Collecting old or rare banknotes and coins are becoming popular among investors. This passion investment is often seen as a way to diversify from equities, especially in volatile times.
Back in July, an RM50 note was sold for a whopping RM708,000 – all because it’s a 2007 special Merdeka edition note.
“[The notes] were bought by numismatists themselves, probably as an investment. They might keep it for some time and re-enter the market later and sell it for a higher price. The RM50 note was a special edition issued in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Merdeka,” Hann Boom, the director of Trigometric Auctions told FMT.
Besides the RM50 note, a 1929 Sarawak $25 note went for RM212,400 while a 1940 Malayan $1 note issued during the British administration was sold for RM188,800.
“We send the coin or notes to a company who will assess and grade them accordingly. The price is also dependent on how the owner has stored it. It’s kept encased to ensure it does not come into contact with oxygen or any other things that can damage the notes,” he explained.
Hann said that the Sarawak note has only 15 such notes available worldwide with nine already graded by an independent company based in the US while another was graded by a Chinese-Malaysian firm.
As for the remaining five, it is being held by private collectors.
Hann said even a 1971 Malaysian 10 sen coin in pristine condition was sold for more than RM2,000 as it was a limited mint, making it a rare coin.
Turns out, there are only about 20 serious numismatists in Malaysia including Hann, while some 600 or so are known to be casual collectors with hopes of selling them much later on.
“The Malaysian market is one of the smallest in the region as the appreciation happens over time. It can be a hobby but can eventually turn out to be one that can be used to make huge profits,” he said.