Multi Currency Idea in Collectibles

by | Aug 18, 2010 | Archives

Here is a multi currency idea. Have fun and gain profit with collectibles.

The US dollar may now be falling. The buck was very strong versus most currencies…. such as the euro and the British pound over the last few years.

Now this strength is waning and this may cause rumors and fears about the greenback.

The truth is the purchasing power of all currencies is at risk.

I am betting against the US dollar myself… but not in Ecuador which I believe for now will remain dollarized… ie using the American currency as its currency.

We’ll see one idea about how to invest in Ecuadorian antiques in a moment.

First let me clarify about the new sucre. There has been some confusion about the new Sucre in Ecuador.


Ecuador is such a beautiful place. Here is a shot of Mt. Cotacachi from our Cotacachi house and

ecuador mountains

Mt. Imbabura.

One really great thing is that one can kickback and stop thinking about politics.  Little political has much impact on the day to day life of the individual expat.

However some seem to want to worry anyway so a  number of readers sent me a news article entitled “Venezuela and Ecuador Conduct First Transaction in SUCRE” worrying that a new currency had been introduced without their knowing.

Until 2000 Ecuador’s currency was the Sucre.  Then Ecuador dollarized and its currency became the US dollar and the dollar remains Ecuador’s currency.

There is NOT a new currency for Ecuador.

The article says: On Tuesday, July 6 the governments of Ecuador and Venezuela conducted the first transaction through the Unified System for Regional Compensation (SUCRE, Spanish acronym), a proposed regional currency for the member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA).

“The SUCRE is an example of efficiency and the political willingness to define concrete projects,” said Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

The technology manager of the ALBA Bank, Edwin Duarte, explained that the transaction in the new currency took place through an “Online web system that provides accountant authorization in every country. Once the transaction is approved, the Central Bank of Ecuador receives the amount,” he added.

After the purchase from Caracas, the state-owned channel VTV broadcasted the confirmation of the transaction from Quito, Ecuador. An official from the BCE confirmed that the “the transaction was successfully accomplished (…) I confirm the reception of the money. The SUCREs were transferred.”

The SUCRE was approved in an agreement to establish it as the trade currency among Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Many readers also write to me worrying that Ecuador will leave the greenback and create its own currency not realizing that if Ecuador leaves the US dollar this will be good for expats.

I do not think that Ecuador will unhinge from the US dollar any time soon.  First, Correa  has stated the country will not.  Of course I am thinking beyond any politician’s word.

If there is to be a new sucre  then it would be sure to fall versus the greenback…. a political embarrassment that would also make goods from the US become more expensive.

Keep in mind Correa is an economist.  In 2005, he was the economic and finance minister under President Alfredo Palacio. To create a sucre and link it to the US dollar while the greenback is strong would make Ecuadorian exports uncompetitive.  If I can figure this out… he certainly has as well.

More importantly a new Ecuador currency could give Ecuador’s Congress more power and Correa less power.

Currently if Congress wants to implement any new program, it has the restraint of having to have the money to pay for it and Correa.  A new currency would allow Congress to print money which they currently cannot do.  And Correa’s government is already in trouble with Ecuador’s Congress.

This last Tuesday, members of Correa’s party in the legislature failed to pass a controversial monetary reform bill that would use Central Bank deposits to fund investment projects. In short he was trying to do the same thing as print money and Congress stopped him.

Correa’s party, could only muster 59 votes.  63 votes were required to pass the law. This is the second defeat for Correa’s party in the legislature in recent months. In May he could not secure enough votes to overhaul water usage.

The proposed monetary reform would have given more discretionary power to the Central Bank, reducing its limits on investments and allowing the Central Bank to invest directly in state-owned banks.  Many felt that this would provide liquidity to institutions that had questionable lending policies and high non-performing loan ratios in a non transparent way.

The indigenous protests against Correa’s water laws surely helped defeat them.  Now it is the financial structure opposing him. Correa’s party will probably try to get this monetary policy reform bill applied again soon, plus has other controversial bills that face opposition on hydrocarbon reform, communications and university education.   See more about his political battle with the indigenous at Ecuador Political Tension.

Political analysts say Ecuador might have returned to a long-standing political pattern, where the president is powerful in central government but politically weak in Congress.  This makes it less likely for Correa to do anything that will strengthen his congressional opposition.

However should I be wrong, and Ecuador reintroduces a new sucre as its currency see why a Sucre would be good for gringos at Ecuador and the dollar.

The truth is that the purchasing power of all currencies is at risk.

One way to overcome this problem is to have a passion and investment in collectibles.

Failing global currencies will enhance the demand for collectibles.

Antiques, art, old cars, stamps, coins, wines, autographs and other unique memorabilia have been among the best long term investments for those who know what they are doing.

Collectables especially make sense if you have expertise and or a passion… ideally both.

Investor-collectors, seeking out items they love can expect to see tangible long term increases in value.

There is especially room for growth in Asia and China as China has now become the second largest economy in the world (China’s economy  recently passed Japan’s in size).

Asia has witnessed a 10% growth in the collectibles market, while China has seen growth of 15% and some world record prices have been seen within the Chinese market in the last twelve months.

In December 2009, a Hong Kong auction witnessed a world record price for a single bottle of Château Pétrus 1982 vintage wine, which was auctioned for an impressive  £62,000 ($94,000).

In January 2010, another Chinese record was smashed with the sale of one of the rare 1897 Red Revenue Stamps which sold for £470,000 ($710,600).

In April this year a piece of Imperial Jade relating to Qianlong of the Qing dynasty sold for a world record price of £8,005,000 ($12,200,000) , at Sotheby’s, Hong Kong.

Then a month later, more world records were set as a rare Chinese snuff bottle was auctioned off for £5,800,000 ($8,750,000), to cap off a truly remarkable year in the Chinese collectibles, market.

In the Chinese market alone, world records continue to be set for rare collectibles like stamps and wine. Hong Kong hosted its annual Winexpo event in May, with 880 exhibitors from thirty two countries on show. The three day event saw 12,000 Asian visitors, with a 40% attendance increase from the previous year demonstrating the growing market in the Far East.

Collectible Caution

The collectible market can be splotchy.

In June 2010 Europe’s most valuable ever art auction was slow.

Christie’s in London hosted one of the most anticipated sales for years, selling art with a total presale estimate of £163m-231m.

The two stand-out jewels among the 63 lots were a blue period Picasso and a Monet waterlily painting, both with estimates of between £30m-40m and even higher expectations. But the Picasso sold at its low-end estimate – for £31m – and a final bid of £29m for the Monet meant it went unsold. In total, 16 lots were unsold.

There were disappointing lots but sales did reach £152.5m a UK art auction record.

The risks in investing in collectibles include mark-ups, maintenance, forgery and delay.

Collectible dealers usually mark up the price to make a quick turn profit. Collectors, may have to hold an item for years and the value may or may not increase.

Many collectibles require special care to keep them in good condition. Be sure you can

Counterfeiting and puffery are great risk. Your collectible may be a fake or offered as a higher grade. Be sure you know a lot about what you buy.

One idea if to learn about and invest in Ecuadorian antiques.

Here is a note about Ecuador antiques from Jean Marie Butterlin.

Ecuador and Antiques


By Jean Marie Butterlin

I love antiques  and always have some in our houses wherever we live.

One thing I pay a lot of attention to, when buying antiques is the energy that the pieces of furniture or art carry with them .  I have felt many times when visiting friends who had a lot of antiques, that some of their pieces have brought unusual energies in their rooms.

Therefore before buying an antique piece, I always try to get a feel about them, almost doing a little meditation and touching it to get the subtle energy that it carries.

I am scouting for some pieces but I always check not only the integrity but also any unusual energies because the last thing you want in your home is stuff that could negatively alter the character of your home.

When moving to Ecuador, I decided not to bring any furniture with me (too far away and too costly) and started looking for some furniture and decorations.

So far I have purchased a small coffee table and desk chair.

This coffer is…


excellent outside and in.


Recently I started looking for antique doors for new the house, we plan to build in Cotacachi.

We have been looking for doors that will be our houses soul.   So far nothing has met our desires

In Feng Shui tradition doors are the entrance of the chi so I pay a lot of attention to the door and the orientation etc.

This is one type of…


door we have found in Ecuador.

My search furniture-door expeditions, have uncovered a few people who know a lot about antiques in Ecuador, especially about restoring them.

In Cotacachi, we live only only 20 miles from St Antonio de Ibarra, the wood carving center of Ecuador. This is where the master carvers make replicas for the Louvre in Paris.

I was curious how these beautiful religious pieces, that come from old convents or churches ended up being restored in St Antonio.

I was told was that they came from old churches or convents, that were being destroyed because they were unsafe or rebuilt or were two and three hundred year old doors that had become were rotten from weather and age so they needed to be changed for much safer ones.

Such doors usually are scrapped by the Padres because they are not secure enough, because the bottom part was rotten due to age, rain and weather.   The masters in San Antonio restore them beautifully.  Only the bottom is new.


These doors were restored in St Antonio.

I have not found my doors yet.  Soon I will and our house will be built around them.

I have found already the future protectors of my house however… or to be more precise.. they found me… and what a deal also I got!


Perfect angels.


We have also found the perfect table for our salon .

When it comes to antiques, and authentic reproductions, there is a lot to be discovered in Ecuador.

When it comes to shopping, there is something for everyone.   One just needs to look and we are here to help you do so.

Jean Marie

As of August 1st, Jean Marie Butterlin and his company International Moryainternat S.A. acquired International Service center’s Ecuador tour business.

Jean Marie has studied with Gary & Merri Scott for over a decade when he began his natural health business in the USA,.

Jean Marie was born in France and after graduating in 1977 from the engineering college ICAM in Lille (France) moved to United States where he developed a homeopathic and dietary supplement business in Houston TX, with an aim at exporting the US made products  into Europe, with emphasis towards Belgium and France.


Jean Marie Butterlin.

After living part time on both sides of the Atlantic he moved back  in 2002 to Europe where he has a prosperous business in the natural health field i.e. phytotherapy, mineral supplements, specialty cosmetics, as well as Quantum medical technology, internet publishing for the anti-aging market.

This quest for anti-aging remedies, products and techniques has lead him to discover Ecuador with its valleys of longevity, where he is researching and developing new approaches to live longer and better and bringing the new products and techniques to more and more people in the United States and Europe.

Jean Marie began working with the Scott’s one their tours several years ago and moved with his family to Cotacachi last year.

Jean Marie has added some new tours and expanded the length of others, so watch for schedule updates.


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