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British Coin forecast 2012

by Geoffrey Cope

1513 HENRY 8 Brtish First Dated Coin

1513 HENRY 8 Brtish First Dated Coin

British Coin forecast 2012

The main auctions for 2011 have just been completed and record prices have been achieved. To laugh or to cry at the market, neither will help to change the present continuing demand. Today we should consider what if there is more financial volatility? What will be the level of interest from the US and other markets? At present it is not easy to evaluate future interest based on the present market. A major question is, in which areas of our series are there coins available for new and existing collectors?

We hear what seems to be "much ado about nothing" with reference to investors, these individuals which I hear but fail to encounter. I did hear that the majority of those that start out investing turn into collectors. Well, it is new members we welcome to our fraternity.

Large gold coins remain much sought after. For example the 'Triple Unite', 4 quality specimens of which were sold off for an average of £150,000 each during Coinex. These are a favourite of the wealthy although most Triple Unites are not so rare; strong prices highlight the presence of new collectors and investors, with an eye for quality taking an interest in our hobby. Quality Silver pieces in comparison seem inexpensive. Base metals still quietly demand higher and higher prices.

Many times we forget the extreme rarity of Scottish and Irish hammered coins. The prices today being far lower than comparative English coins. Bring rarity into the equation and Scottish & Irish prices need to rise.

The forecast for 2012 is clear, subject to the world monetary system continuing as is:

  • High grade material which accounts in general for less than 10% of coins appearing on the market is moving ahead by 10%-20%. There are coins of high grade and rarity that are now bringing double, triple the estimates at auction. The fact is that quality with or without rarity is sought after as 'objects d'art'.

  • The middle quality VF+ is advancing at a slightly slower pace as there is a lack of higher quality material to meet present demand.

  • The lower quality is attracting very little attention at present and there is no reason to see change in 2012 except if the specimen is an extreme rarity.

The Brady Collection of groats sold at Spinks in London on October 6th showed the strength of the market. 400 lots of one denomination were all sold. High grade and rarity was 300% + over estimate. The auction forecast £200,000 and sold for £342,000 with new world record prices: Henry IV Groat £23,500, a Tournai Gros/Groat just under £30,000. A sale with wonderful rarities. It makes us remember what wonderful general collections were Slaney, Marshall, Van Roekel +

Lot 290 Brady Collection Tournai Gros/Groat dated 1513

The auction was well covered by CNG & Allan Davisson and others from the US and many UK dealers and collectors. CNG are getting the Seaby spirit and bidding strongly for quality material in the UK market.

The English coin market is attracting overseas attention again from the US and the world market, prices for quality and rarity being just a fraction of prices for US coins.

English Tournai Groat/Gros, Lot 290, The Brady Collection, London, Spinks, 6th Oct 2011 - A SILVER GROAT/GROS (4p piece) of King Henry VIII dated 1513 when Tournai in France was under English rule, these coins are detailed in Spinks Standard Catalogue reference 2317*. Hammer Price with commission for under £ 30,000. This rarity slipped through and was underrated by most collectors or dealers, demonstrating there are always opportunities.Coins had been struck in Tournai over a long period and there were skilled craftsman available to undertake the minting of Henry VIII 1513 coinage. The coin was replaced in 1514 by an English portrait Groat, Standard Catalogue reference 2317.

This coin dated 1513 in Latin Numerals is an Extreme Rarity being the earliest English dated coin it is the only one available to collectors of three specimens known, two being in museums.

The world has changed; the internet has created a transfer of information quite instantaneously. What was a quiet hobby dominated by dealers, lists and fairs, now, ever increasing numbers of collectors and investors can scour the world for coins, information prices and alternative investment opportunities. This is only the start for the 'Art Market of British coins'.

A consideration is that individuals will take control of their future investment plans. The lack of confidence in 'paper money', and inability of governments to keep fiscal controls will emphasize this trend. Pension funds, insurance, financial institutions struggle to deliver results due to the market volatility. A new driver of the hobby can be the preparation for retirement, today we get 80% of our final salary, and the future will give our children maybe 40%

A question I am continually asked is how should the portfolio be split, bullion, rare coins, cash, property, stocks and all the financial tools available? If only I knew the answer! You can go back to farming, we will always need food.

Elizabeth I, Pattern Groat, 3.89g, struck in silver, 1601, crowned facing bust of Queen.

Lot 360 The Brady Collection
A wonderful piece of portraiture

It is still as important as always is that the adviser, agent or dealer who looks after your needs should have a good reputation and be knowledgeable.
As all hobbies it is good to focus on what you understand, diversification in numismatics can bring dangers through lack of knowledge. Buy the book first.
What is driving the market as we enter 2012?
  • Demand for quality material outstripping supply

  • Provenances

  • The internet

  • Continual volatility & risk in the investment, pension, banking market creating a heightened level of fear and instability

The ultimate question is what the state of the market will be 2013/14; this requires the wisdom of age and the enthusiasm of the young. Collecting is a passion, a love of the beauty of these pieces of art and the insights to our history they give. This gives you no answer but is one of the driving forces of a collector.

Geoffrey Cope

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