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Spink joins Taisei for Tokyo auction

 Year of the Dragon 12-ounce gold ¥1000 proof of 1988 (Y-146) that took $24,840 in PCGS PR69. (Image courtesy and © Spink Taisei)

Year of the Dragon 12-ounce gold ¥1000 proof of 1988 (Y-146) that took $24,840 in PCGS PR69. (Image courtesy and © Spink Taisei)

After a hiatus of 30 years, the auction houses of Spink (GB) and Taisei (Japan) have again hooked up to stage a joint-auction in Japan.

The late November sale was very much a pilot project to test present numismatic waters prior to conducting a joint official auction at the Tokyo International Coin Convention this coming April. As a first, the current sale was conducted online in Japanese, English and Chinese.

It was a comparatively small event with just 301 lots on offer of rare Japanese, Chinese, British, French and other world coins. They ranged from early hammered to modern commemoratives. Despite its size, both Spink and Taisei would likely have viewed the results with some satisfaction. The total realized was $532,064 [¥59,811,600], or $1,768 a lot.

If nothing else, the sale demonstrated that regardless of hemisphere, Great British gold 5 guineas continue hot. Top price went to a Charles II issue of 1668 (KM-430.2, S-3328). In gEF it raced away to realize $36,720 [¥4,080,000] on a $16,000 estimate.

A little way back a second 5 guineas was also bid up past the same estimate. This was a George II piece of 1729 showing the young laureate bust (KM-571.2, S-3663). Graded AU-50 by the Professional Coin Grading Service, it took $29,160 [¥3,240,000].

China dominated the early part of the sale. Its top seller was a 1988 Year of the Dragon 12-ounce gold 1,000-yuan proof. In PCGS PR69 and with a mintage of just 518, it had no trouble taking $24,840 [¥2,760,000].

A 1981 Chinese gold proof set showing Bronze Age artefacts: 800 yuan (KM-49), 400 yuan (KM-48), and 200 yuan (KM-47, -46) and all graded PCGS PR69, made a very easy $21,429 [¥2,400,000] on an $8,000 estimate.

Of course no Tokyo sale would be complete without at least one gold koban. In fact, there were several. Of these, the top seller came from the Shotoku era (1714) and was JNDA certified. In EF it sold for $17,280 [¥1,920,000] on a $10,000 estimate.

Full catalog details and prices-realized are available from A premium of 20 percent is included in all prices shown. These have been converted at a rate of 1USD = 112JPY.

This article was originally printed in World Coin News. >> Subscribe today.

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