The Singapore International Coin Show 2014

April 23, 2014

Last month, Singapore played host to one of the hobby's premier events: The Singapore International Coin Show. Sydney gold sovereign dealer Eric Eigner from Drake Sterling Numismatics flew up for the week to attend, and during the long flight home took the opportunity to write up a report about his trip. We've reproduced it below.

Singapore International Coin Fair 2014

It's been a while since I've travelled abroad for a coin show. However, with the cancellation of the Petersham Coin Show this March (the show will be back on once renovations to the venue are completed), I took the opportunity to attend a coin show a little farther afield.

Marina Bay Sands

The Singapore International Coin Fair is held every year at the end of March in one of Singapore's premier hotels, Marina Bay Sands. As one of the biggest coin shows in the Asia-Pacific region, the show attracted a large and diverse range of international and local dealers, as well as many of the world's official mints, accessories suppliers, and the two largest coin grading services, PCGS and NGC.

When I arrived Friday morning, the registration area was crowded and the queues long. It took me almost half an hour to get my collectable visitors booklet and badge. But it was worth the wait. The registration area was in a long hallway, but the show itself was inside the high-roofed, warehouse style hall nearby. The first tables before me had crowds before them three or four people deep. The coins of interest were mainly Chinese, Malaysian, and some bullion.

Inside the Coin Fair

Walking about the room, I noticed a clear Asian focus in terms of the kind of coins that were on offer. This is not surprising. I did not quite expect to find hoards of Australian rarities, but I was hoping to find the odd Aussie coin or two that might pay for the trip. Sadly, Australian coins, even gold sovereigns, which are international coins, were thin on the ground.

31.103 kilos of Gold, face value of €100,000 Euros

In addition to the traders, there were also exhibits and presentations. On special display was an Austrian Philharmonic gold coin. Containing exactly 1,000 ounces of gold and worth over AU$1.4 million at current prices, the coin was the centrepiece of the Austrian Mint's trade display. Guards, armed with somewhat underwhelmingly small pistols, stood left and right of the display. An extra guard circled the stand from a distance, no doubt keeping an eye for suspicious activity.

US Uncut Banknote Sheets

Meanwhile, a banknote dealer had wallpapered the back board of their display with uncut sheets of United States one and two dollar bills. I could not resist the temptation to purchase a sheet myself, and am now the proud owner of an uncut sheet of thirty-two one dollar bills. Near the area where presentations were held, there was a display of original currency vignettes from various small countries. There was also a display of original printing plates from which the vignettes were produced. Perhaps most interesting was a small display of intricately designed company bonds. The most famous company of all was the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Los Angeles. There was also a specimen bond, accompanied by a printing plate, from the Pepsi-Cola Company.

Pepsi-Cola Bond and Printing Plate

Afterwards, I made a quick visit to the PCGS stand, where the Vice President of International Development Muriel Eymery was engaged in deep conversation with a collector. She had on hand one of PCGS' new sample holders and was demonstrating the use of the holder's new 3D security hologram.

PCGS Stand

Overall, it was a good show. Business appeared to be brisk, sales were strong, and the range of coins and currency available for sale was broad, albeit Asian-centric. Unfortunately, because the Petersham and Singapore Coin Shows are held on the same weekend each year, I will be unable to attend next year's Singapore show; however, given the option, I'd certainly attend again and recommend collectors in the area make the short flight to drop by.

Posted by harrisk at April 23, 2014 7:12 PM
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