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Bargains in World coins
By Debbie Bradley
April 28, 2014

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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So you didn’t get a chance to order a gold or silver baseball coin. Don’t fret. There are plenty of other interesting coins out there. Maybe it’s time to consider collecting some world coins, because there are good bargains to be had.

While there is still great interest in coins of Russia and China, really high grade coins are getting harder and harder to find, said Tom Michael, world coin market analyst at Krause Publications.

So collectors are turning to other countries when spending their coin budget. If Russian coins are too expensive, look at coins from Poland. “Modern Poland had driven prices way high several years ago, but now for two years straight prices have dropped,” Michael said.

Rare coins containing precious metals tend to increase in price as bullion prices rise, sometimes to prices higher than collectors want to pay, he said.

“What happens is when the precious metals prices stabilize, the collector coins that had been driven up so high because of melt value start to come back down.”

Some Polish coins with low mintage, high demand and precious metal value went from $60 to $200 over the past few years. Today, those coins are slipping down to $80, Michael said.

“People who had stepped out when the price went too high are coming back in and we are seeing activity again.”

Nineteenth century Chinese dragon dollars are currently hard to find, Michael said, so some collectors have turned to French colonials.

“A whole series of French colonial essais with mintages of 104 used to sell for $40 to $50,” he said. “Now they are climbing upwards of $275 to $325. Every time one appears at auction it sells for a little more.”

In some areas, prices are flat, Michael said, pointing to Asian areas, Malaysian types and British North Borneo.

“You can find some really nice examples of these coins and prices aren’t all that high.”

And if you really want to buy Russian coins but can’t afford MS-65, Michael said you can get a nice Russian copper piece for $75 when it was $200 two years ago.

“That’s a good opportunity,” he said.

More Coin Collecting Resources:

• Kick-start your coin collection with the Fundamentals of Coin Collecting set of essential resources and tools.

• Strike it rich with this U.S. coins value pack.

• Build an impressive collection with Coin Collecting 101.


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