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Daniel58

2008 mandela Birthday coins

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Daniel58

Hi I'm new to coin collecting(but hopefully not to stupid). I would like someone to explain to me why an AU53 graded coin is being offered at between R3500.00 and R20 000.00. I appreciate the fact that there are very few with that grade. But surely an AU53 coin with millions of MS grades available is just a piece of junk. Why pay so much for a used coin when you can get better.

I am sure I can take any one of my MS coins and turn it into an AU53(or maybe just find one in my change). One cannot normally improve the condition of a coin but I am sure that you can wear it out enough to get that AU53 look., Sorry this does not make sense to me. Or are the sellers trying to take someone for a ride.

Maybe I just need to get more experience in collecting coins then I may also see the beauty of a AU53 birthday coin.

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alloway65

This "craze" started a few years ago and does not make any logical sense. Certain individuals tried to collect the full range of MS grades then this spilled over to the AU grades.

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Daniel58

Thanks. My cash flow does not allow for collections like these. I prefer nice looking coins where possible. I just find it amazing that anyone would even have such coins graded.

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jwither

Daniel,

 

The Mandela coin craze was a mania as alloway stated. I'm not sure where this stands now because I do not live in your country and never hear anything about these coins anymore, but I am sure that some of this stupidity lives on.

 

I remember these "grade collectors" from a few years back, including one who took exception to my comments when I pointed out the absurdity of this practice. Anyone can collect whatever they want but this is not real collecting, no matter what anyone wants to pretend to the contrary. And yes, an AU-53 is only "rare" for this coin because as a recent issue which apparently has seen limited circulation, there has not been enough of an opportunity for more than a few of these coins to acquire any noticeable wear.

 

The last time I looked at the NGC census for this coin which was a few years ago, the total count was about 133,000 with 11 in MS-69, 27 in MS-68 (or maybe more) and around 20,000 in MS-67. None of these coins (and I mean it literally) deserve more than a nominal premium over face value because the coin is as common as a grain of sand on the beach and there isn't a dime's worth of difference between even an MS-67 and an MS-69.

 

To give you an idea of how absurd this mania was, in 2008 or 2009, the South African Coin Company sold an MS-69 for the equivalent of over $330,000 USD though I cannot remember how many ZAR it was at the time (I believe 2.3MM). It might still be profiled on their website. There were only two MS-69 in the census then. More recently, someone offered another of the now 11 for R499,000 but even at this "bargain" price, there were no takers. At $330,000 USD, that sale was literally the most overpriced coin in the world and in the history of coin collecting.

 

Edited to add: The NGC census is now about 187,000 with about 30,000 in MS-67, 107 in MS-68 and 11 in MS-69. There are "only" 36 in AU-53 which is hardly low compared to most other coins which are almost always much better numismatically.

 

The PCGS census includes almost 16,000 more with over 4,000 in MS-67, 71 in MS-68 and two in MS-69. Unless proven otherwise, I would assume that NGC and PCGS grades are comporable for this coin and that there are few duplicates proportionately. I suspect most duplicates are probably in MS-67 with maybe a few in MS-68. I'm not sure what an MS-68 sells for now but with a combined count of 178, it might be "cheap" enough to risk a potential subsequent downgrade.

Edited by jwither

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Pierre_Henri

And so say none of us ...

 

 

To give you an idea of how absurd this mania was, in 2008 or 2009, the South African Coin Company sold an MS-69 for the equivalent of over $330,000 USD though I cannot remember how many ZAR it was at the time (I believe 2.3MM). It might still be profiled on their website. There were only two MS-69 in the census then. More recently, someone offered another of the now 11 for R499,000 but even at this "bargain" price, there were no takers. At $330,000 USD, that sale was literally the most overpriced coin in the world and in the history of coin collecting.

 

 

The coin probably went to a BEE-freebee who was funded by the rest of the hard working South African taxpaying community.

So we all probably paid for that coin...

 

Pierre

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jwither

Slight change of topic but instead of wasting more than a nominal amount on this 2008 5R, I would prefer to collect other RSA if my budget did not accomodate Union, ZAR or the more recent but still very expensive RSA issues.

 

Here are a few examples:

 

I have the 1974 short proof set with all CAM or DCAM except for one and the lowest grade is a 65 and the highest a 68. I am interested in it because it is the year I left South Africa. (It was 39 years ago yesterday on the Windsor Castle from Durban.) The two cent is particularly attractive as a PCGS PR-67 RD DCAM and I do not believe there are many like it. The set as I have it cost me about $300 which I think is reasonable given the quality of these coins. I also have a handful of other proof dates in similar quality.

 

Recently, I also bought a 1973 PCGS MS-67 5c ($11.50), 1976 PCGS MS-66 20c ($19), 1971 PCGS MS-66 Rand ($34) and 1975 PCGS MS-67 50c ($14.50). I do not actively collect these coins but I will buy them if they are available and cheap.

 

I actually already had the 1973 5c as an NGC MS-67 and just forgot. I paid $30 for that coin. Even though most or even all of these coins are ignored, I suspect that many of them are actually available in high grades or else I would not have been able to obtain a duplicate of this coin. I suspect that these coins I bought were probably obtained from mint sets. I have several of them and though the coins remain in the mint package, they seem to be very well preserved. The only exception to this might be on some of the Rand coins (those which are silver) and the bronze because the plastic chemically alters them. As I said once before, I suspect that there are few bronze which are actually really red and this would be one reason.

 

So why don't more "low budget" collectors do what I suggest? My answer is simple and the same as before. The coins I described are likely not profitable "investments". As much as I like that 1974 set, it is probably dead money and its equally likely that the others I listed are also. Even if interest increases in these coins somewhat, I suspect that it is going to take an MS-68 to quality as a viable "investment" in most instances. The rest are likely to be too common.

Edited by jwither

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Daniel58

@jwither. Thanks I will look into the alternatives. My budget is not too low but still limited. At this stage I collect not for investment but something I can one day leave for my only grand child. I have now nearly completed the R5(Nickel) series including the CW mint marks and have started the 20c and 50c series. I am really enjoying it, seems as if I will get more serious and look at Union coins as well. Short proofs are on my list as well.

Edited by Daniel58
To complete previous post

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jwither

Collect what you like. The purpose of my last post was to point out what I consider to be affordable alternatives.

 

I happen to prefer graded coins most (but not all) of the time. But for RSA if you are going to collect that, I would only buy them graded if you can acquire them as I did at low or relatively low prices. I would not likely submit any of them for grading if I lived in SA as you do. Since you live there, you have the advantage of being able to actually inspect the coins in person more than I do and I would use it to your advantage.

 

Outside of RSA, you can also consider Union and ZAR in circulated grades or some of the late date Union short proof sets. If you read the posting history here, you are not going to see many contributors discuss much less promote these coins but there is nothing wrong with them and in many instances, they are much better financial values than higher graded specimens, no matter whether anyone else here wants to admit it or not.

 

Since 2004 when I started buying these coins in larger numbers, the premiums between better circulated and mint state examples have been excessive if not exorbitant. There are many scarce coins that can be bought in grades up to AU-58 for a fraction. For example, I just bought an 1930 NGC AU-58 6D from another contributor here (Geejay) for R2472 or $250 USD. The same coin in MS-64 sold for about 16 TIMES as much recently in the DNW auction, an absolutely absurd price difference. Not only is there not much of a difference between these two coins quality wise (it can be noticed but is not that great), but the cheaper coin is likely to be a better "investment". It's simply a function of basic math.

 

There are many scarce or relatively scarce Union dates which can be acquired for less than this price if this is more than you care to spend for a single coin. If you like ZAR, this includes some of the "key" dates in grades like VF or XF. I mention them because for whatever reason, I have seen far more of them that I actually like in these grades than Union. I have seen almost none of the latter.

 

Finally, you could also consider coins outside of South Africa. Some contributors on this forum collect these but they are not discussed frequently. I happen to own more South African coins than others but I collect many other series. There are many affordable and more significant coins from elsewhere that can be bought for less.

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Daniel58

Thanks for your input. It is much appreciated. Yes I will not have my coins graded. I find that I can buy graded ones far cheaper than I can have them graded. I just bought 5 coins graded MS64 for an average price of R61.00 each. I did think of having one or two R5 CW graded as I have doubles of them and bought then only because I think they are very good quality. The 20c and 50c I collect will hopefully all be proof and that is the way I intend to display them. Maybe get a capsule around them but that is all. Once again thanks for your advise.

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