Milanese gold Renaissance coin valued at $63,000 'nearly sold for scrap'

Scrap metal has always been valuable. At the moment it is so valuable that vandals have destroyed public artworks and desecrated mausoleums just to make a quick buck.

The owners of a gold Milanese coin almost lost to a comparable piece of philistinism, albeit an entirely legal one: Its owners included it in a group of jewellery destined for a scrap merchant.

Fortunately for numismatic posterity everywhere, a younger member of the family decided to snatch it from the outgoing parcel just because he liked the look of it.

Previously claw mounted and worn on a chain, the coin had presumably never been researched. The 2 Zecchini coin has Renaissance style portraits of the young Duke Giovanna Sforza and his mother Bona di Savoia and is very rare, as the young man discovered to his astonishment much later.

Milanese gold 2 Zecchini rare coin
The Milanese 2 Zecchini gold coin

It has been estimated at $63,000 and will be offered in a March 13-15 auction with full internet bidding available.

Collectors of rare Renaissance coins will be excited to see the piece - and even more so if they also check out our own rare Italian Renaissance gold coin displaying Alfonso I D'este (1505-1534) - one of just three in private hands.

Another piece of gold which might have suffered the indignity of being melted down had it been owned by the same family is a Mycenaean gold finger ring.

This is much older than the coin - in fact genuinely ancient, dating from circa 1600-1100 B.C. It has been created as a single band of gold with lozenge-shaped panels, and is expected to sell for a relatively modest $4,750.

Lapis and gold necklace
Ancient Lapis lazuli bead and gold necklace

More ancient jewellery comes in the form of an 800-600 B.C. Mesopotamian necklace with a centrepiece of gold and lapis lazuli beads. This is listed at $8,000 in the London, UK auction.

Auctioneer Brett Hammond commented: "Once again we have attracted an eclectic range of consignments from across the world to our Bloomsbury venue."

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