Joao VI gold ingot dating to 1812 to auction with $400,000 estimate

A Joao VI Prince Regent gold ingot of Sabara, with an original Guia dating to 1812, will lead a sale of World and Ancient coins at Heritage Auctions in Long Beach on September 25. It carries a valuation of $200,000-400,000.  

The gold ingots of Brazil, in production between 1778 and 1833, are among the rarest of South American numismatic items. For a brief period in the country's colonial history, gold bars and ingots were circulated as legal tender alongside coins.

Ingot Sabara Heritage
In total 219 ingots, from nine foundries, survive to this day

Regional foundries were responsible for the taxation and control of powder gold, and as each ingot was produced it would be marked with the year of production, the weight and the assayer's monogram. Just over 200 examples are known to exist, with more than half held in museums.

The guia refers to the certificate that accompanied the ingot, which defined the value of the bar. The guia for this ingot is in almost original condition, which is unheard of.

The ingot is unusually heavy for an example from Sabara, weighing 90g against an average of 30g-40g, which has resulted in an unusually deep stamping of the 960 Reis c/s.

A gold Burgers Pond Coarse Beard dating to 1874 will also feature with an estimate of $170,000-200,000.

The coin was created in 1874 by Thomas Burgers, second president of the South African Republic. After visiting the newly discovered gold fields in the Transvaal in 1873 he decided to mint his own indigenous gold coins.

695 were struck in the summer of 1874, known as the Fine Bearded variety. In September the die broke, and when the next batch was minted the president's beard appeared much thicker and coarser - these are known as the Coarse Haired variety.

The coins were unpopular with the public and were never put into circulation, resulting in their incredible rarity and value as collector's items. In 2011 a Coarse Haired pond sold at Dix Noonan Webb in London for £216,000 ($345,926).

A rare Flowing Hair Stella will be selling with Heritage on the same date as part of a separate US coins auction.

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