Baldwin's Bentley Collection auction features 1819 Gold Sovereign
Coin specialist Baldwin's three-part auction of the Bentley Collection gets underway in May
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Saturday 24 March 2012
Baldwin's have announced the dates for a series of landmark auctions featuring one of the world's greatest collections of British coins.
The Bentley Collection includes a comprehensive collection of British Gold Sovereign coins, with many of the finest known examples featuring alongside numerous rare pattern and proof issues.
Its history perfectly illustrates how tangible investments can turn into life-long passions for many collectors. During the late 1970s, the anonymous owner made his first foray into the world of rare coins as a way of investing in gold. However, the fascinating history behind the coins along with their striking designs and beauty soon caught the collector's imagination, and he began a 34 year quest to build a world class collection.
He then took advantage of falling stock prices and the "Black Monday" crash of 1987 to acquire many of the collection's most notable pieces, as numerous important coin collections were sold off in the years following the collapse.
The result is a collection which offers a complete history of the modern Gold Sovereign, from its conception in 1816 until decimalisation in 1971. It is virtually unparalleled in both its quality and quantity, and looks set to capture the attention of the world's top coin collectors.
Steve Hill, director at Baldwin's and British coin specialist, commented: "Collections of the calibre of the Bentley Collection only come along once in a numismatic generation and the decision to divide the sale of the collection into three parts has been carefully considered in order to allow Sovereign collectors to plan their proposed purchases properly, with advance notice of what highlights will be available. "
The first part of the auction, scheduled for May 8 in London, will feature at least one example of every Sovereign date issued in the UK since 1816.
The last of the three auctions, scheduled for May 2013, will be headlined by one of the most elusive of all British coins - a 1819 Gold Sovereign. Described as "excessively rare", only six examples are known to exist. The example offered in the Bentley Collection is the finest known specimen still in private hands, and looks certain to enter the record books when it hits the auction block.
We'll be taking a more detailed look at the upcoming lots next week. For collectors looking to acquire an earlier and equally scarce example, we are currently able to offer this highly rare Elizabeth I Sixth Issue Gold Sovereign Coin. Dating from the late 16th century, the coin is one of just seven known examples of its type.
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