Sometimes I’m asked if it is a good investment to buy coins, medals and banknotes. My reply is always that I cannot foresee what will happen in the future, but I have no problem telling what has happened during the 50 years I have been dealing and collecting coins, medals and banknotes.
For the Millennium, Thailand authorized the Singapore Mint to produce a series of coins.
In 2000, Thailand was still suffering from the effects of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. In January 1998, the Baht was at an all-time high against the US dollar when the exchange rate was 52.98 Baht to one US Dollar. In 2002, it was around 43 Baht to One US Dollar.
Today the exchange rate is about 31 Baht to one US Dollar. From 1998 until 2002 the price of gold fluctuated between US$250 and US$300 an ounce (31.1 grams). Today an ounce of gold is valued at approximately US$1,900. Because of the economic crises, the beautiful Millennium coins were difficult to sell and the mintage was lower than planned.
The year 2000 was the year of the dragon. The obverse of all coins minted in that series depicted His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX. The reverse of the coins portrayed different dragon motives such as Royal Dragon, Joyful Dragon and Serene Dragon.
In 2001, a set of the 5-ounce gold 2500 Baht coin and the 5-ounce silver 250 Baht coin was selling from 135,000 to 145,000 Baht. The gold value of the 2500 Baht gold coin was about 60,000 Baht, which is less than half the price for the full set.
Six years later, in 2007, the set was sold for 210,000 Baht in the Eurseree auction. That year the value of gold for the 2500 Baht coin was around 96,000 Baht.
In 2008 the coin set with the gold 2500 Baht coin and the silver 200 Baht coin sold for 250,000 Baht. A year later, in 2009, it was offered in the auction for 280,000 Baht, but no one was interested in buying it, so it was not sold. The gold price for the 2500 Baht coin was about 165,000 Baht.
From 2010 until August 2016, several sets were offered in auctions ranging in prices from 370,000 Baht up to 420,000 Baht, but very few were sold. In this period the gold price for the 5-ounce 2500 Baht coin was valued from 115,000 Baht up to 270,000 Baht.
On 28 May 2017, Eurseree auctions offered a set with a starting price of 600,000 Baht. After heavy bidding, it was hammered for 1,000,000 Baht. At the time, the gold value of the 2500 Baht coin was around 200,000 Baht. This was the first set offered in an auction after His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX, passed away on 13 October 2016. After his death, the interest for coins, medals, banknotes and other objects related to King Rama IX was in very high demand.
The 5-ounce 2500 Baht gold coin and the 5-ounce 200 Baht silver coin were sold as a set. The mintage was less than 500 sets. But as “slabbing” got popular many of the sets were split up so the coins could be sold separately. A Third-party company does the slabbing. The coin is graded and sealed in a plastic holder. A coin can be graded from 1 (low) to 70 (the highest grade.)
In 2018, a 5-ounce gold 2500 Baht was sold in Eurseree auctions for 1,550,000 Baht. The starting price was 500,000 Baht and the gold value of the coin was about 210,000 Baht. One year later, in 2019, a slabbed 2500 Baht gold coin graded by Professional Coin Grading Service, PCGS, to be PR68, had a starting price of 900,000 Baht in the Eurseree auction. This coin also sold for 1,550,000 Baht. The gold value of the coin was now about Baht 185,000 so the buyer did not base the price on the value of gold, but on the rarity of this beautiful coin.
A set of a 250 Baht, ½ ounce coin, and 100 Baht, ¼ Baht ounce coin, was also produced in gold. This set was sold in 2001 for 18,500 Baht. The same set was sold in 2007 for Baht 45,000, sold in 2008 for 60,000 Baht, sold again in 2009, 2010 and 2011 for 66,000 Baht, going on to be sold in August 2016 for 72,000 Baht. A set sold in December 2016 had a starting price of 60,000 Baht and was sold for 145,000 Baht. In April 2017, the set was sold for 145,000 Baht and in December 2018, a set with a starting price of 250,000 Baht sold for 450,000 Baht.
The 100 Baht, 1/4 ounce gold coin was sold as a set only, but the 250 Baht, ½ ounce gold coin was sold separately. In 2001, it sold for 12,500 Baht. In 2007 the 250 Baht gold coins sold for 33,000 Baht. From 2008 until March 2016, it sold from 35,000 to 52,000 Baht. In August 2017, the 250 Baht coin made a jump with a starting price of 90,000 Baht to be sold for 230,000 Baht. In April 2018, the coin was graded by Numismatic Grading Corporation, NGC, to be PF70, the highest grade.
After a starting price of 150,000 Baht, it sold for 400,000 Baht. Another coin in August 2018, graded by PCGS to be PR69, sold for 370,000 Baht. In November 2019, the price fell, a 250 Baht graded by PCGS to be PR70, the highest grade, sold for the starting price of 250,000 Baht. A second 250 Baht coin, not graded, did not even sell for the starting price of 230,000 Baht in the same auction.
The 200 Baht silver 5-ounce coin was also sold separately. The price in 2001 was 7,200 Baht. In 2001, the silver value for the 5-ounce coin was about 925 Baht. From 2008 until 2014, the auction prices were from 19,500 to 26,000 Baht. In December 2016, the starting price was 35,000 Baht and it sold for 66,000 Baht, at that time a new record for this coin.
In April 2017, three of the 200 Baht silver coins were offered in the Eurseree auction. They were all graded by PSGS to be PR68 with a starting price of 100,000 Baht. All three sold for 130,000 Baht each. In August 2017, a new record was set for the coin. The starting price was 120,000 Baht and it sold for 155,000 Baht.
In December 2017, the 200 Baht was auctioned with a starting price of 100,000 Baht and it sold for 110,000 Baht. The 200 baht silver 5 ounce coin sold for less in June 2020. It was graded by PCGS to be PR68, had a starting price of 70,000 Baht, and sold for the same price. In August 2020, the price was slightly higher, starting at 72,000 Baht for the same grade.
Today the silver value of the 200 Baht 5-ounce silver coin is about 3,800 Baht. Less than 1500 pieces of these coins were minted. As it was also in the gold and silver 5-ounce set produced in less than 500 sets, the total mintage is less than 2,000 pieces.
Three variations of the 50 Baht silver coins were also struck. The weight was 20 grams each. The mintage for the individual design was supposed to be 4,500 pieces each. An additional 3,500 sets containing all three coins were also planned. But eventually the numbers of both the single coins and the sets minted were much lower.
In 2001 the single 50 Baht coins were sold for 1,300 Baht and the three-coin sets were sold for 4,700 Baht. From 2007 until August 2016, the 50 Baht three-coin sets in silver sold from 17,500 Baht up to 24,000 Baht. In May 2017, the sets were sold for 45,000 Baht and 48,000 Baht.
In April 2017, a record of 60,000 Baht was set for the three coins. The set dropped to 54,000 Baht in August 2017, and went up to 58,000 Baht in December 2017. In August 2019 the three-coin set dropped to 42,000 Baht. Today the sets are sold for around 40,000 Baht. Sets graded in PR69 and PR 70 sell for more.
The numismatists who bought the Thai Millennium coins in 2001 did very well. The 200 Baht, 5-ounce Silver coin was sold for 7,200 Baht in 2001. The price today is about 10 times more than that. If sold on the top in August 2018, the price was 155,000 Baht, more than 20 times the price sold for in 2001. But it is not easy to foresee the future.
When the 200 Baht sold for 155,000 Baht, many were expecting it to go up to 200,000 Baht the next year. Unfortunately, the price today of 65,000 Baht to 70,000 Baht is less than half of the top price.
Some time back, gold was more than US$2,000 an ounce. Several of the experts predicted it would soon be US$3,000 an ounce. Unfortunately, today the price is about US$1,900.