1835 TWO MOHURS or 1835 “DOUBLE” MOHUR GOLD COIN

 

*This was originally written on April 12th 2012, one of my first postings, and unmodified with the exception of the pictures are a bit different. Thanks for reading my writing. Enjoy.

Sincerely,

Sanjay

 

Two surviving business strikes are known to exist from the original mintage of this coin/treasury Gold, and perhaps an “Ex-Jewelry” example that was sold was an impaired “Restrike Proof” made to look like a business strike. Was this “Ex-Jewelry” coin an impaired Restrike Proof or an original business strike? That’s the million dollar question. But certainly two are known to exist from the original striking mint issue.

The “Lion” design on the “Reverse” of this Gold was initially rejected by the Governor-General in Council during the mid Fall season of 1835. Almost one month later the Governor-General approved the “Reverse Lion” design to continue the die preparation(s) so the “One Mohur”, and “Two Mohurs/Gold Coinage” would not be delayed any further. What we can deduce from a number of sources is that the Calcutta mint minted roughly 1,000-1,174 “Double Mohurs” coinage in 1835/6. This coin/treasury Gold was never intended for circulation, and was mainly exchanged for silver by Merchants.

 

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1835 Two Mohurs Proof Restrike Reverse
1835 Double Mohur Proof Restrike Reverse

Trading rights to set up a port in Calcutta were granted to the East India Company (EIC) back in 1690 by Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzed Alamgir : one of SHAH JAHAN’S sons who imprisoned him, and forcefully took over the Mughal Empire’s Reign. This son is better known as “Aurangzeb”….which means “honoring the throne”. I beg to differ with that title bestowed upon him at a young age, and so would Shah Jahan from his grave. 145 years later The East India Company’s plan to establish a rate of exchange between silver and gold financially failed.

The EIC wanted to sort of be in the “Assay” business to probably play a game of “arbitrage” between the two precious metals. But, the EIC didn’t properly value/calculate the Gold/Silver ratio, and discounted that most Merchants preferred Silver for trade. Those Merchants were doing healthy business with the Chinese, and China is geographically located right around the corner from Calcutta. The Empire of China had massive silver reserves at the time, and gave it all back to the world’s biggest drug/opium cartel : The Ea$t India Company.

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1835 Double Mohur Proof Restrike Obverse
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1835 Double Mohur Restrike Obverse

Essentially the Calcutta mint ended up with a boatload of Gold within the treasuries, and exchanged large amounts of Silver to the Mercantile trade. This leads me to believe Merchants were trading in gold to the EIC, and receiving Silver at a discount unbeknownst to the East India Company. But that topic needs to be further researched, and I speculate that the Merchants arbitraged the East India Company with Gold.

In any case, these scenarios bring me 1000 fold pleasure when so called “small money” armed with knowledge outwits “BIG MONEY” carrying very little knowledge, and arsenals of arrogance. The “Merchants” were a 5′ 7″ 208 lb MAURICE JONES-DREW from the NFL (National Football League), and the “EIC” a 6’4″ 250 lb Linebacker in the same game. Meaning the Linebacker has no chance from the beginning against the smaller player.

Anyways, the result of this endeavor was: rapid financial loss for this particular pecuniary…Making money makes you lose money sometimes even if you are the one making the money. In 1836 the British Government bought all the Gold reserves from the EIC Mint so this untimely venture did not continue losing money. More than likely most of this mintage was melted with the rest of the treasury gold that was stockpiled for a few months.

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1835 Double Mohur Proof Restrike Obverse
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1835 Double Mohur Proof Restrike Obverse
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1835 Double Mohur Proof Restrike Obverse

The Government continued the practice of “Restriking” this coin for many years because of growing collector demand, and sometimes offered the coin as a presentation piece. Minting of all East India and British India “Restrikes” ceased in 1970 at the Bombay Mint because of political pressures primarily by the Australian Government, and so the dies were destroyed in 1971/72. These 1835 TWO MOHURS coins are all “Restrikes”, and there are examples graded by NGC and PCGS as “PR” or “PF” designated as “Proof”. But this coin should never receive a grade of “Proof”, and only a “PL” or “Proof Like” grade should be assigned to any of these Two Mohurs. Also, there is no expert that can pinpoint any specific year this coin was struck as a “Proof” nor are there any concrete mint records that translate into an actual “Proof” which we can witness. The “Restriking” mintage is a mystery nobody will ever solve without concrete mint records.

These coins should all carry a grade of “PL” or “Prooflike” as mentioned before. There is another theory : the lesser the number of hairlines on the surface the earlier the striking comes to mind. There is one problem with this theory : what if there were multiple dies polished at different times? What an expert can guesstimate is when a particular coin may have been restruck : was it an “Early Restiking” or “Mid Restriking” or “Later Restriking” due to the characteristics of the coin. To date there has not been an 1835 Two Mohurs “Original Proof” or “Early Restrike” that has been recorded to my knowledge, and even if an “Original Proof” were to surface it’s probably a RESTRIKE!

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1835 Double Mohur Proof Restrike Reverse

 

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1835 Double Mohur Proof Restrike Reverse

1835 Two Mohurs Gold Proof Restrike

*This information was cited from a number of sources:

Fred Pridmore: The Coins of the British Commonwealth of Nations, Krause, Vikram Deshmukh, Myself, NGC, PCGS, COIN PRICES MARCH 2011, Wikipedia, and Google.

SIZE : 32.5 MM
TYPE : RESTRIKE
MINT : CALCUTTA
POPULARITY : HIGH
WEIGHT : 23.32 GRAMS
METAL : 91.7% GOLD AND 8.3% COPPER

LAST PRICE PAID FOR THIS COIN “RAW” OR “UNGRADED” ON FEBRUARY 18th 2012 : $28,000+ as listed below

LAST AUCTION THIS COIN CROSSED : http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/article2910682.ece?homepage=true

Thanks,

Sanjay C. Gandhi

 

 

RETURN OF THE GREAT BRIEF 1918 “i mints” GOLD SOVEREIGN RUN UP ON EBAY

 

*I originally wrote this on September 23rd 2013 and its in its original form. Mistakes and all. If you haven’t had a chance read “THE BRITISH INDIA COIN MARKET AND CHINESE COIN DEMAND PARALLELS – PART ONE.” You may want to consider it. The same charades carried over in the scenario below by the same players. Funny. The game never changes. Only the players. Thank for reading my thoughts.

Sincerely,

Sanjay

 

So why did the title above happen last year? How did a common gold coin that sold for maybe a little over bullion make a run? But that run was very brief, and puzzling to me somewhat. Why would a coin with a population at NGC of 500+ coins all of the sudden rise in value? The price had been frozen for years, and/or pegged to the bullion price of gold somewhat. Where is the demand coming from suddenly?

Prices for this coin last year (2012) were probably $345 a coin raw/ungraded or so on average. But if it went into an NGC/PCGS slab the price reached as high as $700+ in MS 64, and the low $600’s for MS 63. But that’s how a market functions, fluctuates, and I sold a sovereign somewhere in this run up. I still have a sovereign I didnt sell as well, and I also bought an MS 64 1918 sovereign two years ago for $500+ or so in 2011. These coins were being absorbed at $575 a crack raw in 2012! But how did this happen? Did the demand for these coins suddenly explode? Yeah. By maybe 4-5 people I suspect. So how could the price spike for a coin that had such massive availability, and really no numismatic value?

I recall speaking to a buyer sometime last year, he was ferociously purchasing these coins, and to each his own. I never sold him one of the 7+ gram value traps, rather I mentioned how there were “tons” of them graded at NGC, and it was a “Sovereign”. Again, I have no interest in buying these coins, and never encouraged anyone to buy these coins either. I kept hearing the term “i mints” being used, and it was synonymous with the 1918 Sovereign minted in Bombay.

Before the price started rising for this coin, the market for this coin was a thin market, and started rising rampantly for no reason. Gold was actually on the way down, and why would this coin suddenly rise in value, and after all it is a “bullion” coin? India had been on a very slow rise in numismatic terms since the Fall of 2010. By summer of 2012 the market was on red hot fire, and anyone could sell any British India fairly easily as they were being snapped up. Thin markets are the easiest markets to push around in extreme directions at all times. The British India Coin market was fairly thin to begin with which could be pushed around like a paper airplane at anytime, and is still susceptible. As is any thinly traded market.

How does this work again?

Sellers are always looking for new ways to make money, and so are buyers. One guy has to start the selling, and offer a coin. The cycle keeps continuing until other sellers take notice, more supply is offered, and the prices slowly creep back another lower standard deviation to the mean or new mean. Know what I mean? Generally speaking when these anomalies transpire they do not go unnoticed. But sellers are always more eager to fulfill demand when it is insatiable because it can disappear very quickly.

I think a few guys thought they could corner the market, and it just didn’t happen like they envisioned. Nor were they aware of the supply that was about to hit in the coming months, and the price of gold dropped which was unforeseeable as well. I must admit I was bullish on gold in the fall of 2012, but quickly changed my mind, and sold my biggest gold coin holding in terms of value. You never know with speculative markets folks, and unfortunately the rebound of gold didn’t last very long for those that were buying “i” mints. So did all this happen because of a hot market? Yep-

It is our nature as humans to always ask : Why? And the nature of a salesman is to ask : Why Not? Generally speaking all boats rise with the tide, but not all boats stay afloat. There is always debate amongst people that collect anything, and what is very interesting about the speculative bubble described above is that it had happen in the past within another coin market. More specifically with 1902 5 Ruble gold coins in say an MS67 grade, raw, and other grades as well.

In 2008 the Russian coin market had scaled heights only seen by….well…The Russian Coin Market. These 5 Ruble Gold cons were trading at 4-6 times what they were trading for three years ago, and the rise came from pure speculation I suspect. Did the rise/fall take place in a similar fashion? Probably. The average price of gold was $444 in 2005 and $871 in 2008 respectively. Do gold coins exponentially rise in these bull markets? Yes. But not bullion coins such as 5 Roubels, and 1918 India Sovereigns. Whatever happen to the price of the 1902 MS 67 5 Rouble you ask? The last one sold in April 2013 for $470, and the price of gold stood at $1,425 an ounce.

So why did common Russian bullion coins in 2008/2009 rise in value by 380%-600% from 2005 prices? The same reason 1918 “I” Mint Sovereigns went up in value. One guy told another guy, that guy told another, and another guy sold the other guy. The Russian bullion bubble went up on a greater scale than the 1918 “I” coins because there were more players, and more money being thrown around. The guys that were playing in the 1918 Sovereign run up should be thankful that coin only went up 70% from it’s mean value.

All of the above makes me wonder who was trying to corner the market, why they thought they could corner the market, and who convinced who to buy this “i” stuff. Was it Apple? Maybe someone with experience in one of the past run ups acted as a catalyst or an agent? Did someone say to someone else that, “The gold coins always rise in bull markets within numismatics, and I’ve seen this before. Trust Me! Now sign your name by the “X”, I’ll give you a box of Newports, and some PUMA sweats.”

Speculative salesman claim to know the future, and it’s still an educated guess on their behalf. Ask “Why”, and the salesman may counter with “Why Not”. “Why Not?, because you can only guarantee me one thing Mr. Salesman”. Salesman: “What’s that?” That I can certainly incur a loss by speculating. Mr. Salesman: “Yes, that is true.” But, it’s easy to be “Hindsight Harry” as I call one of my dear friends, and human behavior is quite interesting. As is the practice of speculation.

Speaking about Deja Vu how about this speculative choice somebody made below on September 20th 2013:

http://www.icollector.com/BRITISH-INDIA-George-V-1910-1936-AV-sovereign-1918-I_i17170676

$836.50 if you can’t sign in to the above site-

What comes to mind?

or-

WTF? Comes to mind-

Now look at this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1918-I-GB-Sovereign-India-Mint-King-George-V-British-Gold-Coin-PCGS-MS64-/231034999378?pt=US_World_Coins&hash=item35cac25252

What changed in the past 26 days up until September 20th with this coin?

Consider listening to this song from Public Enemy:

The speculative Pied Piper is presented to us time, and time again. Do we follow him? Or do we lead ourselves to the pier or stay put?
Choices choices-

Regards,

Sanjay