Yesterday’s Fine Art sale again saw our coins section do very well with over £18,000.00 in hammer prices achieved for our vendors from this section of the sale. With the current economy in flux, are buyers looking to coins as a place to store reserves, instead of banks or is it that coin collecting, is seeing a surge in popularity?
There is evidence that coins and currency have been collected from as early as medieval times. During the renaissance, it was a popular hobby amongst the more privileged classes, including Kings and Queens, and by the 18th century, in addition to coin collecting, the study of currency, known as Numismatics, emerged as an academic discipline. The word Numismatic means the study or collecting of currency, which covers tokens, paper money, coins and surprisingly, medals. As one of the oldest pastimes in the world, it is now often referred to as the “King of hobbies”.
The reasons for collecting coins can vary enormously; for some, it is motivated by investment, and is intended to accumulate worth largely based on the metal value of the coins. Many collectors however, are hobbyists, collecting for the pure enjoyment of the coins aesthetic value. Of these collectors, some specialise in coins of a particular theme, for instance the type of artwork depicted, others may collect based on the nationality of the coin, or a certain historical period. An often sought coin type is the error coin, where some discrepancy in the minting process has caused a small run of coins which differ in some aspect from their counterparts.
At Anthemion Auctions in Cardiff, there is a buoyant market for coins. In Yesterday’s auction we had one set of four Sovereign coins sell for £5,800.00, and two further lots of coins sell for over £1,000.00 each. The November Fine Art sale saw the coin section achieve just under £14,000.00 for our vendors. In the September General Sale, a lot containing two albums of Victorian silver crowns, half crowns, shillings and other coins, sold for £1,200. In the same sale, a further lot containing a collection of pre decimal coins, Churchill crowns and Royal Mint Numismatic coin sets, sold for £550.00. All auctions attract national and international bidders, and are available for live webcast bidding, so collectors come from far and wide to find pieces relating to their chosen speciality. The auction market sees coins go under the hammer from many countries and historical periods, as well as banknotes and other financial artefacts.