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Why are Pedigree Coins So Highly Valued?

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A pedigree coin is one that has a documented history of who has previously owned it. Generally, the further back the pedigree goes, the more potential value the coin has. Some exceptionally rare coins, especially those with pedigrees that can be traced back to the date of issue, are even more highly valued. Take for example our nation’s finest rare coin, The Single 9. The fact that it is the only coin of its kind in existence, coupled with the fact that one of its previous owners was King Farouk of Egypt, means it has one of the most notable pedigrees of any rare coin.

 

In numismatics (the study or collection of money, coins or medals), having a pedigree to a ‘name’ coin collection adds a lot of value. For example, coin collectors in the US find the Eliasberg, Newcomer, Col. Green and King Farouk collections particularly attractive because of their highly respected pedigrees, which often span decades.

When you’re looking at the pedigree of a coin it’s important to note information such as when it was last sold and how much it sold for. Generally, a coin with a fairly recent pedigree is more valuable than a coin that has an old pedigree. This is because if a coin was last sold a long time ago, its previous selling price becomes irrelevant in today’s market valuation. On the other hand, having a pedigree can also have a downside. For example, a potential buyer might question why a coin that was purchased for R10,000 a short while ago, is now being sold for R20,000. For this reason, some sellers might choose not to include the pedigree when putting a coin on the market.

 

There is little doubt however that having a good pedigree adds to the attraction of owning a rare coin. It describes the history of a coin, confirms its quality and value and perhaps most importantly, especially for coins that are exceptionally rare and/or old, it indicates the legitimacy of the coin. A pedigree can also have a personal significance and while one collector might prize a specimen from one particular ‘name’ collection, another might find value in a different ‘name’. Either way, knowing that the coin you possess once belonged to someone famous, or infamous for that matter, is a huge attraction.

 

At the end of the day, the value of a pedigree coin lies in its historical significance as well as the intrinsic value of the coin itself. Purchasing a pedigree isn’t necessarily expensive, but most serious collectors feel that they need to have at least one in their personal collection.

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I own some pedigreed coins, with storied ownerships over 100 years. But for me, it is not so much about the fame or infamy of who owned the coin - but rather the quality of a collectable that they aspired to collect. I have some coins that were previously owned by Michael Tallent, Lucien La Riviere - not famous in the sense of popularity in the media but for the high quality of the coins that they acquired for their collections.

 

Such said, famous/infamous collectors such as King Farouk maniacally acquisitioned whole collections of rare materiel, then carelessly handled it - the famous 1933 Double Eagle from the USA bears witness to having been mishandled, perhaps even dropped on occasion. It is conjectured in collecting circles that Farouk was as careless with his coins as he was with his appetite for food and women. Do I desire to possess a coin that Farouk fondled, and perhaps occasioned to drop? Nae chance o' it.

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I like having the pedigree on some of my coins. While I don't think the items that I have are significantly increased in value because of the pedigree I have been tempted a few times to acquire coins from collections such as the Eliasberg collection. I have a note that came from the Q.David Bowers collection. It's really neat for me because I've read so much of his writing and enjoy it so much.

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I like having the pedigree on some of my coins. While I don't think the items that I have are significantly increased in value because of the pedigree I have been tempted a few times to acquire coins from collections such as the Eliasberg collection. I have a note that came from the Q.David Bowers collection. It's really neat for me because I've read so much of his writing and enjoy it so much.

 

 

Ex Chet Krause:

 

legaltender101901.jpg

 

 

Now part of the Beauties on Banknotes accumulation.

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Thanks for your interest in our articles, it's great to see how different people feel about Pedigree coins, and what significance theirs holds for them. @ART - how far are you along with your 'one coin, one note' for each country? What a fantastic project/challenge/aspiration. Good luck with that.

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Thanks, SouthCape! Nice summary. Allow me a quibble. I take your meaning and I agree with the plain text. However, a coin (or anything) with an old pedigree and a hiatus or lacuna where it has been a long time in one collection will fetch whatever price the market will bring.

Generally, a coin with a fairly recent pedigree is more valuable than a coin that has an old pedigree. This is because if a coin was last sold a long time ago, its previous selling price becomes irrelevant in today’s market valuation.

A dealer's evaluation may or may not predict the actual market. Look at any significant sale and you will see some items selling for far more than the estimate. For me, perhaps the most famous tale of woe was the literature sale of Aaron Feldman. Feldman was an American dealer who is credited with the line, "Buy the book before you buy the coin." The sale was a disaster. Literature is a tough sell. Just to say, again, I take your point: previous records point to present prices (usually).

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With pedigrees you are not buying a coin to speak but the history of it as well. Pedigrees are usually higher quality coins as well.

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