PETALING JAYA: Despite Covid-19 which may have paused many from investing, numismatists (collectors of coins and notes) have not been deterred as seen by how currency auctions have seen expensive purchases during this period.
According to Hann Boom, the director of Trigometric Auctions, a 2007 special edition RM50 note was sold for a whopping RM708,000 at an auction in July.
At another auction last week, a 1929 Sarawak $25 note went for RM212,400 while a 1940 Malayan $1 note issued during the British administration was sold for RM188,800, whereas the weekend auction alone netted a total of RM8 million, with about 700 purchasers.
“All these notes were bought by numismatists themselves, probably as an investment. They might keep it for some time and re-enter the market later and sell it for a higher price. The RM50 note was a special edition issued in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Merdeka,” he told FMT.
As for the Sarawak note, Hann said that there were only 10 such notes available worldwide with five having been graded by an independent company based in the US.
“We send the coin or notes to this company who will assess and grade them accordingly. The price is also dependent on how the owner has stored it. It’s kept encased to ensure it does not come into contact with oxygen or any other things that can damage the notes,” he said.
Hann said even a 1971 Malaysian 10 sen coin in pristine condition was sold for more than RM2,000 as it was a limited mint, making it a rare coin.
He said many of those who invested in businesses involving nightlife and gyms have been hardly hit by the pandemic, with some of them deciding to invest in this business.
“Some are just collectors of rare items, including old currency, while others do it as an investment.”
He said even currency printed during the days of the Straits Settlements and currency notes used during the Japanese Occupation of Malaysia fetch good prices, depending on their condition and how they are graded.
Hann, who himself has been an ardent collector since young, said there were only about 20 serious numismatists in Malaysia, while some 600 or so are known to be casual collectors with hopes of selling them much later on.
“The Malaysian market is one of the smallest in the region as the appreciation happens over time. It can be a hobby but can eventually turn out to be one that can be used to make huge profits,” he said.
The next auction will take place in January.
By : K. Parkaran – FMT