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South African Coin Scarcity NGC Population vs mintage

semikeycollectorsemikeycollector Posts: 906 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited July 15, 2023 1:49PM in World & Ancient Coins Forum

Hi,

I have traveled to South Africa and have developed an interest in their coins.
Question:

As an example, a 1923 2 1/2 Shillings has a NGC total pop of 50 coins and a mintage of about 1.2 million.
Do you think that a very small percentage of the remaining 1923 have been certified?
Is it possible that a large percentage were melted?
Maybe some of both?
I don't see a lot of these in Heritage Auctions over the years, but Heritage may not be the place to look.

I'm trying to figure out roughly how rare this coin is or other low pop South African coins as shown in NGC. Can some one please shed some light on this?

Thank you,
Ken

Comments

  • 7Jaguars7Jaguars Posts: 7,182 ✭✭✭✭✭

    With many foreign in general (I do not collect SA coins) you would be best advised to not take too much heed of the pop numbers at either the hosts or ATS.
    Note that many times lesser value coins are less frequently submitted, and collectors in some host countries may not like slabbing ANY coins - that seems to be changing just marginally.
    Also, I believe there may be a slabbing company in South Africa but others will likely know more than I..
    Good luck though!

    Love that Milled British (1830-1960)
    Well, just Love coins, period.
  • semikeycollectorsemikeycollector Posts: 906 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @7Jaguars said:
    With many foreign in general (I do not collect SA coins) you would be best advised to not take too much heed of the pop numbers at either the hosts or ATS.
    Note that many times lesser value coins are less frequently submitted, and collectors in some host countries may not like slabbing ANY coins - that seems to be changing just marginally.
    Also, I believe there may be a slabbing company in South Africa but others will likely know more than I..
    Good luck though!

    Thank you 7jaguars! This makes sense to me.

    Regards,
    Ken

  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @semikeycollector said:
    As an example, a 1923 2 1/2 Shillings has a NGC total pop of 50 coins and a mintage of about 1.2 million.
    Do you think that a very small percentage of the remaining 1923 have been certified?

    >
    We exchanged posts on the US Coin Forum awhile back.

    To answer your question for this coin, I don't think a very small percentage has been certified, certainly not of the "better" coinage, eligible for AU or MS in a TPG holder.

    South Africa is one of two or maybe three non-US countries with a clear TPG preference, even though most of the volume is NCLT (silver KR) and RSA like the 2008 90th BD 5R. The counts aren't low by world coin standards, but it isn't because these coins are relatively common vs. other world markets. The counts are quite low for a country which has had a TPG preference in the vicinity of 20 years now.

    Biggest "X" factor is the mostly low market value. The prices of Union coinage aren't that high, except for a low number of the scarcer dates, most of the 1926-1936 proofs, and some of the "top pops". But compared to the US coinage I understand you buy, much cheaper

    .> @semikeycollector said:

    Is it possible that a large percentage were melted?

    >
    Not just possible, it's a known fact. A lot of it was melted, first in the early 1950's with the change from 80% to 50% composition and then in the 60's with the change from Sterling to the Rand + change to base metal starting in 1965.

    I've never heard any South African collector comment on it, but I suspect a huge volume was also melted in 1979/1980 when silver hit $50. As one example, the 1959 crown has a combined mintage of 6000+ for all three finishes: circulation strike, proof, and "Special Select" (PL). It was also purportedly specifically minted for collectors, as the mintage is much lower vs. prior years. It could not have circulated much with the currency change in 1961 along with the relatively high catalog value. It's availability still seems inconsistent with the mintage (when I looked), which leads me to believe that yes, it was also melted in 1980 though not earlier.

    @semikeycollector said:

    I don't see a lot of these in Heritage Auctions over the years, but Heritage may not be the place to look.

    Union coinage was always hard to buy when it was my primary collecting interest, though I did not know of BoB (South Africa's eBay) or non-US auctions until years after I started. Union coinage is a lot scarcer (usually) versus the Kruger portrait comparable denominations while also having a much lower preference and therefore, prices, most of the time.

    The price level has declined substantially since YE 2011 (or near it) peak but while I collected it, there was a two-tiered market with one South African price and a lower one elsewhere. Having the highest preference for it and with noticeable financially motivated buying, it's my inference that most of this coinage is in South Africa now, not elsewhere.

    If you are interested in collecting the Union series, I think you're going to have a hard time buying much of the scarer better dates outside of South Africa.

    @semikeycollector said:

    I'm trying to figure out roughly how rare this coin is or other low pop South African coins as shown in NGC. Can some one please shed some light on this?

    Not as rare as South African collectors seem to think (or at least thought) but definitely not common. By now, there isn't a reason to expect this type of coin to come "out of the woodwork" in volume or else it would have during the bubble which burst.

    King George V (KGV) is scarcer vs. King George VI (KGVI) which is scarcer vs. QEII. Some of it is the mintage but also there seems to have been limited collecting during the earlier Union period. I attribute the more common ZAR to cultural preference by the Afrikander population.

  • semikeycollectorsemikeycollector Posts: 906 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi WCC,
    You have given me much to think about! The KGV coins are very interesting to me!
    The factors of high melting and TPG preference give me are comfort that these coins are likely scarce to rare,
    i will also check Bobs! I will share what I find.

    Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!
    Thank you,
    Ken

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