Trigometric's Inaugural Auction

This is an interesting and important auction, mainly because it is the first to be organized by one of the largest numismatic dealers in Malaysia - Trigometric Sdn Bhd or Trigo as it is commonly known, is synonymous KN Boon, after all it is his company. Yes, it is the very same guy who published the book "Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore Banknotes and Coins" catalog, now in its 7th edition. This catalog is used by major TPGs like PMG and NGC, so that gives you the idea of the importance of this much anticipated event.

The auction was held on 15 March 2015 at the Petaling Jaya Hilton or PJ Hilton. There were 2 sessions - Banknotes that starts from 9:30am and Coins & Stamps from 1:30pm onwards. The auction was scheduled to conclude by 5:00pm. All in, there are 338 lots, with 338 being an auspicious number for the Chinese, no coincidence there! Of that, 265 lot or 78%, are banknotes and the rest of the 73 are coins and stamps.

Fig. 1 : The Reception

Bidders can bid from the floor or via mail bid, as well as over the Internet, via No bad for the first time organizer, this puts them on par with other auction houses in the region e.g. Monetarium and Mavin. Buyers premium is 15% and 18% for bids via Internet.

Fig 2 : Auction Room
The auction venue itself it quite spacious, with 150 seats. Bidders can register at the reception table at the front but most of them have already registered many days before. Registration process itself is very convenient and very quickly done, there was practically NO QUEUE at the registration table, which is good thing. The crowd started to build up at 9:00am and by 9:30am, the hall was fully seated with some people standing at the back of the room.

Fig 3: Getting ready to go!
The auction started at 9:50am with World Banknotes, the response we lukewarm despite a round of good bidding for the first two or three lots. Mainly because they were foreign note. Lot 76 was particularly interesting since the start price was at a hefty price RM250,000 for a set of 20 pieces of Macao Chinese lunar Dragon year. Two bidders were vying for this one, one from the floor and the other, I was told was via the telephone and it closed at RM280,000, excluding buyers' premium.

Fig 4 : Lot 76 went for RM280,000. 

As expected The real actions starts from Lot 77 - Malaysian banknotes, culminating at Lot 106, a RM1,000 piece, Aziz Taha, PMG 64 EPQ Serial ZZ 0000001. Starting off at RM120,000, there were many bids and bidders. The frenzy continued for close to 3 minutes, with many rounds of applause when ever a new high is reached. As it climbed, the number of bidders dropped off and it ended at RM280,000 ! More than double the starting price.

Fig 5 : Lot 106 - The most exciting one of them all - RM280,000.

The other suprise is Lot 110, a RM20 piece Jaafar Hussein, PMG 65 EPQ, Serial UZ0026655, opening RM3,500 - guess what? There were NO BIDDERS for this one. Which is shocking because late last year the asking price for this ranges from RM4,000 to RM6,000.

Fig 6 : No bids for this one. 

Lot 242, the Straits Settlements Watermark Plates, went for RM90,000, which was the reserve price. Similarly Lot 266 the set of 2 Malaya & British Borneo 1953 10 Cents Silver, British Royal Mint, NGC PF66 and Malaya & British Borneo 1954 20 Cents Silver, British Royal Mint, NGC PF67 CAMEO went for RM400,000, the reserve price.

Coagulant Unit Coupons / Rubber Coupons seems to be all the rage these days - Lot 253 just confirmed it today, at RM3,600 and the reserve price was only RM150, that's a whopping 24 times!!

Fig 7 : 24 times the reserve price @ RM3,600. 

The 5th Anniversary of Independence 2002, Proof set of 3 (RM1, RM10 & 100 Gold, Mintage 100 only) went for RM3,800.
Fig 8 : Lot 302 went for RM3,800.

Yet another surprise came at Lot 323, KN Boon's 1st edition of his catalog, reserve price was RM20 but that went for RM850!

Fig: 9 : Lot 323 got bidded up to RM850. 
Overall, the auction is a success. It was well organized, no untoward incidents and process of registering and bidding was easy, simple and straight forward. Bidding wise, all the high value lots were sold but there were quite a number of items had no bids at all. A quick check around the floor with experienced bidders drew a mixed reaction, some say it was above expectations and some say it was only so-so. But the truth is in the numbers, for a more detailed review of the results of this auction, I will have to wait until the realized prices to be released before a detailed analysis can be done.

Stay tuned and happy collecting!

P.S. Yes I did bid for some of the items and managed to win one lot. No, the one I won is not mentioned in this blog.


  1. i thought the zz 000001 was won by you,hahaha

    1. I wish I have that kind of money to spare! But if I really do, I would have spent it on completing my QE2 banknote collection.

  2. my interest has been further tickled. Thanks for sharing.