"Official" vs. "Unofficial" mints

Discussion in 'Modern Chinese Coins & Medallions' started by Stark, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. Stark

    Stark Active Member Silver Stacker

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    Ni hao! ;)

    Reading through different sites about Chinese medals and coins I came across many times that if (potential) increase of value is one of the "goals" for the purchase it's better sticking with official Chinese mints than unofficial ones.
    What is your opinion about this?

    Of course if you buy coins/medals just because you like them then this comparison doesn't make any sense. :)

    Tnx!
     
  2. mmissinglink

    mmissinglink Active Member

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    By no means am I a Chinese medal expert but I do read some articles on the subject and I have acquaintances who are indeed very knowledgeable about the Chinese medal market. From what I understand, the Chinese who buy Chinese medals are indeed more likely to favor medals from the official mints.....but are the Chinese the only group buying Chinese medals or is there comparatively significant interest in Chinese medals from the rest of the coin / medal collector world? I would venture to think the answer is yes...comparatively. So, the question then is, what about other-than-Chinese collectors...do they really have the same bias toward the official mint medals as compared to unofficial mint medals? I don't know for sure but I do know that myself and a few others I know who buy Chinese medals and who are not Chinese born, probably don't care so much as to whether the medal is produced by an official or unofficial mint. In fact to me, I don't care at all....I am not buying Chinese medals because I want to flip them a couple years down the road hoping that they triple in value. I buy them because I really like them.

    Back in the 1980's, when I purchased my first Chinese medal, I didn't buy that Great Wall silver medal because I was thinking it is a great investment opportunity because it is produced by an official or unofficial mint. I didn't even know what a precious metal was back then and I certainly didn't think anything special of silver as a metal...not like I do today. I bought it because I liked it.

    I remember reading an article not too long ago written by a long time Chinese medal and coin enthusiast. The contention of the author was that investors generally don't determine what turns out to be a good investment in terms of Chinese medals, rather collectors do.

    The point being, what medals collectors are most excited about may be the medals that end up being the best investment regardless of which mint produces the medals.

    I buy what I like and if in 20 years it turns out to be very valuable, then that's just icing on the cake.



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  3. Razz

    Razz Member

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    The question was what if (potential) increase of value is one of the "goals" for the purchase it's better sticking with official Chinese mints than unofficial ones
    the end of the question was Of course if you buy coins/medals just because you like them then this comparison doesn't make any sense.
    so why the comparison of mr missinglink with also the statement "The point being, what medals collectors are most excited about may be the medals that end up being the best investment regardless of which mint produces the medals.
    i wouldn,t bet 1 coin on this prediction maybe a medal ,because they dont increase in value and being stamped every second of the year !
     
  4. Miloman

    Miloman Active Member Silver Stacker

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    It's collectors that come late into the market that determine value. Once these collectors get involved then "investors" may also come in. These investors are the final holders just like Picasso paintings, most couldn't understand the difference between a circle and an ellipse. No that Picasso is anything special either.

    The investor class then hold onto the item and "the greater fool" as we see perpetuates this market until the bidders run out then collapse occurs. Sometimes it is able to be perpetuated for far longer than is reasonable. But who ends up determining what is reasonable?

    Blobbing some ink and spinning a long yarn about how significant an item is... it's a skill to create an emotional vivid piece of imagination. Humans and their imaginations are infinitely fallible.

    I agree with missingalink, buy what you like if you are a collector and if you get rewarded when you need to sell then all the better. If you buy for investment then it's a bit of a science, there are variables.
     
  5. mmissinglink

    mmissinglink Active Member

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    No insult intended, but that was the most confusing comment I've read in a very long time. If there's any way you can make that coherent and clear I'd appreciate it.




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  6. Razz

    Razz Member

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    No insult intended mmisinglink u write By no means am I a Chinese medal expert but The point being, what medals collectors are most excited about may be the medals that end up being the best investment regardless of which mint produces the medals. Now that is confusing am i coherent enough
     
  7. mmissinglink

    mmissinglink Active Member

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    Thank you for making your statement more understandable.

    The reason I stated that is already in that initial post and maybe you missed it but here it is: "I do read some articles on the subject and I have acquaintances who are indeed very knowledgeable about the Chinese medal market."

    Your confusion on this should be vanquished now.


    Have a nice day!



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  8. mtforpar

    mtforpar Member

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    To me Medals are a double edged sword. They have small mintages....now small mintages could lead to very high demand due to a small supply and a resulting handsome profit. Or conversely it could be indicative of low demand being met by the small number. One of the reasons I avoid the medal market mostly is due to the fact that I am worried about the liquidity should/when I need to sell. No matter the supposed value one still needs a customer to realize said value. The medals I do have are mint issued medals as I feel the market to sell will be slightly larger than the non mint market giving me a larger pool of potential customers at the time of sale.

    It is good advice to buy what you like though....the collectible market is finicky at best and extremely difficult to forecast. Just look at the Chinese coin market of 20 or 30 years ago....anyone who horded those undesirable items at the time has a fortune on their hands. By purchasing items you like at least you get the enjoyment of ownership regardless of the investment results.
     
  9. andrewlee10

    andrewlee10 Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Totally agree to buy somethings you like. However official mints and well known non official mints have more demand.

    Medal vs numic coins vs bullion coins and silver round vs bar vs ETF and paper.

    The most liquid and easy to turn to cash is the ETF and paper.

    I have a friend has 300 kg perth mints hand pour silver bar for sell below spot. No buyer in singapore would take it. Due to perth mints bar is not super welcome in Singapore. It might be other country. So I totally agree buy what your like and not over limit.
     
  10. SpacePete

    SpacePete Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    A 300kg hand poured bar? Or 300 kilo hand pours? It's surprising it or they can't be sold for spot.
     
  11. mmissinglink

    mmissinglink Active Member

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    I had the same question when I read that posting. A 300 kg bar? Imagine dragging that thing to the local swap meet? :)




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  12. andrewlee10

    andrewlee10 Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    It is 1 kilogram per pieces. He have 300 pieces so add up is 300 KG.
     
  13. KeepOnTrying!

    KeepOnTrying! Member

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    When people buy things they always seek genuine items and try to avoid buying counterfeit. This may be one of the reasons for which the Chinese have been characterized, at least initially, as preferring government currency (Yuan) denominated coins compared to non-denominated coins (medals). The same logic can be extended to the official versus the non-official minted medal discussion. I suspect that most people, when presented with almost similarly designed medals, would prefer to buy the official minted medal in preference to the non-official medal.

    When you buy an official minted medal you hopefully are reassured that the medal is of high quality, contains only what it is stated to contain with no aduteration, was not minted more than declared by the mint, there will be no resumption of minting after reaching the declared mintage. When you buy such official mint medals you tap into a valuation system that involves the commercial interraction among a larger group of people who prefer official mint medals compared to the possibly smaller group of people who don't mind buying private mint medals.

    Unofficial (Private) Mints are less known in the population. Only enthusiasts and other people in the know will immediately recognize and accept medals from a specific mint or most private mints. Others may be swayed away by propoganda or pronouncements by those who do not know much about private mints.

    I believe that judgement has to be on a case by case basis. Some people may already know a private mint's reputation; it easier for them to buy items produced by those private mints. Usually, it is the particular medal that should determine whether you buy it or not. If you like it you are likely to buy it. If you hear people talk well about the medal, that can also sway you towards buying the medal if you turn out to like it too. Finally, if you hear that the medal has already been graded and encapsulated by NGC/PCGS or any other widely recognised grading qurrantee company, then that confers additional credibilty to the authenticity of the medal.

    I suspect that when people buy coins and medals they don't want to find out that they threw away their money. They may not have an immediate plan to sell the item later on but I believe they are less likely to buy a medal they have not heard good things about.

    There is an increasing list of unofficial (private) mint medals that have done well in sales. It is only with time that their autheticity and craftsmanship can be validated completely. I have bought unofficial (private) mint medals before.
     
  14. Gatito Bandito

    Gatito Bandito Active Member

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    As long as it looks cool, I like it, the price is right, and it's slab-able, then I really don't care either way.


    That said, all my purchases of these so far have been produced by official mints.

    Just happened to work out that way..
     
  15. mmissinglink

    mmissinglink Active Member

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    I think you raise good points but you fail to mention that non-official mints also are running a business that would get harmed if the trust in their products was shattered by doing something silly like minting more than they claim or by making the medal out of a metal that isn't to the purity they claim. Most large reputable non-official mints probably care very much about their reputation because their survival rests on a good reputation.

    I own a few medals produced by the Shanghai New Century Mint ( http://www.shncm.com/ ). I have been in communication directly several times with one of their customer service agents. I get the sense that this mint is very reputable.

    There may be some tiny, pack-up-and-go fly-by-night disreputable mints that produce a few different type of things and I can understand why someone would not easily trust that mint but I think the well established large mints have too much at stake to to something cheap that could severely hurt their business and would cost them a lot more than they could make by doing that cheap thing.



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  16. andrewlee10

    andrewlee10 Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    New Century is one of the reputable private mints. I met them in coin show. However, I only selectively buy their items. It is hard to ascertain the medal is gradable or not as when it is firstly issue. I wish not take the risk.

    After the issue and someone send for grading the price has up. new century mints customer base is smaller than official mints.

    It is really a chicken and egg dilemma.
     

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