The Spink 'Ancient, English and Foreign Coins and Commemorative Medals' auction ended in London yesterday, with some very impressive figures and a few surprises for numismatists.
The sale made a total of £3,206,472 and amongst the lots were many that greatly exceeded expectations, with some selling for up to ten times their pre-sale estimates.
The highest-selling item of the 2-day auction was a superb Henry VII type IV Sovereign. Rated 'good very fine' and described as "incredibly rare", the coin's estimated value of £50,000 - £60,000 was tripled as it sold for £180,000.
Taking second place was a Charles I Civil War issues Oxford, small module type Triple Unite. Although weakly struck on the reverse it was rated very fine / good very fine, and equally as rare as the Henry IV Sovereign. Its estimated price of £50,000 - £60,000 was again smashed by some distance, selling as it did for an enormous £161,000.
Perhaps most impressive, however, was the sale of a 5-Mohurs coin dating from the time of Jalal ud-Din Muhammad Akbar (1542 - 1605), third emperor of the Mughal Empire. It was rated 'good very fine' and priced at £12,000 - £15,000 but amazed everyone by selling for £150,000, ten times its high estimate.
Other notable sales included a James VI second coinage Twenty-Pound piece, which doubled its estimate of £40,000 - £50,000 to sell for £102,000, and an Elizabeth I sixth issue 1583-1600 Ship-Ryal which sold for £82,000, far above its £30,000 - £35,000 pre-sale estimate.
As these figures show the rare coin market has remained strong during 2010, with collectors more than willing to pay handsomely for rare and quality pieces.
And as we move towards 2011, a weak economy combined with booming gold prices means more and more investors will be looking to rare coins as an alternative asset. Which can only mean more good news for collectors in the new year.
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