Ballina auction a costly affair
MORE than $100,000 worth of stamps and coins changed hands on Saturday as dealers and collectors pushed bids past the thousand-dollar mark at the Ballina Stamp and Coin Auction, held at the Ballina RSL Club.
Adding to their value, most of the stamps were saliva-free items, having never been licked.
As well as the ‘usual bits and pieces', the stamps included a range of Aussie and New Zealand releases in pristine condition, and others collected from a range of geographic localities such as Norfolk Island, Tonga and Russia.
Now a feature in the serious Australian collector's diary, the regular Ballina auction is run by local businessman and auctioneer Barry Cooper.
Stamps were closely scrutinised by the collectors who shared their passion with people equally passionate about coins.
A top price of $6000 was bid for a collection of several hundred Chinese stamps, while a 1923 half penny sold for $1600.
As Paul, a collector from Casino pointed out, their collections reveal the history of the regions they originate from.
Paul, who did not want his last named used, collects coins and Australian bank notes for ‘the thrill of the chase', seeking out the best coins and notes he can buy.
He has a special interest in gold sovereigns, first produced in Australia in 1855, and said he wouldn't sell anything in his collection.
Although it can be a costly passion, Paul said he sometimes cuts down on ‘little luxuries like food and clothing'.
“It's a better option than playing the pokies,” he said.