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Determining the Value of Chinese Coins
Your Guide to Modern Chinese Coins and determining coin worth
Brought to you by Majestic Rarities
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How Much Is Your Coin Worth?
Every day people purchase Modern Chinese coins, and every day they have to make decisions about how much to pay. I receive so many emails and phone calls inquiring about how much coins are worth. There is no way to give a quick answer without asking many questions. There are several factors in determining a coinís value.
Is the coin already authenticated, graded and encapsulated?
What is the grade? Typically, coins authenticated, graded and encapsulated command premiums. Especially if they have been conserved to maximize the eye appeal.
If not already authenticated, then the questions continue:
Is this Modern Chinese coin in the original mint packaging? Be careful, many people think their coin is in an original mint seal when really most of these coins have been resealed.
Does this include the original box and certificate of authenticity (COA?) Once again, be careful. Many COAs are reproduced. Think about this logically. If people go through the effort to strike counterfeit coins, you know they are duplicating COAs to sell the coins that are not authenticated, graded and encapsulated.
Are there hairlines, rubs, frost breaks, rim dings or any other distracting marks? This is subjective to the viewer. This is why it is best to have coins authenticated, graded and encapsulated by a third-party grading service. When purchasing raw coins (coins that have not been authenticated by a third-party grading service) always make sure you have a return privilege. Quality is an important variable in determining the price. To give an example; I have seen coins in great condition sell for large premiums while the same coin in poor condition will sell for 50% less. Quality is that important!
If you see a rare, Modern Chinese coin sell for a low price in a public auction, do not assume this is the new price for this coin. You have to be aware of the condition of this coin. If the condition is poor, this will be reflected in the low price.
Recently an auction firm overseas auctioned several of the exact same low mintage Modern Chinese coins. When multiples of a rare coin are offered at the same time, prices will decrease. This is basic supply and demand concept. I told my customers to watch and purchase the high quality examples because I knew they would sell for less than their real value.
Also in an auction overseas, the company made the mistake of offering too many lots in a market on the verge of recovering. Offering more coins than the market can handle is a mistake because prices for most items will be reduced. This distorts the overall market because the consignors, investors, collectors and dealers are all hurt by this type of activity on behalf of a company not thinking about the big picture. Once again, I informed my customers to watch and purchase coins of good quality at temporary low prices.
Many people watch eBay and use this as a price guide for Modern Chinese coins. This is not an accurate representation of the market. You never know who is bidding and who is not. The top collectors, investors and dealers do not use ebay or use this as their main buying/selling platform. Many of the raw coins are of poor quality and returned. This is a snapshot of one sale, not the real market. Most of the people who contact me and mention ebay are never high quality, educated buyers. Therefore, do not use eBay as your sole price guide. If you do, you will not be able to purchase great coins because you will be tainted by the inaccuracy of eBay pertaining to Modern Chinese coins.
Is the piece you are purchasing a coin or medal? Modern Chinese coins usually command much higher prices than medals. How do you tell the difference between a coin and medal? A coin has a denomination shown while a medal does not.
What is the actual mintage versus the planned mintage? Quite often, the actual mintage is much less than the planned mintage. There are Modern Chinese coins with planned mintages of 500 and the actual mintage is in the low 200ís. Having this information is important in determining the value and understanding the prices.
How many coins are actually available? When really low mintage Modern Chinese coins are offered, it is common for these to continue to break price records. The reason is because once acquired, these Modern Chinese coins are now typically off the market for many years. This results in the amount of these coins available to keep decreasing. Consider how many coins are being purchased for museums, banks and other private holdings. The availability of these rare coins keeps decreasing. This is an important variable to keep watching unfold. Prices for extreme rarities will most likely continue to climb higher than anyone expected as pieces keep being taken off the market by museums, banks and private holdings.
How popular is the coin? Popular Modern Chinese coins usually command higher prices than other Modern Chinese coins, even if the mintage is lower for the other coins.
Is this coin part of a set or series? Many times a complete set will sell for more than individual pieces from this set. Single coins from a set usually sell at a slight discount compared to the entire set.
As you can see, there are many variables to take into consideration when determining the value of Modern Chinese coins. There is a great deal of information everyone needs to know. Where do you find this information? I take into consideration Champion Auction results, Heritage Auction archives, China Pricepedia, NGC price and census reports, U.S. dealers buy and sell prices for Modern Chinese coins, overseas pricing, private sales, etc. The more expensive the coin or set, the more information needed to make good decisions.
Please email us with any questions. We provide the help needed and serve as a tremendous resource. We do not just buy and sell coins, we provide the information necessary to help you meet your long-term objectives.
To read more about Pandas and other Modern Chinese coins, please visit us at Majestic Rarities
Articles in the Modern Chinese Coin series:
More to Come on Modern Chinese Coins:
- Year of The Child
- Dragon, Phoenix, and more
- Quality and Grading of Chinese Coins
- Modern Chinese medals vs. coins
- 1/20th ounce Modern Chinese coins vs. kilo coins
The content of this article has been provided by Majestic Rarities. Please visit their website to see coins on display and a great deal of information contained in the blog section. Majestic Rarities has a 2012 Modern Chinese coin calendar available, and they are in the process of writing a coffee table type of book called History, Culture and Modern Chinese coins.
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