Bank Negara Seminar on Numismatic Grading [ 20 May 2017 ]

Fig. 1 : Sasana Kijang, BNM  Kuala Lumpur
Back in mid April 2017, I was contacted by an official from Bank Negara Malaysia (the Malaysian Central Bank). The call was from none other than the curator of the Numismatic Museum of Bank Negara himself, inviting me to conduct a seminar on numismatic grading. Of course I agreed to do it without any hesitation whatsoever! Mainly because it is indeed an honor and privilege to receive such an invitation from the best numismatic museum in the country! 

The event was scheduled for 20 May 2017, 2:30 p.m. at the auditorium at Sasana Kijang, Kuala Lumpur and the duration is expected to be 2 hours. With about 6 weeks to go I immediately set about preparing the content of the seminar.

For a start - why talk about numismatic grading and not any other topics? For most people numismatic grading equals to graded coins or banknotes stored in slabs of plastic with the grading company logo and a number between 1 to 70 indicating the grade. But grading is much more than just a number, it is a important aspect in determining the value of the collectible that every collector and numismatist must learn and understand. Failure to do so will increase the risk of overpaying for something, especially when acquiring ungraded / "unslabbed" items.

Fig 2. Opening slide for the seminar

The main objective of the seminar was to provide a high level view of the numismatic grading and its origins, while trying to keep the technical aspects of it at a minimum - which many perceive to be difficult to learn. It is hoped that attendees will come away from the seminar being able to make sense of grading and what it means to the collector.

Fig 3 : Grading a coin ....

Fig 4 : Relationship between grade and value

Fig. 5 : BNM's invitation letter & momento.

Asia School of Business (ASB) Commemorative silver coin 2016 - Obverse
Fig. 6 : The very "rare" Asia School of Business commemorative silver coin
(Although not officially stated I have been told that there are only 100 minted)

Asia School of Business (ASB) Commemorative silver coin 2016 - Reverse
Fig. 7 : The reverse of the commemorative coin
With a total of 126 presentation slides, packed with vital information, the seminar did generate some interest in grading, resulting in a question and answer session which lasted more than 1 hour. We wish to record our thanks and appreciation to Bank Negara Malaysia Numismatic Museum for organizing such an event that promote the hobby of numismatics. It is indeed a honour to be amongst the select few who has been invited to speak at the MAG Theatre of Sasana Kijang.

Fig 10: Technical specifications for the Asia School of Business (ASB) Commemorative silver coin 2016.
Fig. 9: Technical specifications for the Asia School of Business (ASB) Commemorative silver coin 2016.

Fig 8. Logo of ASB. Source :

To top off this honour, I was presented with a momento from BNM as a token of appreciation - and much to my surprise it turned out to be the much sought after "Asia School of Business" commemorative silver coin. This coin was never issued to the public, which makes it difficult to obtain for the average collector. While not officially stated, I have been told that only 100 of these coins were minted. It was released on 23rd February 2016 to coincide with the ground breaking ceremony for the new campus building that was officiated by our then BNM Governor Tan Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz. The Asia School of Business is a collaboration between BNM and MIT Sloan School of Business, one of the top business schools in the United States.

The Asia School of Business offers Master in Business Administration (MBA) courses here in Kuala Lumpur - being one of the top schools in the world, its fee is certainlynot cheap! This world class 20 month full time course will set you back by RM265,000 for Malaysian students and RM365,000 (USD85,000) for international students.

The official press release from BNM for the ground breaking event can be found here.

And of course it does not end here, we are planning for more seminars in the near future. The new seminars will be announced via our Facebook page at

In the meantime, HAPPY COLLECTING !!!