1 Veldpond = R450,000

ZAR VeldpondIt took only about a day and a half for a rare 1902 South African ZAR Veldpond coin to change hands on bidorbuy for R450,000.

The coin appeared on the site on Friday 23 July at 15:00 hours. Seven minutes later, a prospective buyer asked the seller what would be his minimum price to close the auction. The seller, EWAAN Galleries, replied: This is a very good price. And a stunning coin. Place your bid and we may consider to close earlier for you.

The buyer did not take too much time to think it over. He placed his bid at 14:03. The next day, on Saturday evening, the seller closed the auction as he promised to do, more than 24 hours before the scheduled closing time.

The 1902 Velpond coin is also knows as the Pilgrim’s Rest Coin. Fleeing from the British forces, the  Boer Government set up an emergency mint at Pilgrim’s Rest where a total of 986 Veldpond coins were struck and put into circulation. Because of its remarkable history, for many collectors the Veldpond is the Holy Grail of South African coins.

The coin sold on bidorbuy is not only rare; it is also highly graded by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), having received the mark of MS63.

Grading is a way of determining the condition of a given coin. MS63 grading denotes a choice uncirculated coin with good lustre and without the evidence of wear; light hairline marks are acceptable. The grading starts from poor (P01) and has twenty steps. The very top in the coin world is the twentieth step, MS70, the perfect 70. The grade of MS63 is the thirteenth in this hierarchy. Never an exact science, grading is a complex process that involves knowledge, skill and credibility. The number of trusted grading services in the world can be (more or less) counted on the fingers of one hand, and NGC is one of them.

The sale of the R450,000 coin is both the confirmation of bidorbuy as a market of choice for all serious collectors and a sign that the South African coin market is taking off, after a lull that may have been caused by economic recession.

In this happy story there is only one discordant note. On hearing the news, the bidorbuy accounts department could not contain a collective sigh of exasperation: all that money changing hands, and (practically) nothing of it going the bidorbuy way! As you could have divined from the opening and closing dates (Friday afternoon to Sunday night), this fabulous (and fabulously expensive) coin went under the hammer in the bidorbuy Weekend Specials section, which at this time only charges a flat fee of R5, and no selling commission. Sellers, take note of this favourable opportunity and make use of it till it lasts!

Read more about the sale of the R450,000 coin in the bidorbuy Forum and in the press release A Rare South African Coin sells for R450,000 on bidorbuy.