The 1965 (Afrikaans) one cent

A 1965 one cent Afrikaans coin recently sold on an Internet auction house, bid or buy, for over ZAR1,000 or over US$150.

Its price was predicated on the low mintage of the "Afrikaans" version (just over 1,000 pieces) - while its "English" variant with a circulation of over 25,000 pieces (still tiny) is valued at just a few dollars.

It is at this point that I part company with a large number of numismatists as, to me, the 1965 one cent Afrikaans piece is worth little more than its English variant. After all what specific role has this coin played in numismatic history other than being a deliberately "rare" variant?

When one considers that this piece displayed above is considered more valuable than a 1900 Marshall Hole Currency Card (steeped in history) or a Strachan and Co In goods piece from the 1800s you will understand why I think that the "scarcity" value is sometimes over rated.

The evolution of the Internet and the broadening of the histories of some of our more obscure but important numismatic pieces will, I am sure, start bringing this "scarce so-what" factor back into line. It is already happening in the United States where some relatively common pieces demand high prices based on their interesting history while scarcer pieces are less costly as the demand is not there.