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  • 1926 Half Crown

    Hi there Fellow Collectors

    I recently aquired a 1926 2/6 NGC Graded VF 30....i dont have acess to the NGC PoP report....can someone please assist me in this regard. I need the pop quality spectrum on the coin and maybe a round about value

    Thanking you
    Markus

  • #2
    Hi Markus,

    Scarce Coin; NGC XF40(1),45(1),AU53(1),58(1), PCGS AU50(1),58(1),64(1) the VF has not been listed yet , perhaps its a recent grading or they have forgoten to list it.

    Price; Try and list it at R1 start - it will fetch a few thousand rand.Depends on the market.

    Geejay

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Skeletonkey View Post
      Hi there Fellow Collectors

      I recently aquired a 1926 2/6 NGC Graded VF 30....i dont have acess to the NGC PoP report....can someone please assist me in this regard. I need the pop quality spectrum on the coin and maybe a round about value

      Thanking you
      Markus
      The market pricing on most circulated Union coins is very weak, especially in grades below choice AU. There just isn't much demand for them.

      The 1926 2/6 is a very scarce coin, third for the 2/6 after the 1931 and slightly behind the 1933 from my observations.

      I believe that one of the contributing factors behind the weak pricing is first, there just are not that many collectors of Union coins generally. That is, there is a limited collector market. The few "serious" collectors go after the higher grade coins which are few and far between and cost more money.

      But second, frankly most circulated union coins, especially below XF, are not very attractive. (I have owned two 1925 2/6 in XF-45 that looked fine.) There are other series where circulated coins even in lower grades can still look decent. Union coins are definitely not one of them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Guys...

        Thank you very much for the reply's...

        Yes George , the coin has just been graded and should appear on the PoP report soon....The reverse of the coin was so much better than the obverse....the reverse for some reason had minimal wear, i was actually holding thumbs for a grade of Xf 40 - Xf45......but VF 30 is fine, atleast it graded.

        Regards

        Comment


        • #5
          A significant part of my research into the Sterling Series of South Africa (Union Coins) is undoubtedly the values attributable to these coins. As jwither has stated the market for coins below mint state is very weak and at times very confusing and frustrating.

          I believe that the main reasons for the disproportionate values between MS & AU or below coins are 2 fold:

          The first reason is that many if not all beginner & intermediate collectors are unaware of the fact that the original mintage figures mean absolutely nothing in terms of possible remaining populations of these coins. Up to 94% of mintages for most denominations were smelted before the end of the 1960's and many more have been smelted since. So without knowing this fact collectors assume that a particular coin should be available given its mintage so why buy an AU if there must be better ones coming for grading at some point!? All experienced collectors know this is not the case.

          The second reason is the lack of consistent and proportional coin value growth attributed to these coins within the catalogues over the last 40 years. Unfortunately most if not all beginner & intermediate collectors rely heavily on the catalogues and they very seldom push a price above its catalogue value. Experienced collectors know the true values but they have most of these coins in lower grades so when AU and below coins are offered they dont need them so they do not bid on them and beginners dont know the true value so they only push as far as the catalogue says. Therefore prices stay flat for these coins but when a mint state coin appears the experienced collector knows all to well the value of such coin and the price gets pushed to a level which is correct for the market but it seems completely out of proportion in comparison to the AU & below prices. Here is an example: A 1929 SIXPENCE MS64 sold for over R30,000 this year and I sold my MS63 for R27,500 a month ago. Both were sold to very experienced and knowledgeable collectors. An AU58 struggles to attain R1,000!! There are only 7 1929 6P in mint state and it is unlikely that there will be more than perhaps 2 or 3 still to grade. There are 4 AU58 specimens which effectively makes this coin in high grade available to only 11 collectors and possibly another 5 or 6 more in the future. An AU58 is therefore far more valuable than R1,000 if an MS63 sells for R27,500!! It should be closer to perhaps 6 or 7,000 at least but collectors just dont get it and so we around the merrygo round we @#$%%#$#@ go!

          As far as your 1926 HALF CROWN and its value is concerned I would say it is worth around 12,000 but I doubt you will achieve 40% of this figure given the market sentiment on below ms coins.

          Cheers
          Alex
          When in doubt knock 'em out!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Alex...

            Thank you very much for the detailed reply.....its really appreciated!! Let me mix things up a bit, if you can help with this question. What would you say is the growth potential of the 1926 2/6 VF 30 over the next 10 years....?

            Markus

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Markus,

              Now you are talking my language and the website Invinci and myself are currently busy with will give you all this type of info. The delays in starting this website are internet/computer stuff I dont really understand but it will start soon. In the meantime here is some info to chew on:

              The following graph plots the actual catalogue values as stated & attributable to the 1926 half crown in UNC from 1969 to 2008 (blue line). It also plots these values in real terms for 2009 (red line) and finally it plots the growth in value starting with the 1969 value and growing at the CPI rate for each successive year until 2008 (green line).


              Please excuse the poor quality but my computer is screwed so I am using a loan computer.

              By looking at the graph you will immediately see that something went very wrong after 1981 & it has taken 27 years to begin correcting itself. The details of this travesty will be on the website including further pertinent info. Even with the strange growth pattern, you will see that it has been an inflation buster from 1969 so it will always be a safe coin to invest in. The fact that only one Mint State example has been certified to date means that the lower grade coins will also fall into a similar pattern but at a lower value level.

              In my opinion this coin in UNC in 5 years time will be worth upwards of 160k. The value for a VF30 specimen is a little more complicated since the possibility of several being ceriftified is quite high. Taking the current pop stats into account and my research, I would say that a VF30 in 5 years time would be worth around 18,000 if the market has improved its knowledge on these coins & around 8,500 if not. I have seen many raw specimens and out of all of them maybe 5 % were gradeable so I think this coin is definitely one to hold.

              Cheers
              Alex
              When in doubt knock 'em out!!

              Comment


              • #8
                I have a different take on both the availability and price potential on South Africa Union coins.

                First, I do believe that many AU-58 coins from the KGV series are undervalued relative to mint state issues. But the reason is not primarily because of the population statistics but because frankly, most AU-58 do not look that different from a coin graded MS-63 and in many cases, look BETTER than a coin graded MS-60 (of which there are essentially none) to MS-62. Those who are collectors as opposed to speculators, many of them will choose to buy an AU-58 given the price variance.

                Recently, a 1923 NGC AU-58 2/6 sold on Heritage for $138. I would guess that a mint state example would sell for at least $1,000 and possibly a lot more. Its a very scarce coin and in my experience, not much more available (the Remick collection did not have one) than a coin like the 1925 2/6 which most seem to (incorrectly) think is a lot scarcer. That price discrepancy makes no sense at all.

                Next, while I agree that many Union coins are scarcer than issues from most other countries from the 20th century, I still think that many of them have far more issues available than what is apparent in the census. The fact that I (and others) are able to buy many of thse coins cheaply is an indication that most collectors and dealers outside of South Africa are both unaware of their real market prices and their actual scarcity. Over time, I expect the census populations to increase and probably a lot in most though not necessarily in all instances.

                Its invariably true that rising prices bring out incremental supply. The best way to know the true scarcity of a coin is when it is both expensive and not available. Most coins are both cheap and available, some are expensive and available (like the US Morgan dollar) and some are expensive and not available. But there is no such thing as a coin which is concurrnelty cheap, rare and available.

                As for the price of circulated Union coins, I do not see a coin like the 1926 2/6 in a grade like VF selling for that price (R12,000) anytime soon unless the ZAR depreciates substantially.
                Last edited by jwither; 23-05-10, 19:02.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good Evening Senor,

                  You make a good point in your 1st paragraph but if your point was true there would be a whole load more buyers trying to acquire AU specimens and that in itself would drive the hammer prices up much higher than we see currently. In general there are very few bids made on AU specimens which suggest little or no interest in acquiring them.

                  A mint state 1923 Half Crown would fetch much more than $1,000. In fact I sold my first one for more than this 4 years ago. $2,750 to $3,500 is a better estimate and that is if you will ever find one for sale. The AU58 you speak of was sold for a pittance but then again many of us do not buy from Heritage given the shipping problems encountered.

                  Your assumption regarding the possible availability of remaining issues is, I say this with the utmost respect, completely flawed if you are refering to coins that will grade if sent to a TPGS, they are mint state & they are either from any of the GEOV series or many in the GEOVI series up to & including 1950. I know you are aware of the official SA MINT smeltings that took place from 1951 to 1968 which obliterated 70% of the Half Crowns ever minted, 90% of the Two Shillings & 20 cents silver ever minted & 90% of the Shillings & 10 cents silver ever minted. Furthermore dealers have been smelting these coins in low grades for 42 years since plus in the early 1980's the silver price surge caused even higher grade specimens to land up in the smelters pot. Certain denominations did survive in fair quantities but for the most part they have been almost completely wiped out in unc condition for the GEOV series. Since we are speaking about the 1926 half crown lets look at the half crown situation closer. The official smelt figures for all half crowns minted between 1923 & 1950 show that at least 20 million of the 22,674,171 business strike half crowns were smelted leaving just over 10% of the total mintage remaining before we even consider the smeltings since then for 42 years!! According to my estimates less than 1.5% of the GEOV half crowns survive today which effectively leaves approximately 136,000 GEOV half crowns surviving today. Of this 181,000 perhaps 5% are still in gradeable condition and maybe 2 to 3% of of these are mint state which equates to approximately 204 coins in mint state less what has been graded already leaves 65 still to come of which most will be 1930, 1932 & 1935 not 1926. Any certified specimen will be worth far more than the catalogue currently suggests and 12,000 is a fair estimate. Similarly a 1944 Shilling is as yet not found in mint state and an AU specimen sold for 5 or 6 times the catalogue value in UNC why is it so incredulous that a 1926 VF30 would sell for a mere 2.4 times catalogue?

                  The fact is, as you correctly state, is that very few dealers and collectors are aware of these figures and until such time as these figures become known to all, these coins are never going to attain their true value.

                  You and all of us who know the facts surrounding the Union Series are fortunate because we can still buy these coins below their true value but not for very much longer. Rising prices cannot mint coins and therefore incremental supply can only apply if the coins exist. Unfortunately MOST of the GEOV coins do not exist because they are silver bars or jewellery today and no price will bring them back!

                  Cheers
                  Alex
                  When in doubt knock 'em out!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Alex,

                    I do not disagree with your broader point on South Africa coins generally or the KGV series or the 1926 half crown specifically.

                    But I think it is a mistake for anyone to claim that they know how many coins are likely to be available in a high grade for a specific date and denomination. And this is true even though I agree with you that 90%, 95% or more of the mintage for a given issue do not or might no longer exist.

                    I do not happen to believe that many more 1926 2/6 or 1929 6D exist in mint state but to claim that only a few more exist that are currently recorded in the census is, I believe, to claim more than can be known.

                    I was the prior owner of that NGC MS-64 6D and yes, I admit I sold it for less ($1350) than what I could have sold it for. Where did I buy it? I bought it raw from a dealer at the 2007 Long Beach Show for just over $100. I am also the prior owner of both the NGC MS-65 and NGC MS-66 1946 6D which I also bought from dealers here in the US ungraded. I have also bought other coins like thsse such as two 1947 MS 2/ and the now 1944 NGC AU-58 1/. All of these coins are extremely scarce. All but one are KGVI and not KGV but some of these are currently as scarce if not scarcer than many of the KGV dates. These examples are anecdotal and do not change your conclusions but do show that if I can find these coins outside of South Africa, there may be somewhat more for at least some of these than most might think.

                    Though South African collectors have a preference for graded coins, this preference is not the equivalent of the United States. With US coins, you can be rest assured that the location of just about every actually rare coin (many are not rare just expensive) is either known by provenance or by being captured in the census. For example, the 1878-S half dollar, which sells for tens to hundreds of thousands of USD, has a grand NGC population of TWELVE (with a few additional in PCGS).

                    For the 1923 2/6, I was agreeing with your point. That AU-58 was underpriced and I should have bought it myself.

                    For other lower circulated issues, its going to take either enough additional collectors to push all prices higher or a change in preference by existing collectors to do that.

                    Its fine that you remind me about some things that I know and provide additional education to me on your research. But there is also something that you and all other South African Union (or ZAR) collectors need to keep in mind when it comes to the potential market price of these coins. To the extent that foreign collectors impact Union pricing - and I admit that I do not know how much that is - these coins are competing with others for the collecting budget. Its true for me and its probably true for most collectors who collect any coins outside of their home country.

                    I do not collect any US coins but I do collect others, in my case Spanish colonials along with a few other series. I can tell you that I have no intention of ever paying that kind of money (R12000), in todays purchasing power, for a coin like a VF 1926 2/6. Its simply not a very appealing coin compared to the MINT STATE coins I can buy from my other series, many for MUCH LESS, which have a lot more going for them. One such example is a 1759 Peru "Pillar" one real which is on its way to NGC now. It will grade no lower than AU-58 if not better and I paid about $350 for it.

                    Anyway, thanks for your reply. I always find your comments educational and informative.
                    Last edited by jwither; 24-05-10, 02:42.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Ernesto,

                      As always your replies &/or comments give me some added input from an overseas perspective which I often forget to consider. You are 100% correct that it would suit you far better purchasing other countries' coins which are more appealing to you but thats because your collecting scope is much broader than most of us here in South Africa.

                      Nobody can ever claim to know with 100% certainty how many of these coins may exist in high grade for a specific date and denomination but if you knew the method in which I went about researching this series you would be satisfied that whilst my estimates are just estimates they are quite stringently calculated and include a parameter which is by far the best way to nail down issues such as existing pops. This parameter is as follows: I drew on the experience of several dealers who have been in the business for over 40 years. It is they who confirmed what I could see on paper because they lived it from before I was born. It is through them that I can say, for example, that the possibility of finding another mint state 1925 Florin is very remote indeed because only one of the gentleman I spoke to had ever seen one in close to 50 years in the game. The rest had never seen one at all. The combined census' of the NGC & PCGS obviously do not show this type of info nor do any catalogues or archived records. The combination of the census', all the archived records I gathered, my own personal acquisitions of tens of thousands of Union coins, discussions with the experienced SA numismatists, my in depth study of the smeltings, my research into the problems encountered by the SA Mint from 1923 to 1934 in so far as minting these coins was concerned, my constant surveillance of any sales of these coins from 2004 to 2009 online & offline and finally the relationship between myself and most of the top collectors of Union coins in SA is how I derive my opinion. All this and I could very easily be proven wrong but I am willing to stick my neck out unlike many others who choose to remain silent just in case they are wrong. I do suffer from a lack of confidence in what I see.

                      You must also take into consideration that SA numismatics is far behind that of the USA and as such our obssession with statistical data is nowhere close to that of the USA ,save for a few of us, that is. This means that my type of research may be the norm in the USA but here in South Africa it is groundbreaking. We will eventually have a clear idea of what exists and what does not but if I do not start somewhere, who will and when?

                      I know what coins you have had in your portfolio and since sold. Up until a year ago, I could tell you exactly who owned about 85% of all the MS/AU58 Union coins listed on the NGC Census by grade and denomination. The 15% I was unsure of applied mainly to coins sent for grading by people outside of South Africa and thereafter held by them not sold. A huge percentage were sent for grading by me and many of the finest known specimens were mine. One of the 1923 Half Crowns MS64 was mine, sold to me as a VF because it was so dirty one could not see any detail whatsoever. The following coins were also either acquired graded by me or acquired raw and sent for grading by me: 1928 HALF CROWN & FLORIN MS65, 1934 6P MS67, 1923 PENNY MS64RB, 1929 2.5S MS62, 1923 6P MS60 MS62 MS65 2 MS66, 1926 6P MS63, 1923 FLORINS MS61 MS62 MS63, 1925 3P WREATH MS65, 1926 FLORIN MS63, 1934 FLORIN MS62 & MS66, 1932 PENNY & HALFPENNY MS64RB, 1929 SHILLING MS66, 1930 FLORIN MS64, 1930 6P MS63, 1930 SHILLING MS65, 1939 HALF PENNY MS63BN & RB, 2 1946 SHILLING MS62, 1946 HALF CROWN MS63, 1947 HALF CROWN MS62 MS63, 2 1948 HALF CROWN MS63, 1949 HALF CROWN MS62 MS63 MS64, 1925 HALF CROWN MS62, 1928 PENNY MS62BN 2 MS63BN MS64BN, 1927 MS64BN, 1929 FLORIN MS61 MS62 MS63, 1938 2S MS64, 1935 6P MS61 MS62 MS63, 1929 6P MS62 MS63, 1927 6P MS62 MS63, 1930 3P 2 MS63 2 MS64 MS65, 1923 3P MS65 MS63 2 MS62, 1939 PENNY MS64RB, 1938 PENNY MS63RB MS65RB, 1927 PENNY MS64BN, 1933 HALF PENNY MS63BN, 1925 HALF PENNY 2 MS62BN, 2 MS63BN, 1945/3 3P MS61.
                      Please do not think I am listing these coins as some sort of competition because I do not own any of these anymore and my purpose here is that I listed them so that you can see that I am well on top of this entire series from more than just a research perspective. I actively acquire these coins to the point of not having a penny to buy food & sometimes I have to also pay the price for not budgeting correctly leaving some sellers very irate with me to say the least. It is my passion that drives this ship so tough s$%^ to those sellers they can always sell the items again & if it was so bad for them they can always come and shoot me!

                      Your ability to acquire these overseas merely indicates to me that my forthcoming trip might be more lucrative than I thought although I doubt it because I am quite certain that for at least the GEOV coins they are all done and dusted, graded et al non plus buligaribus. All the major dealers here do not have any more choice uncirculated Union coins to offer other than the usual less scarce items. On occasion they may acquire 1 or 2 but they are sold in the blink of an eye.

                      I can claim that there are at least 2 more 1929 6P in UNC and as yet ungraded because one was recently sold on ebay that should grade MS & I have the other one. You are right that the 1947 2S is scarce but a 1944 1S AU58 can never be called scarce because it is the only one in existence with no MS specimens graded to date which, I would say qualifies it to be called exceedingly rare. I have only ever seen a possible UNC online at an auction 3 years ago which I missed due to other commitments but my guess is it was an impaired proof and incorrectly described.

                      If our market was anywhere close to the USA market in terms of size, I would not be writing this on a computer in my office in Johannesburg because with the relative rarity of Union coins in a market such as in the USA, I would be writing this whilst sitting on my beach on my private island somewhere in the Bahamas with 10 or so scantily clad young ladies attending to all my needs & whims!

                      Interestingly, foreign collectors are for the most part more aware of the rarities that exist in this series than most of the SA collectors!? Comparitively when placing the Union series next to the very similar Australian Sterling Series, including the fact that they also had massive smeltings during the sixties, our coins are just as rare and sought after yet the values show a totally opposite scenario. Why this is so is a little too confrontational for me to discuss here so I shall stop here and wish you a good night. Cheers

                      Alex

                      PS. Yes I know you were agreeing with me on the 1923 AU58 as with many of my other points. If my writing seems confrontational I do apologise as it is in no way directed at you because I value your opinion implicitly. You do give me a soapbox though, which I use to drive my points across.
                      When in doubt knock 'em out!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Alex,

                        No offense taken as sometimes I have the same aggressive writing style but I mean no offense. First I will discuss potential availability and second pricing. This post is really long and I apologize but bear with me and hopefully you and everyone else will find some use in this narrative.

                        We are in broad agreement on this question but I do have some finer points I would like to bring up as to why I have a slightly different opinion than yours. These comments are based upon my personal experiences as a collector as well as what I would describe as general observations/trends in the United States which I believe also apply to some extent elsewhere. These MIGHT allow for the existence of a FEW more specimens than are apparently available at the current time for the rarest dates and somewhat more for more available dates such as the 1932 2/6.

                        The first is the tendency for the available supply to increase as prices increase. Of course, this is predicated on the coins existing in the first place, but I have seen this somewhat with Union coins since I started collecting them. Until about 2005, I literally never saw hardly anything worth buying. Another collector I met at the ANA show said the same thing about Mexico Pillar 8R 9the large crown sized coin). He had collected them for 30 years and until recently, could never find any better than VF or XF. Then all of sudden when prices increased a lot, many came out of the “woodwork”. I do not expect “many” to become available but believe this will have the same result but to a lesser degree.

                        (What happens when prices are low for a scarce/rare series like South Africa is that, prospective buyers who lack knowledge do what I did when I started collecting. I looked at the US Krause manual and saw how cheap the prices were and thought great, I can complete some of these in a few years. $750 for an MS 1931 shilling seems affordable, I’ll buy several of them! Sarcasm aside, of course, current knowledgeable owners were not going to sell at these absurdly low prices which created an impasse (for the most part); no coins available to buy. But this can and does change when prices move substantially higher which is when the initial breakthrough occurred after the landmark Remick sale in 12/06. And I expect that if prices do reach the levels that many here think they will, that some incremental supply will become available.)

                        I have also looked in action archives and realized that I missed some coins that I could have bought for a song but did not know about them. Not many, but some. For example, I recently acquired a copy of the 1999 Spinks Auction 137 catalogue of South African coins. It’s the second best collection offered for sale known to me after Remick. Presumably, some or many of these coins are those already known to you but some of the better issues include: 1931 6P MS, 1924 2/ & 2/6 MS, 1925 2/6 MS, Two MS pattern 1934 1/ (almost assuredly the same coins I have seen in a recent auction), 1946 2/ & 2/6 MS, 1947 2 MS, 1947 2/6 MS, 1948 2/6 MS, 1949 2/ MS, 1949 2/6 MS, 1950 2/ MS and 1950 2/6 MS. These were ungraded coins and sometimes catalog descriptions are wrong, but in my experience with a firm like this one, it has been wrong both ways.

                        Second, as a British colony, I also suspect that a small number of these coins have been disbursed to the far flung reaches of the former British Empire, mainly in the UK. (I bought one of the two MS 1947 2/ from a dealer in Germany.) I have no evidence of this but I consider it likely. Though I do not know where they came from, many better coins have recently been sold by both Baldwin’s and Knightsbridge.

                        Third, the limited collecting parallels between the early Union period and places such as early Federal America (1792-1814) and the former Spanish colonies. I do not know the early history of collecting in the US (never bothered to read it) but I do know that numismatics as an organized activity is said to commence from 1858. Obviously, there were some collectors prior to that but not many and mostly in the larger cities such as NY, Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Looking at the availability of early US coins, almost every single one of them exist in mint state today and even the scarcer ones with multiples. The only exception that immediately comes to mind is the 1802 half dime. It had a mintage of (I believe) about 50,000 yet the highest graded issue is an AU-50, one of about 40 specimens known.

                        In Spanish colonial America, I know nothing about numismatics at the time; I suspect it did not even exist. Also, unlike the larger (and far more common) crown sized 8R, the smaller denominations would have only circulated locally. Yet I can tell you that there are still mint state examples of at least some of these coins because I have them, quite a decent number actually.

                        Obviously, what I have included here is pure speculation, but given that mint state examples of rare coins have survived from ancient Roman and Greek times, I expect that the same applies almost everywhere else.

                        END OF PART I
                        Last edited by jwither; 26-05-10, 05:20.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          PART II


                          Now to the question of pricing.

                          First, I’m not sure why the question of Australian vs. South Africa coin prices would be sensitive and since I have no reason to know, I will express my opinion.

                          I know little about Australian coins but its my opinion that though I consider these KGV scarce or rare also, that South Africa are scarcer. Howevcr, I do not expect nor do I believe that SA Union coins will or should sell for more because Australia is a much bigger numismatic market and in my opinion, always will be.

                          There are far more collectors there that have both the financial capacity and willingness to pay big money and they do. I do not know how many similar collectors exist for Union KGV, but I suspect it’s a very small number because most SA collectors put their money into ZAR which is why the prices are so much higher for the rarer coins.

                          For the more extensive Union collections, I also question whether many current collectors have the financial capacity to buy their own collections in the open market at today’s prices. My suspicion is no because they bought many or most of their coins when they were much cheaper. What this means, if it is accurate, is that there is a practical limit to how high prices can rise in the near future given current circumstances. I believe this limit can be some limited multiple (maybe double or triple depending upon the coin’s current price and scarcity) of current prices for some of them but not much more.

                          For prices to rise much more than that, either my assumptions about the existing collector population are wrong (which is definitely possible) or there will need to be new collectors with the financial capacity to support higher prices.

                          Another consideration is the relative merits between MS and high end AU coins which potentially reduces the future appreciation of the former for two reasons.

                          First, I consider it an artificial distinction to draw a line between the two because except to the speculator, no remotely scarce coin is a “widget” which is to be bought and sold simply based upon the grade included on the slab. As I mentioned before, I own and have owned many AU-58 coins (and even some AU-55) that look BETTER than coins up to and including MS-63. An example would be that 1944 1/ AU-58. It’s a very attractive coin which has a light rub on the portrait. But it has no noticeable bagmarks or the typical “granular” surfaces which I have seen on many KGVI coins. In the US and especially in most countries where graded coins are not preferred, few to no discriminating collectors are going to pay a premium, much less a big one, versus a coin that looks inferior to another one just because it is technically mint state. Those who do so better hope they do not end up selling in a down market or else they are likely to be disappointed with the result. (For those who disagree with me, I will be happy to buy your choice AU coins at cheap prices.)

                          Second, what I call the “substitution factor” which is the potential for a collector to buy the lower graded and cheaper coin given a large price variance. I believe this factor is much lower with Union than most other coins because a choice between multiple coins is not usually available (the recent two high grade 1927 2/ were a rare exception), but the price gap at this time is certainly a motivating factor.

                          But to sum this thought up, on balance, I do expect that there will be some newer collectors that will, all other things being equal (which I do not believe they will be given my intermediate term economic outlook), enables that to occur over the longer term.

                          But what I do not expect is any realistic prospects that would either support prices of circulated coins such as the 1926 2/6 at R12000 or some of the other price claims I have seen expressed on this forum or in private communications for the more common or at least not rare mint state coins generally. Since the reasons are essentially identical, I’ll address it from the standpoint of circulated coins.

                          In places such as the United States, there is a limited investment market for coins in VF or even lower grades (a rare die variety of an early US large cent in VG-10 I believe recently sold for $1MM USD, a record price for a copper or bronze coin) but it is not widespread and I see absolutely no evidence or prospects whatsoever to support that this is likely for SA Union (or most ZAR for that matter) except on a very isolated basis. For example, I myself would buy any of the 1931 silver in that grade or even lower at a “high” price but that is because I consider them WORLD CLASS rarities though most others may not.

                          In a more practical sense, there are two more reasons. Absent an investment market for coins in this grade, it will be up to the “typical” collector to support these prices.

                          First, I know there are some active collectors of lower graded Union coins; it could be in the hundreds or maybe even in the thousands. And they may be more serious collectors than the millions of casual collectors in the United States who operate on limited budgets. But primarily; however many of them there may be, these collectors buy these coins mostly because they cannot afford better ones. So they are in no position to support a PRICE STRUCTURE which is consistent with OTHER coins selling for proportionately similar amounts relative to this coin. After all, the 1926 2/6 is not going to increase to this price while all or most other coins maintain current prices. R12000 today (or presumably, anytime in the near future) is a decent amount of money for the typical middle class person in South Africa to spend on a discretionary item. And the chances of them spending it on what I would describe as mostly unattractive coins I consider low.

                          What every collector needs to remember is that to most collectors, coins are collectibles first and only secondly “investments” if at all. A coin is not a commodity asset that can be replicated at will and it has no practical use except as a LMITED store of value. Any collector who forgets that is going to increase their chances of losing money.

                          The second factor is what I mentioned before; most Union coins in low grades (below XF) are not attractive. Of course, this is a matter of opinion but even compared to ZAR in the same grade, I consider them inferior. They did not wear well or perhaps were not stored properly. But regardless of the reason, I consider it an undeniable fact that this deficiency is going to retard their future price potential generally. This conclusion does not differ than in comparing the artistic preference of most collectors for KGV over KGVI. The KGV coins are (in my opinion) one of the most attractive 20th century designs anywhere.
                          Last edited by jwither; 26-05-10, 05:20.

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                          • #14
                            Hi Alex...

                            Sorry for the late reply...

                            Thank you very much for you reply on the " Growth Potential " of this coin....i found your Graph and Numbers most amazing !! Thank you once again...I cant wait for the new website to be up and running and wish you guys all the best with your new venture.

                            Kind Regards
                            Markus

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