Archive for the ‘Rare Coins’ Category

Eddi McGuire Celebrates Million Dollar Hot Seat Anniversary with ABC

June 10th, 2014 No comments

Eddi McGuire


To celebrate Million Dollar Hot Seat’s 1000th episode airing tonight, Eddie McGuire immersed himself in some of Australia’s finest Gold bullion. Help secure your financial wealth with investment grade bullion by contacting us today. Picture: Mark Stewart Source: News Corp Australia



Top 10 Most Valuable Coins in the World

October 4th, 2012 No comments

Although coin collecting is a popular pastime and can prove to be quite the investment, you have to know what to look for if you want to find coins that hold a high value. The two most important things to look for are, 1. the highest degree of quality, and 2. rarity.

The following is a list of the top 10 most valuable coins in the world, starting with the most valuable:

1. 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar – Designed by Robert Scot this coin was quite common in 1794 and 1795 and has an estimated worth of $7,850,000.

1794 Flowing Hair Dollar

(Source: Wikipedia)

2. 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle – Minted during the Great Depression, President Franklin withdrew its release by banning gold coins for transactions. Only 2 of the coins survived (the rest were melted into gold bars) with 1 going to the National Museum and the other being sold at Sotheby’s for $7,590 020.

1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle

(Source: CoinFacts)

3. 1787 Brasher Doubloon EB on Breast - Minted in America by Ephraim Brasher, this coin is 1 out of a set of 7 and the only one with the hallmark on the breast vs. on the wings. This coin has an estimated worth of $7,400,000.

1787 Brasher Doubloon EB on Breast

(Source: Wikipedia)

4. 1804 Class I Silver Dollar - Although there are only 15 known coins like this, it is one of the most sought after coins for collectors. This coin has an estimated worth of $4,140,000.

1804 Silver Dollar

(Source: Wikipedia)

5. 1804 Class I Silver Dollar (from Queller’s Collection) – The first owner of this coin, Joseph J. Mickley, sold it in 2009 to the Heritage Auction Galleries. This coin has an estimated worth of $3,737,500.

1804 Silver Dollar - Queller's Collection

(Source: CoinNews)

6. 1913 Liberty Head Nickel – This 5 coin set was unofficially minted by a US employee. 1972 saw one sell for $100,000 with another selling for $1,000,00 in the 1990′s. In 2003, another sold for $3,737,500.

1913 Liberty Head nickel

(Source: Wikipedia)

7. 1907 Ultra High Relief $20 (Double Eagle) - Made from 90% gold, this coin is one of the most beautiful coins produced in the US. Minted from 1907 to 1933, this coin has an estimated worth of $2,990,000.


(Source: CoinFacts)

8. 1787 Brasher Doubloon EB on Wing - Minted in America by Ephraim Brasher, this coin is 1 out of a set of 7 (see #3). Because the hallmark is on the wing, this coin has an estimated worth of $2,415,000.

1787 Brasher Dubloon

(Source: HeritageCoin)

9. 1804 Class III Silver Dollar $10 – This US dollar is one of the most famous and most expensive coins in the world because of its history. Its estimated worth is $2,300,000.

1804 Silver Dollar - Class III

(Source: CoinFacts)

10. 1907 Rolled Edge Eagle – This coin was circulated between 1907 and 1933 before it became a collector’s item. A collector bought it from a Heritage auction for $2,185,000.

1907 Rolled Edge Eagle Coin

(Source: CoinWeek)

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What makes a bank note or coin rare?

November 4th, 2009 1 comment

Even though I own and operate the Australian Bullion Company, buying and selling gold, silver and precious metals, I’m also an expert at determining the quality and rarity of coins and bank notes, as well as appraising them for sale or investment.

I use this expert skill every day, sometimes I have to sort a rare coin out of a pile of regular coins.

Many people have jars or drawers full of old coins that they’ve had for many years, or have been passed down from generation to generation. I get several customers who come into my office with jars full of old coins that they hope are valuable. Out of hundreds of coins their might be one that is rare and/or in good conditon.

Every once in a while I find one that can be worth thousands of dollars!

There are many examples of rare Australian coins and notes. We’ve all heard of the holy dollar, that was Australia’s first coin, it was a Spanish dollar that they punched a hole in the middle, hence the name.

The part of the coin that was punched out is also a collector’s piece, called a ‘dump’. Dumps have ‘New South Wales’ printed on them. They were punched out so that coin would be ‘Australian’.

In the 1960’s you could have bought a dump for $165; even in the 1990’s you could have bought that same dump for $20,000 if it was in extremely fine condition.

If you wanted to buy one now it would cost you $210,000!

Yeah I know – you wish you knew then what I am telling you now.

That’s the whole point of this blog – to educate and inform you so you can start to make better investment decision regarding rare coins and bank notes.

Let’s continue with another example…

There are other classic examples such as a 1930 penny, a square penny or a 1937 penny. There are numerous examples of extreme rarities in the George the 5th period; that’s 1911 to 1936. That period has the most Australian coin rarities. There are some sovereigns that go back to the 1850’s, which certainly commands a high premium as well.

If we’re looking at where there’s a lot of investment upside potential right now, that particular period is a very, very good period.

It’s important to understand that coin and note rarity fluctuates with time and demand.

Many Australian’s visit the Australian mint in Canberra as school children, and return with newly minted five, ten, and twenty cent pieces. These coins are not rare, but someday might be.

If only around 2,000 of that type was minted, then in fifty or a hundred years there may only be about a handful that survive. Those surviving coins would be valuable if, and that’s the basis of appreciation IF there was only a few of them. PLUS if for some reason there was a high demand, the price would rise even more. That high demand might be because one investor starts to buy them up, essentially taking them out of the market, or several collectors knowing that scarcity will mean greater returns.

In terms of how they appreciate, it’s quite amazing. I’ve been in the game now over 20 years, since I was a boy, and you may look at something that at one particular time you saw several of them around then they’re gone.

Let’s go back to the dump as an example.

When I first started collecting coins, you could pick an average quality 1830 New South Wales dump for 2 or 3 thousand dollars. You could go to many different coin shops and you’d easily find 1 or 2 in each shop.

Fast forward 20 odd years later, that same coin in average condition is about $30,000; and you’d be hard pressed finding one in any coin shop. They get put away, you have that shrinking pool, and market forces then apply.

Bank notes appreciate in a similar way, but they are worth even more if they are in uncirculated condition because it is easier to disfigure notes. An uncirculated ten shilling note was worth $7.50 in 1957, $120 in 1976, and today it’s worth $9,500.

In 1967 there was a dealer that had three 100 pound notes, (we had notes actually up to 1000 pound denominations here in Australia) and he had three 100 pound notes.  He tried to get 10% over face value for each of those notes.  He couldn’t get 10% over, so he cashed them in at the bank at face value.  Now, if he had them today, each of those three notes would be worth a ¼ of a million dollars, in the condition that they were in!

Australian notes have the signatures of the Governor of the Reserve Bank and/or the Secretary to the Treasury printed on them.

Now, if there is one combination of governor and secretary that are together for only a small period of time that means the notes that were issued during their tenure are only circulated for a short period of time.

That actually happened in 1967 when Coombs was the governor and the secretary was Randolph. That particular combination only lasted for about six months because Combs then retired. Any top condition notes from that period command quite a premium.

Another form of rare notes is the ‘star’ note. The star notes were replacements for notes that had been spoiled, they had the original serial number, but with a little asterisk after it. Any star note is valuable, especially if it is in uncirculated condition. The combination of rare Reserve and Treasury signatures, along with a star, is a rare and very valuable find.

I admit that coins like the dump, the star, and the 1967 notes are unusual situations. For the most part, I recommend buying rare coins, waiting five to ten years for them to appreciate, and then selling them. I do not however recommend holding on to your average coin for forty years in the hopes that it will become valuable.

Stay tuned for more insights to help you make more money from rare coins and bank notes.

How rare coins and bank notes appreciate in value

October 22nd, 2009 2 comments

A lot of people ask me how coins and bank notes appreciate in value over time. There is an economic science involved in the appreciation of coins and notes. Investment in rare coins and notes may seem speculative from an outsider’s point of view, but seasoned investors and others within in the industry know that coin appreciation is a sure bet.

They know this because rare coins and notes exist in a collector’s market, which behaves differently from other markets.

There’s a big difference between coins, and let’s say, tulips in tulip mania. In tulip mania, the supply of tulip bulbs to the market while the fashion for buying those tulip bulbs existed for a short period creating a price bubble.

But and this is an important but… With tulips there was the ability to grow more tulips.

Once that happened, tulip bulbs flooded the market, the tulip price crashed, and that was it.  However, the difference with coins is that there is a profound lack of supply of quality material, and there always has been, always will be.

In most markets, a rise in demand causes an initial rise in price, followed by a rise in supply as manufactures rush to fill the demand. Then there is an inevitable drop in price as the rising supply outstrips demand. These accepted market laws do not apply to rare coins and notes because there is limited supply. Price rises as demand rises, but there will never be a rise in supply, so prices never go down. This is the benefit of investing in rare coins and notes.

The value of rare coins and notes are usually set in auctions. There are several major auctions each year, and the market prices are essentially set in a true market environment.

Each time a coin is bought for investment, generally speaking they’re taken off the market anywhere from 5 to 10 years. You have an ever-shrinking pool of coins left to choose from. If you want some of those better (rare) coins, the only way you’re going to pry them from any kind of investor or collector is to pay a premium.

In an auction environment, something may have been worth $5,000 2 or 3 years ago, if a number of individuals that want a particular piece and it hasn’t been around for a while, they’ll easily have to pay $7,000 to $8,000.

The appreciation of coins is consistent throughout time. A rare coin that was minted today would appreciate in the same way that rare coins from a hundred years ago appreciate now.

Let’s say you’ve got something that’s 100 years old, they only minted 2,000 and it’s appreciated dramatically. The thought is that if they minted 2,000 of that coin today, it would appreciate the same way.

I have to stress that time alone does not make coins and notes appreciate in value. The coin has to be rare or high quality first then time will raise the premium.

To prove the point, I have Roman coins that I can sell you for five dollars. It’s not age, it’s the rarity and the quality that creates the value that people are willing to pay for.

Don’t ever forget that – Rarity and quality – then time does its magic.

How to invest in Coins

October 15th, 2009 No comments

Today’s blog post will cover the basics of coin collection for investment purposes. It can be summed up in two words; quality and rarity.

How to invest in coins: Step 1 Find Quality and Rarity

First and foremost, the coin has to be of the highest quality, or it has to be extremely rare.  Now, an extreme rarity is something they didn’t make many of to begin with. If you don’t have access to rarity, try for the highest quality possible.

High quality coins are coins that have remained in brand new (uncirculated) condition for a number of years. High-quality rare coins are the most valuable. Although, circulated rare coins command a higher price than non-rare uncirculated coins.

How to invest in coins: Step 2 Buy and Hold

I recommend that investment collectors wait at least five to ten years to sell a coin after acquiring it. I wouldn’t recommend actively trading coins because you’ll probably only get some appreciation in the first 2 years of an investment in a coin and it’s a lot more unpredictable in the first few years.

It’s more predictable over 5 years and very, very predictable over 10. I advise my client that the 5 to 10 year period is the optimum period to hold a coin.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. There are times where instead of holding something for five years, the optimum capital appreciation might have occurred in two or three years. I that happens, I’ll ring my clients to tell them that this is a good time to actually sell this particular group of coins or banknotes because we’ve had a much quicker appreciation.

Usually, the longer a coin or note is held, the more valuable it becomes. If you look at coins over 40 years, the average rare coin has increased at a compound growth rate of 16.1%.  That’s a tremendous capital appreciation.

In fact, when Excess Economics used to do investment reports, ( they stopped doing it several years ago) they would ask what the best investment over 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years was.

Coins and bank notes always rated in the top 10 investments in all 3 categories.

Rare coins and bank notes are a great investment because there will always be a greater demand than there is supply in the market. The nature of rarity makes it so.

There are also many collectors who have collections for their own sake, and not for investment purposes. These collectors will never sell the rare coins in their collections, which puts further pressure on supply, and drives up the price of coins.

My business, Universal Coin Company, helps investors get started with a collection with as little as $1,000, but the recommended starting investment is around $50,000.

My company has collectors from all different backgrounds, there is no typical coin collector.

Although, there are several methods that are typical for buying and selling coins in a collection as well as creating an investment portfolio of coins and or bank notes.

I buy and sell coins at auction, for my business, and on behalf of my clients. There are also many businesses, that like my own, trade privately.

It’s important for collectors to align themselves with coin experts like me, because there is a high level of skill and experience involved in selecting rare coins as well as knowing when to buy and sell.

I feel that all investors should have a portion of their investment in rare coins and notes. The evidence is overwhelming showing the appreciation over time that makes it a great, safe and fun investment.

A peak inside the rare coin industry

October 8th, 2009 No comments

Hi, I’m Peter August, founder and CEO of The Australian Bullion Company.  You might not know it, but rare coin and bank note collecting has been a lifelong passion for me. It started as a hobby as a child, I used to actually go to all the shopkeepers and they used to put aside all their old pre-decimal coins for me. So, I was a decimal baby so to speak, but there were still some old coins floating around.

For me, I suppose the passion partly comes from the fact that it’s a bit of a treasure hunt. The other part is seeing wonderful rare pieces every now and again. It’s just a sight to behold

I get to fuel my passion everyday.

A normal day could consist of preparing some really nice items for sale, or discussing them with clients and showing them.

The beauty about a rare coin is it has to be of high quality.

For me, the most exciting part of my job is seeking out the quality rare coins and notes that I will later present for sale. When we’re talking about rare coins, we’re talking high quality and rarity. It’s ll about how many were made, or how many still exist.

If we’re looking at a coin that was made in 1915 for example, that coin, for it so survive in brand new condition, or uncirculated as we call it in coin terms, somebody would have had to put it aside 1915, and left it aside.

The chances of a coin of that vintage existing today in that top condition is extremely rare. Hence, they’re highly sort after and command a high premium.

Persuading people to invest in coins is also part of my job. Many investors have various self-managed funds in which they regularly deposit money. A rare coin and note collection is no different for a self-managed fund. Quality rare coins appreciate the same way that bank funds gain interest.

People will come and say, “I’d like a $50,000 portfolio of rare coins and bank notes”.  Now, if they go to a reputable dealer such as ourselves or one of my colleagues, we can show them a selection of quality and rare items that are likely to appreciate in value.

I am adept at choosing the coins and notes that are the most likely to appreciate. I encourage both seasoned and novice collectors to use reputable dealers, such as my own Universal Coin Company, to build their collections this removes a lot of the risk and helps people make better, informed decisions.

Investing in rare coins is not just a passion that is fun, but with the right strategy, can be exceptionally lucrative. Stay tuned for more on this blog and don’t forget to give us a call when you want to buy or sell rare coins!