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jwither

Collecting across national boundaries

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jwither    10
jwither

This is a follow-up to my topic evaluating the external demand for ZAR. Here, I include a brief survey across all coinage.

When I said foreign buying of ZAR is not unusual, it isn’t. Here are a few series which are widely collected elsewhere but to my knowledge, it is disproportionately due to geographic proximity and especially cultural affinity. A few examples include:

US collectors are strong buyers of Canadian and British coins, especially the higher quality and more expensive. US collectors are strong buyers of Latin American coinage in general because there are a lot of nationals living in the US, Mexico borders the US and many apparently collected Mexican coins in the past. In both instances, it is easy enough for a large number of US collectors to buy them because they can afford them and these series are much cheaper.

 

Spanish colonial cob and pillar coinage is collected all over the world because it circulated widely and the association with “pirates and treasure”. But even here, since there aren’t hardly any higher quality coins except for the Mexico pillar 8R, few of the prices are high, only for the supply with the cob 8R.

 

Australian collectors seem to have some preference for New Zealand going by the Noble Numismatics auctions.

 

Many European collectors appear to prefer coins from other European countries because they have travelled there, the coins show up in coin shops all the time and cultural similarity. An example here is probably Germany,Switzerland and Austria who seem to typically collect from the other. I see coins from all three countries in Swiss and German auctions on Sixbid all the time, especially German and Austrian states.

 

For South African ZAR and Union, other than expatriates, how does this apply? Union are collected as part of Commonwealth but there is no reason to believe the better coins are pursued except in isolation (if at all) because the prices are so much higher than the others. If this was not true, the results of the Bakewell auction would have differed completely. British collectors might have some affinity for ZAR because of the Boer War. If this is true, I still see no reason to believe they buy the more expensive coins anyway. This “nostalgia” can be satisfied with lower quality and much cheaper coins. Dutch collectors might have a similar preference but once again, it isn’t going to show up in the price of the more expensive coins because ZAR is far more expensive than their own. Some of you (such as Geejay) buy Dutch coins for this reason but the coins are a lot cheaper for all of you.

 

The only exception to what I just described appears to be ancient Greek, Roman and Judaica. These series are collected at “high” prices by US collectors (all three) and throughout Europe (Greek and Roman). The difference with these coins and most others is that Greek and Roman culture is widely admired and this stature creates an appeal that most or all others lack. Judaica is presumably collected by a large number of Jewish Americans and those who have an affinity for the history represented by these coins, especially the First Jewish Revolt of 66-70CE.

Edited by jwither

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jwither    10
jwither

Part 2

 

In the future, I can see British, Spanish colonial and some segments from Chinese, Indian and maybe Islamic coins having a similar though mostly lower appeal. I don’t see this with US coinage because the coins are and have been so expensive for so long that almost no one elsewhere presumably collects them today except for expatriates or in isolation. The more expensive US coins would have to lose most of their current value (as in 90% to 95%) before any large number of foreigners will consider them price competitive or ever buy them.

 

For all other coins, from what I can see there is effectively no collecting across geographic and cultural boundaries, only in isolation. There is coilecting by expatriates as I believe exists for ZAR but this is because those who choose to collect the series and can afford the better coins have an affinity and reason to collect them. As I already told all of you before, those in other countries don’t have any reason to buy them anymore than any of you have a reason to buy those from other countries other than at nominal prices.

 

The US is an outlier because of the very large affluent collector base and because all other coins are cheaper than their own. However, the opposite is not true and disproportionately isn’t for ZAR or Union either.

 

In the past, a few posts have implied a cultural affinity in your country for Southern Rhodesia. I can see it somewhat but don’t see that these coins are either cheap or represent compelling value at recent prices. Buy them if you like them but I believe this series is disproportionately going absolute nowhere.

Edited by jwither

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