'Colossally rare' Italian coin carries a $10,000 estimate in New York

Numismatists won't want to miss out on Spink Smythe's November Collectors' Series Sale, which is taking place tomorrow (November 20) in New York.

A number of rare and coveted coins and banknotes are appearing in the sale, with highlights among the former including this certified 1903-R 100 Lire Italian Gold coin.

Bearing the image of Vittorio Emanuele III, the NGC graded MS63 (meaning it's "very fine") coin is for sale described as "a colossal rarity and an ultimate collector item."

Understood to have had an original mintage of 966, relatively few of this 1903 example still exist today. It "stands as the largest and highest denominated Italian gold coin of the era" according to Spink Smythe's lot notes.

The 1903-R 100 Lire Italian Gold coin, a 'colossal rarity'

"The surfaces of the present example, unlike its few surviving brethren, have been lovingly preserved through the years and maintain full proof-like mirrors on both sides. Few marks are visible anywhere, and none are worthy of singular notation."

This coin is only the fourth example of its kind to have been graded in the 25-plus years of PCGS and NGC grading, and is the single finest graded on the market.

While the lot notes read "For the Italian specialist, one can only stretch to imagine a more important opportunity to acquire a true collection linchpin," the 1903-R carries a surprisingly low $10,000 pre-sale estimate.

We'll be surprised if the 1903-R doesn't bring considerably more in tomorrow's New York sale - and it certainly presents an opportunity to collectors and investors that should not be missed.

Estimated at $300,000, a classic Federal reserve $5 note

Meanwhile, among the banknotes is a Federal Reserve rarity with an estimate that is considerably higher than $10,000...

Franked in the late 1950s and bearing a design dated to 1934, it's very rare to find a Federal reserve $5 note of this kind (pictured) with such bold inking, perfectly justified margins at a "Gem New" 66PPQ rating.

It is also a "non-mule". (After it was decided that check numbers on banknotes were too small, they were enlarged. Some notes, called mules, were produced with smaller numbers on one side and larger numbers on the other.)

Each of these factors contribute to the note's estimated value of $300,000, and it will no doubt attract the attention of bidders in tomorrow's auction.


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