Investors vs Collectors in the Domestic MCC Market

The Modern Chinese Coins market is an ever evolving beast, which can make it hard to predict and even harder to keep pace with. That change is now happening faster than ever, especially in a digital age. Here is a summary of some of the general thoughts and sentiments of blog posters in the online Chinese community regarding the transformation of the market as it moves with the times.

Despite the fact that nowadays true collectors of MCCs are relatively few in number in comparison to investors, it is the collectors who are the ones who still get a buzz from holding the actual coins in their hands. Considering the rapid rise of the stock market, and both its inevitable and powerful influence on the collectibles markets in general, the future coin collector will look very different from those of the past and many of those today. The corruption of the second tier asset markets; the recent shortcomings of the gold commodities market; and the fact that the number of participants in the traditional market is waning, are all contributing to a depressed atmosphere in the coin markets, where small investors and dealers find themselves losing out as larger market movements occur above their heads, and over which they have little or no control. All these factors are adding more fuel to the fires of change in the MCC markets.

The future collectors of MCCs may differ from those of the past in a number of significant ways. Firstly, current emphasis is on a shift away from a reliance on having the actual coin in one’s hand, towards reliance on having an online account in the stock market. The pervasive attitude seems to be that if you’ve got a stock market account, then you’re a collector! Such speculative attitudes are usually short-lived as paper instruments whilst affording the luxury of immediate liquidation are good until they are no longer.

Secondly, the joy and satisfaction of collecting has moved away from the acquisition of an in depth knowledge about the pieces being collected. Many buyers in today’s market now get most of their satisfaction from maximizing profit on their investments. This has weakened the sentimental value of MCCs as gifts and presents, but at the same time reenforced their value as investments and assets.

Lastly, the type and variety of commemorative MCCs issued by the People’s Bank of China is likely to change in the future. Coin types and themes are more likely to swing in favour of a more investor dominated market, rather than one largely populated by collectors.

The atmosphere in the forums seems to be that these changes have widened the gap and differentiated between the collector and investor now more so than ever before. To determine which side of the line you fall on, ask yourself whether the pleasure you derive from owning MCCs lives and dies by their market value. If it does, you’re an investor. If not, then you’re a collector.