PCGS online Auction, a landmark sale

You may or may not be aware of it, but there was a landmark event in Australian numismatics in late June 2012 - it was the first major online auction of a comprehensive collection of PCGS-graded Commonwealth coins in superb quality.

Initial estimates show that Pacific Rim Online Auctions Number 3 generated over $800,000 in sales - all in about four hours no less! This auction was notable for a number of reasons:

  • It was conducted entirely online - a printed catalogue was not made available;
  • With a very few exceptions, each and every coin in the auction had been graded by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS);
  • The auction was comprised entirely of an important collection of Australian Commonwealth coins from just one vendor;
  • The auction included many “condition rarity” coins, (as presently assessed by PCGS) - in numerous cases, these coins were the finest of their date to been seen in a number of years;
  • Many new prices were set as a result of a combination of the above four factors.

Most collectors will be more interested in hearing about the record prices rather than the economic consequences of the auction, so we’ll get onto them first. Let me preface these figures with a warning - if you are holding a small child, are drinking cup of hot coffee or believe you may be prone to irrational shouting and are presently in a public place, please take preventative measures to ensure that you don’t do yourself or a loved one an injury when you react to these figures!

RANK LOT DESCRIPTION START PRICE HIGH BID NETT PRICE GRADE %
1 122 1955 Penny  $100.00 $2,000.00 $2,300.00 PCGS MS65RD 2200%
2 121 1953 Perth Penny  $100.00 $1,200.00 $1,380.00 PCGS MS64RB 1280%
3 169 1943S Threepence  $250.00 $2,000.00 $2,300.00 PCGS MS65 820%
4 84 1952 Shilling  $50.00 $375.00 $431.25 PCGS MS64+ 763%
5 127 1958 Penny  $75.00 $505.00 $580.75 PCGS MS64RD 674%
6 161 1939 Threepence  $500.00 $3,250.00 $3,737.50 PCGS MS66 648%
7 155 1928 Threepence  $1,000.00 $6,250.00 $7,187.50 PCGS MS66 619%
8 32 1946 Sixpence $500.00 $2,800.00 $3,220.00 PCGS MS66   544%
9 48 1951 London Halfpenny  $100.00 $550.00 $632.50 PCGS MS65RD 533%
10 59 1964 Halfpenny  $25.00 $125.00 $143.75 PCGS MS65RB 475%

How’s about that - a “humble” 1955 penny that makes no less than 22 times the start price! Or the 1953 Perth penny that made nigh on 13 times it’s opening price! The 1943-S threepence that sold for $2,300!!! Please keep in mind that these comparisons are only between the nett price paid and the start price - the strength of these prices are even more evident when compared to the figures achieved by near-comparable coins in recent years. (I assert that if “fantastic-er” can be a word, then I assert that “near-comparable” can be one also.)

Top 10 Commonwealth Coins by Dollar Value

RANK LOT DESCRIPTION START PRICE HIGH BID NETT PRICE GRADE %
1 71 1920 Plain Penny  $40,000.00 $75,000.00 $86,250.00 PCGS MS64RB 116%
2 101 1914H Florin  $25,000.00 $50,000.00 $57,500.00 PCGS MS64 130%
3 84 1930 Penny  $35,000.00 $35,000.00 $40,250.00 PCGS EF40 15%
4 102 1915 Florin  $25,000.00 $33,000.00 $37,950.00 PCGS MS64 52%
5 79 1925 Penny  $25,000.00 $25,000.00 $28,750.00 PCGS MS63RB 15%
6 157 1933/34Threepence  $8,000.00 $25,000.00 $28,750.00 PCGS MS66 259%
7 116a 1933 Florin  $25,000.00 $25,000.00 $28,750.00 PCGS MS64Plus 15%
8 60 1921 Star Shilling  $20,000.00 $20,000.00 $23,000.00 PCGS MS64 15%
9 9 1918 Halfpenny  $7,500.00 $12,500.00 $14,375.00 PCGS MS64RB 92%
10 11 1922 Sixpence $5,000.00 $12,500.00 $14,375.00 PCGS MS65 188%

There should be no surprises here - the 1920 “Plain” penny has been known to be a rarity by all discerning Commonwealth collectors since the dawn of time; even folks in the general public are aware that the 1930 penny is a rare coin; anyone that has built date sets of Commonwealth coins in any grade will know that the 1914-H and 1915 florins, as well as the 1925 penny are rare in superior grade.

The record price of $28,750 for the 1933/34 overdate threepence was just as astonishing as the $7,200 paid for the 1928 threepence, but perhaps not as astonishing as the $7,200 paid for the 1910 sixpence!

If you have even a passing interest in Australian Commonwealth coins, you owe it to yourself to survey the lie of the land and review the prices realised of this auction - you can be assured that many competing collectors are doing exactly that as you read this.

I expect it’ll take you a fair bit of time to peruse the listed coins and the prices realised, so I’m going to leave my comments on what this auction (may / should / does) mean for the Australian numismatic market to another article.

Feel free to post your thoughts / reaction to the auction results in the comments field below, I’m extremely interested to hear what other collectors have to say.


Category: Market Movements