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World Record Numismatic Events Achieve $90.68 Million

World’s most valuable gold coin sells for $9.36 million; five U.S. coins bring more than $2 million each.
1787 New York-Style Brasher Doubloon. (Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions).

1787 New York-Style Brasher Doubloon. (Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions).

Longtime collectors said goodbye to their treasures and new clients set world record-prices in Heritage Auctions’ Jan. 2021 numismatic events totaling more than $90.68 million.

Total sales of U.S. coins and currency and World coins and paper money reached $90,687,367 during auctions scheduled in lieu of the Florida United Numismatists and the New York International Numismatic conventions. Both live events were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic; instead, their auctions took place in Dallas, TX.

“Six coins broke the million-dollar mark and five world records were set,” said James Halperin, co-founder of Heritage Auctions.

1804 Plain 4 Eagle.

1804 Plain 4 Eagle.

Making headlines around the world, the $9.36 million sale of the 1787 New York-style Brasher Doubloon, EB on Wing, MS65★ NGC., CAC, set a world record for the most valuable gold coin ever sold at public auction. The example is the finest of all seven Brasher Doubloons known. The winning bidder spent more than $11.9 million to purchase not only the Brasher Doubloon, but five additional 18thcentury coins struck by craftsman Ephraim Brasher – the first time the client ever purchased a coin at auction. Included in these was a 1786 Brasher Lima Doubloon, MS61 NGC. CAC, which ended at a world-record $2.1 million.

The Brasher Doubloons came to auction from the Donald G. Partrick Collection, one of several special collections on offer, a list that also included the Bob R. Simpson Collection, Part III. Four coins from the latter collection sold for more than $1 million to set world records:

Simpson’s mint-state example of the 1794 Flowing Hair Half Dollar, MS64+, ended at a world-record $870,000 and his coveted, unique 1943-D cent struck on a bronze planchet, MS64 Brown PCGS, the iconic 20th century wartime rarity and Holy Grail to error collectors, sold for a world-record $840,000.

U.S. Currency Sets Error Note World Record

Collectors broke out into a bidding war and pushed the auction price of a $20 bill featuring a Del Monte banana sticker to nearly $400,000.

"The Del Monte Note" The world's most expensive error note.

"The Del Monte Note" The world's most expensive error note.

The coveted banknote error sold to a bidder competing on Heritage’s live bidding platform. Pre-auction bidding lifted the bids to $210,000. From there, the winning bidder outlasted a determined phone bidder and two other live internet bidders to push the final winning auction price to $396,000. The price sets a world record for any error banknote ever sold. This was just the third time the note had been offered at public auction since its discovery in 2004.

England’s First Gold Coin Tops World Coin and Paper Money Offerings

Heritage’s World and Ancient coin auction presented the finest examples of historical rarities.

The first gold coin struck in England.

The first gold coin struck in England.

One of only a handful of known examples of the first gold coin struck in England sold for $720,000 to lead a diverse offering of world and ancient coins the Henry III (1216-1272) gold Penny of 20 Pence ND (c. 1257) MS63 NGC.

A highly desirable favorite, a 2019 Elizabeth II gold Proof "Una and the Lion" 2000 Pounds (2 Kilos), PR69, Ultra Cameo, NGC, – the first of only four struck – brought $360,000.

Likely the finest 1714 "Royal" 8 Escudos, Mo-J MS66 PCGS, from the Mexico City Mint, sold for $288,000. Almost certainly the finest known, sales of the past few decades have brought to light only a single other example, the Caballero de las Yndias, Ubilla-Sanchez representative, clearly pointing to the fact that even seasoned collectors of the series should not expect to find a more fitting piece for their collections anytime soon.

It was a rare Russian note that took top lot honors among World paper money offerings. A Russia Russian-American Company 25 Rubles ND (1816-1867) Pick UNL Kardakoff 53.7 PMG About Uncirculated 55, sold for $192,000.