The sale of the first tranche of The Eldorado Collection of Colombian Coins and Paper Money might be expected to dominate proceedings at Stack’s Bowers NYINC auction on Jan. 12-13. However, the rare, the scarce and the ubiquitous from the rest of the world also feature in the catalog.
There is room here for but three examples of the choice rarities on offer at the New York International Numismatic Convention sale.
When it comes to scarcity few coins are likely to beat out an undated, massive 139.23 g gold Venetian 40 zecchino struck c. 1779-1789 for Paolo Renier, the 119th Doge of Venice (Fr-1426; C-113).
The obverse shows the Doge kneeling before St. Mark with the legend S.M. VENET. PAVL. RAINER around. On the reverse Christ stands amid the stars while holding a globus cruciger. The legend SIT * T * XRE * DAT * TV * REGIS * ISTE * DVCAT * translates as Grant, O Christ that Thou shalt Rule [the Nations].
The catalog cites the coin’s rarity as, “known from two or three specimens only, or unique.” Graded by the Professional Coin Grading Service as EF-45, the Stack’s Bowers cataloger was still contemplating a realistic estimate at the time of going to press.
From England comes a superb Elizabeth I sixth-issue sovereign (30 shillings) c. 1553-1600 (S-2529; Fr-209). Struck at London in ‘Fine Gold’ (.995 fine) it bears a scalloped mintmark. Well centered and sharp it is a choice example of its type and is graded PCGS AU-58. Hence its estimate of $20,000-25,000.
And then there is a legendary Japanese silver 50 sen of Year 7 (1874). The Standard Catalog of World Coins gives the mintage as 95,304. However, that belies this coin’s extreme rarity that in the past has led experts such as Dr. Norman Jacobs and Cornelius Vermeule to conclude it probably did not exist. The deeply toned example on offer is graded Numismatic Guaranty Corporation MS-62 and enhanced by blue, purple and golden hues. Its estimate of $20,000-$25,000 may well be insufficient.
The auction will be held in conjunction with the New York International Numismatic Convention at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Full details are posted on the Stack’s Bowers website at www.stacksbowers.com.
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