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testrarossa

NGC S1R registry sets

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testrarossa

Due to a recent discussion that numismatics is not very healthy I thought that I’d add to the debate. Looking at the NGC registry sets and noticed a big increase in most sets esp the last 2 years. 

Using the Proof silver R1 registry set as an example when I joined in 2013 there were 12 sets and now there’s 69 and counting. Very nice collections have been added. There are numerous duplicate sets too. 

I am happy, at least there’s a little interest and competition still here. 

When I see all the graded coins listed on BOB sold there must be collectors not on the registry. It’s free to participate.

 

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jwither

The price level has declined substantially for SA coins since the YE 2011 peak.  This is independent of the health of the hobby and says a lot about the attitudes of those holding this view toward real collecting, as opposed to financial buying.

The NGC and PCGS registry has its place in collecting but its primary purpose is marketing to increase submissions.  I don't believe the number of participants says much about interest in the hobby either.

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testrarossa

Hi jwither

You are right that the price level have declined from its peak. It’s no surprise really is it? It was never going to be sustainable at that price level apart for the few with deep pockets. 

I think it was a sellers market during the peak and few buyers did well. Since you have been the only reply there’s must be some truth about the interest in the hobby. Should have started a topic saying bitcoin lost 50% in a month.

I ve used the PF S1R series as an example, it’s available/affordable for most years. 

 

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Pierre_Henri

My personal opinion is that as long as one collects and adds to these registry sets, it is a wonderful and fulfilling experience. Who would have thought (a few years ago) that there could be some / such competition between coin collectors on a national and even international level? Wonderful stuff for our hobby!

The downside is that when it comes to selling your registry set – if you sell it as a collection - you could be in for a bad experience – buyers will not pay what you expect because they are only eyeing the top coins in your collection – the rest they already have (in the grades you have) and will not be willing to pay an extra premium.

If you sell the collection as individual coins, the buyers will cherry-pick your top coins and the rest will be going at the normal prices.

So it is not an easy decision “going for the best” when joining the registry set collectors fraternity, but as I have said so many times, the joy is in the building up, and completion of your coin collection and NOT in the reselling thereof in the future. THAT will be the bonus – the cherry on top of the cake as an add-on to the wonderful years you experienced as a collector, building up your collection over so many years.

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jwither
On ‎1‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 7:28 AM, testrarossa said:

Hi jwither

You are right that the price level have declined from its peak. It’s no surprise really is it? It was never going to be sustainable at that price level apart for the few with deep pockets. 

I think it was a sellers market during the peak and few buyers did well. Since you have been the only reply there’s must be some truth about the interest in the hobby. Should have started a topic saying bitcoin lost 50% in a month.

I ve used the PF S1R series as an example, it’s available/affordable for most years. 

 

This forum has been virtually dead for the last few years.  It was relatively active maybe as late as YE 2013 but the number of posts now approaches zero.

As for your comment on the price level, I agree it should have been self-evident but that sure wasn't the sentiments here at the time.  I was the proverbial lonely voice in the wilderness.

Replying to Pierre's last post, the registry set is a contrived form of competition.  The reason for this is that most of the sets have almost no participants which makes "winning" this competition meaningless.  With the S1R, 69 entries is certainly a respectable number but doesn't change the fact that anyone who wants to "compete" should either be able to buy a "69" or  a"70".  There isn't a dime's worth of difference between the two grades and the "distinction" is entirely imaginary.

Which brings me to my last point. It's my contention that most coins (NOT just from South Africa) trade in a "one way market".  Easy or much easier to buy than to sell and get most or all of your money back.  In South Africa, I see very little interest in actual collecting which accounts for the poor resale.  This is aside from the disproportionate scarcity in Union and the better ZAR which results in wildly erratic prices from one sale to the next, especially with the better Union coinage.

What caused this?

The internet, that's what - by eliminating the price stability which used to exist from price guides.

With (far) more common coins, it has also eliminated the artificial supply constraints which existed in the past, both in terms of the supply for individual coins and series and in the series which are available to collectors.  Dealers used to have effective monopolies or in larger markets, operated an oligopoly.

Right now, I am (once again) discussing this principle with a contributor on the NGC Message Boards who (once again) exaggerates the appeal of the coins which used to be available to collectors decades ago when little else could be bought.  A much higher proportion of collectors don't like coins in the quality they would accept in the past (definitely Union and ZAR but also US collectors).  Or, the coins are so incredibly common or easy to buy that this material isn't competitive anymore for the collector funds.

I see this as an increasing problem in the future, especially if the collector base continues to shrink, as I believe it is in the US.  In South Africa, I can't say the collector base has shrunk but the internet and TPG have closed the knowledge gap by far more accurately reporting the supply which exists.

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Mike Klee

My perception of the current state of numismatics and pricing thereof is very simple: Americans focus on American coins, the British focus in British coins, Australians on Australian coins...and South Africans on South African coins. In South Africa, many of the middle income earners who would have taken up become numismatics - either as a hobby or, increasingly, as a form of investment and portable wealth - have become financially eviscerated with the rising costs of staying alive in this country. These middle income earners now have little or no disposable income, so buying and collecting coins under these circumstances just isn't going to happen. One can also see this in other fields, such as scuba diving and golf; the numbers are declining rapidly.

The fortunate few high income earners with lots of disposable wealth will continue to collect the numismatic gems of this country,  and at prices which will be mouth-wateringly "reasonable". These gems should be more affordable because there is now far less competition than 5 years ago.

Re the internet, this has been a huge boon to numismatics as the public can see what coins are out there and the pricing of these coins. Like a good shop, it always pays to have on display all the stock possible as this maximises sales.

 

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testrarossa
On 22/01/2018 at 4:25 PM, Pierre_Henri said:

My personal opinion is that as long as one collects and adds to these registry sets, it is a wonderful and fulfilling experience. Who would have thought (a few years ago) that there could be some / such competition between coin collectors on a national and even international level? Wonderful stuff for our hobby!

The downside is that when it comes to selling your registry set – if you sell it as a collection - you could be in for a bad experience – buyers will not pay what you expect because they are only eyeing the top coins in your collection – the rest they already have (in the grades you have) and will not be willing to pay an extra premium.

If you sell the collection as individual coins, the buyers will cherry-pick your top coins and the rest will be going at the normal prices.

So it is not an easy decision “going for the best” when joining the registry set collectors fraternity, but as I have said so many times, the joy is in the building up, and completion of your coin collection and NOT in the reselling thereof in the future. THAT will be the bonus – the cherry on top of the cake as an add-on to the wonderful years you experienced as a collector, building up your collection over so many years.

Hi Pierre

Couldnt agree more. When the Bakewell collection was auctioned off and all his R1 went unsold if I remember correctly. Absurd prices being asked by DNW. He was #1 at that point in the registry and very nice coins as you all know. He is #9 now and probably not participating anymore. 

 

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testrarossa
23 hours ago, jwither said:

This forum has been virtually dead for the last few years.  It was relatively active maybe as late as YE 2013 but the number of posts now approaches zero.

As for your comment on the price level, I agree it should have been self-evident but that sure wasn't the sentiments here at the time.  I was the proverbial lonely voice in the wilderness.

Replying to Pierre's last post, the registry set is a contrived form of competition.  The reason for this is that most of the sets have almost no participants which makes "winning" this competition meaningless.  With the S1R, 69 entries is certainly a respectable number but doesn't change the fact that anyone who wants to "compete" should either be able to buy a "69" or  a"70".  There isn't a dime's worth of difference between the two grades and the "distinction" is entirely imaginary.

Which brings me to my last point. It's my contention that most coins (NOT just from South Africa) trade in a "one way market".  Easy or much easier to buy than to sell and get most or all of your money back.  In South Africa, I see very little interest in actual collecting which accounts for the poor resale.  This is aside from the disproportionate scarcity in Union and the better ZAR which results in wildly erratic prices from one sale to the next, especially with the better Union coinage.

What caused this?

The internet, that's what - by eliminating the price stability which used to exist from price guides.

With (far) more common coins, it has also eliminated the artificial supply constraints which existed in the past, both in terms of the supply for individual coins and series and in the series which are available to collectors.  Dealers used to have effective monopolies or in larger markets, operated an oligopoly.

Right now, I am (once again) discussing this principle with a contributor on the NGC Message Boards who (once again) exaggerates the appeal of the coins which used to be available to collectors decades ago when little else could be bought.  A much higher proportion of collectors don't like coins in the quality they would accept in the past (definitely Union and ZAR but also US collectors).  Or, the coins are so incredibly common or easy to buy that this material isn't competitive anymore for the collector funds.

I see this as an increasing problem in the future, especially if the collector base continues to shrink, as I believe it is in the US.  In South Africa, I can't say the collector base has shrunk but the internet and TPG have closed the knowledge gap by far more accurately reporting the supply which exists.

Another good post. Thanks for sharing. 

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testrarossa
13 hours ago, Mike Klee said:

My perception of the current state of numismatics and pricing thereof is very simple: Americans focus on American coins, the British focus in British coins, Australians on Australian coins...and South Africans on South African coins. In South Africa, many of the middle income earners who would have taken up become numismatics - either as a hobby or, increasingly, as a form of investment and portable wealth - have become financially eviscerated with the rising costs of staying alive in this country. These middle income earners now have little or no disposable income, so buying and collecting coins under these circumstances just isn't going to happen. One can also see this in other fields, such as scuba diving and golf; the numbers are declining rapidly.

The fortunate few high income earners with lots of disposable wealth will continue to collect the numismatic gems of this country,  and at prices which will be mouth-wateringly "reasonable". These gems should be more affordable because there is now far less competition than 5 years ago.

Re the internet, this has been a huge boon to numismatics as the public can see what coins are out there and the pricing of these coins. Like a good shop, it always pays to have on display all the stock possible as this maximises sales.

 

Well said. 

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jwither
On ‎1‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 12:36 AM, Mike Klee said:

My perception of the current state of numismatics and pricing thereof is very simple: Americans focus on American coins, the British focus in British coins, Australians on Australian coins...and South Africans on South African coins. In South Africa, many of the middle income earners who would have taken up become numismatics - either as a hobby or, increasingly, as a form of investment and portable wealth - have become financially eviscerated with the rising costs of staying alive in this country. These middle income earners now have little or no disposable income, so buying and collecting coins under these circumstances just isn't going to happen. One can also see this in other fields, such as scuba diving and golf; the numbers are declining rapidly.

The fortunate few high income earners with lots of disposable wealth will continue to collect the numismatic gems of this country,  and at prices which will be mouth-wateringly "reasonable". These gems should be more affordable because there is now far less competition than 5 years ago.

Re the internet, this has been a huge boon to numismatics as the public can see what coins are out there and the pricing of these coins. Like a good shop, it always pays to have on display all the stock possible as this maximises sales.

 

It's true that collectors seem to have a much greater affinity for the coins 0of their "home" country and country of origin.  But I wouldn't say that South African collecting is representative of the level of interest in "foreign" coinage.

There are three primary reason why Americans are the largest buyers of foreign (aka, "world") coinage:

One: US coins are disproportionately so much more expensive than all others that the affluent segment of the collector base can easily afford it.  This affluent sector is quite large because coins are an "industry" here far more than anywhere else.  Because of the higher price level, Americans are also more willing (subject to perceptions of future marketability of course) to pay "high" prices for non-US coins whereas most collectors elsewhere are not..

Two: It is easier to buy any coin in the US than anywhere else because an outsized proportion of the better coinage is located here.  This is a function of the lack of collecting or least much lower participation in most other countries, US collectors outbidding locals elsewhere and coins brought back to the US by American residents when traveling.

Three: It is also much easier to sell most "world" coins in the US than any other market because of the large affluent collector base with diverse interests.  Particularly with higher quality coinage, there is going to be somebody who collect the coin or series, though as I indicated before, the affinity is lopsidedly directed to a small number of series with an outsized preference.  However, even when a preference is weak for a coin or series generally, US collectors (or dealers) will still buy random coins they like or for inventory at prices that would be considered "high" elsewhere.  For example, most collectors elsewhere would never consider buying a random coin valued at even $1000 if it isn't something normally collected in their country or that will be difficult to sell later.  US collectors don't blink at the thought.

In countries such as the UK and in continental Europe (such as Germany), collectors collect a wide variety of coinage, but at much lower prices versus the US.  They don't collect US coinage though because it is a lot more expensive, the coins are mostly owned by Americans in the US and there is no market for it locally.

In South Africa, I don't see any evidence that widespread collecting of other coinage exists at anything above immaterial prices, except maybe Southern Rhodesia where it seems that locals might compete with Americans and British for the better coins.

Lastly in closing, I don't believe the economy or wealth of the population has much of anything to do with the price level in your country.    It's true or may be true of collectors but not of the population generally.  Your sentiments are a commonly held view but there is no shortage of potential affluent buyers, especially given the pitiful "market capitalization" of the "investment" market for South African coinage.  In a prior post only last year, I estimated that the total value of all "investment eligible" Union and ZAR is possibly in the range of $30MM to $50MM USD.  That's a gnat on the back of an elephant economically.

The reason for what you see is the relatively weak collecting culture in your country and the lack of affinity for South African coinage elsewhere.

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testrarossa
On 2/10/2018 at 3:45 AM, jwither said:

It's true that collectors seem to have a much greater affinity for the coins 0of their "home" country and country of origin.  But I wouldn't say that South African collecting is representative of the level of interest in "foreign" coinage.

There are three primary reason why Americans are the largest buyers of foreign (aka, "world") coinage:

One: US coins are disproportionately so much more expensive than all others that the affluent segment of the collector base can easily afford it.  This affluent sector is quite large because coins are an "industry" here far more than anywhere else.  Because of the higher price level, Americans are also more willing (subject to perceptions of future marketability of course) to pay "high" prices for non-US coins whereas most collectors elsewhere are not..

Two: It is easier to buy any coin in the US than anywhere else because an outsized proportion of the better coinage is located here.  This is a function of the lack of collecting or least much lower participation in most other countries, US collectors outbidding locals elsewhere and coins brought back to the US by American residents when traveling.

Three: It is also much easier to sell most "world" coins in the US than any other market because of the large affluent collector base with diverse interests.  Particularly with higher quality coinage, there is going to be somebody who collect the coin or series, though as I indicated before, the affinity is lopsidedly directed to a small number of series with an outsized preference.  However, even when a preference is weak for a coin or series generally, US collectors (or dealers) will still buy random coins they like or for inventory at prices that would be considered "high" elsewhere.  For example, most collectors elsewhere would never consider buying a random coin valued at even $1000 if it isn't something normally collected in their country or that will be difficult to sell later.  US collectors don't blink at the thought.

In countries such as the UK and in continental Europe (such as Germany), collectors collect a wide variety of coinage, but at much lower prices versus the US.  They don't collect US coinage though because it is a lot more expensive, the coins are mostly owned by Americans in the US and there is no market for it locally.

In South Africa, I don't see any evidence that widespread collecting of other coinage exists at anything above immaterial prices, except maybe Southern Rhodesia where it seems that locals might compete with Americans and British for the better coins.

Lastly in closing, I don't believe the economy or wealth of the population has much of anything to do with the price level in your country.    It's true or may be true of collectors but not of the population generally.  Your sentiments are a commonly held view but there is no shortage of potential affluent buyers, especially given the pitiful "market capitalization" of the "investment" market for South African coinage.  In a prior post only last year, I estimated that the total value of all "investment eligible" Union and ZAR is possibly in the range of $30MM to $50MM USD.  That's a gnat on the back of an elephant economically.

The reason for what you see is the relatively weak collecting culture in your country and the lack of affinity for South African coinage elsewhere.

Also there are foreign buyers that won’t buy any modern SA mint products as they see it as supporting a ‘’corrupt’’ government. 
I never thought about it like that but there must be some truth in it as Krugerrands have some of the lowest premiums on the market. 
It isn’t the average foreign buyer 1st choice due to its links with apartheid and now the current government. 
Or they just have a preference for their local minted bullion. 
 

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jwither
14 hours ago, testrarossa said:

Also there are foreign buyers that won’t buy any modern SA mint products as they see it as supporting a ‘’corrupt’’ government. 
I never thought about it like that but there must be some truth in it as Krugerrands have some of the lowest premiums on the market. 
It isn’t the average foreign buyer 1st choice due to its links with apartheid and now the current government. 
Or they just have a preference for their local minted bullion. 
 

It appears to be your second option.

The gold KR used to be the most widely bought gold coin but that changed (to my knowledge) as a result of sanctions policy led by the US.  The sanctions lasted about 10 years until the 1994 elections in your country.

In the interim, the US started issuing Americans Gold Eagles which become the most widely bought presumably because US buyers are the largest buyers of gold bullion coinage and like most others, prefer locally struck.

There were also far fewer competitors for the KR prior to the sanctions.  I'd have to check to confirm what else came about from 1984-1994 but it's at least the Chinese Panda (1982) and Mexican Libertab (1982 or 1983).  Many, many others available now most of which aren't really "collected" either.

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jwither
On 1/23/2018 at 1:40 PM, testrarossa said:

When the Bakewell collection was auctioned off and all his R1 went unsold if I remember correctly. Absurd prices being asked by DNW. He was #1 at that point in the registry and very nice coins as you all know. He is #9 now and probably not participating anymore. 

I reread this topic but omitted to comment on this part of your reply.

The DNW auction was almost five years ago and the price level is noticeably lower now than then.  If he was actually interested in selling, Bakewell should have taken what he could have gotten at the time, whether through the DNW auction or private sales.  I said at the time that the 4MM GBP starting bid for the entire collection was excessive and the minimum bids on too many lots hopelessly optimistic. 

It's been my belief (as stated countless times here) that the 2011 peak will never be exceeded, adjusted for price changes, just as it hasn't been for many US coins which still sell for (noticeably) less than the peak of the US TPG bubble in 1989.  I don't really see any practical difference in using 2015.  Anyone who measures their results in Rand will eventually get more but it will buy much less.  This should be evident since the one factor that I thought might make a noticeable difference (high gold price) hasn't done anything for the price of numismatic coinage to my knowledge, not just in South Africa but also in the US.

As a collector who does not live in South Africa but who used to collect Union, there are still a low number I would be interested in owning, but not at the potential price it would LIKELY take to buy it now, never mind even in 2015.

As an examples, I recall the starting bid on the 1925 2/- MS-64 at 15,000 GBP which was about the same price as the 1732 Mexico 4R NGC AU-58 sold for in the Rudman sale ($27,600) almost a year later.  It's conceivable a local would buy it at or near this price but it's not competitive to a buyer like me.

My recollection is the Hern catalog mentions the existence of five 1923 proof sets with red bronze.  If fully red (yellow actually per the other topic) like the partially toned 1923 farthing I own now, I am interested.  However, not interested at $15,000 or some other ridiculous price I expect it would take to buy it.  It's a narrow rarity but still 1923 proofs.

That's the problem with a high proportion of the most desirable South African coinage. It's never offered for sale and some of it to my knowledge has never publicly sold, ever.  Per the post I exchanged with Pierre, seems it's mostly owned by a small group of affluent collectors who know each other.

There are also coins in my pillar series fitting this description but it's what I collect now and the coins are a lot more marketable over here.  If I am going to make any real progress, I'm going to need to do that because I'm running out of coins to buy listed in the TPG data.

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