See also : Coins 1000-1775 Japanese coins 20th century coins British Royals
1257 Henry III Gold Penny
2022 SOLD for £ 650K by Spink
Other European countries want to follow the success of the florin. In England gold reserves begin to accumulate. In 1257 King Henry III commissions his goldsmith William of Gloucester to create a gold penny of 45 grains with an official value of 20 pence.
Arithmetic did not match : the gold penny was deliberately undervalued by about 20%. The London merchants represented by the Lord Mayor formally challenged this scam that threatened the silver coinage. King Henry was unpopular. His Lusignan advisers were hated. His foreign policy was indecisive and expensive. He had no choice but to give up. The acceptance of a gold penny by a creditor ceased to be mandatory a few months after its launch.
The following year is much worse, with catastrophic harvests. The coup of Simon de Montfort puts an end to the government of this incompetent king. This totally failed experiment for an English gold-silver bimetallism falls into complete oblivion within a few years.
Most of these gold penny coins, heavier than their official value and no more supported by the government, were very early melted. Some survivors had been clipped.
Eight pieces were known before 2021. An additional specimen was found in September 2021 by an amateur metal detectorist near a village in Devon. Its strike is handsomely uniform includinga broad flan and fine peripheral details in a previously unrecorded die pairing. It was sold for £ 650K by Spink on January 23, 2022, lot 220.
Spink proudly presents— Spink & Son (@SpinkandSon) December 5, 2021
A New Henry III Gold Penny – England’s “first gold coin”
A Special Evening Sale
23 January 2022 | London
Find out more:https://t.co/OdzawIj32i#spink_auctions #detectingfinds #gold #goldpenny #history #Plantagenet #englishcoins #coinage pic.twitter.com/RC26Lmzygs
2021 SOLD for $ 720K by Heritage
Happy Tuesday Twitter friends ~ We hope your 2018 is off to a good start. If you are a collector of coins, there's quite a few 'pretty pennies' or more accurately, rare pennies, up for bid this month through Heritage Auctions. Learn more: https://t.co/FtYfSzxTQL pic.twitter.com/f74NwWRDaG— Antique Trader (@AntiqueTrader) January 2, 2018
1492 Henry VII Gold Sovereign
2023 SOLD for $ 800K by Heritage
In 1489 the King commissioned the creation of a sovereign gold coin worth 20 shillings, probably for diplomatic presentation. That sovereign was to weigh 15.3 g with a diameter of 40 mm in 0.995 fine gold which is 23 1/3 carats. It was the largest coin yet struck in England, in the follow of the Real d'Or of similar weight minted in Antwerp in 1487.
The obverse features the king seated on his throne with imperial robe, crown, orbe and sceptre and the inscription “Henry by the grace of God, King of England, France, Lord of Ireland”. The reverse has a quartered shield upon the Tudor rose, and an inscription from a Psalm.
The sovereign was hammered in very limited quantities until Henry's death in 1509, including a seven year gap. Five groups are identified by changes in the mint mark. The overall surviving population is less than 30 coins. The unique example from the first group is kept at the British Museum.
The second group, from the fall of 1492 to the spring of 1493, uses a cross fitchee mint mark that also applies to the ryal. The best of its two coins, graded AU50 by NGC, passed at auction at The Royal Mint on May 4, 2021, lot 1. It was sold for $ 800K from a lower estimate of $ 500K by Heritage on August 17, 2023, lot 31158.
Please watch the videos shared by the auction house demonstrating the ultra high relief on both sides.
British Rarities, Lydian Stater Help Set Gold Standard in Heritage's World & Ancient Coins ANA Event!— Heritage Auctions (@HeritageAuction) August 3, 2023
1874 #ThreeDollar, 1873 #LibertyEagle reach record-smashing six-figure results; rare 1841 #QuarterEagle leads event at $150,000.https://t.co/dUl3LVYk4A pic.twitter.com/TR7PcdDTsm
1662 Charles II Pattern Crown
2021 SOLD for $ 780K including premium by Heritage
1703 Vigo Five guineas
2019 SOLD for $ 1.08M including premium by Baldwin's of Saint James's
narrated in 2020
Gold is rare in England. In 1703 the metal seized in Vigo is used to mint coins with the effigy of Queen Anne. The largest denomination is the five guineas, a superb achievement weighing more than 40 grams. Its total population is estimated at 20 units in two basic variants differentiated by the position of the word VIGO centered under the bust or offset under the shoulder. The VIGO beneath shoulder is the rarer.
On February 9, 2016, St. James's sold for £ 275K before fees an example in very good condition of the VIGO beneath shoulder, graded AU55 by PCGS.
Another VIGO beneath shoulder was sold for £ 280K including premium by Boningtons on Novemner 16, 2016. It had just been resurfaced by the consignor from a "pirate treasure" that had been constituted for him many years earlier by his grandfather who had been a lover of travels and coins.
On January 13, 2019, Baldwin's of Saint James's, successor to St. James's, sold another example for $ 1.08M including premium. This VIGO beneath shoulder has a slightly different position of the VIGO hallmark. It may have been a prototype whose irregular letter height in that mark was not acceptable for the rest of the production. This coin is graded Mint State 62 by PCGS and is perfectly centered.
1773 George III Pattern Five Guineas
2021 SOLD for $ 750K including premium by Heritage
1839 Una and the Lion
2021 SOLD for $ 1.44M by Heritage
The new reign is organizing. Victoria is crowned on June 28, 1838 and married on February 10, 1840. In 1839 the Royal Mint commemorates the new reign with a prestigious issue including the fifteen monetary values from farthing to five pounds.
The highest denomination is the masterpiece of British coinage, both for aesthetics and for political importance. Wyon targeted it skilfully. The obverse is the young head. The reverse stages Una leading the lion. The young Una has the features of the new queen. The lion is the traditional symbol of Great Britain. A saying from the Psalms (117: 133) promises a kingdom delivered from sin.
These coins have not circulated. All the Five pounds inspected by PCGS or NGC are Proofs, graded between PR60 and PR66. The contrast must also be taken into account for their appraisal.
A Una and the Lion was sold for $ 1.44M by Heritage on August 19, 2021, lot 33227.
Arguably one of the best specimens in existence, it is graded PR 66 Ultra Cameo by NGC, including the star suffix which means an outstanding visual quality. It is the finest example known by NGC.
Its model has the lowest rarity from nine varieties. The PCGS PR 64 Deep Cameo coin sold in 2020 was from the same run, certainly the original mintage of about 400 coins. The Royal Mint made restrikes up to 1886.
On January 13, 2020, Heritage sold for $ 690K a Five pounds graded PR64 Deep Cameo by PCGS, lot 32248. The next lot was another example of the same coin, graded PR61 Ultra Cameo by NGC. It was sold for $ 300K.
On September 26, 2015, Baldwin's sold for £ 500K a full set of the fifteen denominations, in a great condition. The eight highest denominations have all been graded PR66 or better by NGC. The Five pounds is a PR66 Ultra Cameo.
#HERITAGELIVE Sole finest certified representative of the classic British gold rarity, this 1839 Victoria gold proof "Una and the Lion" 5 Pounds just sold with a record-breaking bid at $1,440, 000. Hear her roar! https://t.co/vhm5F6F2OO#HeritageAuctions #worldcoins pic.twitter.com/OF6QlVXhFZ— Heritage Auctions (@HeritageAuction) August 20, 2021
1870 Meiji 3 Pattern Yen Set
2021 SOLD for $ 1.56M by Stack's Bowers
Know-how cannot be acquired overnight. At the start of Meiji 3, 1870 CE, Japan commissions the British to prepare prototypes. This operation covers eight denominations : 10, 5 and 2 1/2 yen in gold, yen in silver, and four subdivisions in white metal or copper.
The prototypes are sent to Japan and a British engineer arrives in Osaka. The dies are kept in London, which probably explains why the designs will be changed. All subdivisions of the yen are replaced by multiples of the sen, the decimal value 2 yen replaces the fractional 2 1/2 and the 20 yen is added. In June 1871, the government formalizes the creation of the yen. In the meantime, Japan had bought from a trading house the production line abandoned by the British in Hong Kong in 1868.
These British prototypes are very rare.
There are two complete sets in existence of the eight values struck by Leonard Charles Wyon at the British Mint. One of them was sold for US $ 1.56M from a lower estimate of $ 750K by Stack's Bowers on April 6, 2021, lot 50043. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
All units have been certified by PCGS. The three gold coins are graded 67+, 67 and 67 and the others between 65 and 67. The yen is not in silver but in tin, confirming that it was a demonstration set.
The other full set is kept in Great Britain at the Royal Mint Museum.
The crown jewel of the Pinnacle Collection: the Japanese 1870 Pattern Set. This is one of two complete sets and is estimated at $750,000 to $1,500,000. View Lot 50043's Coins in Motion Highlight Video at https://t.co/Rg19OnsdhO. Bid on the lot here: https://t.co/bdifQaK7Ef pic.twitter.com/PHXjxOtQNx— Stack's Bowers (@StacksBowers) April 4, 2021
1920 Sydney Gold Sovereign
2012 SOLD for £ 780K by Baldwin's
The British Empire extended over all regions of the world. It was logical that Australia, a major producer of gold, minted also these coins as soon as security enabled it. Coins made in Sydney, identified by the letter S, were issued from 1855 to 1926, for a total of 115 variants when separating the years.
For many decades, American collectors have built complete thematic series of their currencies composed of the best possible specimens. In other countries, this approach is still unfrequent. The sale by Baldwin's in three parts of the Bentley collection of British sovereigns shall be used as a reference.
The first sale, on 8 May 2012, included all variants made in London, with the exception of the 1819 sovereign which will be the top lot of the third sale in May 2013.
The second sale, on September 27, 2012 in London, is devoted to colonial issues.
The 1920-S sovereign is an exceptional piece. The extreme rarity of this variant is not correlated with the statistics of the plant, but it is likely that almost all coins minted in Sydney in 1920 remained mintmarked from the previous year.
This coin had been sold for Aus $ 580K by its current owner in 2006 in an auction organized by KJC Coins. It fetched £ 780K at Baldwin's.
It has been found in 2014 that the few surviving 1920-S sovereigns struck in 1920 were supplied to an NSW politician celebrating his gold wedding anniversary. The sovereign was expensive at that time in terms of gold content.
A 1920-S sovereign had been kept by the descendants of the man behind the special order, Jacob Garrard. Graded MS64+ by NGC, it is the finest mint state example known, pushing to 6 the population of that variety including one slightly damaged Royal Australian Mint specimen. Garrard had seven children.
It was sold for $ 550K by Heritage on May 5, 2022, lot 30154.
The Garrard sovereigns were possibly not minted for his private order but are instead the only survivors of a normal production that was melted before release at some time in the 1920s due to the post war surge of the gold price. A 1920-S sovereign novodel made in 1926 after cleaning the reverse die is also known. This story is narrated by Sterling & Currency.
1936 The Transient Perfection of Edward VIII
2021 SOLD for $ 2.3M including premium
A few proof sets of £ 5, £ 2 and £ 1 gold coins which had been prepared for the ceremony are not destroyed. Their quantity is estimated at 6. Most have been separated. There are two complete sets left, one in the Royal Mint and one in private hands in the Tyrant collection.
The quintuple sovereign of Edward VIII is thus the most desirable coin in British numismatics. On March 26 in Dallas, Heritage sells the finest, lot 30339 estimated $ 1M.
This coin is close to perfection. It is graded PR 67 Ultra Cameo by NGC. It has never been taken in hand, leaving its surface absolutely intact. The videos shared by Heritage are a superb demonstration of the night and day effect on both sides. No other Edward VIII quintuple has been certified by NGC or PCGS.
The highest auction price for an Edward VIII gold coin was for a Proof Cameo sovereign, sold for £ 520K by Baldwin's on May 8, 2014. It was later sold in a private transaction for £ 1M in January 2020.
2007 Her Majesty's Bullion
2010 SOLD 3.27 M€ before fees
Gold bullion coins generally have a purity of 99.99%.
In 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint announces the launch of a product line to 99.999%. And as now the only way to get noticed is gigantism, they produce a coin with facial value of 1 million Canadian $. A small number of investors will then order similar parts.
The piece measures 53 cm in diameter, 3 cm thick, and weighs 100 kg. Chemists will appreciate this remarkable feat of engineering. The obverse is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The reverse shows the emblem of Canada, three maple leaves. Its value to weight is approximately € 3.2 million.
The copy that was owned by an Austrian financial company is for sale by Dorotheum in Vienna on June 25. Exciting fate for this symbol of capitalism: the owner has gone bankrupt!
POST SALE COMMENT
This lot has been sold 3.27 million € before fees. This is the price of its metal value to weight, not surprisingly. The extreme purity of gold has not generated an added value.
2021 The Ultimate
2022 SOLD for CAD 1.26M by Heffel
Weighing 1,000 grams with a diameter of 101.6 mm, this masterpiece is made of 99.95% pure platinum.
The observe has the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. The reverse has a motif of cherry petals and blooming stems, centered in high relief with a large full front flower cartouche circling a cluster of blossoms. That reverse has been hand set by Beverly Hills jewelers into a rose gold plating with 462 fancy vivid and fancy intense pink diamonds from the recently closed Argyle mine of Australia for a total of 6.5 carats.
The artists are identified : Derek C. Wicks for the reverse and Susanna Blunt for the obverse.
The cabinet style case includes a removable tray for upright display and a pair of gloves for safe handling.
The Ultimate was sold for CAD 1.26M from a lower estimate of CAD 700K by Heffel on May 31, 2022, lot 88.
This piece also serves as an announcement by the Royal Canadian Mint of the launching in 2022 of Opulence, a collection of elite high value coins recognized as legal currency in Canada.
ICYMI: A record-setting bid won The Ultimate treasure.— Heffel (@HeffelAuction) June 6, 2022
We are delighted that the showpiece of the @CanadianMint's inaugural Opulence Collection sold for $1,261,250 CAD (including Buyer’s Premium) at our live auction on May 31. #HeffelAuction
More info: https://t.co/AWVPVxZnsB pic.twitter.com/JPHRqCma2j