Skip to main content

Tyrant Collection rarities in Long Beach

 Among the rarities in The Tyrant Collection is a gold Roman aureus issued by Marcus Junius Brutus, whom history records was the assassin of Julius Caesar, dictator of Rome.

Among the rarities in The Tyrant Collection is a gold Roman aureus issued by Marcus Junius Brutus, whom history records was the assassin of Julius Caesar, dictator of Rome.

Can the world’s most valuable coin collection be assembled without the public knowing about it?

The answer is yes – until now, that is.

Highlights will go on display at the Long Beach Expo starting Feb. 22-24, 2018, and run at expos through the next several years.

Called the Tyrant Collection, it features many well-known rarities.

“For a number of years, The Tyrant collector has been assembling what is undoubtedly the world’s most valuable coin collection in private hands, worth hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Ira Goldberg, president of Goldberg Coins and Collectibles, Inc., in Los Angeles, who provided guidance in assembling the collection.

“The focus of the collection is tyrants of every age and culture,” said the anonymous owner.

“Tyrants go by many titles: Kings and Queens, Emperors and Empresses, Czars and Czarinas, Dictators, Regents, Popes, Caliphs, Sultans and Khans. But what defines them is their absolute power over a territory containing millions of people. Tyrants have been the primary shapers of history for thousands of years. One of the first things tyrants do upon obtaining power is strike coins with their name and likeness, announcing their claim to their territory. And they continue to mint coins to maintain their claim until the day they die or are deposed. Everyday coinage is the primary means by which tyrants notify their subjects and rivals of their tyranny,” the collector said.

“Coins still exist for nearly every tyrant of the last 2,000 years who ever ruled a substantial country for more than a few weeks. The objective of The Tyrant Collection is to obtain a coin of every tyrant who ruled every major territory or country, preferably a large gold coin boldly displaying the tyrant’s name, likeness and titles,” he added.

The Tyrant Collection is divided into sections, one for each of the major civilizations that issued coins for an extended period of time. Civilizations require access to water for irrigation and transportation, so they tend to develop around bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes and seas. Each section of The Tyrant Collection is named after the body of water it dominates.

One section of The Tyrant Collection, “The Tyrants of the Thames,” is the most valuable collection of English coins in private hands. Dozens of major rarities are contained within this collection, but the highlight is the single most valuable English numismatic item: the only complete proof set of Edward VIII in private hands.

 1937 Edward VIII patterns

1937 Edward VIII patterns

When Edward VIII became king of England, the Royal Mint prepared five proof sets of the coins bearing his portrait, and these were scheduled to be issued in January of 1937. But on Dec. 11, 1936, Edward VIII abdicated his throne to marry the woman he loved. By this act, Edward VIII became the only king of England for whom no coins were issued as money within the United Kingdom.

“Large portrait coins are works of art commissioned by tyrants who commanded the greatest artists of their realms to render their effigies to last for thousands of years ... At the Long Beach Expo you will be able to see thousands of contemporary portraits, from life, of the most famous and powerful figures of history. I had so much fun assembling this collection that I want to share with the public the centuries of art, history, power and money it comprises,” he said.

More information will be announced soon about the theme and the coins in this first exhibition. The Tyrant Collection contains ancient, world and U.S. coins.

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

More Collecting Resources

• The Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000 is your guide to images, prices and information on coinage of the 1900s.

• Any coin collector can tell you that a close look is necessary for accurate grading. Check out this USB microscope today!