The prices of world rarities have been on a roll for quite a while. There is no indication of any likely pause in this situation. The health of the market is clearly shown by the results of Heritage’s April 20-23 Chicago Coin Expo World Coins Signature Auction.
Leading the charge was an extraordinarily rare triple-thickness Norwegian 3 speciedaler of Frederik III dated 1666-FG, KM-79. In VF and with graffiti on the reverse, it bolted away to take $432,000.
The auction description did not exaggerate when it considered this coin “a once in a lifetime offering.” Only two 3 speciedaler of Frederik III of any date are known in private hands (1652 and 1668). Prior to the present offering surfacing in Maryland, the only known 1666-dated example resides in the Royal Collection in the National Museum of Copenhagen.
As far as Heritage could ascertain, the specimen on offer had never previously appeared at auction. Indeed, it would appear to be the first of its type to have been offered for sale in nearly 200 years.
Post sale, a slightly stunned but very pleased Sam Spiegel of Heritage Auctions observed: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest price ever paid at public auction for any Scandinavian silver coin.”
And proof sets of Queen Victoria continue to glow white-hot. Many leagues back in the field, but still well inside six figures, came yet another example, this one an 1887 11-piece £5 to threepence (KM-PS-10; S-PS5). Its provenance was superb: ex. Murdoch Collection. With the coins grading Numismatic Guaranty Corporation PR65 to PR66, it had absolutely no difficulties in being bid up to $156,000.
Two desirable Mexican gold pieces provided a distraction from the rarer coins of Europe. The first was a Calico plate coin, a Charles gold cob 4 escudos of 1680 MXo-L in VF30 NGC (KM-54). The fully shown date is the earliest known for any Mexican gold coin other than the unique 1679 escudo. Under the circumstances, it is little wonder it realized $84,000.
The second was a Philip V cob 8 Escudos of 1709 MXo-J (KM-57.1) ex. 1715 Plate Fleet. The condition was superb, MS-63 NGC, allowing it to manage a healthy $56,400.
Other high-rollers from the sale included:
- Lower Canada BON POUR DEUX SOUS pattern penny, 1812, PR65 Brown NGC: $50,400
- Alderney Prince Harry 21st Birthday gold 1000 pounds, 2005, gem proof, KM-115: $46,800
- New Brunswick / St. John’s 1/2 penny token, AU58 Brown NGC: $45,600
- Bavaria, Maximilian I gold 5 ducat, 1640, MS63 NGC, KM-268: $45,600
- Charles I triple unite, 1642, XF (repaired), NGC, S-2724: $45,600
- George V sovereign, 1921-M, MS64 NGC, KM-29: $38,400
All told, 116 lots fetched in excess of $10,000, with a grand total of $8,299,402.
Full details of lots sold and prices realized by Heritage are available online at www.ha.com.
This article was originally printed in World Coin News. >> Subscribe today.
More Collecting Resources
• The Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700 is your guide to images, prices and information on coins from so long ago.
• 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 .