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What makes a coin rare?

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Kipsley
Joined: 3-Feb-2018
Posts: 95
Hi everyone. I've been collecting coins for a while now and i must admit to being a little confused as to what makes a coin rare. I know mintage has a lot to do with it, but let me give you a few examples that may illustrate why I am confused as to what is a rare coin and what is not.

*I collect Third Reich German coins so my examples will be of that period.

A 1936 E 1 Reichspfennig coin (with swastika) has a mintage of just 150,000 and is classed as a rare coin. That I can understand. But a 1945 E 1 Reichspfennig coin with a mintage of 6,800,000 is classed as being "very rare".

And then a 1938 E 50 Reichspfennig coin with a mintage of just 949,280 is classed as not being at all rare, while a 1941 A 10 Reichspfennig (Military Coinage) with a mintage of 9,490,036 is classed as being "very rare". There are many more coins listed with much lower mintages than that and they are given as being common.

So.... besides mintage, what other factors are at work that determine if a coin is common, rare, or very rare?

I have used the resource here on this site to determine what is given as rare or not (the Catalogue "Country List" for Germany), and perhaps it is just not fully up to date. But I would still ask the question.
Collector of Third Reich coins (1933 - 1946), and Australian coins.
Idolenz
Joined: 13-Jul-2013
Posts: 1905
Rare is the awesome of the coinworld, it's used inflationaryly.
HERE and HERE you may find some clues on what makes a coin rare.
              
t7q630po
Joined: 6-Jun-2017
Posts: 5
Kipsley, this is not only a good question, it might be the question in numismatics. What makes a coin rare/scarce or desirable? I would not go by mintages as the mint might be using old dies or there may not be a high survival rate for some coins. I have some Franklin Mint produced coins that have a mintage in hundreds or low thousands, but just about every one produced is still out there in mint condition, so not rare. How many in existence makes for truly rare? I don't know.
COINMAN1
Joined: 8-Jun-2013
Posts: 1386
Total mintage has a big influence on its rarity, but, you then need to find out how many of those are still available.
You can also add condition into the mix. If you are looking for top quality coins, then then the survival number will have a great influence on its rarity.
For instance. The Kew Gardens 50pence coin is classed as rare, even though they made over 200,000 coins, although most of these circulated.
This then brings you back to availability. If they minted 200,000, but only 1 is available, this would immediately class it as rare and obviously put the price up. This may then lead to a small glut of these coins being offered, to get the higher price, so they are then less rare and become cheaper, and so the sequence continues.
I believe everyone will set their own 'rarity' system, and if that works, then its fine.
I'm just a collector of coins, not a slave to it, unless I am in a coin shop.
CassTaylor
Joined: 30-May-2014
Posts: 4475
Absolutely massive question:
https://en.numista.com/forum/topic67208.html
Une Franglaise; ♪ je brosse ma chevelure ♫
Numismatist uk
Joined: 2-Jan-2018
Posts: 700
Quote: "COINMAN1"​Total mintage has a big influence on its rarity, but, you then need to find out how many of those are still available.
​You can also add condition into the mix. If you are looking for top quality coins, then then the survival number will have a great influence on its rarity.
​For instance. The Kew Gardens 50pence coin is classed as rare, even though they made over 200,000 coins, although most of these circulated.
​This then brings you back to availability. If they minted 200,000, but only 1 is available, this would immediately class it as rare and obviously put the price up. This may then lead to a small glut of these coins being offered, to get the higher price, so they are then less rare and become cheaper, and so the sequence continues.
​I believe everyone will set their own 'rarity' system, and if that works, then its fine.
Reminds me of this ​https://www.changechecker.org/tag/rare-coin/
Coin collector and Silver stacker
'We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.'
Sir Winston Churchill
pnightingale
Joined: 27-Jul-2011
Posts: 4998
It's not possible to firmly give a number at which a coin becomes rare, there are just too many variables. Even government published mintage figures are suspect due to end of production meltings or losses during wartime.

I think the best we can say with certainty is that when a coins availability is matched or exceeded by the number of collectors seeking it, then it becomes progressively uncommon, scarce and finally rare.
Non illegitimis carborundum est (don't let the bastards wear you down). Excellent advice for all coins.
Supreme Ruler and Dictator for Life of the 6th Avenue Coin, Stamp  & Rice Puller Club. President, Boss & Top Dawg for Hutt River.
ALLRED1950
Joined: 2-Jul-2012
Posts: 3960
Well to me . Any coin I want but don't have ,is rare. Hum , that made me sound like I have a very big head. It just boils down to how many are of them . And how many people want them.
AT THIS TIME IAM NO LONGER SWAPPING. I need too put things in order. And take some time off. Thank you yours daryl
yuretzius
Joined: 26-Mar-2018
Posts: 27
I know next to nothing about the numismatic market, but I am pretty sure that just like with any other market it is all about matching supply and demand. If something is in high demand and there is no adequate supply at the moment, it becomes "rare", the actual original production numbers notwithstanding. As for the 3d Reich/WWII coins, I think that mintage numbers themselves are poor guides, because due to the nature of that tumultuous time a lot of these coins were seized and defaced, melted, reminted, accidentally destroyed, totally rusted away because of their inferior material (iron or zinc) etc.
Pcoetzee5
Joined: 19-Jul-2012
Posts: 135
Third Reisch Coins needs to be seen in perspective with regards to the time in the war when they were made. Some of the coins you show were made during the Russian invation of East Germany, so in some cases the coins were made, but were they actually distributed?

And as has been pointed out, supply and demand and the perceived value determine if a coin is rare or not.

There are many cases like this. The ZAR 1 Shilling 1893 compared to the 1892 is one such a case.
Ex-South African now living in Germany
zookeeperz
Joined: 16-Nov-2014
Posts: 15
Also factor in die varieties of coins where the mintage figure may look high but a different die may have been used towards the end of year and only handfuls struck before the next year started . Then there are low mintage years but many have survived in good condition and although on face value they look scarce it would only be true for mint state coins. A lot of people see mintage of say 500,000 and think every coin is rare and it just isn't true. There are many coins also struck but never used melted down or recalled by the mints. Sometimes a few may enter circulation by accident or on purpose . Or Mules where the wrong year obverse or reverse paired with the correct year obverse or reverse. But the market will normally guide you and it is heavily stacked in the supply and demand effect. Same as everything. Market forces will drive up prices for any coins that are elusive.
One of the best tools is to collect the auction catalogues and if you look through them over the years there will be a pattern of what sells for well over market value and you can soon build a picture of what to look out for and avoid any myths of so called rarities that are really just wishful thinking :)
sarikanair
Joined: 30-Nov-2017
Posts: 53
I fount this discussion very knowledgeable that what makes a coin rare.

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