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Stephen Album Rare Coin Auction 41 Begins Sept. 16th

CHINA: WARRING STATES: State of Chu, 400-200 BC, AV block money (19.27g), H-5.1, ying yuan in archaic script stamped on cut section of two pieces, EF, RR. Estimated at $8,000 to $12,000.

CHINA: WARRING STATES: State of Chu, 400-200 BC, AV block money (19.27g), H-5.1, ying yuan in archaic script stamped on cut section of two pieces, EF, RR. Estimated at $8,000 to $12,000.

Stephen Album Rare Coins will hold its Auction 41 from Sept. 16-19, 2021 at its offices in Santa Rosa, Calif. You can view lots, register and bid in advance as well as participate online during the sale dates at their website at www.stevealbum.com. I like to check lots well before the sale to be sure I don’t miss anything, which is easy enough to do with offerings of this size.

The auction is made up of 3,150 lots of Ancient, Islamic, Chinese, Indian, and general world coins. Also featured in this sale is The Charles Opitz Collection of Ethnographic Money, Part II. You can read, in the May issue of World Coin News, a preview of the first part of the Opitz Collection sold through SARC Auction 40. It’s been quite exciting to see the vast array of monetary items Opitz collected and to relate them to his encyclopedic catalog which has become the standard for Ethnographic Money collectors everywhere. 

Yap, rai stone money, ca. 1871-1931, Opitz plate example), 130 x 117 x 28mm and 1.25 lb, made from crystalline calcite (aragonite per Opitz) and translucent under bright light, holed in the center and attached with plant fiber rope for carrying, a lovely and portable example of this famous ethnographic currency, VF, RR, ex Charles Opitz Collection. Estimated at $1,500 to $2,000.

Yap, rai stone money, ca. 1871-1931, Opitz plate example), 130 x 117 x 28mm and 1.25 lb, made from crystalline calcite (aragonite per Opitz) and translucent under bright light, holed in the center and attached with plant fiber rope for carrying, a lovely and portable example of this famous ethnographic currency, VF, RR, ex Charles Opitz Collection. Estimated at $1,500 to $2,000.

SYRIA: Faisal I, 1920, AV dinar, 1920/AH1338, KM-67, Fr-10, Schön-A1, a superb lustrous specimen and the finest-graded example by either NGC or PCGS; an estimated mintage of only 12 pieces, a coin of tremendous rarity and great historical significance! PCGS graded MS64 (Secure Holder / Gold Shield), RRR. Estimated at $30,000 to $40,000.

SYRIA: Faisal I, 1920, AV dinar, 1920/AH1338, KM-67, Fr-10, Schön-A1, a superb lustrous specimen and the finest-graded example by either NGC or PCGS; an estimated mintage of only 12 pieces, a coin of tremendous rarity and great historical significance! PCGS graded MS64 (Secure Holder / Gold Shield), RRR. Estimated at $30,000 to $40,000.

The coin featured on the cover of the printed catalog and illustrated here has a fascinating and important history. It is a gold dinar dating to 1920 from The Arab Kingdom of Syria. The self-proclaimed kingdom existed only a little over four months, from 8 March to 25 July 1920. During its brief existence the kingdom was led by Sharif Hussein bin Ali's son Faisal bin Hussein. Despite its claims to the territory of Greater Syria, Faisal's government controlled a limited area and was dependent on Britain which, along with France, generally opposed the idea of a Greater Syria and refused to recognize the kingdom. The kingdom surrendered to French forces on 25 July 1920. Faisal then lived in exile in England for about one year before being proclaimed King of Iraq.

CHINA: QING: Jia Qing, 1796-1820, AE cash coin tree, Xi'an mint, Shaanxi Province, H-22.533 for type, 47cm-long cast tree of 24 coins (1 loose and attached with string) and 1 charm (50mm, fú shòu kang níng // bâo quán, dragon and phoenix), EF, RR, ex Charles Opitz Collection. Estimated at $8,000 to $10,000.

CHINA: QING: Jia Qing, 1796-1820, AE cash coin tree, Xi'an mint, Shaanxi Province, H-22.533 for type, 47cm-long cast tree of 24 coins (1 loose and attached with string) and 1 charm (50mm, fú shòu kang níng // bâo quán, dragon and phoenix), EF, RR, ex Charles Opitz Collection. Estimated at $8,000 to $10,000.

Also of interest is a rare cash coin tree from the Charles Opitz Collection. This is a long one, with 24 coins and only one detached. I don’t see these larger cash trees anymore and certainly not in such excellent condition as EF. But this is true of so many of the items Opitz collected; you just can’t find them anymore. That’s why these sales should not be overlooked. The opportunity is here now and will likely be gone once these auctions are over.

ROMAN EMPIRE: Antoninus Pius, 138-161 AD, AV aureus, Rome, 158-159 AD, laureate bust right, ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXII // emperor standing left, togate and veiled, dropping incense onto lighted tripod with his right hand and holding volumen in his left, VOTA SVSCE-PTA DEC III / COS IIII. A fantastic strike with lovely highlights.

ROMAN EMPIRE: Antoninus Pius, 138-161 AD, AV aureus, Rome, 158-159 AD, laureate bust right, ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXII // emperor standing left, togate and veiled, dropping incense onto lighted tripod with his right hand and holding volumen in his left, VOTA SVSCE-PTA DEC III / COS IIII. A fantastic strike with lovely highlights.

Among the ancient coins in SARC Auction 41, you’ll see some outstanding coins. One of the choicest highlights is a gold aureus of Antonius Pius struck in Rome in 158-159 A.D. This coin has a very sharp strike and NGC grades it choice AU, 5/5 for strike and 5/5 for surface. Take a good look at the image illustrated here and you will agree that it is a bargain in its estimate range of $5,500 to $6,500.

A wide variety of coins can be found throughout the sale, and an additional runoff internet sale of 1,000+ lots will take place in October (to be published at a later date). If the results from the firm’s prior auctions in 2021 are any indication this sale should see a continuation of strong prices and very active participation from bidders.

The SARC Internet Auction 11 in August vastly exceeded all expectations, with a total hammer price of $120,588 (including buyer’s fees) on a middle estimate of $43,500 for 500 lots of PCGS-certified coins. They had a sell-through rate of just under 97 percent, which is incredible for on online only sale! A number of price records were broken (based on auction records of coins in the same certified grade), further attesting to the strength of the currently soaring coin market.

Regarding the Internet 11 auction company founder Steve Album noted “Some items went for shocking prices. The market is very strong right now. Whether it is a premier auction or an internet auction, the buyers seem to be finding everything and providing strong competition for these items.”

The majority of Iraq’s Ghazi I proof strikes are hardly ever available. This PR64 KM103a copper-nickel 10 fils is waiting in SARC Auction 41 along with a PR63 1938 4 fils and 18 other choice coins of this six year ruler.

The majority of Iraq’s Ghazi I proof strikes are hardly ever available. This PR64 KM103a copper-nickel 10 fils is waiting in SARC Auction 41 along with a PR63 1938 4 fils and 18 other choice coins of this six year ruler.

Consignments are coming in quickly for SARC, so additional internet offerings could become more frequent. Don’t miss out on these, as I have discovered many scarce items in the SARC Internet auctions and I bet you will too.

The final two days of SARC Auction 41will offer internet-only sessions of lesser-priced material. Photos of all lots are published in high resolution on the firm’s website and lot descriptions are impeccable, as we have come to expect from the highly knowledgeable folks at this wonderfully networked auction company.

Stephen Album Rare Coins is currently accepting consignments for their Auction 42, which will be held January 20-22, 2022. Check out their website at www.stevealbum.com for current offerings, consignment information and contacts or simply to marvel at the great selection of numismatic goodies to be found at SARC.