For many months now world coin rarities, particularly in high grade, have been fetching top prices at auctions in the United States. Those soaring prices have no doubt helped contribute to the presence of further extraordinary rarities at recent sales.
One such beauty made it first ever appearance on the auction block on Jan. 5: a legendary 1897 South Africa Republic gold proof pattern sixpence, KM-4 for type. It was the star of the show at Heritage’s world and ancient coins sale held in conjunction with the New York International Numismatic Convention.
This coin once formed part of the fabled collection of Royle Baldwin, a member of the Baldwin numismatic dynasty. Graded PR-63 Cameo by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation it had no trouble in finding a new home for $329,000.
The weight top grades given by independent grading service can contribute to a price-realized was shown by two examples of the 1839 Victoria “Una and the Lion” proof gold 5 pounds (KM-702) on offer in New York. The Heritage catalog listed one graded PR-64 Deep Cameo by the Professional Coin Grading Service. The grading ties this coin for the finest ever certified. It realized $258,500 after some intense competition from eight bidders.
A similar example went on the block at the Goldberg’s New York sale. PCGS-graded PR-62 Deep Cameo, it sold for $169,650.
Among other seriously priced items at the Heritage sale was a 1934 Australian six-piece proof set (KM-PS13). The PCGS-graded coins ranged from PR-66 to PR-67 with the exception of the florin that made PR-64. The set took $105,750 despite it having realized $276,000 in 2010 at a prior Heritage sale.
Historic Asian coins figured prominently in both the Heritage and Goldberg catalogs. They provoked intense competition. Eleven bidders pushed a rare Mint State 1907 Manchurian dollar (KM-Y212) offered by Heritage to four times its pre-auction estimate to settle at $114,562.
And at Goldberg’s two attractive Hirohito gold yen helped focus bidders’ attention. A 5-yen Showa 5 (1930), KM-Y51, in gEF made $25,740, while a rare 20 yen from Showa 7 (1932), KM-Y52, in aUNC raced to a comfortable $37,440.
Full details of both sales and prices realized can be found at www.ha.com and www.goldbergcoins.com.