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Resources

Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just starting out, we’ve got you covered with valuable insights and advice from our team of expert specialists. Explore the fascinating world of numismatics and precious metals – from understanding the nuances of grading to uncovering hidden treasures, let us share our passion for the industry and our knowledge with you.

All about Coin Grading

Details for the invitation to the Johannesburg SAAND Coin Faire on 17 March 2024

Coins can be real or fake, of poor quality or high quality, in mint state or highly used and tarnished. While you can see a lot with the naked eye, the grading organisations apply a system of grading whereby the coin is also sealed to prevent further impact on the quality.

The grader is a neutral third-party organisation that conducts an appraisal of a coin’s physical condition (which is the basis of its grade. In turn, this grade assists in realising higher prices in the marketplace. 

Grading Organisations

There are several organisations which provide grading. The most respected and recognised is NGC

Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC) is an international third-party coin grading and certification service based in Sarasota, Florida. It has certified more than 60 million coins. NGC certification consists of authentication, grading, attribution, and encapsulation in clear plastic holders.

Other organisations are PCGS and SANGS.

PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) built its grading standards upon the Sheldon Scale when it introduced the concept of encapsulated, third-party grading in 1986. PCGS specialise in US coins but also conduct grading of other coins too, 

SANGS (South African Numismatic Grading Service) is the South African equivalent and based in Randburg

The Grades Explained

The grading scale works in categories and  there are three categories: circulated coins, about uncirculated coins and uncirculated coins. Lets look at what each type involves.

Circulated coins, as the name suggests, are coins that have been circulated among the population and have been used in trade, and therefore show more wear.

UNCIRCULATED (UNC) 

Uncirculated coins (UNC) are those that show no wear, often newly issued by a mint. This is normally because the coin was not circulated among the population to be used as trading money. They can show imperfections from production or storage processes. 

About or Nearly  uncirculated coins are coins that have a sharp legend (a coin legend is any inscription or information on the coin) and a hint of wear on the high points.

About UNC; Nearly UNC; Good EF

EXTREMELY FINE (EF)

Extremely fine coins show only minimal marks or faint evidence of circulation, apparent only on close examination.

About EF; Nearly EF; Good VF

VERY FINE (VF)

Very fine coins have limited evidence of wear on their raised surfaces but have experienced only minimal circulation.

About VF; Nearly VF; Good Fine

FINE (F)

Fine coins have entered circulation and display considerable wear to the raised surfaces of the design.

About Fine; Nearly Fine

Try to determine which category your coin falls under; however, if you are not sure – get an expert to help you.

The Grading Scale

With or without grading, coins can be classified as follows:

In 1948, Dr. William Sheldon, a renowned numismatist, developed the Sheldon Scale, assigning grades from “1” through “70” to coins. The basis of Sheldon’s theory was that a “70” would be worth 70 times as much as a “1.”

About the Author

Sharon has grown up in City Coins, accompanying her mom Natalie to the shop on Saturday mornings and later on business trips. She has an in depth knowledge of the industry, and is always on hand to answer your questions and offer expert advice.

Learn All About Banknote Grading

Learn all about the different banknote grades and grading which contributes to determining the value of the banknote grade with grading from starting from UNC – uncirculated. These grades and grading method are used throughout the banknote world. It is often easy to judge the condition of a note i.e. the grade from adhering to the list of characteristics about the condition of the note.

Read More »

FAQs

Please take a look through our FAQs before getting in touch.

Whether normal or commemorative, the circulation R5 coin is worth its face value only, which is R5.

Whether normal or commemorative, the circulation R5 coin is worth its face value only, which is R5.

We work by appointment only.  Please contact us via telephone or email to arrange.

This question is asked numerous times a day.

If you are referring to old SA / foreign circulated currency, the following applies.

Provide us with a list of each of your coins via email.

The list should consist of country, year and face value (the value which appears on the face of the coin).  Include two photographs (obverse and reverse) of five of your coins.  If your collection contains coins of value to us, we will contact you to arrange an appointment.

Since banknotes are made of paper and not precious metal, we very much focus on the condition of the banknote. If it’s been crumbled, torn, used or stuck and is a modern note, then unfortunately it is of no interest to us. Sometimes very used old notes still have a value due to their rarity. If you’re not sure, then get in touch.

Yes we can.  Based on a list of your medals and the accompanying documentation (referred to as provenance) we can determine whether these are suitable for our upcoming medal auction or perhaps are more suitably sold on auction with our UK partner, Noonans.

We are often listed in wills to look at estates due to our involvement in building up the collections in the first place. This has established a foundation of trust and we are then most familiar with the items in the collection. However, even if we do not know the collection we can give the required valuation at the time of death.

No we do not, but we do work with esteemed partners in the industry who we recommend. We do on occasion take in jewellery and watches but on a case-by-case basis.

The gold price fluctuates constantly.  We fix our buying in and selling prices by 9:30am Monday to Friday.

Request, via email, our selling price. We will provide you, via email, with the price and our banking details.  Should you accept our price, proof of payment must be emailed to us by close of business the same day.  Once your payment is reflected in our account, we will contact you to arrange an appointment to collect your Krugerrands.  You will be required to produce your SA ID / driver’s licence or International passport on collection.

An appointment will need to be arranged.  You will need to bring along the Krugerrands, your SA ID / driver’s licence or foreign passport as well as your banking details.  We will process an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and provide you with proof thereof, before leaving.  Should you require an immediate transfer, let us know before the payment is processed.

There is NO VAT on Gold Krugerrands.  According to SARS “gold coins issued by the South African Reserve Bank in accordance with section 14 of the South African Reserve Bank Act 90 of 1989 (or that remain in circulation per provision (1) of that section) will not be regarded as second-hand goods. These coins include Kruger Rands and gold coins in the National Geographic, Natura, Protea and R1 series as well as any other gold coins declared by the Ministry of Finance to be legal tender”

There is VAT on silver Krugerrands. However, silver is still a worthwhile investment, especially where smaller investment amounts are available.

There is no difference in value as the value is determined by the content of the gold. Sometimes, if the coin is in an excellent condition in a box, it makes a nice gift and especially if the date is a birth date.

Get in Touch

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Medals

City Coins has achieved global recognition for  South African war medals with a worldwide customer base eagerly following our medal auctions.

The market for war medals and decorations has been popular for decades. Medals can be collected according to a specific battle, rebellion or conflict. Sometimes people simply prefer to collect medals that appeal to them aesthetically. 

A lot of the time, however, people keep medals because they form emotional attachments to them. This is especially true for South Africans and Britons with family members who received the Queens South Africa (QSA) medal for fighting in the Boer War. Although some might feel attached to medals and want to hang onto them, sometimes the memory of the recipient is better served in the collection of someone who will really cherish the medal and appreciate its history.

Perhaps you have war medals or decorations that have been passed down from generation to generation through your family? If you would like to find out more about your medals or how much they are worth, please get in touch. If you have medals for sale, we can give you all the advice you need in order to evaluate and sell them.

Bank Notes

While the world of money transitions into an era devoid of paper with cryptocurrency and NFT, banknotes have become even more rare and popular. 

 

Our banknotes range from the famous Siege of Mafeking to the South African notes from Governors of The Reserve Bank. We have rare notes and specimens.

The American Gold Eagle and South African Krugerrand bullion coins, for instance, are made up of .9167 fine gold, thus making them 22-karat. But they still contain one troy ounce of gold – which is why they weigh 1.0909 troy ounces overall. The added alloy creates a more durable coin.

The spot gold price is simply the current market price of gold at which traders can perform over-the-counter trades with each other. It is the cost of one troy ounce of gold, and the greater the price, the higher the demand.

We are an authorised dealer of The Rand Refinery and The South African Mint. We deal in all types of gold and silver Krugerrands as well as special Krugerrand sets and commemorative Krugerrands. We have a large collection of the “Natura” sets issued over the years by the SA Mint and no longer in production (so very rare!).

Krugerrands

Gold purity tends to be measured by karats – abbreviated “kt” – with 24-karat gold designated as 0.999 fine or above. Pure gold fineness would be 1.000; however, the softness of gold would make such coins impractical to use, so 0.999 fine and above is considered pure gold. These coins contain only the most minuscule amount of another metal – or ‘alloy’ – needed to make them tradable. 

The American Gold Eagle and South African Krugerrand bullion coins, for instance, are made up of .9167 fine gold, thus making them 22-karat. But they still contain one troy ounce of gold – which is why they weigh 1.0909 troy ounces overall. The added alloy creates a more durable coin.

The spot gold price is simply the current market price of gold at which traders can perform over-the-counter trades with each other. It is the cost of one troy ounce of gold, and the greater the price, the higher the demand.

We are an authorised dealer of The Rand Refinery and The South African Mint. We deal in all types of gold and silver Krugerrands as well as special Krugerrand sets and commemorative Krugerrands. We have a large collection of the “Natura” sets issued over the years by the SA Mint and no longer in production (so very rare!).

Coins

We specialise in South African coins either of rarity (graded or potential)  or commemorative value. Many old South African coins contain gold/silver and are rare, like the famous Veld pond and 1931 Tickey.  

We also deal with international coins, and have a global clientele and network through Noonans Mayfair which we can leverage for our customers.