Many had doubts if there was still a strong market for coins, banknotes and medals at the end of the difficult last year because of the shutdowns and lack of tourists. But it seems like the collectors still had something at the bottom of their chests or in their savings accounts to spend at the Eur-Seree Collecting Sale 57 on 5 and 6 December 2020 in Bangkok.
According to the catalogue, a 4 Baht No Date (1864) coin had a starting price of Baht 500,000 but was put up to 700,000 Baht just prior to the auction. Professional Coin Grading Services, PCGS, graded the coin to be AU58 (the highest grade is 70). Several collectors were interested in this nice coin and the buyer had to pay 820,000 Baht.
The coin was struck to commemorate King Mongkut, Rama IV’s 60th Birthday. The King permitted the coin to be used as a decoration. On the reverse the coin has the inscription “Krung Siam” inside a frame and the Chinese legend “Cheng Ming Tung Pao” outside the frame. “Cheng Ming” is the name of Rama IV in Chinese and “Tung Pao” means “lawful money”. The coin sold in the auction was produced in silver but the coin was also produced in gold.
Set recently sold privately for more than 20,000,000 Baht.
A gold dealer in Thailand had in his collection two complete gold sets put together, buying most of the coins individually. One set consists of 4 -, 2 -, 1 -, ½ -, 1/4 -, 1/8 – and 1/16 Baht. The 4 Baht coin weighs 60.7 grams while the 1/16 Baht weighs 1 gram. One of the sets was sold in 2012 at the Eur-Seree sale #29 for 15,500,000 Baht including the buyer’s premium for the sum of 17,158,500 Baht. The starting price was 9,000,000 Baht. The other set was sold privately. The set sold privately was recently sold again for more than 20,000,000 Baht.
In the December sale another silver 4 Baht coin was graded by PCGS to have AU details but did not have a numeric grade because it had been cleaned. The starting price was 400,000 Baht and was sold for that price.
During the reign of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, a 1/8 Baht, Fuang, was produced in gold and silver. The obverse of the coin depicts a portrait of Rama V and on the reverse the State Coat-of-Arms. A large quantity was produced with no date while others were produced with date. The one with date is rarer. In the sale there was a 1/8 Baht in gold dated RS128 (1909) graded by PCGS to be MS67, a fantastic grade for this coin. The starting price was 400,000 Baht but the buyer had to pay more than double, at 860,000 Baht. Two undated gold 1/8 Baht coins were sold, both graded by PCGS to be MS63. The bidding for both started at Baht 100,000 and the same buyer bought both the coins for the starting price.
The extremely rare 1972 circulated 5 Baht coin in nickel, enneagon-shaped, with the small portrait and emblem of King Rama IX had a starting price of 100,000 Baht. Many needed this uncirculated rarity in their collection, so the final price was 320,000 Baht. The last time I wrote about this rarity, many collectors contacted me and said they had one of them. If you have one, please compare it with the picture; most likely the one you have is the regular one with a large portrait and the Garuda on the reverse. 30,016,000 pieces of this coin were produced with a VF catalogue price of 10 Baht.
Several collectors wanted to buy the silver medal produced by Monnaie de Paris to commemorate King Chulalongkorn, Rama V’s visit to the mint in 1897. The starting price was 220,000 Baht and it sold for 300,000 Baht.
In recent years many collectors became interested in collecting solid and lucky numbers and the prices have increased accordingly. In auction #36 held on 30 November 2014, a 20 Baht banknote, Ninth Series, with the prefix Y and the super solid number 333 333333 sold for 58,000 Baht. The very same banknote was sold in auction #56 on 30 August 2020 for 410,000 Baht. So, after six years the seller made a profit of 352,000 Baht, or 606%. The starting price in auction #56 was Baht 100,000.
In auction #57, a 100 Baht note produced in 2002 to commemorate the Centenary of Thai Banknotes with prefix 1/A and the number 0000001 was offered at the starting price of 250,000 Baht. The first Thai Banknotes were produced in 1902 by Thomas de la Rue & Company Limited London. This is not the first banknote of this type as that has the prefix 0/A and number 0000001. The Bank of Thailand is in possession of this banknote. The note with prefix 1/A and the number 0000001 sold for 560,000 Baht.
On 12 December 2020, to commemorate the Anniversary of the Auspicious Occasion of the Coronation of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Rama X, two banknotes were issued, a 100 Baht and a 1000 Baht. The banknotes could be exchanged at face value in commercial banks. Since 1969, Thailand has regularly issued commemorative banknotes with this latest one being the twenty-fifth. Twenty million pieces of the new 100 Baht banknote were printed while ten million pieces of the 1000 Baht banknote were printed.
Some years ago, the Bank of Thailand, together with the Numismatic Association of Thailand, arranged events where they sold tickets for a lucky draw where banknotes with lucky numbers and specimen notes were given as prizes. At one time, they also arranged auctions with the more interesting notes. The money raised was given to charity. Probably that would be a good idea again to arrange events like these. Collectors would have a chance to get their favourite banknote and funds would be raised for charity.
The Chinese market has for years been very strong. In the Bangkok December sale, there was a nice group of Chinese coins and they all sold for good prices. An extremely rare 1856 Tael believed to be circulated for only six months, had a starting price of 800,000 Baht and the selling price was more than double, fetching 1,650,000 Baht. It was graded by PCGS to be AU50.
According to the writing on the obverse, the coin was produced in standard silver by the business company Wang Yung Sheng in the Shang Hai district in the 6th year of Emperor Hsien Feng, 1856. On the reverse it says that it was made by silversmith Wang Chuan and supervised by Chow Yuan Yu and that the weight was one Tsaoping Tael.
Three firms were granted permission to issue coinage in the denomination of one Tael and 5 Mace. These coins were produced as an attempt to replace the Spanish 8 Reales that were in circulation. Unfortunately, many counterfeits appeared and within six months these official privately produced coins were withdrawn from the market.
Thai materials are also selling for record prices abroad. On 19 November 2020, the well-known auction company Morton and Eden in London arranged an auction sale where the “Scandinavian Collection of Orders, Medals and Decorations of Siam and Thailand” were sold.
The collection was sold in about 50 lots and the highest price was GBP 70,000, plus the buyer’s premium was paid for the impressive “The Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao,” Grand Cordon (Special Class) from the early 20th century. King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, founded the order on 16 November 1673 to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the Chakri dynasty.
The auctioneer had estimated the price to be from GBP 30,000 to GBP 40,000. The catalogue for this auction and prices realised can be found on www.mortonandeden.com
The Eur-Seree Collecting two-day auction #57 on 5 and 6 December 2020 had a hammer price of more than 58 million Baht, which included selling Stamps, Bullet coins, Banknotes, Art, Antiques, Watches, Coins and Medals. The catalogue with prices realised can be found on www.eurseree.com