Collectors of world gold will likely want to get their hands on the latest catalog from the Monaco auction house of Éditions V. Gadoury. While 1,384 gold lots will dominate the Dec. 2 Prestige Sale, other coins will also be offered. Together, these span the globe and range from ancients to a modern $10,000 Australian issue. Rarities are commonplace.
In brief, the sale includes: 150 Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Celtic ancients; 500 lots from France, commencing with a 9th century issue of Charles the Bald; 200 lots from Italy; 90 lots from Russia; and 60 lots from the United States, plus more than 1,200 other world coins and medals ranging from Afghanistan to Zaire.
Among the ancients, a superb aureus of Commodus struck in Rome is sure to attract attention. On the reverse, Castor leads a high-stepping horse. The estimate is €25,000. Its desirability may be challenged by an aureus of Pertinax in EF that carries a €30,000 estimate.
Several French rarities are led by a pattern 100 francs in gold by Tiolier for Charles X c. 1830. Struck at Paris, it will go to the block with an estimate of €50,000. A more modest estimate of €20,000 is carried by an 1852 20 franc specimen of Napoléon III. The cataloger considers it the “most beautiful specimen known to exist.”
Great Britain is well represented by a number of rare historical gold medals. Arguably the most important shows the busts of Princess Matilda and Electress Sophia of Hanover, both by Samuel Lambelet. Struck in 1701, the medal demonstrates that, given the lack of male heirs to the British throne, the Protestant line is assured by descendants of Matilda and Sophia, as indeed happened in 1714.
A choice Italian rarity comes in the shape of a 100 lire struck in 1880 for Umberto I. Just 145 specimens were produced. Graded by the Professional Coin Grading Service as AU-53, the estimate is €20,000.
From the Far East comes an extremely rare, undated, Qing dynasty, 122 x 22 mm gold ingot ex-Tianjin [Tientsin]. Its EF condition explains the estimate of €28,000. From the Farouk collection is an undated Vietnam 5 tien in gold of Tu Duc c. 1847-1883. In EF, the estimate is €19,000.
Among the non-gold is an intriguing 5 francs essay of Cambodia struck for Norodom I at Brussels. In EF, it could well be underestimated at €5,000.
Online bidding will be available, but for those who want to stop by in person, the sale will be conducted at Le Méridien Beach Plaza Hotel above Monaco Harbor.
Just remember, 1 euro = $1.117.
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More Collecting Resources
• The 1800s were a time of change for many, including in coin production. See how coin designs grew during the time period in the Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900 .
• With nearly 24,000 listings and over 14,000 illustrations, the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Modern Issues is your go-to guide for modern bank notes.