Realizing $4.8 million was the live portion of the Chicago International Coin Fair auction conducted by Heritage April 14 and 15 at the convention center in Rosemont, Ill.
Bidding was topped by a $70,500 price achieved by a Near-Gem MS64+ 1870 Canadian 50-cent piece without the LCW designer’s initials.
Struck at the Ottawa branch of the Royal Mint, the cataloger called the coin incredible.
The description reads in part, “A monumental example of this, one of the most coveted issues in all of Canadian numismatics. We wrote in the Belzberg catalog (Heritage, 1/2003, lot 15470) which had a piece certified Specimen 64, but no Mint State example, ‘Extremely rare in all grades, and a classic rarity in the Canadian 50 Cent series. Neither the Pittman nor Norweb collections had a Mint State example of this rare type, and PCGS has certified only three examples in Mint State (a 62, 63, and this 64+).’”
The catalog also reported that the Belzberg Specimen brought $103,500 in January 2003.
The 1870 Queen Victoria 50-cent piece was the first of this denomination struck in Canada.
Designer was Leonard Charles Wyon. The first-year 1870 50-cent pieces were produced in two different obverse variants, with and without the designer’s initials LCW on the truncation of the Queen’s neck. The No LCW coins also lack a small shamrock behind the first jewel at the front of the crown, and other minor differences appear on that side as well.
Also bringing $70,500 was a penny from Australia.
The George V issue was struck in 1930 at the Melbourne mint with an Indian obverse die (KM-23) The coin was graded AU-50 by the Professional Coin Grading Service.
The catalog described it as “glossy, reddish-brown surfaces, with only tiny marks. Nice central diamond, with all pearls visible. Tied with one other piece for the finest certified by PCGS, with none certified in this lofty condition by NGC. By far, the finest of this legendary issue that we have seen.”
Next in the trinity of price leaders was $64,625 realized by a Swedish issue for Queen Christina struck at the mint in the city of Riga, which was a Swedish possession at the time. The gold 4-ducat piece of 1646 H-W was graded AU-53 by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.
The cataloger wrote: “this piece is solidly struck and exhibits only light handling with minimal circulation wear. A mere handful of surface marks are clearly visible without the aid of a glass and serve primarily to confirm the pedigree to the Hagander collection. With this particular specimen being the only example of this issue to have appeared at auction in the past decade, we anticipate spirited bidding from specialists in this series.”
More information about the CICF sale and the Internet portion conducted April 17 and 18 can be found at www.HA.com.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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• Keep up to date on prices for Canada, United States and Mexico coinage with the 2016 North American Coins & Prices guide.
• The Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 8th Edition is your guide to images, prices and information on the century's coins.