Monday, January 16, 2012

Coins as investments

The raid on a dealer at a Numismatic Convention begins to get interesting. In 2002 the New York Times (October 27, 2002) carried a story by Bernard Simon, "Coin Trade Becomes More Like A Market".
Over the last few years, some investors have shifted money from the stock market into coin collections. "They have good rates of return -- not as good as when we were riding the Internet bubble, but the coin market hasn't burst," said Arnold-Peter C. Weiss, a surgeon in Providence, R.I., who has played both markets.

Dr. Weiss said he had taken "a big hit" on a few dot-com investments. But he has done well, on paper, at least, in coin investments. In 1998, he bought a type of ancient Greek silver coin, minted by the city-state of Megalopolis and featuring the head of Zeus, for $60,000. It fetched about $200,000 last year at an auction at Bank Leu in Zurich, Dr. Weiss said.
What is the ethical basis of such an investment policy?

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