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CNG Auction 118 of World and Ancient Coins Tops $4 Million, Doubles Estimate

Surging demand for quality Ancient and World coins pushed Classical Numismatic Group’s (CNG) Feature Auction 118, held September 13-14 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to over $4.2 million USD – more than double the pre-sale estimate.

Lot 614. PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy I Soter. 305/4-282 BC. AV Stater (17.5mm, 7.12 g, 1h). Euhesperides mint. Struck early 290s BC. Price Realized: $44,000. Image: CNG.

Highlights included a rare gold stater of the Egyptian King Ptolemy I Soter (305-281 BCE), lot 614, won at $52,000; a Roman gold aureus struck by one of Julius Caesar’s assassins, C. Cassius Longinus, lot 938, which reached $50,400; and lot 1388, an impressive British gold Five Guineas of King George II, dated 1729 and graded NGC MS 62+, which achieved $108,000, the highest price realized out of 1,455 lots in the auction.

Another British coin, lot 1381, a gold Triple Unite of Charles I, reached $48,000 (all prices include the 20% Buyers Premium).

“This sale was anchored by several spectacular collections, all of which did extremely well,” said Michael Gasvoda, managing director of CNG LLC. “It exceeded expectations in every way and demonstrates both the strength of the market right now and the power of CNG’s global reach.”

Lot 1388. HANOVER. George II. 1727-1760. AV Five Guineas (39mm, 41.87 g, 6h). East India Company issue. Tower (London) mint. Dated 1729. Price Realized: $90,000.  Image: CNG.

Among the collections offered were the Father and Son Collection, featuring a broad range of Ancient Greek coins with exceptional eye appeal; this was highlighted by lot 227, a beautiful silver tetradrachm of Mithradates VI of Pontus, which sold for $19,200.

Another significant collection was that of the late Dr. Jay Galst, a New York opthalmologist and author who spent five decades collecting ancient Judaean and related coinages. His selection included lot 458, a tiny but exquisite Yehud silver gerah struck circa 375 BCE; only 8 mm in diameter, this piece also sold for $19,200, nearly five times the estimate of $4,000.

Lot 458. JUDAEA, Achaemenid Province (Yehud). Anonymous. Circa 375-332 BCE. AR Half Gerah (8mm, 0.39 g, 4h). Price Realized: $16,000. Image: CNG.

The Archytus Collection, an important offering of ancient coinage from the Indian subcontinent, attained prices well above the pre-sale estimates and set new benchmarks for this rapidly growing field. A standout here was lot 660, an extremely rare gold dinar of the Kushan King Vima Kadphises, which hammered at $31,200.

In a novelty during the era of COVID-19, CNG 118 was staged as a live event at a hotel in downtown Lancaster, PA, the firm’s headquarters city. A small group of enthusiastic floor bidders was joined by nearly 1,000 participants from around the world bidding via the internet through CNG’s streaming online bidding platform. Bids in advance of the sale already exceeded the combined estimate of $1.9 million, and live bidding over the two-day affair, conducted by auctioneers Jeff Rill and Brian Callahan, more than doubled this total.

Lot 938. The Republicans. C. Cassius Longinus. Spring 42 BC. AV Aureus (19.5mm, 7.84 g, 12h). Military mint (Smyrna?); M. Aquinus, legate. Price Realized: $42,000. Image: CNG.

Gasvoda said the success of CNG 118 sets the stage for a pair of landmark auctions in the firm’s 44-year history:

“Further selections from each of these collections will appear in our next Electronic sale, which is number 500 and concludes September 22, and in Triton XXV in January 2022. What a tribute to the longevity of CNG and to [company founders] Victor England and Eric McFadden! The number of firms that have conducted more than 500 sales is very small. To accomplish this feat takes a lifetime of dedication to numismatics, not only by the principles of the firm but for the entire staff and the collector base.”

All CNG auctions may be accessed via the firm’s website,

Consignments are still being collected for Triton XXV, he added.

“For 25 years we have been bringing you the best offerings of World and Ancient coins via the Triton format at the New York International Expo. If you have an interest in being part of this landmark sale, we still have a few weeks to take consignments. But please contact us soon!”

CNG can be contacted via email at [email protected], and via phone at (717) 390-9194.

Coinweek is the top independent online media source for rare coin and currency news, with analysis and information contributed by leading experts across the numismatic spectrum.

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