Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
jwither

Circulated coin pricing

Recommended Posts

jwither    10
jwither

Today, a 1926 Union 2/ graded NGC F-12 sold for $20.50 on eBay. This is the same coin that Pierre sold on BoB earlier this month for R300. The question I have is, why don't more "low budget" collectors want these coins? (I place myself in the "mid-budget" collector category by South African standards.) Isn't having a coin like this one better than having none if this grade or one like it is the best you can afford?

 

I already know why "investors" do not want to buy it but generically, there are two reasons that come to mind for collectors:

 

  • Most are still only interested in MS coins with a few exceptions;
  • Coins in lower grades are either unattractive or look terrible. This is subjective of course but for Union, I would say practically any coin graded below VF-30 or VF-35 fits this description. I think ZAR coins in these grades or even slightly lower look better but I do not know if this opinion is widely shared.

 

Personally, I do not think this 1926 F-12 is an attractive coin but per the prior discussion on "Scarce Coin Watch", it's definitely not common in any grade and I still think it deserves to sell for a lot more (proportionately) than the NGC grading fee which is basically what it realized.

 

At this time, there are 24 coins listed in the combined census. I do not know how many actually exist and how many of these are "grade eligible", but its still probably no more than a few hundred. "Key" date ZAR coins already have reasonably strong demand (given their apparent supply). If Union coins are going to increase in price like i know everyone here prefers, you should also be hoping that coins like these exhibit greater market depth. In "Scarce Coin Watch", I expressed the opinion that a G-4 would fetch this price. The fact prices for this coin (and so many others) is/are even worse than a "pessimist" such as myself expected is an indication of just how shallow the market depth is for most Union coins.

 

From what I can see, there are only a handful of Union in grades below AU that most Union buyers will really consider. These are the 1923 and 1924 sovereign, 1931 silver and maybe the 1944 shilling, 1925 florin, 1933 2/6 and 1926 2/6. I can also see small additional multiple (but still small minority) considering the 1925 wreath 3d, some of the scarcer 2/ and 2/6 (like this 1926 florin) and at least before, the 1930 1/4d.

 

So, what say all of you? I know that someone else here must have an opinion.

Edited by jwither

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EishGK    10
EishGK

In my opinion, there are to few real collectors out there. I have assembled a complete union set excluding gold over many years and have started from the bottom up. It seems that not many people are 'really collecting' coins as a hobby anymore because when one considers the many high quality raw coins selling at ridiculously low prices - way below catalouge price at times - it is difficult to comprehend what drives the South African coin collector. With prices being driven downwards - even those so-called investment coin buyers are doing themslves a dis-service for the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jwither    10
jwither

I agree with you and the fact that you are the only one to reply on this topic basically proves what you just said. I do not live in South Africa and have never met anyone who posts on this board or for that matter, any South African collector anywhere. I have only corresponded through email with a few though quite frequently in some instances. But from what I can see, there is little actual interest in collecting in your country or to the extent that there is, it is much less than here in the United States. And in saying this, I DO NOT mean the absolute number of collectors or even what they spend on their coins.

 

No, what I am talking about is the level of interest in the actual coins as opposed to their "investment" prospects. Yes, obviously if the total outlay is more than a nominal amount (also considered from the financial position of the individual and not just the absolute amount), I do not expect the buyer to completely ignore the financial considerations altogether.

 

But what I can tell you is that in the United States, there must be a large base of actual collectors, even those who spend far more (in the millions of USD) than practically every single collector of South African coinage, who are more interested or far more interested in the numismatic aspects of collecting versus the financial aspects. It is obvious from both the subject matter on the NGC Message Boards and PCGS Coin Forum and the price structure across the grade distribution which provdes the best evidence of what collectors actually buy.

 

Yesterday, I was the high bidder on the Heritage 1925 PCGS VF-25 Florin at about $400. I know this is NOT an "investment" coin by current standards in SA, but if most collectors in SA were actually interested in completing their collections, I would expect it and a few others like it to sell for more or a lot more. At this time, there are 19 in the combined census. Based upon the grade distribution, I do not think there are any duplicates and yes, I think there are more out there, but not nearly enough in a decent quality (which absolutely includes this coin) to provide one for every collector who can both afford it and who (presumably) ACTUALLY wants to complete their collection. That is, assuming the collector base is as large as I presume it to be (since I do not actually know). Because if it is not, that says even more about the future of prices for ALL South African coins or at least Union. What it would essentially mean is one of two things:

 

First, that most actually could not care less about completing their collections. This is what I already believe because I see most comments here and in private showing interest only in MS. Now that the census populations have increased substantially in many instances and the price weakness has spread to most of these in the last 12+ months, its come to the point where comments are directed mostly to "conditional" rarities or maybe a grade or two below it. The other thing I have noticed is that the number of people who post has also declined.

 

Second, the typical collector (whatever that is) is so broke or financially insecure in your country that they cannot afford to buy much of anything or are unwilling to pay more. I do not know how true this is but I suspect it is to some extent.

 

On the first one, even after collecting SA coins for 14 years, I still do not know how most collectors in your country build their collections. In the United States because the coins cost so much more and there is more than anyone can possibly collect, most are either "type" or "date" collectors, the latter in a specific series. But in these two groups, MOST are buying circulated coins but whether they are or not, they still try to complete their sets. To my knowledge, there are very few who intentionally do not strive for completion and they will frequently or even usually buy lower graded coins if that is all they can afford. Yes, the majority have or will lose money, but out of this group, some will still not care and others can still make money with non-MS coins because MANY of them are still popular enough. This is obvious in both the absolute price level and the historical price trends which anyone can verify.

 

Here is the bottom line. As I have stated before, the coins I have profiled in prior posts are definitely better numismatic values than the lopsided majority favored by others here. And they are almost certainly better "investment" candidates also because ultimately without the collector (a real one), there IS NO "investment" market for coins at all.

 

I'm not sure how well or poorly this 1925 florin will do in the future (and it is really not that important to me either); it will take a long time to prove or disprove my position either way. But what I can tell you is that if this coin (and others like it) turns out to go nowhere financially, that is bearish for the financial prospects of all or practically all Union coins.

 

On your comments regarding raw coins, I'm not sure what you mean. I consider the (Hern) catalog prices irrelevant because I do not see that it is based on anything, at least for any scarcer coin above a nominal value. Also, I do not know what you mean by "high quality" because I suspect that many of these coins are NOT actually so except maybe from the standpoint of wear. I agree that some or many coins in "details" holders ARE high quality but most are probably not. This statement is not based upon the fact that NGC or PCGS declined to assign a numerical grade, but upon the surface appearance, color and strike.

 

I consider coins which are lacking in these attributes given their stated grade to be inferior or substandard regardless of what number is on the holder. From what I can see, few collectors and particularly "investors" in SA consider this because if they did, they would not buy coins simply based upon the stated grade which I know for a fact that they do. If South African collectors come to share the more discriminating tastes held in the United States, those who overpaid for mediocre looking coins simply based upon the grade are going to be surprised or shocked at the return on their "investment".

Edited by jwither

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pierre_Henri    10
Pierre_Henri

The Travellings of a 1926 Florin ...

 

Today, a 1926 Union 2/ graded NGC F-12 sold for $20.50 on eBay. This is the same coin that Pierre sold on BoB earlier this month for R300

This could make for a short novel.

 

I sold that coin on the 8th of November this year for R300 and then the same coin sold on E-Bay on the 24th of November for $20.50 and now it is back again in SA being listed on BidorBuy on the 12th of December (erroneously listed as a F15).

 

The history of this coin is short and sweet - a pawn broker called me about a lot of silver coins he bought and this one was the only one that I thought had some potential - it was extremely dirty so I send it via NCS to NGC as I had hopes for a VF20 grade.

 

When it came back as a F12 I thought that the NCS spit-and-polish did nothing to enhance the coin - BUT it is, like you have stated, a scarce coin in ANY graded form and I would think a R500 + price tag would be a VERY conservative estimation.

 

It is just incredible how these coins travel around the world and gets sold so many times in such a short period of time!

 

Pierre

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jwither    10
jwither

Pierre,

 

Thanks for your story. In fairness to NCS, they obviously cannot uncover what is not underneath. I would have to see before and after images of the coin to have an opinion of whether it was worth the try.

 

I do agree though with the sentiments of your post, entirely. Not only is what you described incredible, it is ridiculous. Maybe eventually, someone will pay more for this coin and then likely they will be stuck with it because the majority of collectors obviously view it as not worth buying or else it would (as it SHOULD) sell for more.

 

In the United States, a "key" date like this one would sell for a very strong price even in this grade. In absolute terms, there are a LOT of these kinds of coins even in grades all the way down to AG-3. In the UK, I believe this is also true for a smaller number, at least for a coin in F-12 quality. Even for the BOLIVIAN decimal coins I collect for which the aggregate demand is almost non-existent, I believe that a low circulated really scarce coin would sell for a much stronger price than this one; a coin like my 1864 centavo (which I own as an MS-62 BN) because any problem free coin is almost impossible to find.

 

The only logical explanation for this price is basically (though maybe not exactly) what I have described. Collectors (the few that apparently actually exist) do not care about completing their sets and "investors" have accepted the (completely false) premise that (except in very limited circumstances), only MS coins (regardless of what they ACTUALLY look like) are worth buying. And now that many MS coins have proven to be a lot more available than most probably thought, this preference will possibly shrink to "conditional" rarities or near it for many coins unless market preferences change. This is a negative for price trends from the standpoint of those who favor higher prices..

 

Also, in comparing the price of this F-12 1926 to the VF-25 1925 that I just bought, this price variance does not make any sense either. I think the 1925 looks much better (despite both grades) and yes, I think it is somewhat scarcer, but nowhere near 20 TIMES more desirable.

 

Not sure if you have noticed, but I have also seen these weak prices spread to ZAR or at least apparently so. I know this is also due to the increased census counts, but if my observations are correct, this is an even greater indication of the weak present state of the SA coin market. I do not have access to the SA Coin Guide but coins that I know or at least thought sold for hundreds of USD in mid-circulated grades several years ago now seem to sell for an absolute pittance. And in the bigger picture, the increased supply is still not that large. There are many such examples on Heritage and I would have to "dig up" others from eBay where in both instances, these coins sold for much less than some I sold myself five years ago or thereabouts.

Edited by jwither

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
geejay50    10
geejay50

Hi Ernesto,

 

I bought the F12 1926 Florin on ebay precisely for the reasons that you bought the 1925 Florin on Heritage a day or two ago. I really want this coin to fill a gap in an emerging collector's collection and hopefully not again to a speculator like me? In my whole period of collecting George V , the best coin I have been able to get in the 1926 Florin is a humble XF40 and that was bought raw and graded at NGC.I suppose I missed the boat or did not have the money or the appreciation for the MS64 on Heritage from a few years back !

 

Apologies for the F15 mistake !!

 

There must be collectors out there who do not have this 1926 florin in any grade given the extreme scarcity.Although it has the grade of F12, there is still a remnant of lustre around the legend and is not totally unidimensional.

 

I have a friend who has just spent a lot of money (he wont say how much) in the purchase of an AU55 1926 Florin. He also does not have a graded 1925 Florin in an otherwise really high grade George V collection. I was going to bid on that 1925 Florin VF25 for the same reasons as the F12 1926 Florin but was called away to work .You may well have had to pay more than $400 to beat me! Congratulations with the price. I think its worth a lot more.

 

In my collection, I have a raw coin that fetched AU50 and have never seen another one for sale until this past Heritage Auction. I paid R10,000 (about $1130) for my raw coin in 2005.

 

 

Geejay

 

58f5a74369786_1925FlorinAU50Rev.jpg.f80d7a955838ee8131767c880cbcc6d6.jpg

58f5a743646b9_1925FlorinAU50Logo.jpg.cdcc020a895cec02f4e3d5be2316eb5c.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jwither    10
jwither

Hi Geejay,

 

There is no reason not to collect circulated coins from any series, not from South Africa or anywhere else, if the coin is both scarce and a decent one for the issue. How can having no coin be better?

 

The idea that your/my collection must be completed in MS is a form of "numismatic illness" among SA collectors especially since many coins are not even available in sufficient numbers in these grades. That is why I do not understand that SA collectors who do not have a better coin or cannot afford a better one than this one do not buy them. In this particular example, however many Union collectors there are, I would guess that probably 95% of them either do not have one at all or one which is not as good. I do not own this coin and never have owned it. I should have bought it off eBay myself.

 

Generally when buying lower grade coins, there is a trade-off between completing your collection and likely losing money on resale. I understand that which is why I presume that many "low budget" collectors of SA coinage (Union in this instance but ZAR also) probably buy a smaller number of coins in higher grade or stick to newer coins such as RSA proofs and commemoratives. I DO NOT recommend spending "a lot" of money on circulated Union coins generically, but selectively I think it can make both financial and collectible sense.

 

With this coin, I know it is not a "great" one but if that is all that is available or that the buyer can afford, so what? It's their collection and if it does not measure up to someone else's standards, it does not matter. And what makes it even more illogical is that I believe that this coin (and others like it) SHOULD sell for more because IT IS scarce. It's nothing like most other circulated Union coins which I would not recommend buying if someone can afford a better one and they are easily available.

 

On your coin, I do not think an XF-40 is "lowly" either. Yes, I know you prefer a better one like I do but in other countries, MOST collectors are more than happy to own such a coin in this grade, so why shouldn't you be?

 

I myself have "capitulated" and have decided to buy some of my other series in somewhat lower grades. For the Spanish colonial pillar minors which I have profiled here, I have bought a few from Peru in XF because I cannot find anything better. The most recent was a 1761 PCGS XF-45 1 Real from eBay for $161. It is a decent coin and still good enough in my opinion from a financial aspect (longer term) because it is ALSO scarce. For the Guatemala pillar minors, I own three of them in VG-8, VG-8 and G-6. In 10 years, I have seen exactly ONE which is better, a PCGS XF-40 which went unsold on Sixbid recently. For those buyers who place financial consideration first, even in these very low grades, you can STILL make money IF you acquire them prudently because MOST are either holed or otherwise damaged. To my knowledge, the demand is there for them.

 

On the 1925 florin, I do think the price is "cheap" but I actually do not believe it is worth more in the current market. The only other sales for a graded coin I recall are the Heritage XF-45 for $1495 a few years ago, a VF-30 for $665 on eBay last year and the NEN F-12 (bought from DNW ungraded) which they sold on Heritage also a few years ago for $287.50. Taking into account these prices and the weaker recent market, I think the price on this VF-25 is about right, maybe actually a little high considering the price of other circulated coins and even better ones.

 

I happen to also own the 1925 florin as an "XF details surface hairlines". You might remember that this coin sold on eBay years ago for $505. I believe you and I were the only bidders. I would actually grade it an AU for wear but NGC "net graded" it which I think is actually fairly common. However, even though I agree its financial prospects are less than optimal there is absolutely nothing wrong with it or having it in anyone's collection. It is a decently attractive specimen. .I am going to keep both of them for the indefinite future. If I can buy coins like this one (or the 1946 1/ I bought from you which I also own as an NGC AU-50), I do not mind owning them in multiple.

Edited by jwither

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jwither    10
jwither

 

Assuming that the coin actually looks the same as the image (since this is often not true for a variety of reasons), I see nothing to indicate it will not. I would give it a grade of VF-20.

 

I also see that this is your coin. I'm not sure how you arrived at your starting price, but I see no chance whatsoever that you are going to sell it for that amount ungraded. Even if you sent it in and it came back at VF-20, I doubt you will get that price. Because I do not have access to the most recent edition of the Hern catalogue, I assume your starting price comes from there, and if not exactly, then more or less. If so, as I was explaining to you in my last post, the prices in this guide I would consider meaningless for any coin like this one. I expect that NOT EVEN ONE coin like this one ever sold for the prices listed in the guide and if it ever did, there is no doubt in my mind that this buyer would lose most of their money upon resale.

 

For your specific coin, I also arrive at this conclusion based upon the comments you see here on the 1926 2/ NGC F-12, the 1925 2/ PCGS VF-25 I just bought and the sales/list prices of numeorus other circulated coins in mostly NGC holders which I have seen on BoB. An example of the latter is the 1926 2/6 in NGC VF-25 which was listed at R2,000 and went unsold yet again. This coin is slightly scarcer than yours, is also graded and not raw and yet if I recall correctly, has not sold even after numerous listings.

 

Just to be clear, I am not trying to single your listing out. But I think that you need to be realistic about how much you are going to get for it. I see the same pattern in BoB listings all the time and I have just been paying attention again for the last few months.

 

The only way you are going to get this price, even if it were to grade as I think it might as a VF-20, is if the buyer actually believes the Hern Catalogue prices represent real market value which they do not. Your coin is better than the F-12 discussed here, but not as much as the difference between your ask price and the sale price of the other. It's also not better or more desirable than the 1926 2/6 or 1925 2/ I mentioned.

 

The comments I am making on your listing, I have similar ones for many others and if they are reading this post, they know who they are. Multiple coins of the same issue are listed in similar grades (not always exact but close enough) at wildly different prices. One sells typically after being listed with a starting bid of R1 but with a lower or much lower closing price. Yet the other sellers leave their listing at the same absurd prices over and over again. Do they actually think that buyers and bidders are that incredibly ignorant where they are going to get their (inflated) price? Does this question even need a formal answer?

Edited by jwither

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FORUMDUDE    10
FORUMDUDE

Take a look a these 2 beauties I was lucky enough to get my hands on:awesome:

 

1923s.jpg.81df7e61f2c0269a3bc134e67d87e552.jpg

 

1947.jpg.35f80a9d59f6c65e8866cf973cddc45a.jpg

Edited by FORUMDUDE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EishGK    10
EishGK

Thanks Ernesto

 

I most appreciate your comments ans guidance and agree with you.

 

Regards

Hassim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jwither    10
jwither

Hassim,

 

If I were you, I would get the coin graded if it looks like the image. By this comment, I am primarily referring to the number of hairlines because this does not always show up in pictures very well. I just bought and returned an 1871 Bolivia Boliviano that I bought on eBay for this same reason. Even with an enlarged image which showed "clean" surfaces, when received, it looked terrible.

 

I would also keep the coin, especially if you can get it into an NGC VF-20 holder. Based upon the market conditions I see today, I do not think you can get more than R1500 and likely less. If this is correct, despite and actually because of what most collectors and "investors" think about it now, it is not worth selling at its current value. I would much rather be a buyer than a seller at this price level.

 

As I commented in a post on another topic, most of the coins I mention are those that I consider (exorbitantly) overpriced because this is what practically everyone else here talk's about. I am not interested in buying any of these coins anywhere near these prices because they are not remotely worth it (most of the time) and from the standpoint of buying them as "investments", no one is ever going to make any real money following the crowd.

 

There are some (actually many) SA coins that I think represent decent or even good values, but in most instances, few want them which is why they are good values to me. But I do not necessarily think they are going to be worth more or a lot more anytime soon. My favorites for value are still better date and better AU for the scarcer KGV 1/, 2/ and 2/6 and in some instances, coins like this one. Same goes for the 1928 and 1932 farthings in MS-66 BN covered in my other post but only because they have already sold for 90% and 85% below their peak prices. The latter are common coins but very high quality with limited downside risk at these levels. They could (in theory) still lose another 50% but this would only be $100 now versus $1000 before.

 

Hang onto this coin. If SA collecting ever matures like most here presumably hope it does, it could be worth a lot more money even in this "lowly" grade and if not, it's still probably better than most out there.

 

Also, if you do not mind, can you confirm if you own the 1931 silver and if so, what these coins look like? Not trying to put you on the spot but you mentioned that you have a full Union collection excluding the gold. You might have already done so in the past here but I cannot remember. If you do not own them or care to comment about your collection, perhaps as a long time collector, you can speak to whether and how often you have seen these coins and other scarce ones (like the 1944 1/) along with the quality.

 

I would also be interested in hearing from anyone else. I once asked a prominent dealer in SA if they had ever sold the 1931 silver in MS (I did not specify any other grades) and they said only the 6D in over 30 years. Like practically every other coin ever struck, I presume that these and others not quite as scarce are out there in larger number than what is apparent now, but I have only seen the 1931 in mid circulated grades and lower a handful of times.

Edited by jwither

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×