NGC-certified English Gold Penny Realizes a Lofty $720,000 at Auction
Posted on 27/01/2021
An extremely rare English gold penny struck more than 750 years ago and now certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) realized an impressive $720,000 at a Heritage Auctions sale of world and ancient coins that was held January 21-22, 2021.
Graded NGC MS 63, the gold penny of King Henry III is just one of seven known examples, including four in museums. Its hammer price far exceeded the pre-auction estimate of $250,000 to $500,000.
The gold penny shows the king seated in robes, wearing a crown and holding an orb and scepter. This motif marks the first time an enthroned ruler was shown on a gold coin of medieval Western Europe. For a variety of reasons, the gold pennies were not embraced in English commerce and the ambitious experiment in coinage failed. Nevertheless, they represent a turning point in numismatics and are highly valued today.
“The historic Henry III Penny represents a rebirth of gold coinage that took place over 750 years ago,” said Ben Wengel, NGC Senior Grading Finalizer of World Coins. “I am thrilled that NGC's expert and impartial certification helped one of the greatest treasures of English numismatics achieve this impressive result.”
The second-highest price realized in the auction was for another NGC-certified coin: a modern British coin that also surpassed expectations. A Great Britain 2019 Una and the Lion Gold 2000 Pounds graded NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo realized $360,000, well above its pre-auction estimate of $150,000 to $200,000.
The coin, struck with 2 kilograms of gold, pays tribute to the iconic 1839 Una and the Lion design created for a young Queen Victoria. The current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is depicted on the other side. NGC attributed the coin with Certificate of Authenticity #1, from a mintage of only four.
|Great Britain 2019 Una and the Lion Gold 2000 Pounds graded NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo and attributed as COA #1. Realized: $360,000Click images to enlarge|
Another gold rarity, a Mexico 1715MO J "Royal" 8 Escudos graded NGC MS 63, realized $234,000. Pedigreed to the Isaac Rudman Collection, the coin originated from a mint in Spanish Mexico. The coin's dies and strike show it is an example of Royal Coinage — struck as presentation pieces that are easily distinguishable from the cruder and more common cob 8 Escudos. This particular example is an extremely rare variety.
|Mexico 1715MO J "Royal" 8 Escudos graded NGC MS 63 and pedigreed to the Isaac Rudman Collection. Realized: $234,000Click images to enlarge|
Nine of the top ten prices realized in the sale were for NGC-certified coins, a testament to the expertise that NGC brings to authenticating and grading world and ancient coins.
"We are elated that this sale once again affirmed the strength of the marketplace for world and ancient coins," said Cris Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President of International Numismatics for Heritage Auctions. "NGC certification helps give bidders confidence at a time when buying and selling coins is increasingly done remotely."
Other NGC-certified highlights in the sale included:
- a Great Britain 1826 5 Sovereign graded NGC PF 64 Ultra Cameo that realized $228,000, more than doubling its pre-auction estimate of $80,000 to $100,000
- a Great Britain 1768 Gold Pattern 2 Guineas graded NGC PF 63+ that realized $228,000
- a Scotland 1558 Ducat graded NGC Fine Details that realized $216,000, more than doubling its pre-auction estimate of $60,000 to $80,000
- a Byzantine Empire Mezezius A.D. 668-669 Gold Solidus graded NGC Ancients Ch MS★, 5/5 Strike and 5/5 Surface that realized $216,000, doubling its pre-auction estimate of $50,000 to $100,000
- a Scotland 1575 Gold 20 Pounds graded NGC XF 40 that realized $180,000
- a Great Britain 1777 Gold Pattern 2 Guineas graded NGC PF 63 Cameo that realized $168,000
- a Sicily, Syracuse Pyrrhus 278-276 B.C. Gold Stater graded NGC Ancients Ch AU, 5/5 Strike and 3/5 Surface, with Fine Style that realized $156,000, several times its pre-auction estimate of $20,000 to $30,000
- a Ptolemaic Kingdom Arsinoe II (d. 270/68 BC) Gold Octodrachm graded NGC Ch MS, 5/5 Strike and 5/5 Surface that realized $120,000
- a Great Britain 1729 E.I.C. 5 Guineas graded NGC MS 62 that realized $108,000
- a Russia 1759CNB 5 Roubles graded NGC AU 58 and pedigreed to the Goodman Collection that realized $108,000
- a Mexico 1667/6MO 8 Reales graded NGC XF 45 and pedigreed to the Huntington Collection that realized $108,000
- a Roman Empire Carinus A.D. 283-285 Gold Aureus graded NGC Ancients Ch MS, 5/5 Strike, 4/5 Surface that realized $102,000.
Prices realized include buyer's premium.
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