For collectors of historic British gold, Stack’s Bowers’ ANA Ancients & World Coin sale saw all their birthdays come at once. The top-selling seven world coins were all British.
All told 79 lots took in excess of $10,000 apiece. Two took over $100,000.
The results demonstrated that British proof sets and 5 guinea/pound pieces remain among the hottest items in the current world coin market. But top prices were by no means confined to these items.
Star of the show was a superb “Una and the Lion” 15-piece Victoria proof set of 1839 (KM-PS5; S-PS3). Denominations ranged from a farthing to 5 pounds and included the 1839 Maundy set with the coins grading Professional Coin Grading Service PR62 Cameo to PR65 Cameo. On an estimate of a mere $200,000-$300,000 the bidding raced away to finish at $432,000.
A little bit behind came a 10-piece 1826 proof set of Victoria’s uncle George IV (KM-PS3; S-PS1). The coins graded PCGS PR63 to PR65 Deep Cameo and on a $100,000-$150,000 estimate it had no trouble in fetching $180,000 despite lacking the penny.
Queen Anne was in the next cab off the high-price rank with a gorgeous and rare 1705 5 guineas (KM-520.2; S-3560). This is one of two pre-union fives struck for Anne and lacks VIGO below her bust. Most catalogs assign it the highest value of all her 5 guineas. Graded PCGS AU55, its bidding rocketed past double upper estimate to close at $84,000.
Queen Victoria returned to the price-stakes with an 11-piece proof set struck for her Jubilee in 1887 (KM-PS9; S-PS5). It made an easy $78,000 in PCGS PR-64 Cameo to PR66 Cameo.
Anne then got a second bite of the cherry with a post-union 5 guineas of 1706 (KM-521; S-3566). In Numismatic Guaranty Corporation AU-58, it made $72,000, which was not quite double upper estimate.
That same price went to a scarce 1720 5 guineas of George I (KM-547; S-3626). Graded PCGS AU53, it showed evidence of circulation but as an attractive coin, it easily trumped its $20,000-$30,000 estimate.
Victoria came to light with yet another proof set: that of 1893 with Veiled Head effigy (KM-PS13; S-PS7). With a mintage of just 773, it easily took $66,000.
It is only at this point of the sale that the rest of the world’s coins get a look-in. That honor was claimed by an extremely rare 1870 Uruguay pattern gold doblon of 1870 (Fr-2, plate coin). Ex Newcomer-Clapp-Eliasberg collections it was bid up to $66,000 in NGC PR62.
Leaving aside further Queen Anne gold, a George V coronation set, a Swiss scudo d’oro del sole, and a Chinese 50 tael salt tax ingot of Year 12, the price realized eventually come to a delightful hammered fine sovereign or 30 shillings of Queen Mary dated MDLIII (1553). This remarkable specimen had survived 465 years to achieve a PCGS grade of AU53. It was little wonder that it was bid past upper estimate to realize $37,200.
The sale of the third tranche of the Eldorado Collection of coins of Colombia once again demonstrated its depth and quality. Here top price went to a superb 1864 peso, one of 1,072 pieces struck at the Medellín Mint (Restrepo 320.1). An example from the Eliasberg collection MS62 NGC brought $4,140 in 2005. The coin here was measurably finer: MS-65 (PCGS). It had no problems finding a new owner for $10,800 on its $2,500-$5,000 estimate.
The combined total for Stack’s-Bowers ancients, world and Eldorado coins was $5,968,590, including 20 percent buyer’s premium.
Full catalog details and prices realized are available at the Stack’s Bowers website. Visit: www.stacksbowers.com.
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