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Beginners' Approach to Collection by Huang Ruiyong

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Another generous sharing of treasure, thank you again fwang2450!

Third and last part of Huang Ruiyong's lecture for beginners.

Beginners'  Approach to Collection by Huang Ruiyong (Part III)

Making friends is key to precious metal coin collection.

The Analects by Confucius said: We have three kinds of friends to benefit from, those with integration, those with tolerance, and those with rich knowledge. We need friends with such qualities. Friends with integration will let us see other perspectives than our own. Tolerant friends will encourage the voicing of different views in the coin collection community. Knowledgeable friends will help us save time and wasteful errors. For most people, coin collection is a hobby after work. Because of this, we do not have enough energy to explore details of everything. So friends are great complements to our personal limitations.

Coin collection has never been an individual experience, something one can keep just to oneself. When we get hold of a piece of treasure, we immediately feel our heart pounding with maddening elation. But this elation has to be shared with some one. So getting together with friends, chatting over a cup of tea, showing one’s own collection, exchanging new learnings, trading coins and expanding one’s coin knowledge, these are extremely pleasant experiences. 

There is a club for fans of modern coins and medals in Hangzhou now, who meet regularly. On the bank of the West Lake, in a warm breeze, sipping fragrant tea, watching glittering gold coins, we get together to spend a happy afternoon or evening over the weekend. Like what Sister Sandezi said, if you can enjoy it with others, why keep it to yourself?

For beginners, breaking the information barrier is critical, too. Luckily we have information readily available these days, and the coin market has totally transformed itself in 10 years.

10 years ago, prices of gold and silver coins in major cities like Nanjing and Hangzhou had a time lag from the prices in Shanghai, not to mention in small cities or county seats. But now, with the power of the web, many collectors can make impressive gains even from small cities. For example, although Youxia is located in a remote place in Northern Jiangsu, he can make contacts abroad and find impressive coins for fellow collectors. His timeliness is no less than that of coin dealers in Lugong or Madian.

It is my personal view that collectors have more options in the world of Internet. Before buying a common coin, do price comparison on the web. But for coins with a high price tag, it is imperative to do as much homework as possible in advance. Now the topics discussed above all circle back to us: coin affinity, logical reasoning, coin knowledge, awareness of gem coins, a group of friends. With more thinking and knowledge, we will feel more confident. I believe that the purpose for to list honest dealers is to build the reputation for them, and remove the information barrier between dealers and collectors.

In addition, with new releases and common coins, the market is relatively transparent. But due to the extreme scarcity of some early precious metal coin gems, it is absolutely a seller’s market. In addition, because there are few transaction records available, which beginners have a hard time to obtain, they have to take great precautions when buying/trading such coins. It is not that dealers are always trying to trick collectors. To be fair, the price information of some early coins is even beyond the reach of coin dealers.

I have been sorting out transaction price data of modern Chinese gold and silver coins from all over the world. If anyone is interested, we can compare notes sometime and use them as reference. As far as I know, auctions exclusively for modern Chinese gold and silver coins will be held this year. Auction records will be used later on as important guides for early rare coins.

Time is running out. I have covered only a small part of the materials I prepared. Sorry to you all.

To summarize:

Coin affinity will guide our affection to the coin;
Logic reasoning equips us with the ability to maneuver through the market;
Coin knowledge is the requirement for beginners to grow;
Awareness of gem coins enables us to take off;
Good friends make us completely relaxed;
Symmetry in information gives us a sense of security.

If beginners can achieve all these, they will naturally advance to intermediate collectors before long.


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