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South African Proof Sets at DNW Sale
June 19, 2008

Eight South African Proof Sets at Dix Noonan Webb

One more unusual group set to close in today's Dix Noonan Webb sale No. 78 is a run of eight South African proof sets. Normally I do not see too many of these at auction, though I know they do trade privately. Some 20 years ago these scarce 20th Century cased sets were a very hot commodity, with high prices and a handful of collectors striving to obtain them. Low minatges and high collector interest made for a volatile market mixture, but once a couple of the higher buyers left the field, market prices dipped a bit.

It will be very interesting to see the bidding activity on these sets, which run from lot 728 to lot 735. Even though the market did soften from those former highs, the last few years there has been a bit more interest and most of the sets have very low mintages especially in the 1930's. In addition some nice South African material has been more available to collectors outside the home market and this has stirred some buyers to look for bargains. We'll see if this translates into more bidders with higher limits again, or if these sets remain somewhat repressed.

Within the last two years I have noticed a increase in individual prices of choice proof pieces and some of the early set prices have gone up on NumisMaster, but this sale will be a good barometer to judge possible future performance for these scarce South African Mint cased sets released from 1923 to the 1950's and beyond.

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About the Author
Tom Michael has been Krause Publications primary market analyst on more than 80 world and United States coin catalogs produced over the last 20 years. He came to KP in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of arts degree in economics and a history of coin collecting stretching back to the 1960s. He began collecting world coins as a child by asking friends and relatives to bring coins back from overseas trips, visiting flea markets and having his mother watch for foreign coins in her register at the local grocery store. Today he works with a dedicated base of over 200 contributors to provide accurate market values for the five-volume Standard Catalog of World Coins series, as well as many specialty catalogs, including Coins & Currency of the Middle East and the fifth edition of Unusual World Coins.

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