Cash is king: Asian investors look to coins for big returns

Cash is king: Asian investors look to coins for big returns

SINGAPORE - In a world of market volatility, rare coins might be worth their weight in gold - and maybe even more.

While stocks have struggled to produce steady returns, coins are powering ahead and attracting attention from Asian investors.

A luxury investment index compiled by property consultant Knight Frank shows a 255 per cent gain for coins over the last decade.

The firm also rated coins as one of the least volatile investments compared with art, wine and gold.

"Stamps and coins have maintained their long-term growth trend and are now marketed as genuine investment asset classes," Knight Frank wrote in its Luxury Investment Index Q2 2013 report.

Sales of bullion coins in the United States hit a record in 2011 when 45.2 million ounces of coins were sold. Now, more people in Asia are taking up the "hobby of kings".

"Some of the best collectors and collections are in Singapore," said Peter Yeung, president of Panda America, which organised the 2013 Singapore International Coin Fair.

Nearly 10,000 people attended the fair in the wealthy Southeast Asian city-state this year, with the number of visitors growing steadily since the first event in 2011.

There are also more collectors stepping into coin shops like Monetarium in Singapore's business district.

Store owner Anthony Tan says collectors are now spending more, with the region's own coins proving increasingly popular.

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