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Countermarked gold tops auction

Marked by an early American goldsmith, a 1741V cob 8 escudo gold coin sold for $152,750 at an auction conducted May 15-16 by Daniel Frank Sedwick.

This was more than 50 percent above a $100,000 estimate.

 Far surpassing estimate, a “regulated” cob gold 8 escudos sold for $152,750 in a Sedwick sale.

Far surpassing estimate, a “regulated” cob gold 8 escudos sold for $152,750 in a Sedwick sale.

The coin was made unique because of a small IE countermark on a plug. This signifies it had been “regulated” for $15 by Boston goldsmith Joseph Edwards Jr.

It has a pedigree going back to 1911 and the Julius Brown sale conducted that year by S.H. Chapman.

The coin was graded XF-40 by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.

Daniel Sedwick, president of Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, said the regulated $15 gold coin first appeared on the market in the 1911 sale, where the significance of the regulation mark went unnoticed. The coin sold for just $19 then.

“It was especially rewarding to see an exceptional result on lot 83, the first gold cob 8 escudos known to be regulated to a $15 standard with the mark of Joseph Edwards Jr.,” he said.

Edwards was a third-generation goldsmith in Boston. He lived 1737 to 1783, which makes him a contemporary of New York goldsmith Ephraim Brasher of Brasher doubloon fame.

This lot helped propel results over the 2,001-lot auction to $1.65 million. All prices reported here include a 17.5 percent buyer’s fee.

The auction firm said the majority of top-selling gold cobs were those recovered from the 1715 Fleet, which sank off the east coast of Florida.

Lot 18, an NGC-graded MS-62 Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos dated 1712M sold for $25,850 on a $12,500 to $20,000 estimate.

Another top performer was lot 6, an NGC-graded MS-61 Mexico City, Mexico, cob 8 escudos dated 1715J that went for $18,800 on a $10,000 to $15,000 estimate.

Cob coins are those that have irregular shapes due to the primitive striking methods at the mints where they were made.

A trio of silver “loaf” bars recovered by the wreck of the Atocha (1622), lots 243-245, in Class Factors 0.7, 0.9 and 1.0 (the highest quality), sold for $30,000, $32,500 and $48,500, respectively.

See for more sale results.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

More Collecting Resources

• The Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700 is your guide to images, prices and information on coins from so long ago.

• Start becoming a coin collector today with this popular course, Coin Collecting 101.