The following coins are some of the highlightes on Heritage’s upcoming Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF) Coin show that will take place in Chicago on April 13-19. The Sale is centered on World and ancient coins.
Melbourne mint, Indian obverse die, KM23. Obv. Crowned, draped bust of King George V. Rev. ONE PENNY in a beaded circle with the legend COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA 1930 around. Glossy, reddish-brown surfaces, with only tiny marks. Nice central diamond, with all pearls visible. Tied with one other piece for the finest certified by PCGS, with none certified in this lofty condition by NGC. By far, the finest of this legendary issue that we have seen.
San Jose mint, KM16. Handsomely preserved with only faint friction evidence on the raised devices, nearly full mint brilliance and pleasant delicate toning over mildly handled surfaces. The second rarest date of this very popular and scarce type, elusive in any grade and missing altogether from the comprehensive Mayer collection. Currently the second finest example listed in the combined NGC-PCGS census, very rare and vastly desirable in this superb quality.
KM6.3, Fr-2. Diagonal strike on both the obverse and reverse. The strike is crude, as with all the Pernambuco gold issues, but all of the legends, denomination, and date are full and bold. Extremely rare, and a nice Mint State example of this elusive series. In an earlier auction, when offering the Pernambuco gold coins, we wrote:
The important fact is that coins struck in Brazil were not legal tender in Holland, and any coins coming back to Europe had to be exchanged for Dutch Guilders, (and this is why the Brazilian issue was referred to as the Brazilian Ducat) and subsequently were melted. In the colony, any Portuguese or Brazilian found with a Dutch coin ran the risk of being considered a traitor, and hanged. So any coins staying behind in Brazil would have been melted after 1654 when the Dutch were finally ousted from South America. The fact is that very few coins remain of both dates, and all three denominations. Our best estimate would be around 50-60 pieces, all together, and a number in museum collections.
Ottawa mint, KM6. A monumental example of this, one of the most coveted issues in all of Canadian numismatics. We wrote in the Belzberg catalog (Heritage, 1/2003, lot 15470) which had a piece certified Specimen 64, but no Mint State example, “Extremely rare in all grades, and a classic rarity in the Canadian 50 Cent series. Neither the Pittman nor Norweb collections had a Mint State example of this rare type, and PCGS has certified only three examples in Mint State (a 62, 63, and this 64+).”
The Belzberg Specimen brought a strong $103,500 in January 2003 against a top estimate of $100,000. This incredible near-Gem coin is equally remarkable for its lovely original patina, with pastel-lilac accented by dots of azure on the obverse. The reverse has more intense color, with a similar palette to the obverse around the periphery but vivid amber-gold predominating inside the wreath.
The strike is quite sharp overall, although minor softness shows on the high points of the obverse hair. Neither that nor the few scattered contact marks detract from what must be far and away the most attractive and desirable business strike known–or imaginable–for this rare issue.
The 1870 Victoria 50 Cents were the first half dollars struck for Canada, only three years after the Confederation Act united four provinces into the Dominion of Canada. The various series issues were struck at the Royal Mint in London or the Heaton Mint in Birmingham, the latter bearing the familiar H mintmark.
As the Province of Canada issued no half dollars, new dies were needed when the denomination was introduced. The dies were, unsurprisingly, designed by Leonard Charles Wyon, who was born in 1826 in one of the houses of the Royal Mint.
The first-year 1870 half dollars were produced in two different obverse variants, with and without the designer’s initials LCW on the truncation of the Queen’s neck. The No LCW coins also lack a small shamrock behind the first jewel at the front of the crown, and other minor differences appear on that side as well.
This coin is now among the highlights of this wonderful collection, but it will continue to be a future cornerstone of even the most advanced Canadian collection for some forthright bidder. An opportunity that will almost certainly not be seen again soon.
Ex. Miller-Alston-Grossman; Ex. Canadiana Collection.
A Great Rarity of the Livonian Order in Riga – Riga mint, Dav-Unlisted, Neumann-277. An extremely rare emission of Riga under the Livonian Order. Cleaned in the past and now beginning to retone, this example exhibits an exacting strike for the type with minimal annealing flaws. Little detail is missing from the major devices and the date is especially clear in comparison to other known examples of this issue. Minted in the first year of Wilhelm’s tenure as Master and just four years before the secularization of the order and Riga attaining the status of a Free Imperial City, only three distinct examples of this type have appeared at major auction firms in the past 15 years, this particular example being arguably the finest.
Ex. Künker (January 2010, Auction 163, Lot 207)