The power of a penny

I think we all dream of … walking around a yard sale and rarely finding Picasso, which the owner was sure was fake.

Or maybe it’s a personal letter from George Washington, hidden in the attic of a house you just bought.

Personally, I’ve always hoped to find a buried pirate treasure – though very unlikely, given that I grew up in Kentucky, not near the coast.

Earlier this year, a man discovered a rare penny buried in a parsnip field in Nottinghamshire, which is expected to sell for £ 15,000 (approximately $ 18,280) at an auction on March 15. before. And although it has been buried in the ground for more than a millennium, the coin is in extremely good condition.

But you don’t have to go to the hills of the United Kingdom with a metal detector to make a good profit from rare and ancient coins. In fact, there is a much easier way to increase your wealth …

To properly acquaint you with the world of investing in rare and ancient coins, I went to look for an expert.

Jeff Anandapa is an investment portfolio manager for Stanley Gibbons Ltd., the world’s leading brand in the collectibles industry, based in England but with offices in London, the Channel Islands, Hong Kong and Singapore. The Stanley Gibbons Group includes the world’s oldest retailer of rare stamps (founded in 1856) and a philatelist of British royalty since 1914; and the largest coin dealer in the United Kingdom, AH Baldwin & Sons (founded in 1872).

Jocelyn: I think most Americans are aware of the impressive size of the American coin market, especially the regular news about rare American coins that sell for over a million dollars. But are there other markets that investors should pay attention to because of their growth?

Jeff: Rare and early coins from increasingly prosperous regions of the world are increasing in demand from collectors in search of a piece of history. Coin prices in Eastern Europe, such as Russia, Poland and Hungary, have increased tenfold in the last decade. Coins from India and the Middle East, long ignored by Western collectors, are now of great interest. Even traditional collector’s areas – such as ancient Greek and Roman, as well as Western European and British coins – have more than quadrupled in the last decade.

Jocelyn: Where does this rise in prices come from?

Jeff: Part of this demand has been stimulated by the rise in the price of gold and silver – but the value of the bars on rare coins far exceeds their numismatic value. More importantly, collectors have recognized the rarity of coins in exceptional condition and so the premium for such coins has escalated accordingly.

Jocelyn: If many of these areas are seeing such growth, should investors worry that these rare coins are overvalued?

Jeff: Despite strong demand and rising prices, these rare world coins are still much undervalued compared to their American counterparts. The size and prosperity of the American collector’s base, combined with the relatively small number of rare coins, means that rarities in the United States are 10 or 20 times higher than the price of equivalent coins from England or ancient Greece and Rome – and perhaps 100 times more. high than the price of their Asian or Middle Eastern equivalents.

This discrepancy offers a unique opportunity for American investors to diversify their collection with rare world coins that are experiencing significant and steady growth in value.

Jocelyn: When it comes to American coins, I know that evaluation is very important for understanding the quality of a coin, and hence its value. Does the same valuation system apply to significantly older world coins?

Jeff: Most coins sold in North America are rated on a scale of 1 to 70 by independent ranking services such as the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). This may be possible for more modern, mass-produced coins. However, ranking is much more difficult and becomes more subjective for older coins – especially for minted coins, where the quality of the impact makes each coin unique, even before circulating wear and tear is taken into account.

There are essentially four degrees of status in England and Europe: Fine, Very Fine, Extremely Fine and Uncirculated (“Fleur de Coin” if exclusive). The terms “Good” and “About” may qualify these assessments. Thus, Good Very Fine (GVF) is better than Very Fine (VF), which in turn is better than About Very Fine (AVF).

Jocelyn: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start adding rare world coins to their collection? where to start

Jeff: Unless you want to start collecting coins instead of investing in them, it is not advisable to try to collect “sets”. Often the kit includes less rare coins that are not of investment quality and are therefore less likely to become more expensive. In addition, a set of such coins will tend to rise (and fall) in value at the same rate. Instead, focus on finding rare coins, in their best condition, from a number of different collectibles. All coins should show a good return over time – with a few showing exceptional returns as new areas become more popular.

Wealth solutions in uncertain times

We have just scratched the surface when it comes to using collectibles to increase and diversify your investment. Collectibles, or what we often call “quiet wealth,” are a way to protect your assets not only from market turmoil, but also from the uncertainty we face with a government that has accumulated more than $ 19 trillion in debt and militarized our police forces.

Proper planning will now not only work to protect your assets as America struggles to find support again, but it will also help you sleep well at night, knowing that you have chosen to diversify your investments beyond market volatility.