Are NCLT Coins the Most Important Collectable Coins? Part 1

June 13, 2010

RAM NCLT Issue - 2009 Year of the Ox Dollar

I've found a common thread of opinion among more 'sophisticated' or 'experienced' coin collectors in Australia. It usually goes something along the lines of

"The Royal Australian Mint / Perth Mint produces too many and too expensive NCLT coins for the collector market. These too expensive / too many products are junk, a poor investment, and not collected by any REAL collector"

Throw in Australian Post and their much complained about PNC's and medallion first day covers and you've got a topic that seems to pre-occupy the minds of many 'advanced' Australian coin collectors. Well, I'll go ahead and suggest a divergent opinion to this commonly held belief, I believe that non circulating legal tender coin (NCLT) collector products produced by the RAM, the Perth Mint, and Australia Post are among the most important if not THE most important collectable coin products on the market today. I'll include yearly mint sets and proof sets, off metal sets (like the yearly Fine Silver Silver sets) and the pure collector sets such as the Perth Mint Dangerous Creatures series and the Great Battles of History series. Here's my reasons why I believe this.

1. NCLT Product Brings More Collectors to the Hobby Bar None

Products like mint sets, baby proof sets, proof sets, and wedding sets are not just targeted at coin collectors. Anyone can and do buy them for birthday gifts, to celebrate a wedding, or to remember the birth of a new baby (one of the authors received 2 baby mint sets when his son was born). Themed sets such as the Perth Mint HMAS Sydney coins and the various RAM wildlife coins might be purchased by or for someone who has an interest in these subjects without being particularly interested in coins. One more type of NCLT coin is the bullion coin which may be purchased by those wanting to accumulate gold, or silver or platinum, whether these be the various 1oz silver coins like the RAM's Kangaroo's or the Perth Mint Kookaburra's, through to gold bullion coins like the 'little dinkums' or the 'gold nugget' series.

In each of the three cases above a non coin collector can easily end up with a coin product that was given to them as a gift or as a result of some other interest. Obviously given that a person has a collectable coin product in their possession they have the chance to appreciate the beauty of the coins it contains and to be interested in the information that usually accompanies such a product. A not insignificant percentage of these people would then go on to buy and collect other NCLT products, whether it be a mint set each year, or a baby mint set for each of their children, or additional bullion coins or themed coin sets that they find interesting. Once this has happened a few times, the casual purchaser of coin products has evolved into the basic coin collector and we have a new participant in our great hobby.

2. NCLT Raises Awareness of Coin Collecting to the General Public than any Other Type of Collectable Coin. Bar None.

Grand tours of holey dollars by high end coin dealers are wonderful things to attend, ANDA shows provide a way showing a large selection of pre-decimal coins to several thousand people in just a couple of days, and coin shops are fun to browse and many people pass through their doors each day. However, no matter how many people are drawn to these events you'd have to agree that the vast majority of people who attend each are probably already coin collectors. The various types of NCLT have a greater exposure to the non coin collecting public and raise the profile of our hobby more than any coin show, coin tour, coin shop, coin magazine, or coin auction could ever hope to have. And where is this? In almost every Australia Post office around Australia. Next time you are in a Post Office take a look, there'll be a mint set or two, some Perth Mint colourised coins, perhaps some Lunar dollars, and of course some PNC's and medallion first day covers.

This article is continued in Part 2.

Posted by mnemtsas at June 13, 2010 3:02 PM
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