Friday, August 22, 2014

1804 silver dollar hits $1.8 million-Courtesy of Numistmatic News



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1804 silver dollar hits $1.8 million

Posted on August 21, 2014 by NMN

An 1804 silver dollar brought close to $2 million at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries auction held Aug. 8 at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill.

The Garrett Class III dollar, one of only 15 examples of the date known, is graded Proof-55 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

At the final gavel, the restrike brought $1,880,000.

Obverse of the 1804 Class III silver dollar that was sold at the auction for

Obverse of the 1804 Class III silver dollar that was sold at the auction for $1,880,000.

Reverse of

Reverse of the 1804 Class III silver dollar that was sold at the auction for $1,880,000.

“This is one of my favorite coins,” said noted numismatist Q. David Bowers. “When I cataloged it for sale in The Garrett Collection back in 1980, it brought $400,000, which was then a world record. It was nice to see it again!”

A 1795 Flowing Hair silver dollar from The Lord St. Oswald Sale held in London in 1964, graded Specimen-64 by NGC, also drew a lot of attention and sold for $822,500.

A special consignment of Peace dollar trials also realized impressive results. Formerly owned by Mint Director Raymond T. Baker, whose tenure spanned the design and initial production of the Peace dollar, these coins document an important part of the creation of this beautiful silver dollar series.

“We are extremely proud to report that these Peace dollar trials significantly exceeded our pre-sale estimates,” said Brian Kendrella, president of Stack’s Bowers Galleries. “Clearly, the historical significance and extreme rarity of these coins were not lost on bidders.”

The five coins in this special Peace dollar consignment included the 1922 Modified High Relief Production Trial, Judd-2020, Proof-67 PCGS, which led the way in prices realized at $381,875. The coin is unique for a satin finish example of this design type.

Several other specialty collections were offered as well, including The Dr. James A. Ferrendelli Collection of early U.S. gold coins and The Gilded Age Collection of United States Double Eagles. Both collections were well met by the bidding public and offered many highlights throughout.

Over $28.7 million in United States and world coins, tokens, medals and paper money crossed the block in this event.

Highlights from the Stack’s Bowers Galleries August 2014 ANA World’s Fair of Money auction include:

• Lot 3178. 1877 Indian Cent. MS-65 BN (PCGS). Eagle Eye Photo Seal. Realized $21,150.

• Lot 4268. 1928 Peace Silver Dollar. MS-65+ (PCGS). CAC. From The Narva River & Lake Balaton Collection. Realized $21,150.

• Lot 4416. 1884-CC Liberty Double Eagle. MS-60 (NGC). Realized $14,687.

• Lot 11016. 1808 Quarter Eagle. BD-1. AU-55 (NGC). From The Dr. James A. Ferrendelli Collection. Realized $82,250.

• Lot 11058. 1795 Half Eagle. Small Eagle. BD-6. AU-58 (PCGS). From The Dr. James A. Ferrendelli Collection. Realized $64,625.

• Lot 11104. 1797 Capped Bust Right Eagle. Small Eagle. BD-1, Taraszka-7. AU-58 (NGC). From The Dr. James A. Ferrendelli Collection. Realized $164,500.

• Lot 12005. 1852-O Liberty Double Eagle. MS-62 (PCGS). From The Gilded Age Collection. Realized $94,000.

• Lot 13023. 1793 Flowing Hair, Wreath Cent. S-11B. Lettered Edge. MS-64 BN (PCGS). CAC. Ex: Bullowa. Realized $270,250.

• Lot 13027. 1794 Cent. S-48. Starred Reverse. VF-25 (PCGS). Ex: Van Arsdall-Bowers. Realized $129,250.

• Lot 13070. 1916-D Mercury Dime. MS-66 FB (PCGS). Realized $58,750.

• Lot 13076. 1828 Capped Bust Quarter. B-3. 25/50C. MS-63 (PCGS). Realized $117,500.

• Lot 13112. 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar. BB-1. VF-35 (PCGS). From Dr. Richard Aghababian’s Early Impressions Collection. Ex: Samuel W. Wolfson. Realized $223,250.

• Lot 13166. 1921 Peace Dollar. High Relief. Sandblast or Matte Finish, Antiqued. Specimen-64 (PCGS). Ex: Mint Director Raymond T. Baker. Realized $129,250.

• Lot 13167. 1922 Peace Dollar. Modified High Relief Production Trial. Judd-2020. Proof-67 (PCGS). CAC. Satin Finish. Ex: Mint Director Raymond T. Baker. Realized $381,875.

• Lot 13287. (2000)-P Sacagawea Dollar—Muled with a Statehood Quarter—MS-67 (NGC). Realized $117,500.

The next Stack’s Bowers Galleries U.S. coin auctions are set for Oct. 9-11 in conjunction with the first annual PNG New York Invitational and Oct. 29-Nov. 1 in conjunction with the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo.

Contact a Stack’s Bowers Galleries representative to consign at 800-458-4646 (West Coast) or 800-566-2580 (East Coast).

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1882 $100 Gold Certificate leading lot-Courtesy of Numistmatic News



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1882 $100 Gold Certificate leading lot

Posted on August 18, 2014 by NMN

A “unique in private hands” 1882 $100 Gold Certificate was the star of Stack’s Bowers Aug. 7 sale at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill. The rarity, Fr. 1203, which features Bruce-Wyman signatures and a small Brown Seal, went for $470,000, including the 17.5 percent buyer’s premium. It graded PCGS Fine 15.

This rare 1882 $100 Gold Certificate brought $470,000 in Stack’s Bowers auction at the “World’s Fair of Money.”

This rare 1882 $100 Gold Certificate brought $470,000 in Stack’s Bowers auction at the “World’s Fair of Money.”

“Just three serial numbers are recorded with this A108124 “D” position note being the only collectible example,” the cataloger noted. “The other two pieces are permanently ensconced in both the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and New York collections.”

Another Gold Certificate, this one and 1882 $50, Fr. 1191, sold for $411,250 in PCGS Extremely Fine 40. This large Red “Peach” Seal “is extremely important to the paper money collecting community as it is only one of four examples known and the only one available to collectors.” The note pedigrees to the Albert Grinnell sale of 1945.

Bringing $352,500 was one of two known Fr. 167b “Spread Eagle” 1863 $100 Legal Tender Notes. This PCGS Very Fine 25 note is described as “a catalog number…often considered by many to be unique as the other recorded serial number of 31982 in a Very Good-Fine grade has never been offered publicly or sighted in major collections.”

Going for $329,000 was an 1878 “Triple Signature” $50 Silver Certificate, Fr. 324c, in PCGS Very Good 10 Apparent, Restorations. It is one “of only two collectible examples known for the entire type.”

Other top lots were:

• 1864 $100 Compound Interest Treasury Note, Fr. 193a, PCGS Very Fine 35 Apparent, Restorations, $282,000;

• 1863 $20 Interesting Bearing Note, Fr. 197, PCGS Very Fine 35, $211,500;

• 1889 $50 Legal Tender Note, Fr. 163, PCGS Gem New 65PPQ, $199,750;

• 1907 $1,000 Gold Certificate, Fr. 1219e, PMG Choice Uncirculated 64, $188,000.

• 1878 $10 “Triple Signature” Silver Certificate, Fr. 284b, PCGS Extrely Fine 40 Apparent, $188,000;

• 1882 $50 Gold Certificate, Fr. 1192, PCGS Extremely Fine 45PPQ, $188,000.

For additional information on this or future Stack’s Bowers auctions, visit

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From My Collection-1880 Morgan Dollar






Friday, July 18, 2014

10 Rules Of Successful Coin Collecting-Courtesy of Coin News



Ten Rules of Successful Coin Collecting

(Reprinted with Permission)
by Doug Winter Copyright © January 2000

If you do not learn how to become a good coin collector, you will not enjoy this hobby. This will become quickly apparent; especially the first time you have your rash, uninformed purchases looked at (and, probably, summarily dismissed) by a knowledgeable dealer or collector. There are a number of rules that all coin collectors should remember every time they make a purchase. Here are ten that I feel are especially important.

I. Education: The most successful coin collectors take time to learn as much as they can about numismatics. They not only study coins but the dynamics of the market as well. To learn about coins, I strongly suggest that you buy and read as many books as possible. You can supplement these books with specific catalogs that relate to your chosen field of specialization. A serious collector might even go as far as creating a database of prices that relate to his specialty. Other suggestions for new collectors include subscribing to periodicals such as Coin World and Numismatic News. You should join the American Numismatic Association and use their library (they will send books by mail to members). Become friendly with other collectors and communicate with them by phone or e-mail. And don't be afraid to ask questions.

II. Specialization: It is too hard to begin a coin collection without having goals and boundaries. I have always been a strong believer that it is better to view numismatics with a "micro" perspective as opposed to a "macro" perspective. As an example, if you start by collecting Charlotte gold coinage, your "world of focus" becomes 52 specific issues. It is realistic to assume that an intelligent individual who is willing to commit time to this area of study could become relatively knowledgeable within a year or two. To become similarly knowledgeable in a larger field of study (such as all branch mint US gold coins produced between 1838 and 1907) requires many more years. Becoming a well-versed specialist will allow you to level the playing field between you and dealers and it should enable you to make better purchases.

III. Patience: We live in an era of immediate gratification. New collectors often have the urge to jump in very quickly and complete their sets as fast as they can. The best coin collections are built over the course of many years. Sometimes, it is possible to purchase a number of great coins in a very short period of time. But most times, the opportunities to purchase great coins are few and far between. The new collector should avoid the temptation to buy the "wrong coin" just because he needs it for his set and he does not want to wait. Impetuous decisions are invariably incorrect and usually prove costly over the course of time.

IV. Connections: It amazes me how many serious collectors get their "meatiest" information on topics such as pricing, market conditions and future trends from such third-hand sources as newsletters, coin magazines and coin brokers. This information is almost always well out of date and totally biased. (Remember that most newsletters which recommend specific coins are written by dealers who have taken a position in what they are touting). The only way to get real information about the coin market is from a dealer or collector who regularly attends shows and auctions. This discounts most coin brokers/salesmen as they get diluted information from their superiors and then pass on these half-baked "truths" to the masses. I personally view it as my duty to pass on accurate information to good clients. Conversely, I will not willing pass this information onto "tire kickers." The best way to get good information is to establish a good working relationship with a well-connected, reliable dealer.

V. Thinking Like A Collector: Anyone who approaches numismatics with a dispassionate attitude is a virtual certainty to lose money. Conversely, most pure collectors make money; often times in spite of themselves. This is because they buy coins for the right reason: they love them. They what interests them and they carefully research their purchases. They know for example, that a coin similar to one they just purchased sold for 10% more at a major auction. They know that they are not buying overhyped coins at the height of a promotional period. They are not buying coins just because a voice at the other end of the phone told them to and they are not buying them because this person told them their new coins would "increase in value 50-75% over the next three years." Remember this rule because it may be the most important one of the ten listed here: learn to think and act like a true collector and you will have more fun now and have a better chance to expect a reasonable profit on your purchases over the course of time.

VI. Connoisseurship: I define connoisseurship as the ability to discern true quality in a specific field. In numismatics, the connoisseur is able to determine which coins have the most aesthetic eye appeal and which, literally, stand apart from the "typical" piece. A numismatic connoisseur, for instance, is able to appreciate a truly original gold coin with rich, "crusty" coloration. He is able to innately sense that 150 year old coins do not have to be big and bright in order to be desirable. Connoisseurship is a natural ability. You either are able to naturally determine the "best" or you are not. If you are not a born connoisseur (and very few people are) then you should find a dealer who has this ability to assist you with your purchases. I would estimate that less than 5% of all coin collections are "connoisseur quality" and those that are typically the ones that show the greatest financial appreciation over the course of time.

VII. Learning to Grade: I have seen people spend millions of dollars on rare coins without having the slightest idea how to grade. They put their complete trust in dealers and in third-party grading. Frankly, this attitude leaves me baffled. If I do not feel very comfortable grading a specific type of coin, I do not buy it. As an example, I think Indian Head half eagles are extremely hard to grade. To be totally honest, I can't grade the damn things. My solution? I don't buy them. By the same token, I feel that I am a world-class grader of Liberty Head half eagles. So I buy a lot of them. There are some simple rules when it comes to grading. First--and foremost--you need to view as many coins as possible. I would recommend that you attend shows and auctions and carefully look at coins. Secondly, I would take one of the grading classes offered by the American Numismatic Association at their annual Summer Seminars. Thirdly, I would make the decision to specialize, so that you have fewer types of coins to learn to grade. Fourthly, I would try to learn grading tips from the dealer(s) that I buy the majority of my coins from. Finally, I would always remember that while third-party grading is a great safety net for the beginner, there is nothing like your own knowledge.

VIII. Thinking Long Term: Coins are a terrible short-term investment. Even if you buy coins at a fair "retail" mark-up, you are still paying at least 10-20% over typical wholesale prices. This means that any coins that you purchase have to go up at least 10-20% for you to break even. When coins were heavily touted as investments in the 1980's, the common logic was that you needed to hold at least three to five years. I would suggest that you should plan to hold your coins at least ten years and preferably more. The greatest collections (Eliasberg, Pittman, Norweb, etc.) were built over the course of fifty+ years.

IX. Quality Not Quantity: Let's say that you have a coin budget of $20,000 per year. I would suggest that you purchase four or five really nice $4000-$5000 coins each year than twenty $1000 pieces. The coin market of the future will be even more predicated on quality than it already is. High quality coins will become harder to find and, consequently, more expensive. The decision to purchase the best coins you can afford will prove to be very intelligent over the course of time. A few years ago, another dealer had an advertising campaign that basically said that your entire collection should be able to fit into a PCGS shipping box (i.e., it would be twenty coins). While this never really caught on, I think his idea actually has some merit. If you have decided to be more of a "generalist" buyer than a "specialist," I like the concept of having a small collection of great coins instead of a large collection of nondescript coins.

X. Buying the Best You Can: Understand if you are new to coin collecting and you know next to nothing about coins and the coin market, you have no business purchasing $10,000+ items. I would strongly suggest that you start small and take at least three to six months to study the market. Once you feel more comfortable, you can take a bigger plunge into the coin market.
Conclusion: The regimen that I have discussed above is not easy to follow. Most people are not willing (or able) to follow this approach as it requires considerable discipline and a major commitment of time. If some of these steps seem practical to you and others do not, then I suggest you follow what you can and keep the other steps in the back of your mind as you become better acquainted with numismatics.

1861 $10 Demand Note, One of Three Known, Graded by PMG | Coin News

1861 $10 Demand Note, One of Three Known, Graded by PMG | Coin News


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lost 16th Century Tudor Shilling Could Mean the British Discovered Canada-Courtesy Of Int. Buisiness Times


Lost 16th Century Tudor Shilling Could Mean the British Discovered Canada

435-year-old shilling found on Vancouver Island could prove Sir Francis Drake got to Canada before the Spanish

A 435-year-old shilling found on Vancouver Island could prove Sir Francis Drake got to Canada before the SpanishBruce Campbell


Flagging evidence: The Canadian Maple LeafReuters

The discovery of a rare 435-year-old Edward VI silver shilling buried in clay on the shores of Vancouver Island has rekindled the theory that Elizabethan explorer Sir Francis Drake landed in Canada two centuries before it was officially discovered by the Spanish.

Spanish sailors were the first Europeans to set foot in British Columbia in 1774, according to the history books, followed by British Royal Navy Captain James Cook in 1778.

According to Canada's Metro News, the shilling was discovered in December 2013 by retiree Bruce Campbell, an amateur treasure hunter wielding a hand-held metal detector. Campbell has also found a rare 1891 Canadian nickel, a 1960s dime and penny from 1900 along the same coastline.

“Queen Elizabeth I asked Drake to cover up the fact that he had landed in what is now known as British Columbia in order to avoid a conflict with Spain”

"I was astonished. Only ten of these shillings have been found in England, so to find one on the West Coast is kind of a big deal," said Campbell.

The coin, valued at between CAD$500- $1,000 (£270-£540), was produced between 1551-1553, and according to conspiracy theorists and some historians, could well be proof that Drake reached Canada's Pacific Coast during an expedition to California in 1579.

Drake was an Elizabethan privateer, slaver and politician who lived between 1540 -1596.

His legendary exploits exploring the world earned him a knighthood from Elizabeth I in 1581. The Spanish, however, considered him to be a pirate who frequently captured their treasure ships and raided their territory in South America. Spain's King Philip II is believed to have put a price of 20,000 ducats on his head.

A replica of his flagship, which was renamed the Golden Hind, now resides in London Bridge to commemorate his voyages to South America.

Covering up his discovery

According to author Samuel Bawlf, who wrote a book entitled "The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake 1577-1580" in 2003, Queen Elizabeth I asked Drake to cover up the fact that he had landed in what is now known as British Columbia in order to avoid a conflict with Spain over the new territory.

Bawlf states in the book that two other coins have been discovered in Canada that prove his theory to be correct – namely a sixpence coin from 1571 found in the back garden of a home in Oak Bay, Victoria in 1930, and another Tudor-era coin found on Quadra Island 20 years ago.

"Those items had to get here somehow and it stands to reason that if Drake explored and claimed the B.C. [British Columbia] coast for Queen Elizabeth, he would have given out coins to the natives he met as proof he had been here," Bawlf said.

5 Great Coins To Pursue-Courtesy of Numistmaster


Five Great Coins to Pursue

By Mark Benvenuto, Coins Magazine
February 27, 2014

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This article was originally printed in Coins Magazine.
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If the strict definition of a sleeper is a coin that is undervalued because its mintage is lower than its more common brethren, and yet its price is lower as well, then there are also some coins out there that must qualify as the opposite. There are some coins that collectors know are really not all that scarce but that still command some type of premium.
It’s tempting to say that this is the definition of what are key coins, but that’s not quite the case. A key coin costs more than the common dates within its series precisely because it is not common. No, I am talking here about coins that command the price, but not the rarity of key coins. Here, for our consideration, are five different coins, all wide awake in the midst of some very collectible series of U.S. coins.
1. The 1921 high-relief Peace dollar.
Who knows how much ink has been spilled claiming that this first view of Anthony de Francisci’s artwork, the high-relief dollar, is one of the key coins of the series, specifically because of this high-relief image?
If a person were to listen to the common wisdom, the simple fact that this is a high-relief coin means it has to be worth more than its many lower relief siblings, issued from 1922-1928, then again in 1934 and 1935. But a look at the mintages reveals an inconvenient little truth: With a 1,006,473 mintage for the 1921 Peace dollar, there are four within the Peace dollar series that have lower mintages than this coin. There are another nine that totaled less than 2 million each, making them not all that much more common.
With so many Peace dollars around or below the 1921’s mintage, you might quickly deduce that this coin should be priced about the same as all the others. Alas, how wrong you would be. No, the 1921 in Mint State-60 currently runs about $300. Several of the others, including the 1934, which has a lower mintage, cost about $125 in the same grade.
While a person can make any defense about how difficult the high relief was to strike up, and thus how hard it is to find a truly good looking one today, the fact remains the 1921 is the dead-on opposite of a sleeper.
2. The 1874-CC Trade dollar.
Like Peace dollars, Trade dollars are part of a relatively short series. Originally issued for foreign trade from 1873-1878, then in tiny amounts as proofs from 1879-1885, Trade dollars came out of the Philadelphia Mint as well as the branch mints at Carson City, Nev., and San Francisco.
It’s hard to find a collector today who isn’t aware that any type of dollar with the CC or the S mintmark tends to cost more than those from Philadelphia. Maybe it’s just an overall love of the mints that were part of the wild west, but we all seem quite willing to pay more for those letters.
Yet, when it comes to the 1874-CC Trade dollar, there were 1,373,200 of them produced, which is actually a rather hefty number. When that is compared to the 455,000 produced at the Philadelphia Mint in 1876, or the 218,200 minted there in 1875, that 1.3 million appears downright common. Yet the 1876 costs much less in nearly every grade. And even the 1875 costs less in most grades, including the mint-state ones.
What’s up with this coin? The answer here is one that will probably always be shrouded in a bit of uncertainty. The Trade dollar was the only coin the U.S. government demonetized. As part of that process, plenty of these silver pieces were melted. It is conceivable that a large number of the 1874-CCs ended up in the pot.
Still, whatever the existing total of 1874-CC Trade dollars is, you will need to part with $1,000 to get close to a mint-state example.
3. The 1878-CC Morgan dollar.
The lure of the CC mintmark plays a role for my next coin. The year 1878 was the first of the Morgan dollar series, and they came roaring out of three different mints, in quite a few different varieties. The 2.2 million from Carson City might seem high, until it is stacked up against the 9.7 million that came from the Granite Lady of San Francisco. But the total is quite high compared to the 749,500 that are eight tail-feather coins from Philadelphia (one of the varieties that year). And lest you think this is just an apples and oranges comparison between a Philadelphia and Carson City coin, the 1883-CC total was only 1.2 million, and the 1885-S was just a hair under 1.5 million. Yet the prices for the latter three dates here are always less than the 1878-CC, sometimes significantly so.
Once again, we might have a case here of plenty of 1878-CC coins going to the melting pot over the years. When the price of silver rose astronomically in the early 1980s, there were quite a few folks digging into the corners to bring out silver dollars they had not thought of, probably for decades. And whether it was silver melts or some other unforeseen driver, prices for the 1878-CC Morgan dollar remain high.

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4. The 1953 Franklin half dollar.
It might seem a bit odd as I build a list of coins that aren’t sleeping to include a Franklin half dollar on it, as just about every date and mintmark within the series is quite common, and was made in the millions. The 1955, which is sometimes considered the key coin within this short run of 50-cent pieces, has a total of just less than 2.5 million coins. Yet the 1953, with 2.66 million coins, costs more. Can the reason for this be the same as for the Trade dollar and Morgan dollar examples we just saw?
Actually, when it comes to the 1953 Franklin half, the reason for higher prices being connected with higher mintage, the phenomenon probably has less to do with any silver melts and more to do with the finer specifications of minting the coins. A look through the price lists show that the higher the grade, especially in mint state, the higher the price difference.
5. The 1919-D Walking Liberty half dollar.
Walking Liberty half dollars are some of the most heavily collected U.S. coins, much like Morgan and Peace dollars. So on the surface of things, you might expect these halves to be pretty well aligned when it comes to mintages and price tags. Yet there is one right up at the beginning of the series that appears to be another example that’t not sleeping and that is the 1919-D.
By 1919 the new branch mint in Denver had been pounding out coins for less than a decade. Indeed, the earliest halves with a D mintmark are the 1911-D Barber halves. But even though there was still a hint of that wild west in Denver in 1919, it seems that eight years of producing half dollars would have been enough to get all the details right. I make that comment because somewhat like the Franklin half, the 1919-D is a half dollar with a pretty high mintage for which the price differences are greatest at the higher mint-state levels.
The 1919-D saw a mintage of 1,165,000 halves, which is actually rather low compared to the later dates and mintmarks within the series. But that number is much higher than the 765,400 for the 1917-D obverse mintmark, or the 1917-S obverse mintmark, with its 952,000. Yet the 1917-D runs about $600 in MS-60, and the 1917-S costs $2,500 in that grade. The 1919-D comes in at $6,000 in MS-60. By any stretch, that’s lot to lay out for a single half dollar.
Don’t let this one price steer you away from a good-looking early Walking Liberty half dollar. Stepping down just to something like Extremely Fine-40 gives you a coin that still has some great eye appeal and that doesn’t drain your wallet.
As a matter of fact, in that last comment lies what might be the key to enjoying these five coins that are not keys themselves, but that are far from sleepers. After all, looking at these five, a person could get the feeling that some of the best coins out there are simply overpriced.
How do we then manage to add such coins to any growing collection? The answer to smart buying in these cases isn’t all that tough. Look one or two grades lower than those I have mentioned. For example, see what an About Uncirculated or an EF of one of these looks like, and compare its price tag to the MS-60 version.
Are these cases of slightly higher grades for considerably higher prices? If so, decide what grade is good enough, based on eye and wallet appeal.
They’re not sleepers. They’re not key coins. But they can still be great coins to add to your collection.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Historic coin collection sold for £30,000 after being passed down the same family for more than a century-Courtesy Of The Mirrow



Historic coin collection sold for £30,000 after being passed down the same family for more than a century

A collection of 200 coins including some dating back to Roman times go under the hammer at auction

Coining it in: family sell off historic hoard of coins for £30,000Coining it in: family sell off historic hoard of coins for £30,000


A collection of 200 coins including some dating back to the year 379 when the Romans ruled Britain went under the hammer today for £30,000.

The collection, including other British and world coins, have passed down through the generations of a Sussex family for more than a century.

Originally bought as investment at the end of the 19th century, they were sold byBellmans Auctioneers in Sussex.

Many of the coins were Roman solidi, some from the time of Theodosius I, also known as Theodosius the Great, who was Roman emperor from 379 to 395.

One displays a superb portrait of Constantinopolis seated holding sceptre and shield.

Other items included Islamic gold coins and a gold £5 Victoria coin, dated 1887 and depicting the Jubilee head with St George on the reverse.

An auction house spokeswoman said the coins were bought by a combination of buyers in the sale room, on the telephone and online, with just two failing to sell.
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