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Pierre_Henri

SA Union Coins of King George VI shine on BidorBuy ...!!

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Pierre_Henri

I am sure many of our Union collectors have seen the incredible prices some Union George VI coins have realized in the past week or two on BidorBuy

 

Yesterday a 1946 Shilling in MS63 sold for R72 600.00 whilst a 1939 Half Crown in MS65 sold a week or two ago for R70 999.00.

 

Some collectors regard George VI as a step down from George V but these recent sales tells another story. There are some very serious George VI collectors out there so do not underestimate the range.

 

Big things to come in the near future I am sure!

 

BTW, the two coins I gave as an example were both sold by Colin Owen of Chimperie Agencies - an "old time" Western Cape numismatic dealer. I have bought many coins from them in the pre-internet period in the 1980s and was glad to see they have finally entered the electronic age here on BidorBuy.

 

Pierre

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jwither

I saw the 1946 1/ but not the 1939 2/6.

 

I do not believe either coin is worth these prices. The 1946 1/ is certainly a very scarce coin but yes, KGVI is a "step down" from KGV in popularity which absolutely matters to the price. More importantly, even if others have their doubts, there is none in my mind that the few better AU in the census will not sell for more than a (miniscule) fraction of this price and as I have pointed out numerous times, there is frequently little difference in the actual quality.

 

The 1939 2/6 price you quoted I consider to be absolutely absurd, even if it is a "conditional rarity". Whoever paid that price for it I consider to have received an absolutely awful value.

 

Lastly, simply because someone is well informed on a series and/or a serious collector does not mean that they were astute when they paid a given price for a coin, whether from South Africa or elsewhere. Anyone who questions this statement can go back and look at the posts I made on the 1892 ZAR NGC PR-65 RB 1D and the 2/6 and 5/ which sold for astronomical prices in the same sale on Heritage last year. More recently, both the gold proofs failed to sell on multiple occasions both on Heritage and I believe on either Baldwin's or DNW. In the last Heritage sale, the 1/2 pond opening bid being much less than either the 5/ or 1D when the coin is easily as desirable. There were several members here who were celebrating the exorbitant prices on the initial Heritage sale and then everyone here except for me was mysteriously silent on the subsequent "bad" news.

 

No one here apparently gets it but except for the seller, there is nothing intrinsically "good" about any coin selling for an exorbitant price. That is, unless you are interested in dumping your collection at that time. The same goes for supposed "bad" news when prices decline or are less than what anyone expects. Those who trying to improve their collection should be "cheerleading" for LOWER prices.

Edited by jwither

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geejay50

Thanks Pierre,

 

I totally agree with you about these two gems. Mr Owen although a dealer, held these coins for twenty-five years.

 

Numismatics goes through phases of popularity like any hobby and the George VI era is being discovered of late by those wise to the fundamentals of population reports.

 

The 1946 Shilling is as scarce in Mint State as the 1926 Shilling at the moment. There are exactly four coins of each in MS graded by PCGS and NGC . For the 1926 Shilling there are two coins both MS62 graded by NGC and for PCGS an MS63 and 64.

In the case of the 1946 Shilling, there is an MS61 graded by PCGS and three coins MS62(2) and the MS63 recently graded by Mr Owen.

 

If you look at Heritage Auctions at the moment there is a finest known MS64 1927 Shilling that is sitting at $9987 inclusive of Buyers Premium after three bids. That amounts to R96,774 if one includes SA Vat at 14% on import.However this coin still has over three weeks to go before end of auction and will easily go up further given what happens at this auction. I would expect it to go up to R120 to R150,000 eventually.

 

If you compare the number of MS coins graded for the 1927 Shilling with that of the 1946 Shilling, there are eight coins that have achieved MS in the case of the 1927 Shilling (4 each at NGC and PCGS) so it is actually twice as common as the 1946 Shilling and the pop 1 status unshared is common to both coins.

 

So on the strength of the above, R72000 is cheap for the finest known 1946 Shilling MS63 with these fundamentals.I do not believe we will see another 1946 Shilling of this grade (Mintage 26 924)

 

The MS65 Pop1 unshared 1939 Halfcrown at R71,000 is too high according to Ernesto. There have been 18 coins graded MS from the 42 graded on the pop report (probably less due to the cracking out and resending AU58s). An MS62 was offered to me recently for R11,500. The price of an unshared pop1 coin is often 7 times that amount from what I have seen from overseas auction figures. Furthermore 1939 is a special year in South African Numismatic history, there is no business struck Shilling or Sixpence. The proof sets have a mintage of just 30 and fetch high prices. The second world war broke out that year.Bigger coins at the top of the Silver series tend to fetch higher prices than say the smaller coins.

 

Bidorbuy can take heart from these sales that show everyone that we can fetch the same prices that the much publicized Heritage Auction Galleries fetches right here in South Africa. As long as the top items are offered , the money will come.In fact it is far easier to buy locally than have the headache of dealing with Heritage foreign currency Bank Transfers , SARS Import delays etc. WELL DONE BIDORBUY !!!

 

Geejay

 

 

 

 

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jwither

Geejay,

 

There is no absolute value for any coin but simply comparing those few coins and concluding that the 1946 1/ is "cheap" AND THE 1939 2/6 reasonable I hardly consider persuasive. First, as I have pointed out before, many or even most South Africa coins are RELATIVELY overpriced in MS compared to AU when the coins differ little in appearance. I have owned many such coins and I presume many others who are reading these posts have as well. I am still waiting for anyone here to provide an explanation that makes any sense as to why two coins that are essentially identical or differ so little should sell for such huge differences. This is especially true of AU vs MS but is also true of different MS grades.

 

Second, since KGV is more popular than KGVI, there is no possibility of directly comparing the census either in total or in a particular grade and then concluding that based upon these numbers ALONE, that the 1946 1/ is a relative bargain. It is a logical fallacy to do so with any two series, whether from South Africa or elsewhere. In support of this statement, I can provide any number of different coins from a variety of countries to prove this because it is obvious.

 

Third, I would not assume that any given number of these 1939 2/6 or any other specific coin are duplicates. Maybe they are but there is no way to know it. I have explained in prior posts why this should not be an assumption.

 

Fourth, maybe the 1927 1/ NGC MS-64 on Heritage will sell for more or a lot more than its current bid but maybe it will not. I have seen many coins on Heritage that never did and I also would not include the VAT that SA buyers must pay in the value. I do not see that any international buyer is going to agree to that simply because it is necessary to import the coin into SA.

 

Fifth, I am not aware of current prices of the 1939 but I can tell you that I do not believe that an MS-62 of this coin is worth R11500 either. I also have never heard of 1939 being a special year for SA collectors; you are the first one to ever say so that I have seen. I can see that the 1939 6d and 1/ are seen as such because there are no business strikes (even though I believe these coins are overpriced also), but there is no logic in translating that into the price or numismatic merits of the 2/6.

 

The 1939 2/6 is scarce but it has a larger census population than many other KGVI 2/6 dates and I do not believe that these other dates should be worth the same or more than most of their KGV counterparts either. After the next Heritage sale is complete, additional (limited) updated information will be available to make a more current comparison.

 

In the past, I have "streched" occasionally to buy a coin that I really wanted, but never paid an outlier price like what is described here. (I have never heard of any KGVI selling for more than these two coins.) And when I did, I can tell you that my financial performance was worse than when I did not. For all the coins that have been the subject of posts on BoB such as this one, I would love to see how well they turned out as "investments" when the buyer sold them or what they would sell for in the current market. My expectation for the most part is, not very well.

 

Lastly, though it is not relavent to anyone here, I can tell you that I use a much broader perspective in evaluating coin value than anyone here or for that matter, on the NGC Message Boards. I do so because my collecting interests are broader. Not only do I not believe either of these prices are compelling from an "investment" standpoint (the 1946 1/ more so), I do not consider them that compelling numismatically either.

 

To provide a few comparisons, within the last year or two Heritage sold a 1728 Spain NGC MS-66 8R (a crown sized coin like the 5/) and a 1699 Spain Segovia gold 4 escudos NGC MS-62 for about $12,000 each. When I evaluate coins like the two that are the subject of this thread, I compare them to coins like these.

Edited by jwither

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geejay50
First, as I have pointed out before, many or even most South Africa coins are RELATIVELY overpriced in MS compared to AU when the coins differ little in appearance. I have owned many such coins and I presume many others who are reading these posts have as well. I am still waiting for anyone here to provide an explanation that makes any sense as to why two coins that are essentially identical or differ so little should sell for such huge differences. This is especially true of AU vs MS but is also true of different MS grades.

 

Hi Ernesto,

 

I really enjoy your contributions as they are really well presented and come from a wealth of experience in world coins many of which we would never be able to cover like you.

 

I have inserted pics of an AU55 1946 Shilling and the MS63 coin.

 

For me the difference in lustre is more than enough to give the unc coin its grade.

 

In the field of grading Diamonds, the difference between say a blue white and a yellow diamond of the same carat can mean a few more zeros behind the price. Surely we can expect similar in Numismatics? The obvious difference being that whereas high quality diamonds are still coming out, no more 1946 Shillings will be made beyond what was minted.

 

Regards and please keep contributing to the Forum.

 

Geejay

 

 

58f5a73d37d56_1946ShillingMS63Obv.jpg.c915fe678a0ff137b76ce957857ec7f5.jpg

58f5a73d23d5c_1946ShillingAU55Logo.jpg.3abb6ac3556e347d2646f36d9763fc2b.jpg

58f5a73d292e5_1946ShillingMS63Logo.jpg.a617d0f9f6fd594cd1a83035f8542644.jpg

58f5a73d2de95_1946ShillingAU55Rev.jpg.6a609c6f008e60f87cc45a19756392d8.jpg

58f5a73d32c9e_1946ShillingMS63Rev1.jpg.52641141b6f2fdaebb57ab89f15ef863.jpg

Edited by geejay50

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Pierre_Henri
The obvious difference being that whereas high quality diamonds are still coming out, no more 1946 Shillings will be made beyond what was minted. Geejay

 

I always underwrote that statement, but it is not true (I was wrong) when we are talking about collectors coins.

 

Yes, no new 1946 Shillings will ever be minted, but the slabbing and grading of them have only started a few years ago.

 

So MANY new 1946 shillings will be "discovered" and graded in the years to come. The numbers in probably all grades will just get more and more - NEVER less.

 

All serious collectors will know that the 1944 Shilling in MS is probably the holy grail of GVI coins as no such coin has ever been graded. And no new 1944 Shillings will be minted BUT the coin in Mint State actually exists.

 

In one of the most spectacular auctions in SA numismatic history, albeit seldomly mentioned, a small "plattelandse" (rural) auction was held by a dealer from Rawsonville in the Western Cape, HS van der Linde on 12th October 1968, who sold a brilliant Uncirculated 1944 1/- as lot 516 (the starting bid was R30)

 

Where is that coin today? Nobody knows but it should now form part of an old time SA collection that, for some or other reason, has never been graded.

 

But these coins will pop up in years to come - my point is that their numbers will never be static and only grow - never will they get less.

 

I am stating the following in one sentence but it is actually my whole philosophy when it comes to investment in coins :- If the number of collectors do not encrease in the years to come, prices will just drop - irrespective of number of coins minted, numbers graded, numbers available etc etc etc.

 

We should all actually pay a 5% tax on all coins bought that should go to a fund that should be used to attract newcombers to this wonderful hobby

 

If not, we may have a situation in the future where we have 128 Tickies of 1931 with only 127 collectors wanting them.

 

Pierre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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geejay50

 

Yes, no new 1946 Shillings will ever be minted, but the slabbing and grading of them have only started a few years ago.

 

So MANY new 1946 shillings will be "discovered" and graded in the years to come. The numbers in probably all grades will just get more and more - NEVER less.

 

All serious collectors will know that the 1944 Shilling in MS is probably the holy grail of GVI coins as no such coin has ever been graded. And no new 1944 Shillings will be minted BUT the coin in Mint State actually exists.

 

In one of the most spectacular auctions in SA numismatic history, albeit seldomly mentioned, a small "plattelandse" (rural) auction was held by a dealer from Rawsonville in the Western Cape, HS van der Linde on 12th October 1968, who sold a brilliant Uncirculated 1944 1/- as lot 516 (the starting bid was R30)

 

Where is that coin today? Nobody knows but it should now form part of an old time SA collection that, for some or other reason, has never been graded.

 

I am stating the following in one sentence but it is actually my whole philosophy when it comes to investment in coins :- If the number of collectors do not encrease in the years to come, prices will just drop - irrespective of number of coins minted, numbers graded, numbers available etc etc etc.

 

We should all actually pay a 5% tax on all coins bought that should go to a fund that should be used to attract newcombers to this wonderful hobby

 

If not, we may have a situation in the future where we have 128 Tickies of 1931 with only 127 collectors wanting them.

 

Pierre

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Pierre,

 

People will always collect coins as a store of wealth.How did so many of our top SA coins end up in the USA? Take say the Sammy Marks family - they took their hoard with them to Toronto and sold them from there.Its as simple as that.

 

I believe that consistent unbiassed grading has spurred on the hobby and given it a sound investment base for the future. If we allow the grading process to be corrupted by people who disobey basic Numismatic principles for short term gain, then the investment side of Numismatics could be under threat.

 

I dont believe for one second that there will ever be a situation where there will be more 1931 3ds than collectors. For starters most of these gems have disappeared.Throwing money at buying people into the market will also not help. We need to attract the newcomers by giving them factual information and not misleading them by selling them coins that have been cleaned as if they are Numismatic, whether in or outside of slabs.

 

Rawsonville is not far from Cape Town and if it is a BU 1944 1/- but is it really so? Is it not perhaps the only AU58 graded is that coin. I have seen eminent dealers misgrade Proof coins as Brilliant Unc or Cleaned coins as Numismatic. Or the coin has just been mishandled and is no longer gradeable.

 

An 82 year old collector in Howick showed me his collection of ZAR and Union coins which was fair but mostly cleaned and he also told me that as children they played with a Burgerspond in a Monopoly type game !! That is the real story behind where many valuable coins go I believe. Most are not lying in wait for the graders unfortunately in some state of perfect preservation.

 

I recall a raw 1892 Double Shaft Crown that was found in the roof of an old farm bulding along with an old Revolver in the Free State (probably since the Anglo Boer War) and was sent to me for NGC grading - it graded MS63 after NCS attention.Pic enclosed. Such a find is really rare and doesnt affect grading stats much.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]3804[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]3805[/ATTACH]

 

I believe good coins will get less and less as the Internet has reached every small town and old computer illiterate collector.The Mandela bubble has brought NGC to every corner of the country. The people in the townships here in Zululand know about those birthday coins in NGC slabs and will pay R100 each for them at our local taxi rank.

 

So you may never see another 1946 Shilling in BU , because the sands of time have not been blown away to reveal the mythical hoard.I may be wrong though and Pierre may be right. I do however think the appearance of another such coin to be highly improbable but never totally impossible.I would rather not gamble on possibly getting one sometime soon though as the odds in my favour are very small.

 

 

My thoughts

 

 

Geejay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by geejay50

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jwither

Geejay,

 

I agree with you that the NGC MS-63 looks much better, but as an UNC, it should have no wear which I assume that it does not, since the image is not large enough for me to really see this level of detail. The luster alone to me is not enough to make any coin UNC if it has wear. This is an exception I would make to "market grading" which I accept in assigning different UNC grades. But yes, based upon what I can see, it is a very sharp coin and the other is a good specimen also.

 

I cannot explain to you why diamonds sell for the spreads you describe but to answer your question, no I do not believe that applying this to coins makes any sense at all. I will give you credit for creativity but that to me is a rationalization to try to justify prices that, making a subjective evaluation using the available facts, is not supported. But let me make two other points in this post.

 

First, coins can only be compared value wise versus other coins. That should be an obvious statement because there is no absolute value for anything. I have explained my (unscientific) methodology in prior posts and if you are interested, I can also send you (or anyone else) a write-up I created covering this topic in additional detail where I use examples from both South Africa and elsewhere to make my points. In making these comparisons, the priority I use is: (1) Same coin in different grades (2) Subject coin to other coins in the same denomination or other denominations in the same series. An example being KGVI to KGVI. (3) Subject coin to coins in a different series such as KGV to KGVI and ZAR. (4) Subject coin to other coins from other countries. In making this comparison, I use a multitude of factors which depending upon the coins being compared, subjectively make one coin worth more than another for MOST collectors or "investors".

 

A simpler way of making this evaluation instead of going through the process I described (which I happen to like doing but most others probably do not) is simply to ask yourself this basic question. If you or a represetative number of collectors were offered the chance to buy or to select (for free) between alternate coins of the same approximate value, which would you and most choose?

 

In some instances, it is not obvious but in many, it is so. This is as good a "gut" methodology as any to perform a sanioty check on a coin's price before you buy it. Using this method, I would say that the lopsided majority of South African collectors would choose the 1946 1/ MS-63 over the 1939 2/6 MS-65 if given the choice. I also believe that this latter coin would perform very poorly in such a "beauty" contest versus most other coins from South Africa (and elsewhere) worth the same money. This should tell you that, in terms of numismatic value, it is not a very compelling value at all at this price. Using the same concept but with other coins, I think the 1946 1/ has a lot more going for it but not as much as say, the 1926 and 1927 KGV 1/ you used in your prior post.

 

Now what about as "investments" since collectors do not usually make their choice in the manner I described? Well, I would still say what i said before in my last post. That buying these coins at (presumably) record prices for a KGVI and at huge multiple to those in a lower grade carries a substantial risk and that their propects for appreciation are below average, both in absolute and relative terms.

Edited by jwither

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Pierre_Henri

Those were the days ...

 

 

Rawsonville is not far from Cape Town and if it is a BU 1944 1/- but is it really so? Is it not perhaps the only AU58 graded is that coin. I have seen eminent dealers misgrade Proof coins as Brilliant Unc or Cleaned coins as Numismatic. Or the coin has just been mishandled and is no longer gradeable.

 

Geejay

I do not think so:- Van der Linde actually had another 1944 Shilling listed as lot number 582 - THAT one could well be the one you are talking about - he described it as - "a Good EF - almost Uncirculated , with slight wear on the rim"

 

Interestingly enough, he also had a Brilliant Uncirculated 1946 Shilling listed as lot number 585.

 

His 1944 B/Unc Shilling was listed at R30 and his 1946 B/Unc Shillin at R38.00

 

The same auction also had the most wonderful of coins listed including a 1931 Proof Tickey (R450), Burgers Pond in EF (today an a/UNC) (R1000), Sammy Marks 3d in proof-like (R1600), etc. etc

 

Those were the days ...

 

Pierre

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jwither

I too would like to get my hands on old catalogs like the one you mentioned. I have two but only from the 1990's. One is Spinks sale #130 (or thereabout) which I have mentioned here before. It contained the second best Union collection I have seen after Remick's which was sold in December, 2006.

 

On the subject of how many coins do or do not exist of a particular coin, there is simply no way to really know MOST of the time. It is a subject which has been raised here many times and I have attempted to cover the factors that I believe are relevant in making an educated GUESS.

 

Personally, I think there is a bias in the SA coin community toward understating the number of likely survivors and overstating their rarity. Or at least, these are the lopsided sentiments that are expressed here. And the most likely reason for it is because the lopsided majority prefers and hopes for higher prices and apparently believe that if this is true, that will make it happen.

 

The answer to that is both yes and no. Yes, because since collectors and "investors" demonstrate an overwhelming preference for the coins of their "home" country, SA collectors are going to buy them regardless of whether they are good relative values or not, whereas someone like me will not. No, because collectors also have a habit of not pursuing collecting that is essentially impossible to complete and they obviously cannot buy something that is not available or they cannot afford. The "yes" factor in this instance outweighs the "no" in my opinion but only to some extent and I do not know how much.

 

If the sentiments expressed here come to pass, it will simply mean that the overwhelming majority of collectors are going to be priced out of the majority of SA coins that are "investment" material. Then those who own them now will make a ONE TIME windfall which is NOT going to be repeated. I believe this windfall opportunity has already mostly passed because SA coins are NOT "cheap" and too many are not really affordable to MOST current or likely prospective collectors. If these are accurate statements, then this means that if the consensus wish comes to pass, the higher grade and "key" date coins (maybe as many as 30% to 40% of all Union) will sell for expensive and exorbitant prices like commodities among a small group of "investors" while the remaining collector base will have the priviledge of being able to afford the "also ran" circulated and common date material. This does not exactly sound to me like the greatest outcome for SA coin collecting but apparently, it does to most here.

 

In terms of specific coins like the 1944 or 1946 1/ discussed now or others like the 1925 2/ discussed in the past, I cannot tell anyone exactly how many exist in MS (as if this should really matter in and of itself) and no one else can either. It is possible that the TWO 1944 AU-58 (one in the NGC and one in the PCGS census) are the only ones available and that none "better" exist, but common sense indicates otherwise.

 

With a mintage of 50,000, it would essentially be unprecedented for the number of actual survivors to be as low as appears now, even taking into account what is generally known about the prior history of these coins. If it is, it will simply be due to an accident of history because no one paid any attention to them.

 

More likely though, more exist somewhere - anywhere - even though who owns them and how many is not generally known. This coin is not even that old (68 years) and it is entirely possible (likely in my opinion) that it is owned by those who pulled it directly from circulation or has it from someone who did.

 

Generically, the most logical outcome is that in a few instances (very few), no additional coins will become available than now. In a few other instances, a small but possibly proportionately large incremental supply will become available over time. But in the vast majority of instances, many or substantially more will become available. Except for the discovery of "hoards", I would expect that those coins which have the higher prices and lowest census populations will see the lowest incremental supply and vice versa. But I would not count on the vast majority of these coins actually being scarcer than say, most of the Spanish colonial pillars (1732-1772) that I have profiled here before which is what the census purports to show in some instances and consensus opinion seems to believe now.

Edited by jwither

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jwither

Geejay,

 

The NGC 1944 1/ AU-58 that I used to own is almost certainly not the one Pierre mentioned. I bought this coin in the September 2008 DNW sale as part of a lot which included a full set of 1944 and 1945 circulation strikes. This coin is now in the Bakewell collection and can be seen in his registry set. Likely, it is a coin that was taken back to the UK a long time ago. The last time I checked, the PCGS census also included an AU-58. I do not know the source of that coin.

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jwither

I am revisiting this topic to now provide factual data to support the opinions I included in my prior posts before. In my prior posts, I mentioned that quality specimens of both the 1946 1/ and 1939 2/6 were worth a fraction of these two "conditional" rarities. This has now been proven.

 

I personally bought Geejay's 1946 1/ in AU-55 for R5000 and though I cannot inspect the other coin in person, I would vastly prefer to have it for 7% of the price. Yes, the other coin sold for 14 TIMES as much when it is not remotely that much better. I am not going to claim that the coin I bought will make an ideal "investment", but I think it will do much better financially than the MS-63 at R70,000 because it is a vastly better value. And if it does not or even loses value, I am indifferent while I would assume that if the other specimen were to crash like I think it should, the other buyer would mind a lot.

 

The same applies to the 1939 2/6 where an MS-62 sold this month for about R4600. The MS-65 sold for about 15 TIMES as much which is absolutely crazy. I also certainly hope that no one took up that offer that Geejay mentioned above at R11500 because if they did, they currently have an unrealized loss of over 50%.

 

Do I know with certainty that either of these coins would not sell for more or a lot more if placed on the market again? No, I do not. But the other prices I have seen on recent BoB sales for several other "key" dates are also consistent with these two coins I just covered.

Edited by jwither

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ryno4711

Hi jwither

 

Your reflections on these prices are as always interesting to ponder on although it should also be noted that it took more than 1 bidder to get to these "high" prices as pointed out. Point made is that there is obviously more than 1 buyer that would pay this price for these coins even though considered unrealistic today by many. Maybe both buyer and loser of these coins are just more knowledgeable than most & realize that similar specimens will in all probability not be available soon or ever.

 

Maybe the question to be answered here should be "what is the value of these & similar rarities if this should prove to be the last available in this grade?" The payed priced could obviously still reflect as "to high" but in all probabilty much lower than 14 & 15 times.

 

Further to this will obviousely then be the probable realization that the prices realized for AU coins are infact extremely low. Hopefully then this portion of the market will improve as it should.

 

Regards

Ryno

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Pierre_Henri

Wise words spoken Ryno.

 

Regarding my personal collecting preferences ...

 

I am not a top end collector of Union silver coins that pays thousands of rands for those that are still missing from my collection, BUT I am still a serious contender trying to build up a respectable collection from 1923 to 1952.

 

I bide my time and when I see a nice (for example) Au specimen coming up for sale on BidorBuy that is missing from my collection, I am in with my bid - warts and all.

 

This for exmple, is what I currentluy have in my Shilling collection that I want to improve on ...

 

[TABLE=class: MsoNormalTable]

[TR]

[TD=bgcolor: transparent]1923

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]AU58

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1924

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]XF40

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1926

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]VF details

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1927

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]VF35

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1928

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]AU50

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1929

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]AU58

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1930

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]AU53

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1931

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]PF63

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1932

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]MS64

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1933

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]AU58

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1934

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]AU55

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1935

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]AU55

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1936

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]AU55

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1937

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]MS62

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1938

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]MS62

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1939

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]---

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1940

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]MS64

 

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1941

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]nothing

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1942

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]MS62

 

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1943

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]MS63

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1944

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]XF45

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1945

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]AU50

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1946

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]XF45

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1947

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]VF

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1948

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]MS63

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1949

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]PF65

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1950

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]MS65

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1951

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]MS62

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=width: 70, bgcolor: transparent]1952

[/TD]

[TD=width: 83, bgcolor: transparent]nothing

[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

 

I am desperately looking for a MS 1941 date (NOT a scarce date), but everytime they come up for sale on BoB I loose - not to mention the 1952 date that is not scarce in the least - but I just cannot secure them for my collection ...

 

Each to their own.

 

Pierre

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jwither
Hi jwither

 

Your reflections on these prices are as always interesting to ponder on although it should also be noted that it took more than 1 bidder to get to these "high" prices as pointed out. Point made is that there is obviously more than 1 buyer that would pay this price for these coins even though considered unrealistic today by many. Maybe both buyer and loser of these coins are just more knowledgeable than most & realize that similar specimens will in all probability not be available soon or ever.

 

Maybe the question to be answered here should be "what is the value of these & similar rarities if this should prove to be the last available in this grade?" The payed priced could obviously still reflect as "to high" but in all probabilty much lower than 14 & 15 times.

 

Further to this will obviousely then be the probable realization that the prices realized for AU coins are infact extremely low. Hopefully then this portion of the market will improve as it should.

 

Regards

Ryno

 

You are of course entitled to your opinion but I consider the position you are taking to be a rationalization. There is no absolute value for any coin and though a coin is "worth" whatever it sells for at any given time, by the logic you are using, it appears to me that NO coin was, is or ever can be overpriced. The most logical way to evaluate a coin's value is by comparing coins against each other based upon their relative merits as MOST BUYERS view them and their relative selling prices.

 

As far as the buyer and the other bidder who competed against them knowing more or being more knowledgeable than me or any other number of collectors or "investors" on this or other similar coins, I do not think so. Like many others, I am fully aware that these two coins are scarce (the 1946 1/ far more so) since I have been a long time of buyer of this series for 14 years now. I simply disagree that these two coins are worth anywhere near these prices but if anyone wants to present their case to refute mine, they are free to do so. In both this post and many prior ones, I have explained in detail the logic I use to evaluate whether a particular coin is or is not "fairly" priced. The opposing viewpoints which have been expressed here I find far less persuasive (and in many instances, not at all) but anyone reading both can make up their own mind.

 

On the "scarcity" premium for any particular coin, I acknowledge that there is or can be one and have said so in the past. When a particular coin comes up for sale that is not normally available, a prospective buyer needs to make up their mind on how much they want to pay and how much of a "scarcity" premium as well. But regardless of whether a particular coin is not available for another year, ten years or "ever", this is mostly independent of whether the coin is or is not a good (much less compelling) "investment".

 

For these two specific coins, my opinion is "so what?" if they are not available for a long time because the others I used as a point of comparison are not really that inferior to them from a collector standpoint and common sense (even aside from what I have written) better supports that they are much better "investments" also because the future appreciation is likely to be higher or much higher.

 

To once again use other coins I collect as a basis of comparison, today Stacks & Bowers sold a 1733 Mexico NGC AU-58 one Real and a 1733 Mexico NGC XF-40 1/2 Real for about $3000 and $1700 respectively. I considered buying both coins but did not because it was more than I wish to pay. In January, Heritage will be offerring another one I collect and I intend to bid aggresively for that coin for exactly the reason you state, though nothing close to these two amounts (R70,000 and R72,000). But the difference between these three coins and a 1946 1/, 1939 2/6 or any number of other scarce SA coins is that these three are ACTUALLY essentially never available at all or in ANY decent grade while this is only true for a very small number of Union coins.

 

Based upon my observation of recent results on BoB and other auctions (such as Heritage), my opinion is that a more "reasonable" price for the 1946 1/ TODAY is probably in the vicinity of $4000 to $5000 or at most R45,000 versus R70,000. As I explained above, I do not see that this coin, even though it is or appears to be somewhat scarcer, should be worth more than the 1927 NGC MS-63 which Heritage sold in September for about $6400. The 1939 2/6 maybe $3000 to $4000 because there is a reasonable supply of high quality specimens available (slightly over 20 MS in the combined census) even though this one is a "conditional" rarity.

 

However, when I say "reasonable", I am making this statement in the context of the existing Union price structure which I think is itself irrational and have said so many times. Per your closing comments, I also think that many (though not all) AU should sell for more. But if not, then many MS and especially "conditional" rarities should still sell for less. By this even more logical standard, if these two coins in AU-55 and MS-62 are really only worth about $500 each (which I think they are), then the other two should sell for even LESS than the two numbers I just provided, like maybe $2000 to $2500. A multiple of four or five times between these grades is still higher or much higher than most US "key" dates and rarities which is the most logical standard to use since SA pricing conforms (or purports to conform) more to US pricing than any other market.

 

Lastly, like many other comments I have seen on this forum, you are possibly assuming that the census is mostly complete and that a second (or even multiple) specimen(s) do/does not exist and will not surface in these grades. I have the impression that many buyers in South Africa have made this assumption on many coins and if this is correct, many have almost certainly lost money on some or many of their coins because the census has already increased substantially in many instances, even though only proportionately for many of the "key" dates. And apparently unlike most others who post here, I believe that many or a lot more are still available to be graded for most Union coins.

 

For these two in particular, I do not know how scarce they are in better or MS grades and no one else does either. However, logic better supports that there are more of these than many of the coins I collect which I have profiled in my prior posts, regardless of what the census shows at this time.

 

Recently, I took another complete look at the Union NGC census and a partial review for PCGS. The scarcest dates I do not recall as changing much but many of the others that have traditionally been viewed as "rare" are far more available than they used to be (from 2006 when prices really started increasing) and not actually as scarce as many people probably think that they are, even without considering the virtual certainty of future population increases for most coins.

 

As an example, take the 1946-1950 KGVI 2/ and 2/6. I actually see these coins less now than I did before, even though almost all of these coins now have 20 or more MS in the combined census. I could have bought most and did own some of these in duplicate in the past. Some of these dates might have or warrant a "scarcity" premium but I would say that for most Union coins, these numbers and the equally "high" census populations which exist for most other Union "key" dates at this time provides enough of an opportunity to buy them without such a "scarcity" premium. These are not all "conditional" rarities but in many instances, there are multiples (like six) only one grade below.

 

Thanks for your comments.

Edited by jwither

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jwither

I am not sure how many of you follow eBay, but today another coin sold for an exorbitant price. The coin in question is a 1943 NGC MS-65 Union six pence which sold for $1035. This coin as a date in MS is not rare and this particular specimen is not even a "conditional" rarity since there is a single MS-66 also included in the census. I congratulate the seller for the price they received and wish the buyer the best of luck because they are going to need it. I think they are going to need it because paying this price for a coin like this one is likely to ultimately result in a huge proportional loss, if not for them then for some other buyer who acquires it later.

 

By way of comparison, let's look at a few other recent sales to see what a poor value this transaction actually represents:

 

Late last year, I commented on the sale of the 1946 NGC MS-64 6D which sold for about the same price. I thought (and still think) that the price was too high but it was a better value than this one. The census for this coin has also increased somewhat since this transaction took place.

 

On BoB within the last month or two, TWO 1929 2/6 NGC AU-58 sold for R8200 and R8600. The 1929 2/6 is a scarce coin in AU or better and numismatically I consider it a vastly superior coin to any KGVI circulation strike 6D, regardless of the grade.

 

On BoB within the last month, each of the 1936 proofs were sold individually for between R7200 and about R11000. Three of these coins were cameo. There is no comparison between any of these coins and a 1943 6D.

 

As I write this post, I do not have access to the census to comment on the population distribution. I only recall that there is one MS-65 and one MS-66. I used to own this coin in MS-63 and while there are more of them in this grade, I doubt that it would sell for more than $100.

 

Correction to my prior post: The coin was actually a shilling and not a six pence which makes the price even worse even though this coin is a "conditional" rarity. There are 57 MS in the combined census with two MS-65 and 12 MS-64 (including one in PCGS). I previously sold two MS-64 for $300 each in early 2010 when there were zero MS-65 and maybe one or two other MS-64. I doubt that I could sell one for the same price today.

Edited by jwither
Correction to my prior post:

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geejay50
I am not sure how many of you follow eBay, but today another coin sold for an exorbitant price. The coin in question is a 1943 NGC MS-65 Union six pence which sold for $1035. This coin as a date in MS is not rare and this particular specimen is not even a "conditional" rarity since there is a single MS-66 also included in the census. I congratulate the seller for the price they received and wish the buyer the best of luck because they are going to need it. I think they are going to need it because paying this price for a coin like this one is likely to ultimately result in a huge proportional loss, if not for them then for some other buyer who acquires it later.

 

Correction to my prior post: The coin was actually a shilling and not a six pence which makes the price even worse even though this coin is a "conditional" rarity. There are 57 MS in the combined census with two MS-65 and 12 MS-64 (including one in PCGS). I previously sold two MS-64 for $300 each in early 2010 when there were zero MS-65 and maybe one or two other MS-64. I doubt that I could sell one for the same price today.

 

Hi Ernesto,

 

Whoever the buyer of the 1943 NGC MS65 1/- is, he bought the coin under competition which means there are people out there who are prepared to pay a premium price for a finest known (shared) specimen. These coins do fetch a special price, sometimes several times that of the next lower grade. Exclusivity fetches a price of its own and that is the name of the game. Some collectors are only interested in finest knowns for the simple reason that they command exceptional prices.The risk of losing pole position will always be there as we all know. It makes much more sense to my mind than paying R44,000 for a 1 ounce piece of proof Gold with a political theme where there are hundreds of others and more to come in the future as the SA Mint - SCoinShop need to keep their ball rolling !

 

At least there are no more 1943 Shillings being made and that grade will always be scarce.

 

In December 2010, I bought an MS65 NGC graded 1937 Shilling on Bob as a buy now which was then an unshared finest known. Not a desperately scarce coin you may say (35 graded at NGC 2 at PCGS ) - true - but find one that good? - there has not been another one graded at NGC or PCGS since and they are really not coming onto the market in numbers of any real quality. I would like to ask anyone who reads this what such a coin could fetch to-day?

 

Perhaps the buyer of the MS65 1943 Shilling will be smiling in a few years time - or am I indeed wrong ?

 

Geejay

Edited by geejay50

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jwither

Geejay,

 

I do not know whether this coin, your 1937 shilling or any other specific coin in a specific grade will be worth more or less in the future than what they sell for today or what someone paid for it. All I can tell you is that using common sense criteria that this coin and the coins that I have profiled with these type of prices are both poor numismatic values and hardly compelling "investments" either. If It turns out that some coin is worth more later, given the number of posts which I have written and the opportunity this creates for me to be wrong, I am sure that someone will let me know about it. But the reasons I write these posts are twofold:

 

First, NO ONE else here ever points out coins that sell for absurd prices, except for the most absurd such as the Mandela 90th BD issues and in my opinion only then because they do not own them and probably never did.

 

Second, I have no doubt that people are buying coins and paying these prices using assumptions which are mostly or even completely false. I have pointed these out many times even though I do not think many (if any) want to hear about them. It is one thing for someone to knowingly pay an exorbitant price if they actually have their facts straight but given the prices paid and many of the posts I have seen here in the past, its my opinion that many (a substantial number) are doing so out of ignorance. Someone needs to educate those who are less knowledgeable and that is what I am trying to do. Anyone is free to accept what I say or reject it to their own benefit or detriment.

 

Since I do not see hardly anyone buying these types of coins because of their numismatic merits, I am going to add yet another analysis from the financial side of the equation.

 

By the standards of US coins, in one sense these premiums are not that high. This 1943 shilling probably sells for about four times an MS-64 now. However, this price also needs to consider two things.

 

First, for a "conditional" rarity, MS-65 is not that high of a grade. Most US "conditional" rarities exist in higher grades. It's hard to generalize because there are probably about 10 times as many coins (yes, in the vicinity of 7000 coins if not more) to potentially collect for the US versus SA and the premiums vary widely based upon the absolute value of the coin, the highest grade available, the number of coins in the census and particularly the number of near quality specimens and lastly, the popularity of the coin itself.

 

Second, as I have stated in many prior posts, I believe that anyone who is paying this type of price is basically taking a gamble by GUESSING (and hoping) that:

 

1) No other coins show up in the same or higher grade;

2) The census count for coins one or maybe even two points below do not increase substantially and in some instances, at all depending upon the coin in question.

 

In my opinion contrary to what most here seem to believe, anyone buying most SA coins is likely to lose this "bet". In the instance of the 1943 shilling, 2+ years ago when I sold these two 1943 MS-64 1/, I believe there were four (including mine) in this grade with none higher. Now there are 12 in MS-64 and two in MS-65. This has not happened for the 1937 (yet) but it makes more sense to believe that the 1943 is more representative of most SA coins than the opposite.

 

This particular 1943 MS-65 came from a German collector or dealer. Where did they get it? Probably from some local seller would be my guess and there is no reason to believe that there aren't enough of these types of coins out there in the unlikeliest of places to completely topedo any "investors" assumption of the future scarcity and possibly the future price with it.

 

Demand is far more important than supply as long as it is "not too large", so just because the census counts increase does not necessarily mean that prices will decline. Anyone who has followed both ZAR and Union for any period of time knows this to be generically true. To some extent, incremental supply is BETTER for future prices because it enables a larger pool of collectors or "investors" to ACTUALLY acquire them. It just depends upon the popularity of the coin or series and how many ultimately turn up along with the grade distribution. The 1932 1/2D is an example..

 

For most Union coins, I think the potential supply is a LOT more than what exists for the 1932 1/2D, even though the census does not show it today. There is just no fool proof method to know in advance where that will turn out to be true. For some which I believe will be very few, the supply will or may increase slightly in absolute terms but for most, I still think that the "ballpark" number of 200 MS I have given before is a likely MINIMUM. I apply this opinion to all collectible KGV farthings (possIbly including the 1930) and selective dates from other denominations (1/2D, 1D and 3D), most KGVI and practically every QEII. Most of these grades are probably MS-63 or below but for some of them, there will be (and even already are) quite a few in MS-64 and MS-65.

 

Where will they come from? Mostly single coins but some will also be "hoards". Given that the mintages for these coins are not low in absolute terms, somewhere out there there are undoubtedly MS rolls which somebody kept. (In the US, a bank roll consists of 20 to 50 coins, depending upon the denomination.) If someone reading this post owns a "top" pop coin or one which is believed to have a relatively low population, this type of incremental supply could completely change the "investment" potential. I consider this likely DESPITE what is known about prior smeltings because this hardly explains the census counts we see today for most coins. As I have stated before, the difference between my opinion and the apparent opinion of others who post here is a STATISTICAL ROUNDING ERROR.

 

3) The existing census counts contain an unknown but potentially proportionately large number of duplicates.

 

I'm not sure how many here believe this but unless someone can tell me that they actually know this to be true, then I assume the opposite and always have. The only reason I can think that this would be widely true is because a large number of uninformed "investors" are wasting their money thinking they can have any meaningful success in obtaining upgrades. I do not know what the actual success rate is but I would expect that it is both generally low and also occurs in BOTH directions. Given the low absolute value of most Union coins, the lopsided probability will result in a NEGATIVE economic value added.

 

The market value of the coin and common sense are the most logical indicators of whether this is actually or even likely true. In the instance of the 1943 shilling, I do not believe ANY of them are duplicates because it would be a waste of money to even bother. I think the coin is overrated but it would make a lot more sense for the 1929 1/ which has three (3) MS-66 and five (5) MS-65 in the NGC census at this time. Or maybe there are some duplicates between the NGC and PCGS records because some in SA seem to (incorrectly) think that having the coin in an NGC holder is better. The PCGS census has four (4) MS-65 1929 1/ currently. I know that the 1933 PCGS MS-65 BN I sold is in both census reports because the buyer asked me to cross it over. A coin like these or others like it are far more likely to have duplicates because they are both more expensive and most know that the coin is "rare".

 

The same applies to US coins. The NGC census has multiples in MS-63 to MS-66 for the 1796 and 1797 half dollar. Given that these coins cost $500,000 and more, I consider it likely that MOST of these are duplicates but if they are not, there is ZERO reason to automatically believe that ANY SA coin has any meaningful number of duplicates even though we know that some actually do exist. A few days ago when I checked the census for the 1795 half dollar, it had increased from 33 to 42 for all MS grades from the last time (whenever that was). Given that this coin costs over $50,000 today in any MS grade, I would rate the chances of nine additional unique specimens to be effectively ZERO. Maybe ALL nine are also duplicates. The 1802 half dollar has a whopping three (3) MS in BOTH census, including two MS-62 which are also potentially duplicates. Heritage sold the NGC MS-60 for just under $25,000 in 2002 and since it might be now worth over $100,000, it is probable or even likely that zero addiitional MS specimens exist because this coin is both very widely collected and expensive.

 

I will conclude by saying that for those who "must" have a "conditional" rarity, probably a coin like the 1923 MS-67 BN ID is an "ideal" target. There is only one in this grade with 42 (including a single RB) in 66. In the US, common coins like this one usually sell for the largest premiums and the reason for this is that this type of ratio makes them a lot more "desirable" to many or maybe even most.

 

I do not know who owns this particular coin but I do know who sold it. It was a dealer in the United States. I believe the asking price was $3000 though I do not know the final sale price except that I recall it was less. Using US pricing as a guideline, this coin could be worth $3000 now (or maybe more) and it would make "sense" if a MS-66 BN was worth as little as $200 or $300 which is the most I believe it should be worth.

Edited by jwither

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jwither

Geejay,

 

I never answered your question on the value of the 1937 shilling. I tried to provide a detailed explanation on other topics in the last post and forgot about it.

 

As overpriced as I think this 1943 1/ to be at this last price, it is probably "in line" with recent sales of other comporable coins. Based upon this assumption, I would say that your coin should sell for no less than $1500 and maybe as much as $2000. I sold an NGC MS-64 of this date for (I believe) $300 in 2010 and I could see it selling for somewhat more now since it is a very good coin for the grade.

 

Also on your point of buying one of these Union coins in preference to a modern SA Mint commemorative which is basically a glorified bullion coin, I agree with you. However, I believe the comparison you are making is an incomplete one. The relevant question is not JUST whether a 1943 MS-65 1/ is better than these bullion coins but whether it is ALSO better than other portential alternatives. And on this correct question, the answer is an absolute NO because there are many other coins available that are better than BOTH.

 

On the NGC Message Boards, there is an open thread covering "investment" potential. Many (if not all) of the responses are "US centric" in the sense that I believe (since the comments lack sufficient detail as most do here) that the implicit perspective are those of a US coin buyer dealing in US coins only.

 

Many of the comments claim or at least imply that nobody or hardly anyone can make money in coins. Proportionately, this is true but not absolutely and more importantly, it does not prevent any specific individual from doing so. You can read these comments including mine at the link below.

 

The point I am trying to make in using this analogy is that these collectors are making or appear to be making unsupported assumptions and I see different but equally invalid assumptions from my limited interactions with those of you who participate here. Undoubtedly, some of my assumptions are also incorrect but what I attempt to do is to support my claims with observable evidence. Everyone should buy what they want but just make sure you do not fool yourself because it is likely to end up costing you money and maybe a lot of it.

 

Question about collecting/investing?? - Collectors Society Message Boards

Edited by jwither

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jwither

Today, a 1928 NGC MS-66 BN farthing sold for $202 on eBay. On April 18, 2011, Heritage sold another example in the same grade (Lot #27242) for $2080. This represents a LOSS of OVER 90%. Recently, two 1932 NGC MS-66 BN farthings sold on Ebay for about $200 (both by NCCE). Also on April 18, 2011, Heritage sold one (Lot #27244) in the same grade for $1265. This represents a LOSS of about 85%.

 

These are not KGVI coins but I am commenting here because its along the same theme that has been discussed in the prior posts above, just with coins that are more common and with different characteristics. These are examples of the financial disasters which have already occurred to those who incorrectly assessed the scarcity of a (prior) "conditional" rarity.

 

Everyone who has been reading or posting here is familiar with many high profile winners because those are the ONLY ones discussed here by EVERYONE except for me. Most seem to remember those and forget or are unaware of the financial losers. That is, unless they were someone who actually bought one.

 

For the most part though, I think the examples I am using here are already more representative of the experience of most buyers UNLESS they bought their coins quite awhile back and this is assuming they did not pay some of the absolutely absurd prices I have seen and heard second hand. This is due to the combination of the current weak market environment and the increasing supply/census counts.

 

Going forward, I think that the farthing examples I just used will also be more representative of most buyers who paid big or huge premiums for "conditional" rarities and sometimes near it. The fact of the matter is that if you look at the SA census, most Union coins today do not have a condition census coin in a higher grade than MS-65 much of the time. As I said in one of these prior posts, this is not a very high grade at all for a "conditional" rarity which increases the likelihood that these coins will appear in both a future higher grade and with multiples in the existing highest grade.

 

If anyone looks at the census for other markets, especially the United States but also many others, the observer will see that there are all kinds of coins in higher grades than a "65" where the probability of such a coin surviving in this state of preservation is VASTLY lower than any Union coin. No one can logically make any claim that this is not true.

 

In the US census, there are more than a few early 19th century coins in grades of "67" or even a "68". This is in addition to the late 18th century coins such as the 1796-1797 half dollars I profiled earlier in a "66". To these we can add many MS-65 coins (even considering duplicates) which exist mostly between 1808-1834 but also prior. For point of reference, the date given for established collecting in the United States is 1858. The same applies to other coins, including those I collect where the census also records coins up to a "66". These are all coins where established collecting was either very limited or did not exist for years (even longer than during the Union period in SA) after they were issued and the coins are much older than Union.

 

Even allowing for some leniency in grading (which is the opinion held by some I know), if these coins exist in these lofty grades, there is no reason whatsoever to believe that higher "conditional" rarities do not exist for most Union coins than what is included in the census today. If they do not, it almost certainly will be due to random chance and I certainly would not want to take the opposite side of that bet by paying an exorbitant or excessive premium today.

 

If there is a need to explain this in more detail, I can start another thread on this forum.

 

Finally, if anyone wonders why I keep pointing out this "bad" news, it is because those who buy or are going to buy these coins need to know both sides of the story. I point out more "losers" and overpriced coins rhan"winners" and relative bargains because there is no shortage of others here who are more than happy to do that. If I did not post these comments, no one else is going to do it and those who do not know better would only get the "positive spin" which I believe has definitely contributed to the losses current and prior buyers have already suffered.

 

Additionally, those who collect these coins need to be aware of facts from outside of their narrow sphere of collecting and what I just described is ONLY ONE of them. My guess is that the vast majority are not aware of the census data I just provided and most likely, many do not even want to know or hear about it.

Edited by jwither
I collect,

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culltony
Today, a 1928 NGC MS-66 BN farthing sold for $202 on eBay. On April 18, 2011, Heritage sold another example in the same grade (Lot #27242) for $2080. This represents a LOSS of OVER 90%. Recently, two 1932 NGC MS-66 BN farthings sold on Ebay for about $200 (both by NCCE). Also on April 18, 2011, Heritage sold one (Lot #27244) in the same grade for $1265. This represents a LOSS of about 85%.

 

Interesting, I am the new owner of the 1928 MS66BN 1/4P, I already had an 1928 MS65BN 1/4P in my collection, so was not bidding to win, but did.

 

I have been keeping records of all South African, pre 1965 coins, (graded NGC & PCGS) EBay auction prices for the last 5 years plus, I do not keep a date of the sale, only year, coin, grade and sale amount.

 

My last recorded selling price for the 1928 MS65BN 1/4P was $256.00

My last recorded selling price for the 1928 MS66BN 1/4P was $711.00

 

Seeing the low bids on the MS66BN, I decided to chance my luck and bid an amount less than the recorded MS65BN price, I only did this to try win more coins to warrant the large shipping cost, as I was more interested in the 1930 1/2P MS64RB which I also won!!

 

culltony

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jwither

Congratulations on your two acquisitions. I think both of those coins you won are reasonably priced.

 

I used to keep track of eBay prices informally but stopped doing so now that most SA coins come up for sale a lot more than when I started in 1998. I have an idea of what I want to pay most of the time anyway and the other sale prices are not necessarily going to change my mind either way.

 

Since prices seem to be weakening for most coins for about the last year, I have seen a lot of them at better values. But the primary reason in my opinion is because many never deserved to sell for the prior prices to start. The 1928 1/4D even in a grade like MS-66 BN is definitely one of them as it never remotely deserved a price of $2080. Sure, it is in an elite grade (even if no longer a "conditional" rarity) but once again, its price needs to be placed into the context of what other coins cost given its merits. To put this coin into what I believe is its proper perspective, remove it from the holder and the coin might sell (now and even when it fetched $2080) for slightly more than the $10 I believe a generic UNC is valued in the US Krause manual. That is exactly what I paid a few years ago for a 1931 "Zuid" which later did grade MS-66 BN. The only exception to this would likely be if the prospective buyer could inspect the coin in person first which is frequently or even usually not what happens.

 

If I owned this coin at your entry price, I would hang onto it for quite a while. Given the unpredictability of prices from one sale to the next, it could easily sell for more or a lot more even if you sold it now. Owning the two that you do, I would get rid of it if another price bubble developed and use that money to buy coins that are actually much scarcer, more desirable and vastly better.

Edited by jwither

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geejay50
Interesting, I am the new owner of the 1928 MS66BN 1/4P, I already had an 1928 MS65BN 1/4P in my collection, so was not bidding to win, but did.

 

My last recorded selling price for the 1928 MS65BN 1/4P was $256.00

My last recorded selling price for the 1928 MS66BN 1/4P was $711.00

 

culltony

 

Hi Tony and Ernesto,

 

The simple reason why the MS66BN 1928 Farthing has come down is because it has lost finest known position with the recent grading of two MS67 coins. It looks terrible to lose 85% of value but that is the risk we all take at the top of the quality scale.I won one of the MS67 coins on ebay from NCCE. I paid $666 or R5288 for the coin plus shipping - a price lower than what finest known costs...probably a fair bargain. Likelihood of an MS68 ... probably tiny as there hasnt been any MS68 George V coin ever graded... they didnt make them that good...there have been two 1932 Farthings graded as MS67 and that is that so far.

 

I put R50,000 in a term annuity and reaped R44,000 Ten years later .... the broker who sold it has his commision and emigrated to Australia. Financial losses are a fact of any investment as are gains. I would rather bet on something that is beautiful , truly rare and doesnt pay a heartless parasite a commision. I can also at any stage sell the coin when convenient to someone who loves the hobby.

 

Here are some pics to show you the fineness of the coin. There really isnt a blemish one can see and strike is superb.I hope you guys are not cross with me for snatching it at auction?

 

Geejay

 

58f5a74496c7f_1928FarthingMS67Rev.jpg.864955cad68df12f7abd9db32180acc2.jpg

58f5a7448a36c_1928FarthingMS67Logo.jpg.e4b3c4fb0ced1d74a0e01a218576ef5f.jpg

58f5a7449097c_1928FarthingMS67Obv.jpg.651a00f4b966bfebca34817e56556951.jpg

Edited by geejay50

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jwither

Geejay,

 

You have several different concepts in your post that I would like to address individually.

 

First, I am sorry to hear about your experience with that annuity. And yes, if you buy a coin at least you still have it even if its market value declines. But this is not the first time you have used a comparison that I consider invalid because the fact that this annuity did not turn out to be what you paid for does not make buying a "conditional" rarity coin a good "investment" at all. It is the same thing I told you earlier in this thread when you compared the 1943 MS-65 1/ to the gold coins recently released by the SA Mint. The two options you provided are not mutually exclusive and in these examples, my reply is that BOTH were substandard. It is not one or the other.

 

Second, I am aware that in this example that ONE reason why the 1928 MS-66 1/4D lost value is because this coin no longer retains its "conditional" rarity status. And yes, I know that with the MS-67 you bought that the likelihood of an MS-68 showing up is low or remote. But it isn't remotely true of most SA Union "conditional" rarities which is something no one on this board seems to want to admit. Otherwise, there would not be references to so many coins profiled here as "conditional" rarities when there is nothing really that significant about the grade and the probability is actually high that a higher grade will show up later. Sure, when I specifically bring this up, someone like you will or may admit it, but otherwise, the implied statement is that "X" is in grade "Y" and there (probably) aren't any more out there "better".

 

To beat this horse once again, there are two ways of looking at a "conditional" rarity.

 

Let's start from the collectible aspect. Simply because a coin has, or usually is PRESUMED to have, the highest available grade for inclusion in the census is in and of itself NOT particularly relevant. Absent other information, it is essentially irrelevent. From the posts I read here and my private communications with other SA collectors, apparently it is a big or huge deal to SA collectors but that is something I do not get at all.

 

In markets where grading is not preferred which is probably all of them except for the United States, South Africa and maybe Canada, I have never heard about trivial differences in quality being a big deal, even if a particular coin is presumed to be the "best" and even more so for coins in grades discussed here. This is irrespective that the coins are not in an NGC or PCGS holder. I see it becoming somewhat of a bigger deal in the future since TPG grading is gaining more acceptance but it isn't now and has not been in the past.

 

I cannot speak for Canada, but in the United States, I have also never heard of collectors or even "investors" placing a priority or even worse, paying ridiculous premiums for coins where "conditional" rarities exist in the same grades as most Union (or ZAR) coins. I have provided many examples in prior posts.

 

In one other post, I listed some of the factors that US collectors apparently consider important. But generically, the more common the coin (like this 1928 1/4d and to a lesser extent the 1943 1/), the higher the grade must be for anyone to really care about it. And by "high", I am NOT talking about a "64" or a "65" but at least a "67" and probably a "68". There are some common US coins with a condition census of a "64" or "65" like most Union, but not many. But where this applies, yes collectors will generally prefer the higher grade coin, but I have never read even one post on the NGC Message Boards where someone has ever said anything about it. And this is true in reading tens of thousands of posts.

 

I have only heard of condition census US coins in a "65" or lower being considered significant because the coin is itself significant but this has little or even absolutely nothing to do with the grade. So for example, the 1802 half dime is reported to have in the vicinity of 40 examples known (or slightly more) with the "best" (I believe) an AU-55. Sure, I presume that the few who actively want this coin prefer the AU-55 but I do not see that its "conditional" rarity status matters that much, not to the point where a substantial premium will be paid versus one in XF or even VF. Existing prices reflect this now. The same goes for that 1802 half dollar I profiled earlier where the two MS-62 are not worth that much more than the single MS-60.

 

Lastly to close this portion of the discussion, US coins with either low census populations or where the census grade exists in multiple (yes, possibly due to duplicates) also sell for LOWER premiums than those with larger census populations and where the census coin is unique or nearly so. The PRICE may be high but not the premium over the next lower grade. By the standards of US coins, this effectively applies to most Union coins except those such as the 1923 1D and the sovereigns because even though I do not consider many other coins scarce, the absolute census numbers in "better" grades are not that high today. Using this logic, the Union coin which should have the highest premium would be the single 1923 1D in MS-67 while it should be low for the 1946 1/ and 1939 2/6 previously discussed here.

 

Now, let's get to the financial aspects.

 

I am aware that the financial risk is always there but what you left out is that there are times when the risk is (much) lower or (much) higher. The most important of these is not the grade, but the price paid. Simply buying a very high grade "conditional" rarity like an MS-67 does not describe prudent risk management IF the price is exorbitant or absurd like so many of the prices which have been discussed on this forum in the past. The easiest and most prudent method to minimize this downside risk is to avoid paying the ridiculous premium which exist(ed) for so many "conditional" rarities. I have never seen even one comment on this board where anyone else except for myself included or admitted that, not even once.

 

In my opinion, I think far more buyers of "conditional" rarities are taking risks which more closely resemble the buyer of the 1928 1/4D MS-66 at $2080 than your purchase of the MS-67. But in reading the comments here other than mine, no one would ever get that indication either.

 

My interpretation of practically every post (other than the one you just wrote which is specific to an MS-67) is that the risk of a subsequent higher "conditional" rarity either is or appears to be low. Given what I just described about other coins in my recent post, I do not see how anyone could universally or even generally arrive at that conclusion. The risk is NOT low, it should be EXPECTED. It will be true of SOME SA coins but unilkely for MOST and even then, purely by random chance. And if anyone has better evidence or a logical argument to refute what I wrote, what exactly is it?

 

Is it impossible that these premiums may remain or actually increase? No, but there is no evidence from collecting anywhere to support such an outcome across all Union coins. The best support for it is that the collecting culture which exists today will remain and from it, a very small number of "investors" will both be able to afford and pay these inflated premiums.

 

But if this happens, absent an increased interest in collecting generally and probably an increase in the number of affluent buyers, its not going to do much if anything for most Union (or ZAR) coins because I see no evidence that the existing collector base has the financial capacity to shrink the premiums to more normal levels by paying (much) higher prices for coins in lower grades, MS or not.

Edited by jwither

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SA COINAGE

.......

Edited by SA COINAGE

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