Author Topic: Lunar coin market prices  (Read 9477 times)

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Offline ?

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Lunar coin market prices
« on: July 09, 2010, 09:27:11 AM »
We all could watch the Tiger having a strong start last year. Until shortly the price increase even in the - fairly -common flower- and fan-shaped coins was limited to the Tiger while even older coins of this series, with significantly lower mintage, like the Snake remained rather stable. Since a few days (my feeling) the 2009 Ox not only followed the Tiger but surpased it.
Actual offers for the flower-shaped coin reach 360 $ :scared: and Kilos are for sale well beyond 3.000 $. Even though I have not seen any actual purchases at these prices yet, based on the sellers, i.a. Wenqi, asking for these prices I understand that something has happened. Still the pace is amazing. 4-6 weeks ago you paid 60 Euros for a flower Ox in Germany, this week 130 Euro and now you would have to spend around 300 Euros to get one form China, Germany is sold out.

Any clues and hints from our members with insight into the Chinese market for that?

Thanks

anwir

P.S.: As I have the feeling that this was not the last price explosion of Lunar coins, I opted for opening a thread for this - hope you agree ;)

Offline pecus

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Re: Lunar coin market prices
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2010, 01:57:46 PM »
The span of silver lunar coin prices is remarkable--the 12 oz 1995 pig has been offered for $8000 and a bunch of other 12 oz lunar coins are now on ebay at $4000-$4300, while you can pick up a 12 oz round dragon for a little over $1000.  The 5 oz round coins range from $2500 for the snake (and at least $4500 for the 12 oz snake) to $300-$400 for the 1987 rabbit.  The first colored round 5 oz lunar--Tiger--is going for $1100, whereas it was offered for around $800 when it came out in March. The 5 oz rectangle lunars have a smaller span, but these too are getting more expensive.  These offering prices have doubled or tripled in the last year to two years.  What a whirlwind!!!

The point?  We need someone on the scene in China to describe the markets in the big cities.  What's conversation like if you go into the shops of one of the serious coin dealers in China?

There seems to be so much market dynamism right now.  It would be great to hear about it up-close, from someone on the scene. I feel as though we're passive spectators to this market upheaval.  Are we looking at the emergence of a much larger serious coin-buying population in East Asia?  If so, why now?  Is it related to the buying of silver and gold bullion?

Pecus

Offline MrOrganic

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Re: Lunar coin market prices
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2010, 11:40:00 AM »
I agree I wish there was a more "up to date" way to get MARKET info on Lunar/China Mint material.

My guess on the Lunar explosion

Yes, China allowing there people to buy Metals. (fight off inflation)
General bull market in metals
Billion or so people in China ALONE...limited number of attractive Lunar/china mint pieces
Increase in people putting there $$$ into hard assets & away from scammarket *cough* stockmarket
yuan/renminbi rising = cheaper lunar pieces
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KonaJim

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Re: Lunar coin market prices
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2010, 01:32:20 PM »
I read an article about "hot money" that was going into real estate is finding it's way into the coin market.  The Chinese government has tightened credit and lending, especially for anything other than your primary home.  They are trying to curb the house flipping that was so popular here in America and contributed to unhealthy over valuations.  Also, the Chinese stock market has been a bust.  Hot money finds hot appreciating assets.

Offline chinesecoinworks

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Re: Lunar coin market prices
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2010, 05:19:58 AM »
Indeed! Taking a 1993 5 oz Silver Rooster NGC PF69 as example, it was sold in Nov 09 for $638 by foto4ever and recently in July, an original version with COA and box was sold by the same seller for $966. Does that COA and box make the difference? We all know that answer. And these are bidded transactions and not BIN transactions. Get ready for a rocketing ride for those who already have lunar coins in hand.  :thumbup:

Offline anaiman

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Re: Lunar coin market prices
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2010, 11:46:28 PM »
Anyone want to venture an educated guess (if there's such a thing) on the future prices of Lunar coins?  Are the current prices over-inflated? Are we looking at a potential bubble?  Are the current prices likely not to ever go down?

I don't know anything about buying/selling trends of U.S. coins here over the past couple of decades and whether that might lend us an insight on what's happening with the Lunar coins in China and here in the U.S.  Yet, I am very much aware that there are huge variables that may make comparisons difficult, if not impossible - e.g. our easy access to all sorts of assets as opposed to the limited choice of assets now available to those in China only recently (e.g. real estate and metals).

The bottom line is I am still scratching my head trying to decide whether to buy some Lunar coins before the already-too-high prices go to astronomic heights never again to come down or just ride it out, waiting for prices to come down a bit.

« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 12:34:38 AM by anaiman »

Offline pecus

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Re: Lunar coin market prices
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2010, 07:28:05 AM »
Most of us seem to believe that Chinese demographics and economic growth, coupled with incredibly small mintage numbers and China's cultural history of valuing silver and coins, especially those concerning the lunar cycle, suggests long-term stable and probably increased value to lunar coins.  However, who knows about the short-term?  I'd say buy the relatively cheap coins now and hope that the price of the expensive coins--12 oz pig and snake, 5 oz pig and snake--comes down for a bit before returning to the secular rise in price.

I remember when $1500 for the 12 oz snake seemed high--I didn't buy it then (ugh) and kick myself that I was not more aggressive about the 12 oz pig.  An $8000 coin, even if you think it's going to $20,000, may be too much for one's budget.

Faced with impending world-wide price deflation in the short-run, central banks are going to face intense pressure to print money and find ways to get corporations to spend and lend.  At least that's what I think.  (If bankers think austerity and deflation will not lead to serious street disruption, I think they're wrong.)

Pecus

Offline BobW

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Re: Lunar coin market prices
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2010, 09:51:54 AM »
My thoughts. If investment is your primary objective and your outlook is long term, acquire popular newly issued silver and gold lunar coins with limited mintages that suit your budget. On a percentage basis, these coins have done well historically and the downside is typically low.

Investors should always consider supply, demand and availability. Not to be overlooked is the benefit of a reliable source who can provide the coins you want at a fair price.  eBay is seldom the lowest cost alternative for these acquisitions.

Also give some thought as to the way the coins are most desirable by collectors -- in their original packaging or certified by a specific third party grading company.

Offline dooney

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Re: Lunar coin market prices
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2010, 03:56:21 PM »
I think it makes more sense if you look at this bull market as an event composed of sector rotations. The bull market in Chinese numismatics is still in its infancy.  But in that overall bull market, there will be “bubbles” that develop in market sectors. Presently, such a bubble appears to be developing in large gold and silver lunar coins. No doubt, prices in this sector will get a bit high, and then settle a bit as investors/collectors move to another, more underpriced, sector.

Eventually, market participants (collectors and investors) will rotate through all sectors of the Chinese numismatic market, from pre-republic issues, to modern-day Fen, causing minor bubbles in each. The final stages of the bull market will be when the general public begins to participate and all sectors rise simultaneously.

I would think that the next sector to make a bold move wold be the earlier silver and smaller gold lunars.

It would be interesting if we could monitor the various sectors and maintain an “index” for each, much as the PCGS does for U.S. coins. It would be easier to monitor this sector rotation with these indices.

Offline badon

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Re: Lunar coin market prices
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2010, 11:57:23 PM »
Every time I have waited to buy a popular coin until the price goes down, I have regretted it. It's hard to predict which coins will go up, and which coins will go flat. The only thing that everyone seems to agree on is that they're ALL going up - maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life.

Chinese people are hoarders - that is a key thing to remember. What that means is prices can rise very fast while people are hoarding, and they can go flat for a while when one of those hoarders sells out. The longest flat line I've seen so far is only 2 years, and then prices began to rise again. The best advice I have received, and the best advice I can give is don't get stuck under just one coin, and spread your purchases out amongst several different types. In other words, don't be a hoarder, and your buying and selling will go much more smoothly.

Plan on spending 2 to 3 months trying to sell your best coins - it's going to take a while to find a buyer who can afford them. When you have the money to buy a good coin, talk to several dealers firstly to find out who has one, and secondly to get the best price. Buy the best coins you can afford, and don't listen to people when they tell you the price is too high. They've been saying that for almost a decade now, and the price still isn't high enough yet, and it doesn't matter how high the price is.

Do your best to not overpay, but don't be weak - you need to be an aggressive buyer if you're going to get coins. If a very rare coin comes available and it's "too expensive", quit complaining and buy it. Be picky about quality though, don't buy second-rate coins. If you have a bunch of flawed coins, you may need twice as long to sell it for less money.

Chinese coins could go down in value if something very bad happens, like war, famine, or other catastrophe. However, if then next decade is the Chinese decade, then all of the coins are going to remain very under-priced, no matter what their price is. Stop complaining and put up the cash.

It's not a bubble yet - it's not even close. How many people even know they should be buying gold and silver, let alone incredibly rare Chinese coins? NOBODY! Not even in China. Several years ago China's numismatic organization had a membership of about 60000, which was larger than the largest American numismatic organization. Now, I would not be surprised if their membership has doubled. But, even if it has doubled, it's still only a tiny portion of the population. You need a significant portion of the population involved in buying coins before you can have a bubble. As far as I know, none of the common people are buying them yet, so there is no bubble.

As the other fellow said, there will be isolated bubbles in small collecting areas that will recover fast, but I suggest you do your best to ignore them because they are too unpredictable - you can't even be sure it's a microbubble at all. Just buy the coins, and forget about it. Just keep buying coins. Prices go up, buy. Prices go down, buy. This is a bull market that's just getting started, so it's going to be very hard to lose money over the long term as long as you buy from reputable sellers.

And, most importantly, have fun!

Offline ?

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Re: Lunar coin market prices
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2010, 07:36:28 PM »
Well, I think there are 2 lines in this thread so far.
1, Chinese coins are generally undervalued and I fully agree. Take the general data, like population, percentage of wealthy people and absolute figures (i.e. approx 100 million), interest in gold and silver in China, relatively low state of numismatic interest in China and interest/believe in spiritual things when we talk about Lunar coins and it is hardly possible to come to a different conclusion. Still this does not explain why an ox flower is 300 Euros and and Ox fan 60 Euros.

This brings us to number 2. Once agreed that Chinese coins generally are still at their beginning, why is there so much difference within the same series regardless of mintage and year. Is is all big speculators who buy half a mintage at a time, like I was told recently by a Chinese dealer before returning to China as business in Germany isn't any more worth while ;)
We have experienced similar things in the past, if you look at dog flower and fan or snake. With them it's even more weired as the coin with the higher mintage (fan) has the higher price :confused1:

And, to finally add another question, is the absence of offers for the 5 oz silver "bar/rectangular" coins a proof for a lack of interest or is based on their minimal mintage of 1,888 that there simply is no market :confused1:

Again, an insight into the Chinese market will be highly appreciated :thumbup:

greetz anwir

Offline pecus

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Re: Lunar coin market prices
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2010, 08:05:37 PM »
I hadn't considered the idea that big speculators could be manipulating supply--which wouldn't be hard to do with mintages so low.  This possible factor would seem to be one that we could actually get some information about, either from major dealers or from mints themselves, assuming the speculators are not in bed with them.  I don't know much about small, luxury markets, but it might help to know whether other such markets are manipulated as a matter of course.  Diamonds?  Watches?  Stamps?  If they are, we might be able to learn if there are any patterns of buying and selling that could help us help ourselves.

KonaJim

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Re: Lunar coin market prices
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2010, 12:58:29 AM »
Some very interesting conversation but I'm going to have to play devil's advocate here.  First, I'm 60 years old, I've collected things my whole life.  My grandfather had an extensive coin collection.  I've collected coins, books, stamps, art, baseball cards, and antiques.  One thing we can all agree on is all markets go up and down.  I don't think there has ever been a market that has done otherwise?  Collectors can be lumped into various groups.  There are some collectors that never part with anything.  There are some that will part with anything for the right price.  Market prices are driven by demand, and the supply for that demand influences pricing.  Right now I think we have a perfect storm of serious collectors not interested in immediate profit and and constraining supply, and hot money chasing immediate profits, flipping coins for higher prices.  My immediate thought is we are in for an eventual shakeout, just like the housing market, or the tulip mania, well maybe we aren't at the tulip frenzy stage yet, but we have rapid escalation in pricing that is unsustainable.  I have a lot of Chinese coins and I am now a disciplined seller.  I will keep a lot of coins but I am selling, paring back just as any good investor would do if they were ahead in a stock trade.  I don't disagree or dispute all the underlying fundamentals of this coin market.  I just think prices have come too far too fast.

Offline badon

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Re: Lunar coin market prices
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2010, 01:15:07 PM »
If the economy in China starts having problems, you can bet that people will be selling coins to raise cash, especially if they made a good profit on them already. That means that the biggest recent gainers are likely to drop in price. I mentioned that I always regret waiting to buy in this market, and although that's still true, I am still refusing to buy a 1990 2 oz gold Dragon & Phoenix. The mintage is low, bit it's still 2500 coins, which is ten times the mintage of cheaper coins. For it to be selling at around $10,000 even for a crap quality coin is ridiculous, so I am hoping the price drops or plateaus for a few years before I buy. Plus, I can't afford one in my budget right now, which helps my discipline :)

On the other hand, the mintage is INCREDIBLY LOW, even at 2500 - so, is $10000? too much money for a coin with a mintage of only 2500? Absolutely not, and in fact, it has the realistic potential to be ten times higher than that - that's $100000 folks - one hundred thousand dollars! It may take a few decades for it to go that high, but I have no doubt that it will. It's extremely rare, extremely popular, and it's in an incredibly large market and still-growing market. $100k isn't so much as it sounds if you factor in inflation. In today's dollars, I will make a wild guess that the maximum true value will be somewhere in the mid to high 5 figure range of, let's say, $30000 to $70000 for a high quality specimen. This whole paragraph is wild speculation though, but I think it serves to illustrate that even "overpriced" bubble-coins can still be a good investment if you're a long term holder.

The people who get burned in bubbles are the short term people who are buying and selling rapidly. If you're not one of those people, you may make less money, but your risk for losing money drops to something not quite, but close to zero.

That said, if I had the $10000+ needed to get a high quality 1990 2 oz gold Dragon & Phoenix, I would probably buy it anyway, even though I know there is some real risk of it dropping to half what I paid for it. In the long term, I won't even notice the drop.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 01:19:01 PM by qwasty »

Offline pecus

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Re: Lunar coin market prices
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2010, 05:09:55 PM »
If there were 60,000 members of the China numismatic organization (whatever that is) a few years ago, I wonder what that number is today?  The rate of growth might be meaningful.  It would also be interesting to know something about this population--family income, geographic characteristics, occupation and the like.  (I'd also like to know about German participation in this market--I've seen some of them bid high prices for lunar coins recently.)  We know diamonds will always be valuable, as will gold watches and stamps.  Old coins should probably be included on this list.  But modern lunar (pandas too?) coins?  30 years is nothing in luxury markets.  Why do folks think Chinese collectors will continue to gravitate to these coins the way Americans gravitate to gold and silver eagles?  In twenty years, if China were to become the economic and political behemoth we all assume it will become, will millions of wealthy Chinese still have strong collecting interest in these coins?