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Scarce Coin Watch

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jwither
4 hours ago, Pierre_Henri said:

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?

Not sure about the laws in South Africa but here in the US, if your contact is able to make his own decisions, his son's preference should be ignored.  His attitude is extremely selfish and the guy sounds like an a**.

Like other US collectors, I first identified this coinage from the US "Red Book" (aka, A Guide Book of US Coins) which is the annual price guide here and has been since 1947.  It's pictured in the introduction.

Pillar dollars are found in shipwrecks but this coinage isn't really "pirate treasure", as the age of the pirates ended before this coinage was ever struck starting in 1732 in Mexico.  The predecessor "cob" coinage which has been profiled here on occasion was issued during this time and though I like it a lot less, it has a much higher preference among the public and noticeably higher among collectors.

Pillar dollars (especially from Mexico or mint mark Mo) are very common since this denomination was struck by the millions.  However, nice examples are decidedly not.  Even most higher grade NGC and sometimes PCGS coins aren't very attractive.

I collect the minors (half, one two and four reales) and mostly from Peru because the other denominations are scarcer or much scarcer and Mexico is by far the most common mint.  Bolivia pillars aren't scarce absolutely but any decent ones are very hard to find.  I've only seen a very low number in 16 years of buying the series.  Guatemala is on average the scarcest of the four available mints, the other two being Chile and Colombia.

As for South Africans buying this coinage, I'd attribute it to almost no one in your country having an affinity for it.  Most pillars are much cheaper than either the scarcer or higher grade ZAR or Union so it cannot be affordability.  Not sure you looked at the links I attached but the 1759 2 reales is certainly cheaper than an 1893 ZAR 1/-, the 1926 1/- and about the same as the 1927 1/- in equivalent grade.  It's also easily scarcer than all three, by a substantial margin in my opinion.

My pillar collection now numbers 71 coins but I don't own a Mexico or Peru pillar dollar.  I've owned a few from Mexico in the past but sold it to buy other coins.  I own both Bolivia and Guatemala in NGC AU-58 holders, one of each.  Most though are 1/2 real and one real, though many are in high AU and MS.  

At some point when my collection is a lot more complete, I'll create a Signature Set in the NGC Registry and post a link here.

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Pierre_Henri
19 hours ago, jwither said:

Not sure about the laws in South Africa but here in the US, if your contact is able to make his own decisions, his son's preference should be ignored.  His attitude is extremely selfish and the guy sounds like an a**.

Like other US collectors, I first identified this coinage from the US "Red Book" (aka, A Guide Book of US Coins) which is the annual price guide here and has been since 1947.  It's pictured in the introduction.

Pillar dollars are found in shipwrecks but this coinage isn't really "pirate treasure", as the age of the pirates ended before this coinage was ever struck starting in 1732 in Mexico.  The predecessor "cob" coinage which has been profiled here on occasion was issued during this time and though I like it a lot less, it has a much higher preference among the public and noticeably higher among collectors.

Pillar dollars (especially from Mexico or mint mark Mo) are very common since this denomination was struck by the millions.  However, nice examples are decidedly not.  Even most higher grade NGC and sometimes PCGS coins aren't very attractive.

I collect the minors (half, one two and four reales) and mostly from Peru because the other denominations are scarcer or much scarcer and Mexico is by far the most common mint.  Bolivia pillars aren't scarce absolutely but any decent ones are very hard to find.  I've only seen a very low number in 16 years of buying the series.  Guatemala is on average the scarcest of the four available mints, the other two being Chile and Colombia.

As for South Africans buying this coinage, I'd attribute it to almost no one in your country having an affinity for it.  Most pillars are much cheaper than either the scarcer or higher grade ZAR or Union so it cannot be affordability.  Not sure you looked at the links I attached but the 1759 2 reales is certainly cheaper than an 1893 ZAR 1/-, the 1926 1/- and about the same as the 1927 1/- in equivalent grade.  It's also easily scarcer than all three, by a substantial margin in my opinion.

My pillar collection now numbers 71 coins but I don't own a Mexico or Peru pillar dollar.  I've owned a few from Mexico in the past but sold it to buy other coins.  I own both Bolivia and Guatemala in NGC AU-58 holders, one of each.  Most though are 1/2 real and one real, though many are in high AU and MS.  

At some point when my collection is a lot more complete, I'll create a Signature Set in the NGC Registry and post a link here.

I see that you collect Peru minors.

I did a search on my own sales over the past 5 years and see that I sold one 8 Reales (thus not a minor) coin from Peru .

Wss007_zps6e1e5876.jpg

Now that I look at the coin again, I accept it is a Peru issue?

I can send you the link if you wish to see the description

Regards

Pierre

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jwither
1 hour ago, Pierre_Henri said:

I see that you collect Peru minors.

I did a search on my own sales over the past 5 years and see that I sold one 8 Reales (thus not a minor) coin from Peru .

Wss007_zps6e1e5876.jpg

Now that I look at the coin again, I accept it is a Peru issue?

I can send you the link if you wish to see the description

Regards

Pierre

The coin you have pictured is a Bustos or portrait eight reales.  Some also describe this design as a pillar dollar due to the reverse but that's not the consensus opinion.  I don't own any coins with this design or collect it.  I know some are quite scarce (especially in high grade and from Chile or Colombia) but don't know much else about it.

As for identifying the mint, the coin you have pictured is from Peru, but it doesn't have the "LM" mint mark that I can see for Lima as on the pillars.

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Pierre_Henri
On 8/25/2018 at 7:46 PM, jwither said:

The coin you have pictured is a Bustos or portrait eight reales.  Some also describe this design as a pillar dollar due to the reverse but that's not the consensus opinion.  I don't own any coins with this design or collect it.  I know some are quite scarce (especially in high grade and from Chile or Colombia) but don't know much else about it.

As for identifying the mint, the coin you have pictured is from Peru, but it doesn't have the "LM" mint mark that I can see for Lima as on the pillars.

I never knew that Spanish Pillar Dollar (regardless of where they were struck) collectors make a distinction between those coins carrying the bust of the King on the obverse and those that don't.

Why would the one design be of interest to some collectors but the other design not?

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jwither
1 hour ago, Pierre_Henri said:

I never knew that Spanish Pillar Dollar (regardless of where they were struck) collectors make a distinction between those coins carrying the bust of the King on the obverse and those that don't.

Why would the one design be of interest to some collectors but the other design not?

Anecdotally, most collectors of Spanish colonial coinage seem to collect both.  I am aware of some who collect one or the other but it seems to be the minority.

First, I don't collect the Portrait or Bustos design because I don't really like any of the king's portraits.   I find the coins attractive with (mostly) original services but most of these coins have been cleaned.  But regardless of the quality,  I like the columnarios (Pillars and globes) design a lot more than the Bust coinage, as with the majority.  In general, I don't care for most portraits, not just Charles III, Charles IV and Ferdinand VII on this coinage.  SA ZAR and Union is an exception

Second, it's my limited collection budget which also applies to practically everyone who collects or considers one or  both.  Now and in the recent past, I'm not buying hardly anything else at all except for pillar minors from Bolivia, Guatemala and Peru.  Mostly from Peru since that's what is usually available.  Before I'd buy Spanish colonial portrait coinage, I'd go back to collecting Union or any number of others I like a lot more, like Mexican Cap & Ray 4R which isn't a series I have discussed much but is another very challenging one.

I presume it's a similar motive for most collectors.  Financially with the budget most collectors are able to allocate, spreading your resources too thin will result in disproportionately average to lower quality coins which aren't very marketable.  It might not matter to you but it does to most others because one of the primary sources of "coin money" for most collectors comes from selling coins out of their existing collection.  I can't speak for anyone else but I'd rather just buy coins I want to keep instead of something I don't want that badly and selling it at a likely loss later.  Regular buying and selling leads to both losing money and a less distinctive collection.

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Pierre_Henri
On 8/27/2018 at 7:37 PM, jwither said:

Anecdotally, most collectors of Spanish colonial coinage seem to collect both.  I am aware of some who collect one or the other but it seems to be the minority.

First, I don't collect the Portrait or Bustos design because I don't really like any of the king's portraits.   I find the coins attractive with (mostly) original services but most of these coins have been cleaned.  But regardless of the quality,  I like the columnarios (Pillars and globes) design a lot more than the Bust coinage, as with the majority.  In general, I don't care for most portraits, not just Charles III, Charles IV and Ferdinand VII on this coinage.  SA ZAR and Union is an exception

Second, it's my limited collection budget which also applies to practically everyone who collects or considers one or  both.  Now and in the recent past, I'm not buying hardly anything else at all except for pillar minors from Bolivia, Guatemala and Peru.  Mostly from Peru since that's what is usually available.  Before I'd buy Spanish colonial portrait coinage, I'd go back to collecting Union or any number of others I like a lot more, like Mexican Cap & Ray 4R which isn't a series I have discussed much but is another very challenging one.

I presume it's a similar motive for most collectors.  Financially with the budget most collectors are able to allocate, spreading your resources too thin will result in disproportionately average to lower quality coins which aren't very marketable.  It might not matter to you but it does to most others because one of the primary sources of "coin money" for most collectors comes from selling coins out of their existing collection.  I can't speak for anyone else but I'd rather just buy coins I want to keep instead of something I don't want that badly and selling it at a likely loss later.  Regular buying and selling leads to both losing money and a less distinctive collection.

I don't know if you are aware of this very interesting article that was published in the Australian Coin Review Magazine in 1996 (thus pre-internet era) 

I will post the magazine to you if you send me your private post office address (again) which I seem to have lost (again)

image.png.c771f83f31cde10f1cfc1d8350e4c091.png

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jwither
3 hours ago, Pierre_Henri said:

I don't know if you are aware of this very interesting article that was published in the Australian Coin Review Magazine in 1996 (thus pre-internet era) 

I will post the magazine to you if you send me your private post office address (again) which I seem to have lost (again)

 

No, I wasn't aware of this article but would be interested in reading it.  PM sent.

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Pierre_Henri
19 hours ago, jwither said:

No, I wasn't aware of this article but would be interested in reading it.  PM sent.

Did not get any PM on the BoB system - so I rather see if this works?

Page 1 

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Pierre_Henri
Just now, Pierre_Henri said:

Did not get any PM on the BoB system - so I rather see if this works?

Page 1 

image.thumb.png.fb37ce25d5b2ff927ac59dd9cc2719b5.png

Page 2 

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Pierre_Henri
Just now, Pierre_Henri said:

Page 2 

image.png.d1b5252a05eee23626f0a012fc91bd98.png

Page 3 

image.thumb.png.ac83282b4103acd50b9afa0ed3332323.png

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Pierre_Henri
Just now, Pierre_Henri said:

Page 3 

image.thumb.png.ac83282b4103acd50b9afa0ed3332323.png

Page 4 

image.thumb.png.69c8437064ac11c01d7f0109d7cacb35.png

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Pierre_Henri
Just now, Pierre_Henri said:

Page 4 

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Page 5 

image.thumb.png.ce317bf6bef3d9887db3ec5ee69e8565.png

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Pierre_Henri
Just now, Pierre_Henri said:

Page 5 

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Page 6  - the last page 

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jwither
On ‎9‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 12:17 PM, Pierre_Henri said:

Page 2 

 

For got to say thanks for posting.  It is an informative read.

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jwither

Coin 9/2012 8/2014 7/2018  2/2020 Notes

Update to ,y prior posts on the TPG data.  Grades below are MS-60+ unless otherwise noted.

1930 Farthing 12, 23, 24, 28 MS-63+

1928 1/2D 6, 15, 18, 19

1933 1/2D 10, 20, 24, 25 MS-63+

1939 1/2D 10, 22, 25, 26 MS-63+

1927 1D 14 ,19, 20, 24 MS-63+

1931 1D 7, 15, 20, 23

1932 1D 5, 8, 9, 10

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

1925 3D 5, 7, 9, 9 Wreath reverse

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

1926 6D 10, 13, 20, 20

1929 6D 10, 13, 14, 17

1930 6D 7, 11, 20, 20

1931 6D 2, 3, 5, 5 Its possible the NGC MS-64 is the same coin as the PCGS MS-64.

1935 6D 18, 19 (omitted in error in first two compilations)

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

1926 1/- 5, 6, 8, 9 AU-58+

1927 1/- 10, 16, 25, 25 AU-58+; MS remains at 17.

1928 1/- 8, 10, 14, 14

1931 1/- 3, 7, 14, 18; same two XF-45

1944 1/- 4, 6, 9, 10 AU-55 or AU-58; Zero MS 

1946 1/- 5, 9, 12, 13 AU-58+; Nine MS now

1947 1/- 15, 23, 35, 38

1925 2/- 6, 6, 9, 10 AU-53+; Two MS remains unchanged

1926 2/- 7, 8, 11, 12 AU-55+; Five MS remains unchanged

1927 2/- 8, 10, 10, 10

1928 2/- 10, 13, 15, 16

1929 2/- 15, 21, 23, 26

1930 2/- 11, 17,  22, 22

1931 2/- 0, 0, 1, 1; This is for ALL grades.

1933 2/- 6, 9, 13, 14

1934 2/- 11, 17 , 32, 33; I suspect some duplicates

1935 2/- 10, 17, 23, 24

1938 2/- 7, 8, 16, 19 AU-58+; There are now seven MS, up from five in 2018.

1946 2/- 8, 11, 16, 18 AU-58+; Seven MS 

1947 2/- 15, 25, 32, 34.

1950 2/- 20, 26, 35, 39

Edited by jwither

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Pierre_Henri
20 hours ago, jwither said:

Coin 9/2012 8/2014 7/2018  2/2020 Notes

Update to ,y prior posts on the TPG data.  Grades below are MS-60+ unless otherwise noted.

1930 Farthing 12, 23, 24, 28 MS-63+

1928 1/2D 6, 15, 18, 19

1933 1/2D 10, 20, 24, 25 MS-63+

1939 1/2D 10, 22, 25, 26 MS-63+

1927 1D 14 ,19, 20, 24 MS-63+

1931 1D 7, 15, 20, 23

1932 1D 5, 8, 9, 10

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

1925 3D 5, 7, 9, 9 Wreath reverse

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

1926 6D 10, 13, 20, 20

1929 6D 10, 13, 14, 17

1930 6D 7, 11, 20, 20

1931 6D 2, 3, 5, 5 Its possible the NGC MS-64 is the same coin as the PCGS MS-64.

1935 6D 18, 19 (omitted in error in first two compilations)

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

1926 1/- 5, 6, 8, 9 AU-58+

1927 1/- 10, 16, 25, 25 AU-58+; MS remains at 17.

1928 1/- 8, 10, 14, 14

1931 1/- 3, 7, 14, 18; same two XF-45

1944 1/- 4, 6, 9, 10 AU-55 or AU-58; Zero MS 

1946 1/- 5, 9, 12, 13 AU-58+; Nine MS now

1947 1/- 15, 23, 35, 38

1925 2/- 6, 6, 9, 10 AU-53+; Two MS remains unchanged

1926 2/- 7, 8, 11, 12 AU-55+; Five MS remains unchanged

1927 2/- 8, 10, 10, 10

1928 2/- 10, 13, 15, 16

1929 2/- 15, 21, 23, 26

1930 2/- 11, 17,  22, 22

1931 2/- 0, 0, 1, 1; This is for ALL grades.

1933 2/- 6, 9, 13, 14

1934 2/- 11, 17 , 32, 33; I suspect some duplicates

1935 2/- 10, 17, 23, 24

1938 2/- 7, 8, 16, 19 AU-58+; There are now seven MS, up from five in 2018.

1946 2/- 8, 11, 16, 18 AU-58+; Seven MS 

1947 2/- 15, 25, 32, 34.

1950 2/- 20, 26, 35, 39

Thank you Ernesto

Personally, with stats like these, I always go looking for the silver 1931 issues, to see what happend lately with their grading figures, but as you know, when it comes to really scarce coins, the statistics seldom changes...

Or did I miss something?

Thank you for the hard work in providing us with these interesting stats.

It is as usual, of interest to  a relatively small community of collectors, as you surely know,.

But there are still many of us that appreciate this and are very interested in these figures. 

Pierre

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jwither

Here is an update on the half crown.

8/2010 6/2014 8/2018 2/2020

1892 53, 64, 82, 86

1893 5, 7, 10, 12

1894 11, 11, 13, 14

1895 7, 11, 13, 13

1896 46, 64, 86, 93

1923 11, 19, 25, 26

1924 9, 20, 38, 40

1925 7, 12, 20, 21

1926 1, 2, 4, 4

1927 5, 5, 7, 8

1928 8, 12, 16, 16

1929 4, 8, 12, 13

1930 19, 25, 38, 38

1931 0, 0, 0, 0

1933 1, 2, 4, 5

1934 5, 11, 18, 18

1935 7, 12, 18, 21

1946 5, 8, 12, 14

1947 10, 18, 25, 28

1948 18, 45, 62, 66

1949 21, 33, 46, 50

1950 21, 34, 46, 50

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jwither

Below I include commentary on the above numbers but first, I will include data on coinage from elsewhere for comparative purposes.  This is the first time I have done so extensively.

1853 Bolivia 1/4 sol  7 MS

Rhodesia 1977 1/2C 13 (nine MS)

Sarawak 1941H cent circulation strike 46 (37 MS)

Spain 1726M Real 28 MS (2 MS-68, 7 MS-67 and 9 MS-66)

Mexico 1751 1/2 Real 31 MS

Mexico 1861 MoCH 2R 175 MS (26 PL, 10 MS-67 and 53 MS-66)

Southern Rhodesia 1954 Florin 8 MS and 6 AU-58

USA 1805 50C (both major varieties)  22 MS per TPG data, 11 estimated in PCGS Coin Facts

Central American Republic 1837 GOLD 4E 10 AU-55 AU-58, 9 MS

This is an eclectic group of coins but which most collectors almost certainly believe to be scarce or rare.  (Some are and some aren't, whether in total or in grade.)  I happen to be familiar with this coinage from my collecting experience.

The 1977 Rhodesia 1/2C was reportedly mostly melted.  DNW claimed in an auction listing that 10 are estimated to exist.  I doubt there are any duplicates and suspect the actual survivors is at least a low multiple.

Heritage previously sold a 1954 Southern Rhodesia 2S AU-58 for $1265 when the count was one or two. More recently they sold both MS-65 for about $1700 and $1900.  It wouldn't surprise me if both are owned by someone in SA.  Whoever bought the AU-58 has a huge proportional financial loss and I suspect many more proportionately exist.

I paid $747 for the 1853 Bolivia 1/4 sol in 2006 when it was unique in the TPG data.  (No, I didn't buy it as an "investment".)  When I bought it, Latin America dealer Jeff Rubenstein told me that in 20 years, the best he had seen was a VF.  I sold it for $558 in 2016.

Heritage previously estimated the Sarawak 1941 cent has about 50 survivors.  I commented on this coin here, as someone else brought it up.  Where did this estimate come from?  Someone just made it up.  As I said then, probably at least several hundred survive.

I use these examples to provide context for Union and ZAR.  For one thing, as I stated previously, it isn't surprising that most of the Union 2/ 6 dates have more MS than the scarcer ZAR.  I don't think hardly anyone believed it but here it is.  There are almost certainly more duplicates of the 1893-1895 than any Union due to the value also.

As I said before, I still don't believe that many of these dates I listed necessarily have most graded. Some yes (like the 1926 2/6) but most no.  Common sense needs to be applied, something I haven't seen on this subject on this forum in the past.

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Pierre_Henri
19 hours ago, jwither said:

I use these examples to provide context for Union and ZAR.  For one thing, as I stated previously, it isn't surprising that most of the Union 2/ 6 dates have more MS than the scarcer ZAR.  I don't think hardly anyone believed it but here it is.  There are almost certainly more duplicates of the 1893-1895 than any Union due to the value also.

As I said before, I still don't believe that many of these dates I listed necessarily have most graded. Some yes (like the 1926 2/6) but most no.  Common sense needs to be applied, something I haven't seen on this subject on this forum in the past.

The "scarce" 2/6- ZAR have in MS 1893 (9) 1894 (10) and 1895 (11) vs. the "scarce" Union 2/6- with 1926 (2), 1927 (6) , 1928 (13), 1929 (10) 1931 (0)  and 1933 (2)

Compared to their mintage figures, scarce  Union coins in MS (vs. the ZAR coinage ) are much scarcer.

Dr Mitchell said that many years ago and the truth still holds. 

 

 

 

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jwither
4 hours ago, Pierre_Henri said:

The "scarce" 2/6- ZAR have in MS 1893 (9) 1894 (10) and 1895 (11) vs. the "scarce" Union 2/6- with 1926 (2), 1927 (6) , 1928 (13), 1929 (10) 1931 (0)  and 1933 (2)

Compared to their mintage figures, scarce  Union coins in MS (vs. the ZAR coinage ) are much scarcer.

Dr Mitchell said that many years ago and the truth still holds. 

 

 

 

Wrong 

You are ignoring PCGS graded coins.  I went through BOTH data sources to compile these totals, just as I did for my earlier post a few days ago.  I don't have access to SANGS if it makes any difference.

The data I provided demonstrates that most (key word here) Union 2/6 dates are almost certainly not scarcer than the scarcer ZAR, just as  I said several years ago.  (I'm not claiming nor ever did that ZAR 2/6 is scarcer than all Union dates..)  You should know by now when I post data like this, I don't just make it up like so many prior contributors on this forum.

I don't care what Mitchell or anyone else claims or claimed.  The data speaks for itself.  This claim you are attributing to him reminds me of the two examples I just used (1977 Rhodesia 1/2C and 1941 Sarawak cent) in my last post which you completely ignored.  Why do you think I bothered to include it?

The whole point of these examples is that personal experience is usually not representative of availability or scarcity, whether it is Mitchell or anyone else.  I have made claims on any number of coins but it isn't just what I personally see.  I can elaborate further (and have in the past) if necessary.

Personal experience (and blatant bias) is why so many contributors repeatedly claimed that the TPG data was (mostly) complete even as I repeatedly claimed it wasn't.  Who was correct?

These people didn't have a clue.  They had no context having virtually zero knowledge of the scarcity of coins from elsewhere (as I do).  Despite this ignorance, they claimed or implied that most or all examples were graded and then added the ridiculous claim that the numbers were overstated due to resubmissions.  The best explanation for why they did so was an attempt to inflate the price level as high as possible.

The likely reasons for this data are as follows:

One: ZAR has a higher preference particularly by one demographic segment in your country.  You know of whom I speak.  That's presumably why most of this coinage is more common than Union.

Two:  The mintages on many Union dates are higher or much higher than most ZAR.  Union also circulated more recently.  So for whatever reason, if both dates were set aside in very low proportion in better quality where it is effectively a random event, the older vintage and lower mintage will logically make ZAR scarcer most of the time.  This isn't just true of the 2/6 but all denominations.  (Yes, even without documenting it here, I know that the pattern for the 2/6 does not hold for other denominations but it does apply to certain combinations.)

Three: ZAR has a much higher market price in equivalent grade (a proxy for quality).  This is why the coins are more likely to be submitted in higher numbers and proportion.  It's also why ZAR is a lot more likely to be submitted multiples times; aka, "crack-outs".

As I have told everyone here before, many Union coins almost certainly have a (very) large multiple to what we see now.  This is equally true (as the examples I provided illustrate which was the whole point of including it) for practically every other coin, regardless of age or origin.

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jwither

One additional point to my prior comments which I could not edit.

You and I are using a different definition of "scarcer dates".  The scarcer Union dates are those I included in my list.  That's why I included it originally in 2010.  I did not claim now nor did I ever claim in the past that 1893-1895 is scarcer than the 1931.  This is a ridiculous inference on your part.  I don't believe the 1926, 1933 and maybe the 1927 are more common either.

Obviously, most of these dates have proved to be a lot more common than presumably practically every one who posted here used to believe but that's part of my point.

A coin like the 1925 2/6 is one of the scarcer Union dates.  It is concurrently likely more common than the 1893-1895, just as this data shows.  The count on this coin was the same as the 1895 in 2010 while now it is almost double.

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Pierre_Henri

Sorry, I do not have the PCGS stats.

What are their MS pop report  for these coins?

 2/6- ZAR 1893, 1894, and 1895. 

and...

 Union 2/6- for these dates 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1931  and 1933?

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jwither
2 hours ago, Pierre_Henri said:

Sorry, I do not have the PCGS stats.

What are their MS pop report  for these coins?

 2/6- ZAR 1893, 1894, and 1895. 

and...

 Union 2/6- for these dates 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1931  and 1933?

My data includes a combined total.  Subtract out the NGC data you included in your post from mine and the balance is PCGS.  It's zero for 1931, 2 for 1926 and 1927, and 3 for 1928, 1929 and 1933.  The combined data makes the 1928 more common in MS than any of these three ZAR dates.

Adding AU, the ZAR dates have higher totals than more Union dates but it doesn't really change my conclusion much.  It's still my opinion that, due to the price variance, there are more Union ungraded for most dates than for these three ZAR.  Also, still more ZAR duplicates.

In lower grades, you are in a much better position to know the relative scarcity, since you have probably looked at enough coins where your experience is more or less representative of the available supply.  (I am guessing but I'd say you are "directionally" accurate.  Same with other denominations.)

In VF or XF grades, I'd guess Union is quite a bit scarcer.  I am making an assumption here but it appears that Union follows a similar pattern to many coins from elsewhere where there is very low supply in middle collector grades.

Below VF,  I don't know but think it matters a lot less.  (Financially, it's effectively irrelevant, since none of these coins will ever be worth a meaningful price.)   I have seen almost zero Union coins below VF that look decent to me.  I'd only want any for the 1931 silver excluding the 6D.  However, I don't know how collectors view this in your country today.

Since I posted last, I was also looking at the other denominations.  It's a mixed bag.  The scarcer ZAR 2/- and 1/- in MS now have lower counts than most Union dates, just not quite as many as the 2/6.  For example, only the 1931 1/- (with zero) is lower than the 1893 (4).  The 1926 1/- has five.  The 1927 and 1928 aren't noticeably lower than the 1894 -1896 or have more.  (1896 is 16 and 1927 is 17.)

The 1947-1950 1/-, 2/- and 2/6 (excluding 1950 1/-) have increased noticeably, but the recorded totals are still a very low fraction of the mintage.  1948 2/6 at 66 is 4%, 1949 2/6 at 50 is about 3%, 1947 2/6 at 34 is just over 1% and even the 1948 at around 90 is about 1.5%.  There is a high likelihood that at least some of these dates have many more, as in 5% to 10% of the mintage.  Based upon the 1950 Kaplan guide you gave me, I infer that these dates were almost never seen in circulation (it lists the 1948 2/6 at 60/-, same as the 1925 2/-).  I also presume (though obviously cannot confirm), that a much lower proportion were melted.  To the extent it happened, it should have mostly been in 1979-1980, not earlier.

Edited by jwither

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Pierre_Henri

So there are thus less Union Half Crowns in MS for 1926, 1927, 1931 and 1933 (and they are thus scarcer in UNC) than any of the scarce ZAR Half Crowns including the 1893 date?

I think that Dr Mitchell was referring to these "scarce date" Union coins compared to "scarce" ZAR dates. I cannot recall his exact words, but have it somewhere on record and will go and have a look. 

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jwither
2 hours ago, Pierre_Henri said:

So there are thus less Union Half Crowns in MS for 1926, 1927, 1931 and 1933 (and they are thus scarcer in UNC) than any of the scarce ZAR Half Crowns including the 1893 date?

I think that Dr Mitchell was referring to these "scarce date" Union coins compared to "scarce" ZAR dates. I cannot recall his exact words, but have it somewhere on record and will go and have a look. 

Than those dates, yes.  But then, I never claimed otherwise.

Based upon what we know now, there is little chance the 1926 or 1933 will turn out to be more common in MS.  Effectively zero otherwise.  The 1927 Is still unlikely but it is distinctly more common than at least the 1926.  The 1933 is far more available in AU-58 and lower than it used to be.  It's only "grade rare".

I am not disputing that Union is generally scarcer than ZAR either.  This is common knowledge.  What I was pointing out is that a lot of Union dates (in 2/6 or otherwise) that used to have proportionately or much lower counts but also viewed as rare are not, by the perception of prior posts.. 

The 1929, 1934 and 1925 are examples.  Same thing for the 1927 1/.  None of these coins are nearly as scarce as it appeared before.

I will admit that the recent (since 2014) increase in the counts is somewhat puzzling to me but I still don't believe there are any noticeable number of duplicates, most of the time.  It doesn't make sense that more would be submitted as prices have crashed but then, perhaps it's because the owners have been selling.  Due to the much lower price level, better Union has all but dried up on eBay, foreign auctions (Heritage, DNW) and US dealers.  (The latter was minimal anyway.)  I have always assumed that most of the better coinage is sold privately but cannot confirm it.

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