I went to a coin auction and bidded for the first time. The auction, held at one of the small function rooms in Marina Mandarin Hotel, is an interesting affair. It is like a club for old uncles, mostly in their fifties. Hokkien seems to be the major language there. The auctioneer was a calm and collected man, with a lot of good sense and humour. Occasionally, the auction routine will be broken by someone's mobile phone ringing. Sometimes, an uncle will even talk (loudly) on the phone, seriously discrupting the proceedings. There would be jeers from the others, and at one point, another irate uncle will be demanding that the talk-on-the-phone uncle be thrown out. Mr Auctioneer will always put out a smile, asked everybody to relax, let the talk-on-the-phone uncle finish his conversation, and reminding people not to get worked up take the fun out of the auction.
The auction had a huge section on Chinese silver coins, many of them going at sky high price. For the old Ching dynasty and early republic era coins, I could understand the prices for their exquisite beauty and historical values. What befuddles me are the contemporary, mostly Panda themed coins going at crazy prices. This lead someone from the audience to remark that 'these pandas eat meat', instead of bamboo.
I had my eyes on a 1662 Charles II crown (GF grade), and when finally the item came out for the hammer, I gingerly lift up the bidding card that I have. The competition was more than I had expected. The coin finally went for $280 to another bidder. The second coin that I was interested in was a Spanish colonial era Mexico 1756MM columnarios. This time round, there were no competitors, and there, I won my first live auction item. More about this coin later.
|Lot no. 360. Mexico 1756MM 8 Reales.|