Thursday, January 5, 2012
The Amazing Prospero Auction of Greek Coins
Is this a bubble? In some ways, yes. Some atrocious material sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. But many unique important coins also sold for record sums. The atrocious material will never be worth much on the open market (if it ever gets back there). But the important and beautiful pieces are still far cheaper than buying a Jeff Koons mass produced porcelain figurine of Michael Jackson looking like a monkey.
So the verdict is mixed. The oil sheik seemed to be buying at random. He acquired some great pieces, and some junk - often at around the same price (100 to 200,000 dollars). The British client of Morton and Eden was much more discriminating.
Conclusions? Every day more wealthy people are actively seeking to diversify out of paper. Sometimes they trade their paper for junk, some times they trade their paper for amazing historical artworks. But every day more and more of them are trading junk paper for tangible things. The trend is only accelerating.
Maybe they know something.