Heritage Auction - Electrum Coin

With the calendar turning to a new year, it’s time for our highly anticipated New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC) auction, scheduled for January 7-8 at its new Grand Hyatt (@ Grand Central Station) venue. We’re honored and excited about the numismatic treasures we’ve assembled for this auction, totaling nearly 6,200 lots, our largest offering in several years.

Our Ancients offering, packed with historic rarities, starts at the very dawn of coinage, with stellar examples of the earliest coins ever struck. These include a remarkable electrum stater of Miletus, c. 625-600 BCE, bearing the mysterious inscription “I am the Badge of Phanes”, one of five known examples.

A few decades later comes the first pure gold coinage, struck by the Lydian king Croesus (561-546 BCE), represented by a stunning gold stater graded MS ★ by NGC.

The epochal reign of Alexander III the Great brings us a rarely seen silver decadrachm and gold distater, while a superb gold stater of his latter-day imitator, the Greco-Bactrian king Eucratides I the Great, concludes the Greek section.

In the Judaean realm, we feature a legendary Jewish War shekel of Year 5 (70 CE), struck under Roman siege.

The fall of the Roman Republic offers two key coins, a gold aureus depicting Julius Caesar, and a silver denarius of the rebel Imperator Quintus Labienus. The Imperial Roman selection truly dazzles, with stunning gold aurei of Nerva, Hadrian, Faustina Senior, Commodus, Septimius Severus, Julia Domna, and Diocletian, phenomenal bronzes of Nero, Vespasian, Titus, and Plotina, an astounding eight aureus gold medallion of Claudius II Gothicus, and an impressive huge silver medallion of Constans.

Our offering of British coinage is usually strong, but this year’s assortment is truly astonishing.

Leading the way is England’s first gold coin! Struck during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272), this gold penny of 20 pence was struck in response to the first Florentine florins. Ultimately this experiment failed, and most copies were melted, with a scant seven examples surviving to the present day, only three of which are outside museums.

Another great rarity is the largest hammered gold coin of England, the Triple Unite. Preserved in outstanding Mint State, our 1643-dated example is crisply struck on a broad flan and fully brilliant; at MS61, it is the finest graded of the variety in the NGC census.

Finally, three masterpieces from the master engraver William Wyon highlight the milled British section. From the reign of George III, the “Incorrupta” and “Three Graces” pattern crowns, rarely seen on the market, illustrate impressive differences in artistic style. From Victoria’s time as Queen, the 1846 pattern for Wyon’s famous “Gothic” crown, dated a year before the standard issue, will certainly captivate the numismatic historian.

From Latin America, we’re excited to offer a most desirable Brazilian gold ingot from Joao VI’s period as Prince Regent (1799-1816). Produced in Vila Rica, this 1814-stamped bar weighs an impressive 217.90 grams, surpassing all others from the foundry by over 80 grams. Once part of the famed Huntington Collection, the 115-year-old provenance surely makes this bar a museum-worthy showpiece.

European highlights include an incredibly rare French 10 Louis d’or of Louis XIII, a pair of 1895-dated Russia presentation 1/2 and 1 Imperial pieces from the outset of Nicholas II’s reign, and a massive Scottish 1575 20 pounds of James VI (I of England)–the heaviest hammered gold issue ever struck in the British Isles.

The second part of this auction, taking place exclusively over the Internet at HA.com, is scheduled for January 16-17. Both of these auctions will open for bidding soon at coins.HA.com.
 

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