Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New Trend of Collection habits among Collectors.

A bit of deviatrion form the trade dollars to discuss on market place...

NGC and PCGS coin grading have been around for decades. In the old days, usually only better grades and rarer coins are being slabbed for authentification purpose and also for preservation.I would say it all started with the mania on China Silver coins in the past 2-3  years, where authentification is the prime concern at that time. Many sellers have problems letting go their unslabbed coins and have to settle for a lower dealing price for such coins. From there, the demand for slabbing service picks up locally.

As a result of that a few dealers have started having runners sending coins for slabbing to Singapore (Mavin or Monetorium) or Hong Kong (PCGS) for grading service and a new chapter of events unfolds.

An overview of a grading process can be read at my friend and sifu blog post at: Slabbing Coins with NGC

The new chapter of events unfolding locally are:

For new generation of collectors who are more affluent, they prefer these slabbed coins.  They are less burdened by preserving the coins and they are willing to pay a price for the authentification process. It is in opinion that these coins are easier to sell later on, be it over the coin dealers or internet base platform like ebay, facebook etc.

For more senior coin collectors who have been collecting for many many years, they started to realized that these coins may deteriorate, and over the years some of their collections have become scarce. As such, slabbing these coin is cost effective and a reasonable thing to do. For example, they may have bought some coins for RM 80. But now the price has risen say to RM 600 in the catalogue. By slabbing the coin, it may added a cost of RM200 per coin in the process; but they will be able to sell it easier at the catalogue price of RM600. There will be a lot of argument if these coins are not slabbed, and they may only be able to sell it around RM 400-500 after bargaining process.

A walk in Times Square KL yesterday, I also find lots of new dealers coming into the market. A simple chat with them also revealed their preference for dealing with slabbed coins. To them, it save them the hassles of arguing the grading process with the prospective customers. In addition, the beautifully high grade slabbed coins also added prestige to their newly started shops - be it in presence, or virtually on the internet.

These sellers are extremely friendly and helpful, do visit them if you drop by in Kuala Lumpur. However, over weekends, they are still stationed in Amcorp Mall.

As for you and I...
Are we going to send our coins for slabbing?
Are we going to buy these slabbed coins at higher price?
Are you going to be like some collectors who are only after MS 65-67 coins or you wound settle for MS 62-64 like most seasoned collectors??
What are you going to do with the AU details, UNC details coins - sell them as fast as possible like the MS maniacs, or have the comfort of saying "they are genuine coins, so it is fine" ??

What are you saying on this???

My take it...
We must have the knowledge to deal with these scenarios and coin.
It is the knowledge that will prevent us from buying an overpriced coin.

The old saying from a property investor still hold true... if you are buying for investment
"You make the profit at the point of buying, not when you sell"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

British Trade Dollar Year 1903 - 2 variants with interesting overdates

British trade dollar 1903 has 2 variants.
It is only minted from the bombay mint.

Therefore it has only the 1903B mint mark coins.
The other variant is the overdate of 1903/02

It recorded a total mintage of 3,955,647.
This makes this coin a scarcer coin

Variant 1 : British Trade Dollar 1903 B

This coin is puporsely chosen for display. The usual B mint mark at the prong.
However the mirror like surface with a normal luster is not usual.
This is a cleaned coin -- where the luster is lost
But the high grade details are preserved but it just not natural.
My camera has difficulty focus it sharp due to the reflection
The reverse
Variant 2: The Overdate 1903 over 02 B

Some 1903 can easily mistaken as overdates.
The trick to is to look for the long body of 2 underneath the 3. with pictures updated

Many coin collectors have their own blogs and they have been doing this for years. Two of my best friends has advised me to shrink the pictures for faster page view time. He also advised and recommended me on taking better pictures in terms of the lighting.

Therefore, an endeavor has undertaken to update the pages i previously uploaded.

Updated posts with new pictures are:
British Trade Dollar 1895
British Trade Dollar 1896
British Trade Dollar 1897
British Trade Dollar 1898
British Trade Dollar 1899
British Trade Dollar 1900
British Trade Dollar 1901
British Trade Dollar 1902

You are invited to visit back these pages for new pictures and caption descriptions.

Future posts will also be posted in such a way that it is more readers friendly.

The pictures used in this blog, unless otherwise stated are of my own collections.

Friday, May 24, 2013

British Trade Dollar Year 1902 - One unique Retooled Date is extremely rare

British trade dollar year 1902 has 3 varieties
It is produced in India Bombay mint with a B mint mark and Calcutta Mint with a C mint mark.

The recorded mintage are 30,404,499 for 1902 B and 1,266,618 for 1902C.
The 30 million plus 1902 B makes this one of the commonest BTD in the market

However 1902C is a rare variety.
The C mint mark is only present for 3 years namely 1900C,1901C and 1902C

The third variety is essentially a retooled die.
It is graded by NGC as 1902/2B
This variety if found is rare and beginner collectors usually not aware of its existence

Variety 1: British Trade Dollar 1902 B
This is the commonest variety
The usual 1902 B.
Purposely selected some irregularly toned coin for display.
This is due to mishandling. Most likely captured vapour in coin flip.
This stresses the importance of proper handling and care for coins
The reverse

Variety 2: British Trade Dollar 1902 C
This is rare variant
This coin is high grade coins which showed the C mint mark clearly.

The flat prong area and C mint mark.
This is high valued coin at its high grade.

Variety 3: British Trade Dollar 1902 /2 B 
This is a retooled die.
Looking closer at the date section, you will see the "2" has been repaired and the old shadows of 2 is hidden next to the printed digit on the die.
This is a retooled die. Very rare variants.
the 1902 is practically double shadowed.
However NGC grade this coin as 1902/2 in the census

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

British Trade Dollar Year 1901 (Unique overdate)

British trade dollar 1901 also has 3 varieties.
It recorded a total mintage of 25,684,791 from Bombay mint,
While 1901 C from calcutta mint recorded 1,513,685

The 1901 B is the common type
The 1901 C is the rare type with fewer mintage.
The third type is 1901 B over 1900 which has unknown mintage, this is also rare

Variety 1: British Trade Dollar 1901 B
This is the common type from Bombay Mint
The B can be seen at the center of the prong
This is commonly seen in the market
The NGC Au details 1901 B coin.

Variety 2: British Trade Dollar 1901 C
This is rare type, but still able to be found in open market
It fetches a higher price.
The C is located at the side of the Britannia and the shield

A high grade 1901C. C mint mark can be seen clearly

Variety 3: Over date 1901 B over 1900
This is the rare type.
It is harder to find in the market, but still relatively easier to find if compared to other overdates coin.

shadow of old 0 on the 1 (4th digit)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Frence Indo China Piastre Trade Dollar from a collector point of view.

French Trade Dollar is also minted to smooth trading process of French colonies in IndoChina in particular. It shares the common weights of 0.900 silver as other trade dollars.

The seated lady liberty on the observe of the coins makes this coin beautiful and unique.

The mintage tables are as the top page bar

These French Trade Dollars are difficult to find in high quality specimen.

NGC graded AU Details even high points shown some worn off effects
The reverse
The high points especially on the observe made this coin easily worn out even in mild circulation. The reverse of the coin is less susceptible to abrasions. This toned coins showed the high points extremely clearly.

Abrasions esp at the face, thorax, both forearms, the thigh, leg and feet.
Compare with the above coin, you can see these areas are actually bulges forward
the reverse are less susceptible. The high points are the flower ring.
A mildly circulated coins will showed these high points are worn off as in this coin
NGC graded XF details. Mildly circulated coins.
The sad things about this coin is the face is quite easily worn off. This cause significant defiguring of the coin. The lady liberty looks funny at times, some turned into bird face.

Therefore, the high grade coins of any french trade dollar usually fetch a very high auction price. Especially those with beautiful face preserved.

British Trade Dollar Year 1899 (A high mintage common date)

British Trade Dollar Year 1899 is one of the commonest issue for this coin
It recorded the second highest mintage of 30,743,159
Please click here to see the full mintage table for British Trade Dollar

It has only one variety, i.e. 1899 (B)
It is produced from Bombay Mint in India.

The B inscription can be seen on the center of the trident prong.

As with the 1898 coin, this coin also comes from the safe box.
This coin is a lot better than the 1898. It has less scratched hairlines and better details

Friday, May 17, 2013

British Trade Dollar Year 1898 (Getting Scarce)

British Trade Dollar 1898 is a forth year issue.
This is a common date coin with a rather big mintage.

It recorded a total mintage of 21,545,564
This year British Trade Dollar has 2 varieties
Variety one: 1898 B from Bombay Mint
This is a commoner type of the 2.
B mint mark can be seen at the prong.
Compared to earlier years of 1895, 1896 and 1897.
The "B" can be seen more clearly for the subsequent year coins from 1898.
It also not as easily worn off (disappear).
This coin is came from a safety box that was cut open.
These coins is believed to be in the safe for decades.
The green spots are the old safe box paint.
The relative uncirculated nature of the coin shows the glorious luster.

Variety two: 1898 no mint mark
This variety is scarcer
It is minted from Calcutta Mint
The prong area is clean and flat.
Prong area is flat, no B

For British Trade Dollar year 1895, 1897, 1898; despite minted by Calcutta mint, there is no "C" mark on the side of the Brittania. The "C" mint mark only appears on british trade dollar minted on 1900, 1901 and 1902.

This type of no mint mark on prong variety is also seen on year 1925, 1929 and 1930 British Trade Dollar. However, for these 3 years, these no mint mark British Trade Dollars were minted by London Mint and not Calcutta Mint.

The most unique of all is 1900 no C, no B variety which is very rare.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

British Trade Dollar Year 1897 (Getting Scarce)

British Trade Dollar year 1897 is the third year issue.
It has a large mintage of 21,286,427.
Please click here for full mintage table for BTD

There are 3 varieties of British Trade Dollar in 1897.
Exact amount for each varieties is unknown. As the 21 million quoted is a combined total mintage.

Variety One is 1897(B)
British trade dollar with a Bombay Mint Mark.
This is the commonest type.  Despite the big mintage of 21 million, 1897 British Trade dollar is a scarcer date.
This coin has good details of at least AU.
B mint mark can be seen at the prong.
However the unequal luster raised suspicion of this coin has been mildly dipped before.
The reverse also has uneven luster

Variety Two is 1897 no mintmark
This 1897 coin has no mint mark at the trident prong.
It is minted by Calcutta Mint.
This is the scarcer type to find in the market.
The prong area is flat. Without B mint mark.
There is no C mintmark as well for year 1895,1897 and 1898 coins although they are from calcutta mint
C mint mark only seen on coin struck on 1900,1901 and 1902.

Variety Three is 1897 overdate on 1896 coins
This overdate variety is one of the very rare type.
The "7" can be seen overstruck on a deleted "6" on the 1897 at the bottom of the Britannia.
In older days, is is costly and time consuming to reproduce a new die for coin manufacturing.

One of easiest way to produce a change in year on the coin, is using the old die for the previous year i.e.1896 and retooled the "6" into "7" which is the current year. This type of coin is called Overdate coins.

The overdate is seen at the 1897. 6 shadow is behind the 7

The existence of overdate for 1897/96 is not difficult to see, as the mintage jumped from 6 million for 1896 BTD to becomes 21 millions BTD in 1897. Hence there is a need for more die available for the increase in production.

The existence of overdates is also one of the interesting aspects of collecting British Trade Dollars.
These overdates has no known populations on its own, but it is generally very rare and difficult to find.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

British Trade Dollar 1900 (Unique Year with 5 Varieties)

It is a pleasure to collect British Trade Dollar 1900. It takes a long time to complete a set of 5 varieties.
Some of the variants are very rare and considered as error coins.
There is a total of 9,106,619 british trade dollar minted for year 1900.
There is a subquoted amount of 363,372 coins minted for 1900 No B No C Variety, which is very rare.
Please click here for full BTD mintage table.

Variety 1: British trade dollar 1900 B
This is the Bombay mint coin. The commonest and usual type.
The B mint mark can be seen at the trident prong area.
The commonest variant with B at the center of the prong
The reverse of all the BTD are soimilar

Variety 2: British Trade Dollar 1900 C
For year 1900,1901 and 1902 British trade dollar minted from Calcutta.
There is a C mint mark at the space next to the outer side of the Brittania left leg and the shield.
This C mint mark indicates the Calcutta mint.
The usual trident prong area is flat and no mint mark.

This VF coins has the C mint mark preserved.
1900C has the highers value, followed by 1902C and then 1901C

The C mint mark is easily worn off as well after moderate circulation. The flat trident prong area may be the indication left for this type of coin.

Variety 3: British Trade Dollar 1900 No B No C
This variety recorded a quoted amount of 363,372 and is among the rarest.
This is difficult to find.
It is believed to be from Bombay mint, however the die containing the mint mark has worn off.
Hence it produced a special type (error variant) where the B mint mark is not seen at the trident prong.
The whole mint mark area at the prong is empty within. Left with a diamond shaped rim.
It is not C mint coin as well as the trident prong area is not flat and there is no C mark at the side of Britannia.
This fairly high grade coin has the usual diamond shaped at the prong
But the B is missing.
It is also different from 1900C where the prong is area is flat

One word of caution in getting this type of coins is the collector must get a fairly high grade coin in order to appreciate the empty mint mark area. Many 1900B with fair amount of circulation might have the B mint mark wearing off and give an impression of a 1900 No B No C mint mark coin.
As in this coin... is the B worn out or it is a no B no C variant.

Variety 4: British Trade Dollar 1900 over 1890 Overdate Variety
Year 1900 is at the turn of the century and this produced an unique overdate coins where 3 characters are changed on the original die.
This overdate variety is one of the rarest to find.
The overdates is not easy to identify and takes a bit of effort to make up.

The  overdates are not meant to be seen clearly.They are retooled to the current year date which is 1900. The 1890 at the background is the erased shadow.
Generally for the 1900/890 coin, the 9 over 8 is clearer to be seen. meanwhile the 0 over the 9 is very faint, but you can see the 9 tail shadow on the background.
The 8 shadow is seen behind the 9.
The original 9 shadow is behind the 0 (look for the tail of the 9)

Another intriguing thing of this overdate coin is 1890 coin does not exist.

Variety 5: British Trade Dollar 1900 over 1900 (based on KN Boon catalogue) or it also known as 1900 over 1000 (NGC census)  
This coin is also very rare variety.
It is probably a retooled die where the original die has worned out and the engraver recrafted the dates.
The coin showed a double shadow of 1900.
This coin is very difficult to find in the market,

There is shadows over the 9 and the 2 zeros.

Hope you enjoy this post as much as I writing on it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

British Trade Dollar Year 1896 (Difficult year to find)

This is 2nd year issue for British trade dollar.
It has only 1 variety, i,e. 1896 (B) from Bombay mint

It has total mintage of 6,135,617. It is a rare year date.
Please click here for full mintage table and year of issues

Despite recorded double the mintage amount compared to 1895.
1896 BTD is much more difficult to find in the market and fetch a even higher price than 1895.

Same as 1895B, the B mint mark for 1896 is fainter than later years.
It can also easily worn off.

This is AU55 NGC certified coin. Faily good details
B mint mark in the circle is barely visible

The reverse
Compared with this VF coin. The B mint mark has worn out.

British Trade Dollar Year 1895 First Year

This is the inaugural year issue (first year issue).
This is a rare dates year with a mintage of 3,316,036.
There are 2 varieties of British trade dollar for the year 1895.
Please click here for full tables of mintage and years of issue.

The 2 varieties is differ at the mintmark
One is 1895(B), B at the prong indicate Bombay Mint
Another one is 1895 without mintmark from Calcutta Mint (clean prong area)

Compared to other years like 1899, 1900 and the later years, the B mint mark is not that easily seen for 1895. And the 1895B is more difficult to find, most likely the mark has worn off.

This coin is still available and can be found on the market occasionally.

I will not discuss much of the grading as everyone can have different opinions.
Please click here for BTD grading examples.

Variety 1:  1895 no mint mark, a cleaned before coin.

The reverse of the coins with fairly good details. 

 Variety 2: 1895 B - The B mint mark has worn off.
This is NGC certified XF details coin.
The B mint mark of the earlier years are quite easily worn off as in this one, the B only faintly visible

British Trade Dollar MS64 Examples

This is an example for MS64 British Trade Dollar.
Gorgeous Coin.

MS64 British Trade Dollar Grading Example and Tips

My personal guide for grading British trade dollar
1. Look at overall luster.
2. Look at the rim for any damage.
3. Details of the observe can be seen at the following high points.

  • The hand: can all fingers seen
  • The foot: can all toes seen
  • The breast area... (sorry but high grade coin should buldge outward.)
  • Details of the helmet.
  • Details of the mintmark "B" at the prong
4.The Britannia surroundings has lots of empty space - should free from scratches or marks.
5. The reverse is generally no high points and less signs of worn seen here compared to the observe.

Ini pandangan peribadi saya tentang grading untuk British Trade Dollar:
1. Meneliti luster koin keseluruhan.
2. Meneliti tepi koin untuk sebarang tanda langgar / jatuh.
3. Bahagian depan koin boleh diteliti dari high-points berikut
  • Tangan harus nampak semua jari
  • Kaki harus nampak semua jari
  • Bahagian dada... (maaf, namun koin yang tinggi great, dada harus tonjol keluar)
  • Bahagian helmet tidak haus.
  • Keterangan mintmark "B" di prong.
4.  Di sekeliling Britannia terdapat banyak ruang kosong - Sepatutnya tiada scratch atau mark di sini.
5. Bahagian belakang koin secara umumnya lebih rata dan jarang haus dengan mudah berbanding depan koin.

Memorable Trip Down Memory Lane

Going to flea market is one of my favourite past time and one of the ways to get coins for collection. The famous flea markets in the country include Lorong Kulit in Penang, Memory Lane in Ipoh, Amcorp Mall etc.
(Melawat ke flea markt merupakan salah satu kegemaran saya dan cara untuk mendapatkan koin. Antara flea market yang terkemuka di Malaysia termasuk Lorong Kulit, Memory Lane Ipoh dan Amcorp Mall dsb.)

I first knew this place when I was posted to work in Ipoh Town and it always ranked my favourite flea market. I like this flea market simply is because of its variety of items available here. On top of that, the road is quite spacious and despite the crowd, you will not feel the heat as much.
(Saya mengetahui memory lane ini semasa saya bekerja di Ipoh dulu, dan ia merupakan flea market yang paling saya gemari. Sebab selain kepelbagaian barangan di sini, laluan di flea market ini amat lebar dan ia tidak rasa panas meskipun sesak dengan pengunjung.) 

If you are antique collectors, Memory Lane offers the most varieties here especially the copper antiques.
(Sekiranya anda pengemar barangan antik, Memory Lane menawarkan banyak barangan gangsa. )

Besides that, there are usual items like electrical, appliances, used clothes and even a mini aquarium stall.
(Di samping itu, barangan yang biasa dijumpai termasuklah peralatan elektrik terpakai, baju terpakai dan akuarium mini pun terdapat di sini)

There are 2 -3 main coin and bank note sellers in memory street, while loose items can be found in most of the stores selling junk items. These uncles do not own any shop and only do business on Sunday here. It is good to ask the seller what item you are looking for, if they have it elsewhere, they may ask you to come back the following weekend.
Tips: Recommended to get their phone and call them one day ahead as reminder and as confirmation before you make the trip the following week if you are from outstation.
(Terdapat 2-3 peniaga koin dan wang kertas khusus di memory Lane. Namun peniaga-peniaga lain juga ada menjual koin koin dalam kuantiti kecil. Peniaga di sini kebanyakan tidak mempunyai kedai sendiri dan hanya datang ke sini pada Hari minggu. Pelanggan pada lazimnya akan memberitahu peniaga di sini apa yang dikehendaki dan sekiranya mereka ada stok, pelanggan akan diminta datang semula pada minggu depan.
Tips: Dapatkan nombor telefon peniaga dan hubungi mereka sebelum anda datang semula para minggu depan, khususnya pengunjung dari luar negeri)

I have since left Ipoh town after posted to KL, this visit refreshes my memory and my love for this flea market. I stayed overnight after a wedding dinner at Tune Hotel, Ipoh on Saturday, so that the flea market is right at my doorstep the next morning after waking up.
(Saya telah berhijrah ke Kuala Lumpur sekian lama, namun lawatan hari ini tetap menarik. Saya sengaja tumpang semalaman di Tune Hotel selepas menghadiri satu majlis perkahwinan kawan di Ipoh, agar keesokkan harinya, flea market ini berada di depan hotel penginapan saya.)

And my luck is good this time round, as i managed to pick up a good set of fantasy (some people prefers to call them counterfeit) straits settlements coins of 1/2 cent, 1/3 cent, 1/4 cent and 3/4 cent which is hard to come by nowadays.
(Rezeki saya agak baik kali ini, sebab berjaya mendapatkan koin fantasi (sesetengah orang lebih gemar panggil koin ini palsu) Straits Settlement 1/2 sen, 1/3 sen., 1/4 sen dan 3/4 sen. pada harga yang berpatutan dan makin sukar ditemui.)

I also saw quite a number of Duit Yasin offered for sales at a very reasonable price of RM30-50 per piece.
(Saya turut jumpa duit yasin di sini untuk jualan pada harga yang amat berpatutan di sekitar RM30-50 se keping)

I enjoyed the journey, and hope to make the trip in the future. Two hours drive from KL for a visit to Memory Lane and for a nice local meal here is well worth the effort.
(Saya amat menikmati lawatan ke memory lane dan bercadang untuk melawat lagi pada masa akan datang. Perjalanan 2 jam dengan kereta dari KL untuk melawat ke Memory Lane serta bersantap makanan Ipoh pada Hari Minggu ini  kira berbaloi bagi saya.)