Tuesday, March 31, 2015

North Korean Silver coins

In line with the idea that North Korea will not be around for much longer, I went to the Singapore Coin Fair again with my Gf this year. It was supposed to start at 10.30pm last Friday. We arrived at 10am and registered ourselves. We found that the exhibition was already open at 9am for paid visitors. Those who pay $100 can enter the exhibition hall at 9am for each of the 3-day event. My hope of getting some silver coins dimmed.

Thankfully, we did not have to wait until 10.30am, because they allowed us in earlier. The North Korean booth was very crowded. It was more crowded than last year. Having no chance to squeeze in with the crowd, I took a photo of it from behind:

We watched as these people pass the coins around to each other and examine them. The lady in black and the guy with the black sling bag said that it costs SGD 60 per coin. That was a 100% mark-up on normal silver coins. I said that it is a little pricey, but the guy replied that the Chinese Pandas are even more expensive at $90. I didn't think that pandas are so expensive. I later confirmed with my friend that pandas can be bought for just a little over $30.

We waited for the crowd to disperse. There were a handful of silver coins left, and I got myself 5 of them:

I did not see any gold coins (well, I didn't look carefully). They've probably been snapped up earlier. There were still tons of copper coins though. Those were selling at $3 per coin (1 oz). I calculated that each 1 oz copper coin should probably cost just about $0.20-$0.30 on the market. $3 was a huge mark-up! Too huge for me.

I am pretty satisfied with my collection of 3 North Korean gold coins and 5 silver coins so far. I may return again next year for more. But who knows what the price will be by then. I expect gold prices to hit bottom sometime in the next 1 year or so. Coupled with the fact that demand for North Korean coins seem to be hot, I expect this North Korean company to mark up the prices of their coins even more next year.

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