By CoinWeek ….
Catawiki is a large internet auction site that offers fine art, antiques, and other collectibles including bullion, coins, currency, and stamps. To highlight some of what they have to offer numismatists and coin collectors, here are a couple of auctions that have transpired recently and a few that are still ongoing.
Gold bullion products from the Austrian Mint are some of the most popular and respected precious metal products on the market. Its Philharmonic series of gold, silver, and platinum coins is a perennial bestseller, and CoinWeek was fortunate enough to film a visit to the Austrian Mint’s refinery back in 2017.
So, combining superior refining technique and high artistry, it is no surprise that this 50-gram bar of 999.9 fine gold should be one of the highlights of what is available on Catawiki. It comes embossed and sealed in a blister pack that also serves as a certificate of authenticity, and sold for € 3,100 (about $3,692 USD at the time of writing) on August 3.
This set of one and two-and-a-half gulden silver coins was issued to celebrate the coronation of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in 1980. Becoming queen after the abdication of her mother, Queen Juliana, Beatrix herself abdicated in 2013 to allow her son, Willem-Alexander (he of the abstract portrait so familiar from euro coinage), to take the throne.
The special coronation sets were struck at the Royal Dutch Mint in Utrecht and given to dignitaries and important figures at the Mint, resulting in a very limited production run of 157. Adding to the rarity, the offering that sold on August 3 for € 2,500 (about $2,976) came in its original Mint packaging.
Lots Opening This Week
As the precious metals and bullion markets have developed over the last few decades, investors and collectors have explored the markets for metals other than the traditional gold, silver, and platinum. One of these metals is rhodium.
A member of the platinum group of elements, rhodium has an appearance like silver, is resistant to oxidation and other forms of corrosion, and is used in a variety of industrial applications. Rhodium is a hard metal compared to some platinum group metals like palladium and therefore has only recently been utilized by mints and refineries around the world for special coinage – though it often finds use as an anti-corrosion alloyed coating on precious metal coins and other valuable items.
And yes, it is also rare.
For those interested in exploring the wider field of precious metals, bullion merchant and largest gold refiner in the UK Baird & Co. offers this 1oz rhodium minted bar. Struck at the internationally recognized standard of .999 fine, this bar features the Baird & Co. mark, its weight, and a unique serial number. The item is sealed in a tamper-resistant package and shipped with a tracking number and insurance.
The Tiffany Art series is one of the most award-winning ranges of collector coins ever produced by Coin Invest Trust (CIT). The first coin debuted at the Berlin World Money Fair in 2004 and the series has maintained its popularity ever since (issued annually since 2007). Much to many a modern world coin collector’s chagrin, the last entry in the series was released in 2020.
So due to the high demand for this series–not to mention its high technical and aesthetic standards–we choose as one highlight that Catawiki has available the 2018 Sammezzano Castle coin.
Sammezzano is an Italian palazzo located near Florence in central Italy. Built in the early 17th century, it was recreated in the late 19th century as an exemplar of “Moorish Revival” architecture. CIT’s smartminting technology, antique finish, and the canvas of a 1kg .999 fine silver coin allow for the exquisitely fine rendition of the castle’s Spanish and Islamic-inspired design. A similar piece representing the Alhambra in Granada, Spain was released as part of the series in 2015.
Adding to the beauty of the piece, each coin in the Tiffany Art series features a stained glass inlay produced by the Tiffany Company. Mintage of the Sammezzano Castle 1kg coin was limited to 99 pieces.
To round out our brief list of highlights, let’s take a step back and look at a classic and historically important European coin: a Late Medieval gold guilder from the Polish-Hungarian kingdom of Władysław III Warneńczyk.
A member of the Jagiellon dynasty of Poland, Władysław inherited the throne when he was 10 years old in 1434. Surviving some political intrigue, Władysław was invited to become king of Hungary and Croatia six years later. And even though he garnered support from the Church and other powerful figures in Europe by promising to push back against the threat of the Ottoman Empire, Władysław had to successfully conclude a two-year civil war in Hungary before he was firmly enthroned. In 1444, King Władysław III died at the famed Battle of Varna in Bulgaria, personally leading his troops against Ottoman forces.
Legends began to accrue around the king not long after his death that he did not in fact die at Varna. In one, Władysław III is said to have recoiled at his strategic error and sought a life of humility as a monk in the Holy Land. In another, he somehow ended up being the father of Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus.
This Polish-Hungarian gold guilder (or gulden) of Władysław III is notable as the first gold coinage to feature the Polish coat of arms on the reverse, replete with the Polish Eagle that adorns so many subsequent coins. A condition rarity, the example available from Catawiki is the sole NGC top pop, graded MS-63. A specimen graded MS-62 sold for $4,887.50 USD in 2010.
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Of course, more rare and intriguing coins, medals and banknotes are available at Catawiki, so be sure to check out their other upcoming listings before they close.