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geejay50

Scarce Coin Watch

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Pierre_Henri
I know a friend who has been in the privileged position to have seen examples of every Ducatoo[/b][/i]n dived out off shipwrecks along the SA coast and he has never seen one with a VOC emblem. The late Dr Frank Mitchell was also very keen to know if any such VOC Ducatoons were dived out.

 

My wife and I recently visited Stockholm and viewed the Vasa-museum that houses the Vasa that foundered and sank after sailing only about 1,300 m into her maiden voyage on 10 August 1628. One cannot describe this experience seeing this fascinating museum in words

 

See Here

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasa_(ship)

 

Regarding local South African shipwrecks and Ducatoons found …

 

The Johanna (1692) carried pieces of eight but they were obviously not VOC ducatons.

 

The Het Huis te Kraaiestein (1698) also had the denomination but they were in “cob” form and not in “regular” coins.

 

The first locally found ship-wrecked Ducatons (on par with the crown-sized silver Rijders) that I know of were from the Merestein (Meresteijn) wrecked in 1702 on our West Coast where we have metal detected for them. None of them were found with the VOC monogram and ever surfaced as such, as far as I know..

 

What I do not know is that many ducatons were recovered from three Dutch wrecks that were shipwrecked on the same day in Table Harbor in 1722 during a terrible north-west gale in Table Bay. Today these wrecks are buried beneath the Nasionale Pers (Media24) building in Cape Town.

 

These ships were the Standvastigheid, Rotterdam and Zoetigheid, but I cannot find any information regarding the Ducatons that were indeed found on them and if they carried the VOC monogram.

 

What a fascinating subject.

 

 

 

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geejay50

Hi Pierre,

 

Thanks for your input, it must have been awesome to go to the Vasa museum and see the 17th century come to life.

 

There are two types of VOC ducatoons broadly speaking, one with the knight on horseback facing to the right , the other to the left.

 

Where the knight faces to the left, the VOC monogram has a much heavier design.

 

Please see pics

 

If any evidence of VOC ducatoons could be found underground or in the sea off SA coast, this would be very interesting and a first for our Numismatic History.

 

Geejay

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geejay50

Ducatons, the wreck of the Merestein and the Cape of Good Hope

 

Hi Guys,

 

The Ducaton was a silver coin used in the 1600s by the VOC to trade with. It often carried the bust of the hereditary Hapsburg Spanish Ruler of that part of the Netherlands at the time (Albert & Isabella,Phillip IV and Charles II) that was occupied at the time by the Spaniards until 1648 .... the end of the 80 years war.

 

The VOC ships were carrying these Ducatons and the shipwrecks that have been discovered off the Cape Coast like the Visch (1739 - Greenpoint) and especially the Merestein (1702- Jutten Island Saldanha) definitely bore testimony to these coins some of which are really scarce in the world to-day.To repeat what I have said before, the VOC ships carried some coins that were already over a hundred years post mintage - like the Visch and the Merestein wrecked in 1739 and 1702 respectively were found to have Double Header Elisabeth and Albrecht Ducatons from 1619. This is comparable to us carrying ZAR coins in our pockets today !

 

The ships also carried "Riders" that were made from about the middle of the 1600s to well into the 1700s. Those struck in the 1600s are very much more crudely struck and with irregular outlines. To find one of the latter in gradable condition can be regarded as rare. To find them from the 1700s in gradeable state even in MS is uncommon but not impossible.....one will pay a premium though.

 

Malcolm Turner's Book "Shipwreck and Salvage in South Africa 1505 to the Present" pg 115 has given us a list of the Coins recovered from the Merestein and those silver coins include Rijksdaalder,Ducatoons, Half Ducatoons, Silver Riders, Half Silver Riders and Schillings.

 

Future generations will look upon us with regret that we did not build a museum that carried the wonderful selection of different coins that were found on the Merestein in particular - it was an opportunity that will not come again.The wreck carried the best selection of Ducatons of all the ships wrecked along our coast and they have mostly been lost to numismatic history.

 

The mintage numbers of certain coins were a reflection of the quality of the ruler at the time. Intermarrying of blood related Hapsburg rulers in Europe resulted in disaster for Charles II who was physically deformed (Hapsburg jaw) and mentally far below what was needed to be ruler, hence the scarcity of the later coins with his bust. His reign marked economic hardship for Spain especially and the end of the Hapsburg bloodline as he had no successor.

 

If you go down the list of some of the coins found to name just a few like the later issues of Charles II 1683, 1684 and 1686 in particular ...the latter is so rare that it is unlisted in Krause..one graded at NGC in "Fine 12" condition - recently sold on eBay for over $1200. The others in 1683 and 84 have no graded representation. Shulman in their 2015 Auction Catalogue describes two separate 1683 Ducatons in F and VF condition as "RR" (Pg406). Half Ducatons are similarly rare - Shulman 2015 pg 408.

 

These shipwreck silver coins are usually really damaged and worn but those coins from the dates and denominations I have mentioned could be priceless and perhaps the only representatives left in the world.For those who carry these coins to-day , please look at them carefully - you may have a very rare coin in your possession.

 

I have recently acquired a graded 1658 NGC AU55 Spanish Netherlands Flanders Ducaton ...it is finest known of four graded, the others being XF45 and VF (2). I would like to share this coin with you to show what near perfect is, the original irregular strike and the patina of the coin. Alongside is a picture of one of the best Phillip IV Ducatons found on the Merestein showing typical environmental damage, no lustre but reasonable detail with a softly struck face.

 

Hope you find this interesting?

 

Geejay

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n297033[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n297034[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n297035[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n297036[/ATTACH]

58f5a76ea5338_1658SpNethFlanDucatonAU55Logo.JPG.9d2d250fcbbe76f9b5044be56c32cc9b.JPG

58f5a76ea9ece_1658SpNethFlanDucatonAU55Rev.JPG.43234faf652b687c99319eb4ad8e628e.JPG

58f5a76ee8a06_1638PhillipIVDucatonBrabantObv_1.jpg.8e5e4410d0e85b10085c7f612df2b89f.jpg

58f5a76eecab4_1638PhiillipIVDucatonBrabantRev_1.jpg.d72d05f09124ee8c2c7ab9773215492d.jpg

Edited by geejay50

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Pierre_Henri

Very interesting Georg.

 

The oldest coin from the Merestein (also known as the Merenstein and Merensteijn), was a 1582 Friesland Schilling - minted 120 years before the ship when down with its silver specie.

 

Like you said - it is comparable to us still carrying ZAR coins in our pockets - not as keepsakes - but as circulating coins to buy and sell - incredible - but silver was silver and that was all they cared about - the dates did not make any difference to the sea-faring traders then.

 

I did not know that there were that rare coins in the cargo - thank you for that - one must be careful when generalizing shipwreck hoards!

 

In the 1970s Bobby Hayward and his team sold some of those coins for silver melting prices - 50c each if I remember correctly.

 

A decade later, in the 1980s and even in the early 1990s, the Merestein Restaurant in Saldanha sold them for R50 each with a little photocopied certificate attached - that was for the large Riders and Ducatoons - the Schillings went for R20 - R30 each.

 

As late as 1997, they were still on sale at the Restaurant but gathered so much dust behind the glass frame in their display cabinet that one could hardly make out what was what.

 

If I was aware of the true scarcity of some of those then, as you have made us aware now, i would have asked the restaurant to put all of them on my dinner bill - but that was then - - eventually ignorance gets the better of us.

 

Thanks again Georg.

 

Pierre

 

 

 

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L Village

How many 1931 silver coins of the Union are graded?

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EWAAN Galleries
On 12/14/2017 at 8:10 PM, L Village said:

How many 1931 silver coins of the Union are graded?

Hi Lauren

 

simple - go to ngccoin.com - go to resources then census will see all graded - just put in south africa and 1931 as the date :)

 

 

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jwither

Time for an update on the TPG population reports.  This is the third I have provided in this format with the last in June, 2014 under this topic.

My reading of the data:

One: I still wouldn't assume most of the increase is to due to duplicate submissions.  It depends upon circumstances which include price variance between grades and owner's assessment of upgrade but generically, the much lower price level substantially reduces the financial return.  Since SA collectors apparently have a preference for NGC or PCGS, It's still possible some have been "crossed".  An example would be the 1926 or 1933.

Two: It isn't included, but the increased for grades AU-55 and AU-58 is at least equivalent to increases in MS.  These coins are potential substitutes.

Three: For my estimated collector base of as many as 10,000 hobbyists (as opposed to "investor" financial buyers), the supply for most dates is still modest.  At current prices,  It's most noticeable for the 1892 and 1896 where there are probably at least several hundred "high quality" specimens available ("nice" AU-55 or better).  It's apparent from prior comments here that most dates aren't (nearly) as scarce as most here believed but this increase doesn't remotely account for the price decline since YE 2011.

8/2010 6/2014 8/2018

1892 53, 64, 82

1893 5, 7, 10

1894 11, 11, 13

1895 7, 11, 13

1896 46, 64, 86

1923 11, 19, 25

1924 9, 20, 38

1925 7, 12, 20

1926 1, 2, 4

1927 5, 5, 7

1928 8, 12, 16

1929 4, 8, 12

1930 19, 25, 38

1931 0, 0, 0

1933 1, 2, 4

1934 5, 11, 18

1935 7, 12, 18

1946 5, 8, 12

1947 10, 18, 25

1948 18, 45, 62

1949 21, 33, 46

1950 21, 34, 46

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jwither

Coin 9/2012 8/2014 7/2018 Notes

Grades below are MS-60+ unless otherwise noted.  Similar general comments to the above update for 2/6 with additional commentary as follows:

One: This is a partial list of "key" dates using the US definition.  A "key" date is considered the or among the most difficult (now predominantly expensive in US collecting) coins in the series.  So for example, the 1930 is the key date in farthings.  Readers will notice that I didn't include many coins which were and maybe still are considered to be scarce.  Examples include the 1928 and 1933 1D.  These are mostly excluded to keep the list to a manageable size but also because many of these dates in MS-60+ aren't really that scarce compared to the scarcest dates.  The counts are still modest but a lot higher than I believe most considered.

Two: While MS-60 as the minimum MS might still be considered the "holy grail" in SA numismatics (per an absurd post exchange I had in 2009 with someone you all know), it should be concurrently obvious that with the current counts and the lack of interest in real collecting, the lower MS grades are either "dead money" for the indefinite future or if not, still no reason to expect substantial appreciation where the counts have increased substantially in a proportional sense.  In this write-up, I used MS-63 or better which financially is logically the new minimum cut-off.

1930 Farthing 12, 23, 24 MS-63+

1928 1/2D 6, 15, 18

1933 1/2D 10, 20, 24 MS-63+

1939 1/2D 10, 22, 25 MS-63+

1927 1D 14 ,19, 20 MS-63+

1931 1D 7, 15, 20

1932 1D 5, 8, 9

1944 1D 10, 24, 25 MS-63+

1925 3D 5, 7, 9 Wreath reverse

1931 3D 2, 3, 3 All grades.  This assumes any of these are actually business strikes.

1926 6D 10, 13, 20

1929 6D 10, 13, 14

1930 6D 7, 11, 20

1931 6D 2, 3, 5 Though I consider it a waste of effort, its possible the NGC MS-64 is the same coin as the PCGS MS-64.

1935 6D 18 (omitted in error in prior compilation)

1946 6D 9, 15, 16 MS-63+

1926 1/- 5, 6, 8 AU-58+

1927 1/- 10, 16, 25 AU-58+; Change in MS is from 10 to 17.

1928 1/- 8, 10, 14

1931 1/- 3, 7, 14; includes a second XF-45

1944 1/- 4, 6, 9 AU-55 or AU-58; Zero MS 

1946 1/- 5, 9, 12 AU-58+; Nine MS now

1947 1/- 15, 23, 35

1925 2/- 6, 6, 9 AU-53+; Two MS remains unchanged

1926 2/- 7, 8, 11 AU-55+; Five MS remains unchanged

1927 2/- 8, 10, 10

1928 2/- 10, 13, 15

1929 2/- 15, 21, 23

1930 2/- 11, 17,  22

1931 2/- 0, 0, 1; This is for ALL grades with the new one purportedly MS.  A personal inspection and second opinion highly recommended.

1933 2/- 6, 9, 13

1934 2/- 11, 17 , 32; I suspect some duplicates especially in better MS grades.  Unless a known small hoard surfaced, the increase appears too large.

1935 2/- 10, 17, 23

1938 2/- 7, 8, 16 AU-58+; There are now five MS, up from two or three in 2014.

1946 2/- 8, 11, 16 AU-58+; Six MS which I believe is up from two in 2014.  I concede a duplicate or two is more likely.

1947 2/- 15, 25, 32 I will acknowledge it is possible there duplicates in the incremental counts. If so, it is likely minimal.

1950 2/- 20, 26, 35

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Pierre_Henri

I have missed this post of yours for some reason

 It is exceptionally informative and I cannot stop going through it again and again.

The years 2012 to 2014, and then to 2018 are relatively long periods.

If one takes the last example on your list  (1950 2/- 20, 26, 35) I would think that the numbers of "newly discovered" MS 2/- coins of 1950 graded by NGC will decrease significantly over the coming years. The heyday of discovering rare MS Union coins are probably over after the hype of the past 10 years have subsided and there are probably very few lurking in old cupboards and boxes in old collections.

I really don't think there are that many jewels left to discover...

 

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jwither
2 hours ago, Pierre_Henri said:

I have missed this post of yours for some reason

 It is exceptionally informative and I cannot stop going through it again and again.

The years 2012 to 2014, and then to 2018 are relatively long periods.

If one takes the last example on your list  (1950 2/- 20, 26, 35) I would think that the numbers of "newly discovered" MS 2/- coins of 1950 graded by NGC will decrease significantly over the coming years. The heyday of discovering rare MS Union coins are probably over after the hype of the past 10 years have subsided and there are probably very few lurking in old cupboards and boxes in old collections.

I really don't think there are that many jewels left to discover...

 

My opinion is that it still depends upon the coin.  You need to remember:

Though the numbers are still quite low, there really isn't that much of a reason to believe the survival rates aren't noticeably higher for a large number of coins.  Not all but still maybe most.  This is especially true for Union coins not considered scarce such as most 1937-1945 KGVI 1/-, 2/- and 2/6.

ZAR price level is and always has been higher and the coins are older, which I think makes it more likely a higher proportion of the population has been graded.  Look at the counts for the 1893 and 1895 2/- and 1893-1895 2/6.  Barely budged during this period.  Contrast it with Union 2/6 such as the 1923, 1925 and 1934.

There are still going to be Union coins owned by collectors who were able to obtain it from someone who could have pulled it from circulation.  Can't say it's many but there are likely some and it could increase the counts noticeably.  As an example, in December 1975 when I was 10, my step grandmother took me to her safe deposit box which must have contained as many as 10,000 predominantly US coins dating back to 1794.  I believe most of these coins were pulled from circulation by her relatives since she came from "old money".  These coins weren't MS or AU but still worth a lot, even then.  I'd guess at least $50,000 USD.

With a coin like the 1950 2/-, the mintage I recall is around 5000.  If only 1% survive in some MS grade, that's about 50.  A low number but proportionately much larger versus 35 today.  That is totally realistic and so is a much higher number where the survival rate is still very low.  Back in 2011 in a correspondence to a collector whom you know, I stated that the likely survival for the 1949 2/6 was at least twice to three times the then count of 20.  Today it is 46 which is still only about 2 1/2% of the original mintage of 1,891.

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jwither

One other point I did not make.  Take a look at the PCGS Coin Facts estimates and compare it to the combined NGC and PCGS population data.  In stating this, I already assume no one reading my comments will do so because they cannot be bothered and don't want to believe the populations are (much) higher due to the potential impact on the price level.  However, this data will make it evident (aside from explanations I have previously provided on this subject) that there is no reason to assume the TPG population data is complete.

I don't consider Coin Facts estimates to be exactly accurate and in many instances this data is or is likely completely wrong, but it's reasonable to believe it is directionally accurate at least some of the time.  Common sense needs to be applied based upon available evidence.

To take a few examples, the 1802 half dime (about the size of tickey) has a mintage slightly over 3,000 (3,052 I recall offhand) and has 35 confirmed survivors in all grades according to research about 75 years ago.  The combined TPG population is 15, including 11 at PCGS, three at NGC and one "details" coin at NGC.

This is one of the traditional rarities in US numismatics.  Not as prominent as many others due to the coin's size and since none of the known specimens exist in an elite condition but with this perception for about 150 years.  The best known example is a PCGS AU-55 and I'd assume all of the known specimens are worth at least $10,000 USD unless badly damaged.  This 15 also likely includes some duplicates, such as the three NGC coins which are all graded AU-50.

On the other hand, the estimate for the 1921 and 1921-D (Denver mint) "Mercury" dime are 3500 and 2000.  The reported mintage in about 1MM each.  Given the price level of all (relatively) scarce 20th century US coins, there is no possibility this coin is remotely this scarce.  Mass collecting as known to day dates to the mid or late 1930's which is when set collecting in coin folders became popular.  Unlike with Union, there is no possibility that in less than 20 years either of these coins could have mostly disappeared through attrition. I'd guess the actual number are at least 10 times the estimates, at minimum.

These estimates are also approximately equal or lower than for many earlier dated federal coinage (up to 1807 except for the cent which is 1814).  Does that make any sense?

The point I am trying to make is that if a well known rarity like the 1802 half dime has 35 confirmed survivors (presumably all still around given the value) but at most 15 are in a TPG holder, there is every reason in most instances that practically every coin has (proportionately) a lot more specimens still available than is evident from the TPG data.

Coins such as many Union are certainly quite scarce and some actually rare (whether in grade or otherwise), but most are certainly not nearly as scarce as the populations indicate.

Edited by jwither

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jwither

To demonstrate my last two posts (again), I'll reference the recently completed Noble Numismatic auction #118.  This auction included multiple potential high quality coins to the TPG population reports including an 1893 1/-, 1927 2/6 and 1892 ID described as a possible impaired proof.

It's hard to tell from the image but the 1927 2/6 looks like a candidate for an AU-58 or low MS, not that there is a dime's worth of difference except financially anyway.  It appears to have some "clutter" in the obverse fields but I don't think it will result in a "details" grade.  The 1892 1D is also possibly a PL, a potential eighth in the TPG population reports.  The 1893 1/- inexplicably wasn't illustrated but the 1893 6D in the same lot appeared high AU or MS from the image.

There were also several other high quality coins of interest to collectors in your country, including a 1924 MS 1/-, 1936 MS 2/6 and an 1892 MS D/S pond.  All three appeared "choice".  The 1924 1/- didn't sell (as I expected) but it's still there to be added to the TPG population counts.  The 1936 2/6 looks like a very nice coin, as in MS-64 or better.

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Pierre_Henri
On 8/2/2018 at 5:00 PM, jwither said:

The 1892 1D is also possibly a PL, a potential eighth in the TPG population reports

What is the difference technically, between a PF (Proof) and a PL (Proof-like) when it comes to ZAR coins?

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jwither
4 hours ago, Pierre_Henri said:

What is the difference technically, between a PF (Proof) and a PL (Proof-like) when it comes to ZAR coins?

I have never owned a ZAR proof.  I did own the 1892 NGC MS-64 RB PL listed in the NGC census.  The obverse on this coin is more reflective than the reverse but don't know how the proofs were made.

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Pierre_Henri
On 8/19/2018 at 12:05 AM, jwither said:

I have never owned a ZAR proof.  I did own the 1892 NGC MS-64 RB PL listed in the NGC census.  The obverse on this coin is more reflective than the reverse but don't know how the proofs were made.

In the old days the SA Crowns that are today graded as Proof-likes, were known as SS coins (Specially Selected) 

The SS coins were only struck for the 5-shilling series by the SA Mint - not for any other denomination

 They were struck under very similar circumstances as the actual proofs but there were some differences  -  I cannot recall what they were.

According to a US website "The first few hundred coins struck from a new (or newly polished) die will usually exhibit some degree of mirror, or prooflike (abbreviated as "P-L') surface"

This is totally different from the South African Crown (5/-) series that was struck with the intention of being "almost proofs"

That is why I am so interested in the Proof-like ZAR coins – I think they are more in line with the US PL coins – “The first few hundred coins struck from a new (or newly polished) die”

They are thus not proof coins per se – or am I missing something?

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jwither
4 hours ago, Pierre_Henri said:

In the old days the SA Crowns that are today graded as Proof-likes, were known as SS coins (Specially Selected) 

The SS coins were only struck for the 5-shilling series by the SA Mint - not for any other denomination

 They were struck under very similar circumstances as the actual proofs but there were some differences  -  I cannot recall what they were.

According to a US website "The first few hundred coins struck from a new (or newly polished) die will usually exhibit some degree of mirror, or prooflike (abbreviated as "P-L') surface"

This is totally different from the South African Crown (5/-) series that was struck with the intention of being "almost proofs"

That is why I am so interested in the Proof-like ZAR coins – I think they are more in line with the US PL coins – “The first few hundred coins struck from a new (or newly polished) die”

They are thus not proof coins per se – or am I missing something?

No, you aren't missing anything.  Your assessment is correct.

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Pierre_Henri
19 hours ago, jwither said:

No, you aren't missing anything.  Your assessment is correct.

So a MS64 and a PL64 ZAR coin is basically the same coin (non-proof) but graded differently? 

I wonder how the NGC registry works regarding these grades  (awarding the registry points to their NGC collectors)

Does a PL64 count more points than a MS64 or vice versa I wonder. 

It is all a bit confusing ...

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jwither
19 hours ago, Pierre_Henri said:

So a MS64 and a PL64 ZAR coin is basically the same coin (non-proof) but graded differently? 

I wonder how the NGC registry works regarding these grades  (awarding the registry points to their NGC collectors)

Does a PL64 count more points than a MS64 or vice versa I wonder. 

It is all a bit confusing ...

Both are circulation or "business" strikes if that is what you are stating.  To my knowledge, the registry does not differentiate between PL and non-PL but I could be wrong.  Personally, I consider this coin I owned more desirable than all other 1892 ID I have ever seen except for the PCGS MS-66 RD which I saw in person at the June, 2007 Long Beach CA show.  I have only seen images of one other PL (sold by Heritage for about $11,000 USD prior to the market peak) and a few (alleged) proofs.

In retrospect, if I could go back and make the decision again, I would have kept this coin and dumped enough of my SA collection to raise the equivalent funds when prices were a lot higher.  Not only has this coin presumably held its value better, I like it more than most of the SA coins I still own and it's harder to replace. 

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jwither

Last week, Heritage sold the 1893 2/6 MS-62 and 1926 2/6 MS-62 for $9600 each.  I would have to check prior prices of the 1893 but the 1926 sold as an MS-61 for about $26,000 a few years ago.  Whoever bought that coin is almost certainly going to take a huge "hair cut" financially, as the price is totally out of line with other comparable coins.  One such coin is the 1926 2/- in MS-64 which sold for $12,650 maybe five years ago.  The 2/6 is scarcer but not that much scarcer.

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Pierre_Henri
3 hours ago, jwither said:

Last week, Heritage sold the 1893 2/6 MS-62 and 1926 2/6 MS-62 for $9600 each.  I would have to check prior prices of the 1893 but the 1926 sold as an MS-61 for about $26,000 a few years ago.  Whoever bought that coin is almost certainly going to take a huge "hair cut" financially, as the price is totally out of line with other comparable coins.  One such coin is the 1926 2/- in MS-64 which sold for $12,650 maybe five years ago.  The 2/6 is scarcer but not that much scarcer.

There is certainly a dip in prices world wide, but two SA coins selling for R130 000 each, is still wonderful. It just shows that so many buyers are still interested in our coinage and are willing to pay huge amounts  tor acquiring them.  Yes, prices have fallen, but that has happened world-wide in all the major collecting categories. I think philately has suffered more than most collectibles and I know off. Numismatics are doing better than most categories except rare vintage cars that for some reason are doing exceptionally well currently. 

But we are talking "money value" again and as everyone should know at this stage -   I don't like that line when it comes to any collecting hobby...

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jwither
5 hours ago, Pierre_Henri said:

There is certainly a dip in prices world wide, but two SA coins selling for R130 000 each, is still wonderful. It just shows that so many buyers are still interested in our coinage and are willing to pay huge amounts  tor acquiring them.  Yes, prices have fallen, but that has happened world-wide in all the major collecting categories. I think philately has suffered more than most collectibles and I know off. Numismatics are doing better than most categories except rare vintage cars that for some reason are doing exceptionally well currently. 

But we are talking "money value" again and as everyone should know at this stage -   I don't like that line when it comes to any collecting hobby...

Yes, I am (somewhat) aware of what you state, but your post is a contradiction.  If you don't like the focus on the money aspect, why is it wonderful that someone paid these prices?  What difference does it make?

I mentioned it because I know practically everyone else who reads (or least has posted) on this site cares about the "bad" news of falling prices.  I'm not trying to lose money but then, I don't pay ridiculous prices or price spreads due to the label on the holder or for such minimal differences in (supposed) quality.

For the collector, falling prices are good news, not bad news.  However, the reality both in South Africa and the United States is that most buyers (notice I didn't say collectors) don't really like what they "collect" enough to stick with it if they continually lose money.  It's something I mentioned recently (among many times) on this forum and on the NGC Message Boards.

That's why I have substantially narrowed what I buy.  I can't definitively state I won't mind if the value of my collection crashes, but what I can tell you is that since the pillar coinage I buy has (much) better numismatic credentials especially at comparable prices versus the overwhelming percentage of all other coins, I will almost certainly mind a lot less.  It should be obvious that if someone can buy what they collect in comparable quality (ignoring ridiculous exaggerations of significance on both this forum and US coin forums) practically on demand or on short notice, they are usually going to be very dissatisfied.  I don't believe most buyers in your country or in the United States have really considered this outcome.

When I started collecting SA coins in 1998, I incorrectly assumed that the Krause list price was the "real" value".  It wasn't and isn't  but that's basically my benchmark for the amount I am willing to pay for most Union with some nominal adjustment or multiple for the quality.  Even at the much lower current prices versus the YE 2011 peak, I still find it too expensive versus what I can buy in other coinage for comparable money since I don't collect any US coins.  I'm not trying to complete any sets anymore which means that I am only interested in the scarcer or somewhat scarcer coins.

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Pierre_Henri
18 hours ago, jwither said:

Yes, I am (somewhat) aware of what you state, but your post is a contradiction.  If you don't like the focus on the money aspect, why is it wonderful that someone paid these prices?  What difference does it make?

I mentioned it because I know practically everyone else who reads (or least has posted) on this site cares about the "bad" news of falling prices.  I'm not trying to lose money but then, I don't pay ridiculous prices or price spreads due to the label on the holder or for such minimal differences in (supposed) quality.

For the collector, falling prices are good news, not bad news.  However, the reality both in South Africa and the United States is that most buyers (notice I didn't say collectors) don't really like what they "collect" enough to stick with it if they continually lose money.  It's something I mentioned recently (among many times) on this forum and on the NGC Message Boards.

That's why I have substantially narrowed what I buy.  I can't definitively state I won't mind if the value of my collection crashes, but what I can tell you is that since the pillar coinage I buy has (much) better numismatic credentials especially at comparable prices versus the overwhelming percentage of all other coins, I will almost certainly mind a lot less.  It should be obvious that if someone can buy what they collect in comparable quality (ignoring ridiculous exaggerations of significance on both this forum and US coin forums) practically on demand or on short notice, they are usually going to be very dissatisfied.  I don't believe most buyers in your country or in the United States have really considered this outcome.

When I started collecting SA coins in 1998, I incorrectly assumed that the Krause list price was the "real" value".  It wasn't and isn't  but that's basically my benchmark for the amount I am willing to pay for most Union with some nominal adjustment or multiple for the quality.  Even at the much lower current prices versus the YE 2011 peak, I still find it too expensive versus what I can buy in other coinage for comparable money since I don't collect any US coins.  I'm not trying to complete any sets anymore which means that I am only interested in the scarcer or somewhat scarcer coins.

I have been collection Union coins since 1969 (when I was 9 years old) and as far as I can remember, NEVER bought one single coin to make a profit on it up to the early 2000s. 

But, 

I became a full time coin-dealer since 2009 and obviously am interested in the current “going” value/price of coins - and what they are “worth “  

Any coin-dealer would.

But the whole idea of “what is it worth?” and “what will it sell for?” and “will you make a profit on it?” and “was it a good investment”? 

.... Does not apply to the true coin collector --- He or she simply does not care… 

How many times must that be stated on this forum?

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jwither
4 hours ago, Pierre_Henri said:

I have been collection Union coins since 1969 (when I was 9 years old) and as far as I can remember, NEVER bought one single coin to make a profit on it up to the early 2000s. 

But, 

I became a full time coin-dealer since 2009 and obviously am interested in the current “going” value/price of coins - and what they are “worth “  

Any coin-dealer would.

But the whole idea of “what is it worth?” and “what will it sell for?” and “will you make a profit on it?” and “was it a good investment”? 

.... Does not apply to the true coin collector --- He or she simply does not care… 

How many times must that be stated on this forum?

There aren't hardly any "true" collectors except at immaterial prices, though "material" varies depending upon each person's financial circumstances.  While I agree with your sentiments as a theory, I have never seen any indication in any of your posts that you have ever paid what I would describe as a meaningful price for any coin either.  So it's easy enough to make the statements you do if your financial outlay isn't material.

I disagree that "true" collectors don't care how much a coin is worth.  "True" collectors will still care when they are buying a coin to make sure they get their money's worth.  The idea that a "true" collector will intentionally overpay without consideration of what they are buying is nonsensical.  Overwhelmingly, that will only be true for what the buyer considers to be an irrelevant financial amount.  Someone who doesn't care about resale will still care about the value they receive upon purchase if for no other reason that they would like to buy more or better coins for the same outlay.

Speaking for myself, I'll knowingly overpay for the coins I like the most, but up to a point only.  In the past I did it with a few Union (when prices were much lower) and do it now for pillars.  I'll do so for a coin that is very difficult to buy and might not be available again or for a long time.  I'm not about to do it though for practically any coin discussed on this forum because overwhelmingly, the coins discussed here though often scarce can be bought later without that much difficulty.

This is why I disagreed with you several years ago when discussing those two QEII proofs.  The claim or inference that paying a multiple of maybe 15 times for one grade lower or possibly 50 to 100 times for the same coin ungraded simply because of an imaginary "rarity" is nonsensical.  It should be obvious that "true" collectors don't do that because this type of coin has no actual distinction whatsoever and it's equally obvious that most who are buying it disproportionately aren't in a position to throw away that amount of money either.

As in the United States, it should be evident that the overwhelming proportion in South Africa pay the prices they do for the more expensive coins and those with large price spreads because they believe they will recover most, all or even more of their outlay.  I disagree that most ultimately will but that is another consideration entirely.

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jwither

Below is an example of a coin where I knowingly overpaid.  It is a 1759 PCGS MS-63 Peru 2 reales.  It is a duplicate with the one in the NGC census.  I know this for a fact as I confirmed it with the dealer who previously attempted to sell it on consignment.  I could have bought it for one-third less from the dealer but then when it went up for auction, had reverse buyer's remorse.  I doubt there is another one in anywhere near equivalent quality and no, it doesn't have anything to do with what's in the TPG populations today.

https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-7V654

Here is a second coin I just bought. It is a 1770 NGC AU-53 Peru 4 reales.  It sold "cheap", less than half what the seller paid for it less than a month ago from a dealer.  I didn't see the coin or else probably would have bought it.  My guess is that other potential bidders don't like the "clutter" in the fields on the pillar side, as it sold for less than a more common but equivalent grade Mexico 4R in the same auction.  I'll have to see what the coin actually looks like when I receive it but I don't consider it that significant, especially for this type.  In 16 years, I have seen either one or two others from this series (1752-1772) that might be AU and none MS.  The scarcity for this series equals or approaches that of the 1931 Union 3d, 1/-, 2/- and 2/6.

https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-BGJGV

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Pierre_Henri
17 hours ago, jwither said:

Below is an example of a coin where I knowingly overpaid.  It is a 1759 PCGS MS-63 Peru 2 reales.  It is a duplicate with the one in the NGC census.  I know this for a fact as I confirmed it with the dealer who previously attempted to sell it on consignment.  I could have bought it for one-third less from the dealer but then when it went up for auction, had reverse buyer's remorse.  I doubt there is another one in anywhere near equivalent quality and no, it doesn't have anything to do with what's in the TPG populations today.

https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-7V654

Here is a second coin I just bought. It is a 1770 NGC AU-53 Peru 4 reales.  It sold "cheap", less than half what the seller paid for it less than a month ago from a dealer.  I didn't see the coin or else probably would have bought it.  My guess is that other potential bidders don't like the "clutter" in the fields on the pillar side, as it sold for less than a more common but equivalent grade Mexico 4R in the same auction.  I'll have to see what the coin actually looks like when I receive it but I don't consider it that significant, especially for this type.  In 16 years, I have seen either one or two others from this series (1752-1772) that might be AU and none MS.  The scarcity for this series equals or approaches that of the 1931 Union 3d, 1/-, 2/- and 2/6.

https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-BGJGV

The Pillar dollars have always intrigued me  - maybe it’s their association with romantic old pirate stories regarding pieces-of -eight treasures. Piracy as a worldwide high-seas threat was mostly gone in the 1700s but the association lingers.

Many collectors, internationally, collect the Pillar dollars as they circulated virtually worldwide in the olden days. So they appeal to collectors from many sea-bordering countries. Also their association with ship-wrecks and pirate treasure adds to this appeal.  

The Dutch silver coins of the 1600s and 1700s also intrigues me for the same reasons mentioned above.

But because of the horrible exchange rate, many South Africans that wishes to collect these series, are cut out – they simply cannot compete internationally with well-off collectors. But obviously, there are exceptions

I have recently seen the most magical Pillar dollar collection owned by an octogenarian Cape Town collector who asked me to sell the collection for him.

His son, now an Australian resident, heard about this an forbid his aging father to sell the collection as he (the son) wishes to inherit it one day

The father is in financial difficulty and the son is living in luxury in OZ, but the father is now afraid to sell the collection.

Can you believe this?

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