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geejay50

ZAR Coins Shine again on St James Auction

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geejay50

Hello all,

 

I am sure local collectors are quite struck by the prices that have been fetched for particularly high grade ZAR coins in the last two Major overseas auctions.

 

Yesterday at St James' in London the high prices fetched on Heritage last month continued.

 

 

(NB: BP refers to 20% Buyer's Premium charged by the auction house excluding VAT)

 

It seems especially ZAR Proofs in the bigger denomination that fetch the highest prices as well as the Gold of course and are seeming to outperform the Business strikes bucking the trend towards parity recently seen.

To list a few:

 

1892 Pf63 Gold Pond 200 000GBP (R3.12 Million with BP)

1892 Pf62 Gold Halfpond 72000GBP (R1,1232 Million with BP)

1892 Pf63 5 Shilling 15 500 (R241 800 with BP)

1892 Pf62 Halfcrown 5000 GBP (R78 000 with BP)

1892 Pf63 Two Shillings 4800 GBP (R74880 with BP)

Smaller coins fetched less even with higher grade:

1892 Pf64 Sixpence 4000GBP (R62400 with BP)

1892 Pf64 Threepence 4200GBP (R65520 with BP)

 

A PCGS Pf64BN 1892 Penny fetched 22000GBP (R343 200 with BP)

 

On the Business strike front , the real excitement centred around an MS66 1892 Shilling - only finest known graded by NGC a toned stunner. Hard bidding pushed the price to 9800 GBP (R152 880 with BP) This must rate as a record for a ZAR business strike coin and supports the American experience that unshared finest known coins fetch about seven times what an average Mint State Coin fetches (say MS62 - R21000).

 

Other sales of note were:

1892 Single Shaft Crown MS63 2800 GBP (R43680 with BP)

1892 Halfcrown MS61 1600 GBP (R24960 with BP)

 

On the Gold front:

1894 Pond MS63 fetched 8000GBP (R124800 with BP)

1897 Pond MS61 fetched 5200GBP (R81120 with BP)

1892 Single Shaft Pond AU58 fetched 19000GBP (R296000 with BP)

1892 Double Shaft Pond MS64 fetched 6200GBP (R96720 with BP) - corrected thanks Ernesto !!

1892 Double Shaft Halfpond MS63 fetched 3800GBP (R59280 with BP)

1893 Halfpond XF40 fetched 18000GBP (R280800 with BP)

1893 Halfpond VF35 fetched 9000GBP (R140400 with BP)

1902 Veldpond MS64 fetched 30500GBP (R475800 with BP)

1902 Veldpond AU58 fetched 15500GBP (R241800 with BP)

1874 Burgerspond (Finebeard)MS66 fetched 115000GBP (R1.794 Million with BP)

1874 Burgerspond (Finebeard) MS64+ fetched 50000GBP (R780000 with BP)

1874 Burgerspond (Finebeard)XF details ex mount fetched 4200GBP (R65520 with BP)

 

On the Union front , a Pf66 1931 Halfcrown fetched 4000GBP (R62400 with BP). A raw 1923 Short Proof Set fetched 1300GBP (R20280 with BP). A 1938 Pf61 Halfcrown and a 1949 raw Proof set were also offered (I did not see that part of the auction)

 

A number of the above prices were offered but the coin did not get sold and were passed over as the seller wanted more.

 

Someone recently in a posting on this forum was of the opinion that ZAR and Union coins were part of a twilight phase and that the future of SA coins lay in Mandela and Reserve Bank type coinage.

 

I think all collectors can be assured where the so called "Good Stuff" in SA coins is. These prices give an emphatic answer.

 

One can only say that the volatility in Silver and Gold prices recently has served to stimulate and consolidate the truly Rare SA Coin Market.This auction along with the recent Heritage auction will carry weight as a benchmark for future high end SA coin prices.It is seldom that such coins are seen together in one auction.

 

Our country as a whole can be justly proud to have such a well known and respected Heritage Internationally.

 

Geejay

Edited by geejay50

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EWAAN Galleries

Excellent!!!!!

 

:)

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Pierre_Henri

Fantastic!!

 

George - what was the grade of the 1892 Double Shaft Pond fetched 62000GBP (R96720 with BP) ?

 

Pierre

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jwither

Some of those prices were actually strong and others, given the Heritage sale, were actually weak.

 

The ones listed in the top section of Geejay's post were definitely strong prices. And for the proof 2/6, a price that I do not believe the coin deserves.

 

The 1892 proof penny must be considered a "disappointment". Compare this price (about $40,000 with BP) to the $195,000 for the NGC PR-65 RB. Now, find me ONE OTHER SINGLE example where coins of this scarcity and prominence sold for such a huge difference given the actual difference in quality. And this in such close proximity. The RB is a better coins, yes. But NOT FIVE times better.

 

The 1892 SS crown's price also seems weak to me. Given that this coin is really not scarce at all as an MS, I do not believe it deserves to sell fo more. But my recollection is that it is below recent sales of comporable coins. The 1892 2/6 which is a less popular coin and in a lower grade (though scarcer as an MS) actually did much better.

 

On the gold, the Burgess ponds brought very strong prices. I would have to check the others before I can express an opinion, though I think the 1893 HP also did so. However, I do not believe the XF-40 deserves to sell for twice as much as the VF-35. The cheaper coin is a vastly better value.

 

On the prior post Geejay referenced about what might replace ZAR (or Union) as the future of SA numismatics, I consider the idea nonsense. For a variety of reasons which I can list if necessary, the evidence AGAINST that opinion is overwhelming while the supposed support for it is completely speculative and unsubstantiated.

Edited by jwither

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jwither
On the Business strike front , the real excitement centred around an MS66 1892 Shilling - only finest known graded by NGC a toned stunner. Hard bidding pushed the price to 9800 GBP (R152 880 with BP) This must rate as a record for a ZAR business strike coin and supports the American experience that unshared finest known coins fetch about seven times what an average Mint State Coin fetches (say MS62 - R21000).

 

If the 1892 MS-66 sold for seven times an MS-62 (since I am not up to date on these prices), this is not reflective of the price multiples in the United States. It is not reflective for the reasons I outlined in our prior post exchange a month or two ago.

 

I thought about trying to find a comparable example from US coinage, but the fact is that either it is going to be impossible because it does not exist. Or, it will take a long time to find one.

 

Aside from the factors that I outlined in that prior post, deciding what even is a comporable coin is debatable. In my opinion, the closest US coin to this one is one of the Barber half dollars minted from 1892-1916. It is approximately the same size and face value, same metal and issued around the same time.

 

But except as "conditional" rarities, none of these are as scarce in MS because there were more collectors around to save them. Offsetting this increased availability is the fact that because an MS-62 is a relatively common coin, collectors and "investors" are likely to pay a lot more than seven times more for an MS-66 versus an MS-62. (My cursory review of MS-66 prices on Heritage shows recent prices generally in the $5,000 to $10,000 range, An MS-62 can easily be had for $500 to $600 depending upon date and mint mark.) Additionally, more often than not, the "conditional" rarity grade is not an MS-66, but an MS-67 or on occassion an MS-68.

 

But this does not necessarily mean than this 1892 MS-66 should sell for more or a lot more later simply because any US MS-66 coin sells for a much larger multiple than an MS-62. Anyone arriving at this conclusion is comparing apples to oranges.

Edited by jwither

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geejay50
And for the proof 2/6, a price that I do not believe the coin deserves.

 

The 1892 proof penny must be considered a "disappointment". Compare this price (about $40,000 with BP) to the $195,000 for the NGC PR-65 RB. Now, find me ONE OTHER SINGLE example where coins of this scarcity and prominence sold for such a huge difference given the actual difference in quality. And this in such close proximity. The RB is a better coins, yes. But NOT FIVE times better.

 

The 1892 SS crown's price also seems weak to me. Given that this coin is really not scarce at all as an MS, I do not believe it deserves to sell fo more. The 1892 2/6 which is a less popular coin and in a lower grade (though scarcer as an MS) actually did much better.

 

 

Thanks for your opinion Ernesto,

 

The 1892 Proof Halfcrown PF62 was actually one of two sold , the one went for R78,000 with BP and the other for R65,520 making an average price for the two R71,760.

I had a Pf64 NGC Halfcrown on the SA market for sale for a while for R60,000 and could not get that price. It seems to me that there are buyers for ZAR proofs OUTSIDE OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MARKET who only buy on international auctions. They remain anonymous but their prices speak for themselves.

 

The Proof Penny on Heritage (Pf65RB NGC) was a stunning coin and it seems that the NGC Proof Pennies have gained better acceptance amongst serious ZAR collectors as being the real Proof Pennies although that asumption may be very tenuous.I have utmost respect for both NGC and PCGS as being of equally high standards when it comes to grading.

 

I recently sent the only Prooflike 1892 Brown Penny graded by NGC to PCGS for a possible crossover to a Proof but they at PCGS declined to make the crossover.That may be of interest to serious collectors.

 

I agree with you that the MS 61 1892 Halfcrown was sold at a good price for someone looking for a bargain and good value at R24,960.In Jan 2008 I paid $5962 (then R41,6920) for an 1892 MS64 Halfcrown at Northeast Numismatics. The last mentioned price was probably also reasonable.

 

It is really necessary for such current auction prices to be made freely available to the wider collector comunity to stabilise the market.

 

Less people will get hurt by unscrupulous sellers who often in the past have aggressively "cornered" insecure buyers on a one on one basis with no access to such collateral prices as second opinion. That seller behaviour has done untold damage to our coin market and is why I see the need for such postings.

 

Geejay

Edited by geejay50

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jwither

I agree with you that there are two markets for South Africa coins, within and outside of South Africa. Normally, the prices realized outside of South Africa are less to my knowledge. But I cannot say that this is universal. Possibly, it is mainly for less expensive coins which is why it seems to always apply to Union. That, along with the fact that there appears to be little demand for Union outside of South Africa. There appears to be quite a bit of demand for better ZAR and I consider it to be one of the series with the strongest demand by "outsiders" . That is, by foreign collectors buying coins that are not from their "home" country.

 

The other possibility is just that Heritage can get better prices than any UK auction firm because they are bigger and attract more buyers. I believe this is somewhat true but have no evidence of it. Objectively, the prospective buyer should be more interested in the coin and pay the same price regardless of the source as long as it is reputable.

 

I also agree with you that yes, the PR-65 RB penny was a better coin, maybe much better. And of course, I have never seen a proof penny in hand and did not see either of these two coins. I am also aware that some South Africa collectors seem to prefer NGC to PCGS. Personally, I see no basis for that preference whatsoever, at least when it comes to South African coins. I have not owned or seen a large number of PCGS coins (ZAR or Union, that is), but I can tell you that from those that I have seen, I think the quality of these coins is better for the grade than those in an NGC holder. Not necessarily the technical grade, but just the overall look.

 

The point of my comments is that, assuming that PR-64 is an actual proof (and at this time, I have bo reason to beleive it is not), that price difference is unprecedented for such an expensive coin. I have NEVER seen it anywhere else for ANY coin. And in my opinion, it is entirely unjustified no matter how amazing the PR-65 RB looks like. Either the buyer of the PR-64 BN got a bargain or, the buyer of the PR-65 RB vastly overpaid for this one. Since I do not believe that the 1892 proof penny is in the same league as most other $200,000 coins, I take the latter opinion.

 

(It is a better value than a number of US coins in that price range, many or even most of them. But if anyone can set aside their subjective bias and compare it to those from elsewhere besides the US, it is NOT comparable to most of them. At close to $200,000, I do not believe it is a good value even to other ZAR in the same price range for the most part. Yes, it is obviouslya rare coin and not seen often, but it is also still a bronze coin and still more available than most of the few ZAR that sell for this type of money.)

 

On the 1892 2/6, I would say that the MS-61 was a decent price, not a bargain. that is why I called it a "srong price". It was one for the SELLER. I do not think it is excessive but the coin is not particularly scarce as an MS and most MS-61 are quite inferior to an MS-64. I do not recall specifically what the price levels were in early 2008, but yes, I think what you paid seems reasonable.

Edited by jwither

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ThomasMueller

World gold coins shine again...

 

In my view there are more and more collectors of world gold coins. In the past decade people lost much money at the stock market and with real estates. With the impending collapse of funny fiat money many buyers want "real values".

 

I am located in Cologne /Germany and see that all top world gold coins are sold out very at a great pace. This includes ZAR gold ponds, which are sold within days if they are in XF or better condition.

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jwither

Yes, you are correct. But "world gold coins" is a vast field with some scarcer and much better values than others.

 

Personally, if someone wants to own gold, I believe they are better off buying gold bullion like a Krugerrand or American Gold Eagle. The premiums are low and there is a reliable bid/ask spread.

 

Most gold coins are not very liquid, selling at wide and unpredictable spreads. There is a dealer who has posted on the NGC Message Boards who has extolled the virtues of world gold (that is, non-US gold to US collectors). Do you want to know why he thinks these coins are so great? Because HE is able to make a lot of money off of them. That is exactly what I told him on that forum and of course, he never had a reply. I told him they were great for sellers who could dump them on unsuspecting buyers at inflated prices. Great because they are "rare" with low mintages but nobody really wants them. But while they are great for sellers, that concurrently means that they are not so good or awful for the end buyer. I would stay away from them.

 

As for "top" I presume you mean most recognizeable. I agree that ZAR is included in that list. As a collectible, I think they are a decent choice, though an "XF" is not an "investment" coin for most dates. The other drawback they have is that they are small. My top choice for "investment" collectible gold are US "generics" for common issues. They are easily the most liquid along with the British Sovereign. This makes them more predictable, though potentially less profitable. But at least you know that if gold and coins are moving up, you will make money. That is not necessarily true for most others.

Edited by jwither

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ThomasMueller

World gold coins shine again...

 

In my view the main thing is NOT to lose money...

If someone wants to make a maximum of profit, it will go wrong (in most cases).

 

If someone wants to save his /her savings the Krügerrand is first choise. Cologne Exchange gives quotes for foreign currencies and the "Krügerrand". They list "Krügerrand" and do not say "1 ounce gold" or "American Eagle, Philamoniker, Maple Lealf, Panda".

 

The Kruger ponds are a great part of history, they are beautiful coins. Most of them have been in circulation, so they are real money. I like coins which have been in circulation.

 

The "XF" Kruger pond I bought from Künker (Osnabrück) would be in American terms a "MS-62".

 

In the thread "On the cusp" I advised to "invest" in Chinese coins. This was over a year ago. Yes, the Chinese coin market was a chance to make a lot of money. I still have Chinese gold coins which are "top". Just lost at the 1986 100 Yuan Year of peace gold coin. This is probably one of the most beautiful modern gold coins.

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geejay50
If someone wants to save his /her savings the Krügerrand is first choise. Cologne Exchange gives quotes for foreign currencies and the "Krügerrand". They list "Krügerrand" and do not say "1 ounce gold" or "American Eagle, Philamoniker, Maple Lealf, Panda".

 

The Kruger ponds are a great part of history, they are beautiful coins. Most of them have been in circulation, so they are real money. I like coins which have been in circulation.

 

 

Thanks Thomas for your input ,

 

My problem with holding Krugerrands as a long term investment is that you need a lot of them to have a meaningful amount of money. In a country where there is high crime like South Africa and every crook knows what a Krugerrand is, they are more liable to be stolen if seen. Being small and not very showy like a ZAR Proof Penny is an advantage if you want to feel comfortable about having big value in a coin. Fellow Numismatists make the worst crooks though as I found out once to my cost but that can be prevented.

 

Geejay

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jwither

Thomas,

 

If you paid XF money for that pond, obviously you got a good deal. But I do not consider a coin like that as a substitute for gold. Those coins have a big premium which is not primarily based upon the demand for gold as bullion.

 

Geejay,

 

I am not sure why you hold that opinion. I agree with you that non-collectors are not aware of the value of expensive coins. But I do not see that it is necessary to own a lot of them to store a lot of value.

 

First, "large" may or will vary by each individual. Most people anywhere have such minimal liquidid savings that they can literally carry all of it in gold form in their pocket. For those who have somewhat more or by most standard even a lot more, at $1650/oz it is posisble to carry at least $500,000 USD in a briefcase.

 

Second, if someone like you is really worried about theft, then you need to consider alternate options. And by theft, I am also referring to what I think many South Africans are also worried about which is what the government may do in the future. The only real solution to that is have some capital out of the country. Storing wealth in coins is less susceptible to that type of problem than gold bullion, but this at the cost of its functionality as a store of value.

 

From the posts I read here, many collectors and "investors" seem to think that high value (and presumably rare) coins are equal if not better than gold as a store of value. That is simply not true. They are less volatile most of the time but as I have said many times before, their value is almost entirely contingent upon existing prosperity. For the last three years, most people regardless of where they live are becoming poorer. This has not YET impacted the ability of those with the capacity and willingness to pay existing prices, but I am (apparently) one of the few who believes this will change. Living standards are likely to decline for most for a long time.

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geejay50

 

Second, if someone like you is really worried about theft, then you need to consider alternate options. And by theft, I am also referring to what I think many South Africans are also worried about which is what the government may do in the future. The only real solution to that is have some capital out of the country. Storing wealth in coins is less susceptible to that type of problem than gold bullion, but this at the cost of its functionality as a store of value.

 

 

Hi Ernesto,

 

Good point about the Government becoming the main reason for investing in rare coins. Unlike Germany

and USA we dont have a Government that has yet relinquished political control at the Ballot box. They have a Stalinist background and are bent on holding onto power at all costs and that will include taxing easily accessible assets like Pension funds and shares. Information restriction will cover up Politician behaviour in terms of their misdeeds.The tacit support for racially based Zimbabwe's land grabs by our government is a good indicator of things to come.

 

Some of the strongest Numimatic traditions have been nurtured for same reasons in former Eastern block countries where people had to protect their assets from a voracious state.

 

I know a collector who buys up hundreds of ZAR Pennies most in graded form , some in high Mint State. Clever man - do you think a burglar thinks they are valuable??

 

Geejay

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ThomasMueller

I think the main question is if you want to save your earings in a very condensed "form" or have something for barter.

 

Bullion gold and silver coins are good for barter. But if you want to store great values, they may be too bulky.

 

During the Chinese "Cultural revolution" some families saved their life earings with only one or two very rare gold coins. But if these coins were found at a house search there would have been a death penalty. So this also not free of risk.

 

Greece is now raising taxes on real estates, this is a new form of land grab at a smooth way. But these ultra-rich Greeks have already moved to London or Switzerland and wouldn´t be affected.

 

Yes, most people get poorer and poorer. But where is all that gold which the European central banks sold in the past? Some ultra-rich families in England and New England have hoarded tons of gold and laugh about the man in the street who gives his last penny to "save" the big banks.

 

"White rule" in SA was not for ever, nor ANC rule will be for ever. I am sure that after funny fiat money collapse South Africa will have a total different government and will shine again. Even this is absolutely unrealistic for now, but it will happen!

Edited by ThomasMueller

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jwither
Hi Ernesto,

 

Good point about the Government becoming the main reason for investing in rare coins. Unlike Germany

and USA we dont have a Government that has yet relinquished political control at the Ballot box. They have a Stalinist background and are bent on holding onto power at all costs and that will include taxing easily accessible assets like Pension funds and shares. Information restriction will cover up Politician behaviour in terms of their misdeeds.The tacit support for racially based Zimbabwe's land grabs by our government is a good indicator of things to come.

 

Some of the strongest Numimatic traditions have been nurtured for same reasons in former Eastern block countries where people had to protect their assets from a voracious state.

 

I know a collector who buys up hundreds of ZAR Pennies most in graded form , some in high Mint State. Clever man - do you think a burglar thinks they are valuable??

 

Geejay

 

When I write posts like this last one, I promise that I am not trying to be difficult. Sometimes it might seem like I am but that is not my intent.

 

At the same time, I find it interesting how you took something from my reply which is not even there. I am aware of the risk you describe, but I do not advocate using coins as a hedge against it at all. Presumably, it is much easier for me to make these commnets and pass judgment because it appears that I am "safe" being in the United States, but that really is not why I make these statements.

 

Absent no better option, I would agree that coins could be used for the purpose you and a few others who I correspond with from South Africa state. But there are better options though it depends upon the resources each person has.

 

Coins will only be a satisfactory hedge if economic and political conditions remain more or less as they are now. And in making this commnet, I am not familiar with the exact specifics in South Africa. All I can tell you is that based upon what I know and my personal forecast, that I would want to have a back-up plan and one that is much better than that because I do not consider it satisficatory at all.

 

If it is simply a matter of the South African Reserve Bank debasing the currency, then holding "hard" currency or metals is a better option than any coins. I presume (since I do not know) that this is the primary immediate risk that those on the BoB Forum who live in SA (which is most) are trying to protect against. Recently, coins have appeared to do that "job" but I do not believe that it is because they are an inflation hedge at all. People simply bought them because they could afford them and wanted them. You can correct me if I am wrong, but if you go back to the late 1990's, I'm not aware that for the period before that that they were a particularly effective hedge at all. Maybe they were or maybe they were not. From what I know, they were "dead money" for the most part.

 

What I am describing here, to the extent that it is true as most seem to believe, will only "work" well, until it does not. As long as what happens outside of South Africa continues to appear "normal", then this option wioll appear "safe". However, I do not expect conditions to remain "normal" at all as I have expressed in other posts before. My expectation of this just happens to differ from everyone else's. And given how illiquid most coins are (including those from South Africa), there will be little or even no opportunity to unload them at anywhere near recent prices under adverse market conditions.

 

The other factor that needs to be considered in using coins as a store of value is their current price. Given how cheap SA coins were even up to 10 years ago, they would (in retrospect) have served that purpose better, even if conditions in the recent past had been much worse. The problem is, the more expensive SA coins today are NOT CHEAP. TheY are EXPENSIVE. I know that this is something that most (if not all) on this forum do not want to hear, but this assertion of mine has a lot more evidence to support it than any claims that they are undervalued or represent compelling value. And this is independent of whether they actually become more or less valuable in the future.

 

Contrary to the apparent thinking of most here, the fact that these coins have appreciated so much for so long does not make them less risky as "investments", it increases the risk of losing money exponentially. Most probably think this is not true because that is normal behaviour after prices have increased a lot over a long period of time.

 

Just to be clear and to counter any thoughts (since no one has ever said so) that my comments are biased or "sour grapes", what I state is even more true for US coins and equally true for any other markets where prices have increased a lot or where the coins are very expensive versus most others. It just happens that since this is a SA coin forum, that I direct my comments to these coins. On the NGC Message Boards where I have made similar comments to deflate similar sentiments, I comment on US coin values.

 

Now if the risk you and others are alluding to is some future political instability which leads to social chaos, then I do not think coins are going to be a good option at all. If it ever gets bad enough that anyone has to leave the country, not only is there no guarantee that these coins will function effectively as a store of value, but that those who need to leave will be able to take these coins with them.

 

Presumably, they will be easier to expatriate than bullion, but the better option is either own bullion, "hard" currency, or even coins outside of South Africa altogether.

Edited by jwither

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ThomasMueller

Krügerrand is number one

 

ProAurum is Germany`s largest gold dealer. They have 2000 online orders per day, despite a minimum order amount of 3000 Euros (30.000 Rand).

 

Gold: 1) 1 oz Krügerrand

2) 1 oz Maple Leaf

3) 100 grams ingot

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EWAAN Galleries

Gold is just a safe haven :)

 

Hi All

 

I must say gold is a a good investment long term. The first bulk lot of gold I bought was just over 10 years ago. I paid R300000 for 3.5kg of pure 24 carat bullion. Today 11 years later my 3.5kg's is worth about R1.5 million.

 

Now imagine I took the same $30000 and bought 15 Uncirculated Veldponds at that time the Veldpond was around $2000.

 

So 15 Uncirculated Veldponds at a estimate value of R350k today would have been worth R5.2million....

 

THATS 3 TIMES MORE!!!!

 

 

Interesting :)

Edited by EWAAN Galleries
:)

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geejay50

 

People simply bought them because they could afford them and wanted them. You can correct me if I am wrong, but if you go back to the late 1990's, I'm not aware that for the period before that that they were a particularly effective hedge at all. Maybe they were or maybe they were not. From what I know, they were "dead money" for the most part.

 

And given how illiquid most coins are (including those from South Africa), there will be little or even no opportunity to unload them at anywhere near recent prices under adverse market conditions.

 

Presumably, they will be easier to expatriate than bullion, but the better option is either own bullion, "hard" currency, or even coins outside of South Africa altogether.

 

Hi Ernesto,

 

I only started serious coin collecting in around 2004 although I had already a collection of Shipwreck coins acquired in 1981 to 1984. Even then and those were the years when Dr Frank Mitchell was around, we as divers were enthralled by the historical aspect were also aware that these coins were an asset that outperformed inflation in value without quite knowing how to realise that value apart from shipping them to Ponteiro in the USA.We did not regard them as dead money as you say because we knew of auction houses that had regular sales even then.

 

Third Party grading started in the late 80s in the USA took until about 2004 to really start affecting the coin market in South Africa as the Internet revolution made everything much faster and accessible. I think and this is my personal view that these two factors more than any other, put the coin market onto a solid footing as an investment worthy of serious attention.We had for the first time a way of accessing coins from anywhere in the world and without seeing them , had a very reliable idea of their value if already in a capsule. The old time dealers have even resorted to listing graded coins on the internet.

 

Regards

 

Geejay

Edited by geejay50

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geejay50
I think the main question is if you want to save your earings in a very condensed "form" or have something for barter.

 

Bullion gold and silver coins are good for barter. But if you want to store great values, they may be too bulky.

 

During the Chinese "Cultural revolution" some families saved their life earings with only one or two very rare gold coins. But if these coins were found at a house search there would have been a death penalty. So this also not free of risk.

 

/QUOTE]

 

Hi Thomas,

 

Interesting about the Chinese hoarding just a few Rare Coins till thug rule ended. There are other examples of such grass roots reaction during desperate times. I heard of a rich Polish woman who also carried her rare coins on her person during the Nazi invasion of Poland. You just cant do that with Bullion , its too obvious. In 2007, I travelled in and out of Zimbabwe with a Burgerspond, 1893 Halfpond and a Veldpond in my top shirt pocket without a problem.

 

Geejay

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jwither

Geejay,

 

My definition of "dead money" is anything that either gains no value or loses value over a "long" period of time. I do not know if shipwreck coins were "dead money" or not during the time you reference. For that matter, I am not sure that SA coins were either. I know that they were "undiscovered" when I started collecting again in 1998 and still were to some extent even several years later, probably until the Remick sale.

 

For many or most of the more expensive SA coins and even many that are not, I cannot say that any longer and I do not believe anyone else can either. The prices of ZAR coins are fairly well known by most "knowledgeable" collectors from many or even most places. And as all of you know well, the prices of many coins have increased substantially over the last 5, 10 and maybe even 15 years. There have been too many coins sell for "big money" for too long now and that "secret" is out in the open. For Union, this is less true but I would still say much more so than even a few years ago.

 

I understand why you and others here hold the general opinion that you do. I agree for the most part actually, but just not now and not to the same extent. Probably, I am somewhat early in my opinion - maybe a lot - but I think that I have good reasons for the opinions I hold and have tried to explain them here many times.

 

What I would really like to know is, given that most seem to have the opposite opinion that I do at this time, specifically why do you think so about a particular coin? I do not see that here really in any posts other than mine.

 

To give you a few examples, I believe you brought up the 1926 NGC MS-64 2/ which sold on Heritage for $12,650 earlier this year. I happen to think that this is a pretty good value and I asked for opinions here about this coin. No one answered one way or another. Surely, some of you have an opinion on this?

 

Or to take one example from your first post here, I checked the census for the 1892 SS pond AU-58 which went unsold with a bid of over $30,000. Given its availability, grade and that it is a die variety, I consider that an absolutely awful value. If others disagree with this (which I am sure more than a few of you do), what is it exactly about this coins that makes this price reasonable? And by that, I mean more than it just being popular because we already know that.

 

For anyone who really views their collection as an "investment", isn't it worthwhile to evaluate the merits, pro and con, about the coins you own and the ones you want to buy? I think it is a reasonable question whether others agree with my opinions on specific coins or do not.

 

But what I really see here is the implied opinion that rising prices are "good" and falling prices are "bad". And secondly, that apparently, no price is too high regardless of the "resume" that a coin has or lacks. That does not make any sense at all. It certainly does not make any sense from a collectible perspective and if financial considerations are important to the collector or "investor", it does not either in this context.

 

Specifically, what you say about TPG and the internet is absolutely true and I do not see either of those going away, not for SA coins and certainly not for US coins. Probably, we will see these practices spread to other markets over time, though it may take a long time in some and less in others.

 

But when it comes to evaluating any "investment", one of the most important considerations is price. Coins are not like many other assets because most of them are not interchangeable or "widgets". So yes, I know that evaluating comparable value like I do is an inexact science. Actually, it is really a guess more than anything else, just like the opinion opposite to mine.

 

But for those who consider the financial aspects important or very important, if you want to improve your chances of making money by buying coins at favorable prices, you cannot ignore relative value or eventually, you are going to get burned "big time". Just ask collectors who bought many of the most popular US coins in the late 1980's. Some of them still sell for LESS than they did almost 25 years ago even though they were definitely "investment" quality.

 

What I would advice you and everyone else here to do is, go look at the price history of US coins and study the pop reports. Do not make any assumptions, which I have seen here from various posters more than a few times, about what applies to SA coin prices based upon unsupported opinions for US coins. In your case, you seem to have made contacts with several useful sources outside of South Africa, so ask them their opinion or for referrals to other experts in a field and get their opinion.

Edited by jwither

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