An extremely rare Edward VIII Gold 5 Sovereign pattern coin certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) stands at the top of a stunning group of British rarities being offered by Heritage Auctions as part of the incomparable Paramount Collection. Bidding is already underway in the sale of world and ancient coins, which concludes March 25-27, 2021.
The Great Britain 1937 Edward VIII Gold Pattern 5 Sovereign graded NGC PF 67 Ultra Cameo (lot 30339) has an estimate of $1 million USD, and bidding was already approaching that figure weeks before the auction. Only a few pattern coins were produced for Edward VIII after his coronation in 1936. Less than a year into his reign, he gave up the throne to marry an American socialite, and his coinage was never issued.
The most prized of these pattern coins is the gold 5 Sovereign. The Paramount Collection specimen is one of just two examples known in private hands and is uncompromising in terms of beauty and quality, achieving the lofty NGC PF 67 Ultra Cameo grade.
“It is fascinating that a reign notable only for its inauspicious ending has left behind such a rich legacy in numismatics,” said Ben Wengel, NGC Senior Grading Finalizer of World Coins. “NGC is proud to have certified this and other great rarities from the Paramount Collection.”
Interestingly, some of the other rarities from the collection also involve rulers whose hold on power was brief and unfavorable for them. Gold medallions of Maxentius and Magnentius, which are certified by NGC Ancients, each have an estimate of at least $100,000. The fourth-century Roman rulers died a generation apart after each lost a decisive battle.
So ambitious is the Paramount Collection that a total of 19 world and ancient coins have estimates of at least $100,000, including eight from Great Britain and nine more from continental Europe. In addition, seven US coins from the collection already realized figures of at least $100,000 at a February 2021 sale, including a 1907 Double Eagle that realized $3.6 million.
“Heritage Auctions is proud to offer the Paramount Collection, which features some of the greatest rarities in numismatics,” said Jim Halperin, Co-Chairman of Heritage Auctions. “With the confidence that NGC certification provides, we are seeing intense interest among bidders.”
Another great British rarity in the current auction is an example of what is generally regarded as that nation’s most beautiful coin, an “Una and the Lion“. The 1839 Gold 5 Sovereign graded NGC PF 63 Ultra Cameo (lot 30186) has an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000.
The coins were struck to celebrate Victoria, who became Queen of England in 1837 at the age of 18. The coin’s obverse features a beautifully executed bust of the young queen, while the reverse shows her as Lady Una, a character from Edmund Spenser’s 1590 poem The Faerie Queene.
A rare coin from Victoria’s grandfather, King George III, also shares the spotlight. The 1820 Pattern Gold 5 Sovereign graded NGC PF 63+★ Ultra Cameo (lot 30320) has an estimate of $200,000 to $250,000. Dating from the final year of the reign of George III, it features Benedetto Pistrucci’s renowned Saint George and the Dragon design, which is still used on British sovereigns today.
Another rare opportunity can be found in an England 1662 Gold (Off Metal Strike) Crown, graded NGC PF 63 Cameo (lot 30294), which has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000. Struck near the beginning of the reign of Charles II, it is a high-grade example of a coin that has strikingly few known survivors.
There are over 60 NGC-certified British coins in the Paramount Collection sale, and other highlights include:
- A Great Britain 1773 Gold Pattern 5 Guineas graded NGC PF 64 Cameo (lot 30319) with an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000
- An England 1693 5 Guineas graded NGC MS 64 PL (lot 30302) with an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000
- A Great Britain 1731 5 Guineas graded NGC PF 64+ (lot 30313) with an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000
- An England 1703 Vigo 5 Guineas graded NGC UNC Details (lot 30309) with an estimate of $100,000 to $200,000
- A Scotland 1576 Gold 20 Pounds graded NGC UNC Details (lot 30441) with an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000
- A Great Britain 1817 Three Graces Pattern Silver Crown graded NGC PF 65 (lot 30318) with an estimate of $80,000 to $100,000
- An England 1663 Petition Crown graded NGC XF 40 (lot 30295) with an estimate of $80,000 to $100,000
- A Great Britain 1706 5 Guineas graded NGC MS 61 (lot 30310) with an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000
- A Great Britain 1826 5 Sovereign graded NGC PF 63 Ultra Cameo (lot 30321) with an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000
- A Great Britain 1831 Gold Crown graded NGC Proof Details (lot 30322) with an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000
- A Great Britain 1893 5 Sovereign graded NGC PF 66 Ultra Cameo (lot 30329) with an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000
All estimates are provided by the auction house.