba615bcb735515903f.jpg

58f5a723c780c_1935HalfcrownMS6.jpg.1fb6a0b09b41174dad858ea92bfb18a5.jpg

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jwither    10
jwither

It all is going to depend upon the individual coin. I have not owned a 1935 2/6, but I can safely state that many of the AU I have owned have plenty of lustre and sharp strikes also.

 

As for Remick, what he was able to do given the limitations he worked under or that at least I understand that he did, I find pretty amazing. I know someone who knew him personally and while I think he spent a good time in Africa or at least traveled a lot, it must have been very difficult to assemble a collection like that outside of South Africa and without the internet to help him.

 

His is easily the best collection I have ever seen for sale and there have been only a few others that I have seen that have been of any significance, at least with the Union series. All of these except for one came up for sale after his did. The other prior to his was the Spink sale in 1999 that I mentioned once. I have a copy of the catalogue but without prices realized. There are many very scarce issues in that one, including a pattern KGVI farthing, but it is not anywhere complete as his was. However, the quality was still very high.

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geejay50    10
geejay50

Hi Ernesto,

 

Thanks for your informative reply.

 

Jerome Remick (1928 - 2005) was for those collectors who do not know, one of the founding members of the Canadian Numismatic Association.

He started collecting in the 1940s when supply was not a problem and emigrated from nis native Detroit in 1957 to work for the Canadian Government as a Geologist. In the year after his death , 2006 Spinks auctioned ten lots of mainly Australian rare coins that had not been seen by the market for 50 years. These fetched a total of 1.25 million British pounds and all of the proceeds were donated to the Canadian Geological Association. I havent found a reference for what all his South African coins were, save to say he had some excellent coins from our country as difficult as it must have been to collect from Canada as you rightly say.

 

I managed to acquire the 1935 Two Shilling MS62 also from his collection (see pics) and even it is not Pop 1 , just having two top silvers in MS with his Pedigree more than makes up for any grade difference. In fact , I was offered an MS64 1935 Two Shilling recently privately but did not pursue.

 

Other foreign collectors have seen fit to collect South African coins and their names are well known : Eliasberg, JJ Pittman,Richard J Ford. We have in their pedigrees a vote of confidence in the value and quality thereof.

 

Geejay

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Edited by geejay50

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jwither    10
jwither

I am familiar somewhat with the Pittman and Eliasberg collections. Both of them were "generalists" in their non-US collecting habits by my definition. It's just that both collections were so massive and incredible that, even though they were not world class in most areas, they were better than what many other collectors are or were able to accumulate. And this is true even of some pretty decent collections. But I'm not aware that either of them had anything of particular significance for South Africa or if they did, it must have been almost exclusively ZAR. Pittman I believe also had some of the KGV proofs.

 

Pittman's accomplishments are to me, one of the greatest in the history of numismatics. Unlike Eliasberg and other famous US collectors, he was not a wealthy man. He worked as an engineer as a middle level manager at the Eastman Kodak company by my understanding. Probably a well paid vice president by today's standards since he reportedly paid $100,000 for his collection. A collection I might add, which sold for over $30MM in 1989 and today might be worth over $100MM.

 

He is particularly noted for having attended the 1954 Spink's King Farouk sale which he financed by borrowing against his home. I do not have the details with me, but I believe one of the coins he bought was the now 1833 NGC PR-67 "Capped Head" US half eagle ($5 gold piece). It is one of two or three known and sold for $977,000 a few years ago on Heritage. I believe he paid..........$615. I'm not really interested in US coins most of the time but outside of one or two dates, the Capped Head half eagle is either a very rare or at least rather difficult coins to find. This one is amazing.

 

As for the Remick collection, I do not have the catalog but you can possibly dig it up on the Spink's archives. I do however, remember much of it from memory. For example, the 1925 NGC MS-66 2/6 which is now in the Bakewell registry set was in his collection. I know for a fact that it was because I saw it on NEN where it sold for $6600. He also had what was probably an MS 1925 2/ though I cannot be sure. I suspect it might be Bakewell's NGC MS-64 but if not, it is either another AU or MS that possibly has yet to be graded.

 

Other coins included in his collection from Union were: 1931, 1934 and 1936 KGV proof sets. A full run of KGVI proof sets. Yes, including the 1939 though these were not in particularly in great shape judging from the images. (It's possible that many might have been conserved later and are better than I think.) For circulation strikes, about the only coins he did not have were the 1931 silver (who does?) and interestingly, the 1923 2/ and 2/6. I do not remember any other date that he did not have. As for the grades, it's hard to judge from the images and all of them were not listed individually. But I would say that most of them were AU or better with many MS. Those individually described were generally EF, GEF or MS under British standards which from my experience, are typically more conservative than US standards though the actual US grade will vary. Some coins like the 1926 2/ were sold in small group lots (2 coins) and looked MS to me. So were the 1926 1/ and 1927 1/. Others such as the 1933 2/6 probably were an NGC XF because they were sold as part of larger lots, but that is an assumption only. And yes, I would expect that MOST of these coins have or will receive numerical grades from NGC or PCGS unless the buyer did not take care of them.

 

Who bought them and where are they now, I do not know. NEN I recall sold quite a few of them. But if many others were bought by collectors from the UK or elsewhere, it is likely that MOST OF THEM were NEVER graded which is a point I have repeatedly made in the past about the census numbers. It would primarily have been US and South African buyers who would get them graded because most others do not like slabbed coins.

Edited by jwither

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