South Korean Gold Coins
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Whenever one thinks of Korean, one might assume that the Northern part of the country might as well be non-existence, which is partly the case. Ever since the split between the Northern and Southern parts of Korea sometimes in 1953, the former has remained somewhat stuck in the past and obsessed with much-coveted military glory under the rule of a dictator, while the latter began a hurdle towards progress that has shown no sign of stopping. In today’s world of fast business and an unsure economy, sound investments are everything, and for Seoul Korea, investors and magnates are harbingers of further progress that are welcomed with open arms. In the world of numismatics and bullion investment however, Seoul has somewhat been on the obscure side of things despite the growing reputation of its neighbors in the field of minting and selling gold bullion, whether in ingot or coin form.
While not much is relatively known about the number or types of gold coins minted in Seoul, it is known that they are the fourth most profitable economy in the whole of Asia, with reports of their current gold holdings said to be nearing some $300 billion as of April of 2012 alone. Despite their large gold holdings, the existence of significant amounts of South Korean gold bullion seems a tad bit obscure, as very little examples of Seoul bullion exist, and what little that does happen to be available are immediately housed away into the vaults of one sly collector or other.
Historically, Seoul has issued a number of gold coins in proof quality since the 1970s, although exactly how much was issued and minted is generally unknown. Owing to its scarcity, the price of early examples of South Korean gold coins are high in the numismatic catalogue lists and they rank as some of the ‘must-haves’ of every collector-investor with even just a passing interest in rare or obscure Asiatic gold coinage. Of the known examples of Seoul Korea gold coins, the 1986 25, 000 won gold coin is known, with several examples still looming about waiting to be bought in the vast ocean of cyberspace. South Korean gold coins typically feature local symbols such as their national crest, flowers, animals, etc. accompanied by whatever specifications (date of mintage, place of origin, gold purity, weight, and so on) in the Korean alphabet.
Other examples of South Korean gold coins are the 1986 – 1988 Seoul Olympic commemorative coins – equally scarce coins of very limited mintage specifically designed to commemorate the event, made in both bullion uncirculated and proof versions. These coins featured four different designs issued over a period of four years, with the only extant example online featuring two children flying a kite, and the Olympic rings, with the reverse design being the crest of Seoul Korea supported by a wreath of camellias. Other examples are said to feature traditional fighting styles, folk dancing, and general depictions of children’s games.
It should be noted that despite their rarity and subsequent value owing to the primary cause, Seoul Korean gold coins are not minted in .9999 gold fineness, but rather in .925 fine (21 / 22-carat gold) fineness, with available examples owing a only approximately 16 grams. Aside from the rare official mintages, Seoul Korea is also known (for those who are willing to look) as a prime place to procure mules – specifically minted (whether officially or unofficially) coins that posses the faces of two different coins merged as one coin. While of no relative value to investors, Seoul has a number of numismatic stores that sell one-of-a-kind incongruities of the numismatic world, such as gold American Eagles bearing the obverse portrait of a young Queen Elizabeth II from a commemorative piece. While the fineness and purities, as well as the origins and authenticity of these weird coins are often questionable, one may still be able to find some decent gold ‘mules’ to add to one’s collection or investment for the sheer ‘shock value’ or weirdness of the thing. As Seoul’s economy continues to rise, many bullion investors and coin collectors are still expectant to see the release of more recent, and more numerous examples of South Korean gold coinage.
South Korean Gold Coins - References:
Content researched and created by Alexander Leonhart for coinandbullionpages.com © coinandbullionpages.com 2012
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