An incredibly rare Russian pattern coin certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) dazzled the coin collecting world by realizing $2.64 million USD at a Stack’s Bowers auction on Tuesday. It quadrupled its pre-auction estimate of $400,000 to $600,000 and set the record for most expensive world coin sold in a Stack’s Bowers auction.
The Russia 1825 Constantine – Plain Edge Rouble graded NGC PF 62 proved itself to be the apex of the Pinnacle Collection, which was offered in a 162-lot auction in Hong Kong on April 6, 2021. It shows the bust of a would-be emperor, Constantine, who was expected to become emperor after his brother’s death in 1825 but refused to take the throne.
It becomes the sixth NGC-certified coin to realize a price of over $1 million so far in 2021. The impressive result occurred less than two weeks after an NGC-certified Great Britain 1937 Gold Pattern Edward VIII 5 Sovereign realized $2.28 million, which set a new record price for a British coin. Like Constantine’s, the coinage of Edward VIII exists only in a handful of patterns because the British king also walked away from immense power.
“These sales demonstrate the trust that collectors have in the power of NGC’s expert certification services,” said Ben Wengel, NGC Senior Grading Finalizer of World Coins. “Whether it’s a British rarity being offered at an American auction or a Russian coin offered at a sale in China, in both cases, NGC certification gave bidders from around the world the confidence to lift these numismatic treasures to new heights.”
Only eight of the Constantine Rouble Patterns are known, including three that are held by museums in Russia and the United States. Adding to its prestige, the example that just sold is one of only three with a plain edge, and NGC has pedigreed it to the collections of L.K. Joseph and F.F. von Richter.
“This is one of the most elusive and desirable coins in Russian numismatics,” commented Matt Orsini, Stack’s Bowers Director of World and Ancient Numismatics. “We are thrilled that the NGC-certified rarity set a record for the most expensive world coin ever sold in a Stack’s Bowers auction and by an American auction house.”
A second NGC-certified Russian rarity in the sale also impressed. A Russia 1771 Pattern Rouble graded NGC MS 65 realized $156,000, passing its pre-auction estimate of $60,000 to $90,000.
The complete list of NGC-certified coins that have realized over $1 million so far this year is:
- A 1787 ‘EB’ on Wing Brasher Doubloon graded NGC MS 65★ and pedigreed to the Partrick Collection that realized $9.36 million on January 21, 2021
- A 1907 Extremely High Relief Double Eagle graded NGC PF 68 and pedigreed to the Paramount Collection that realized $3.6 million on February 24, 2021
- A Russia 1825 Rouble graded NGC PF 62 and pedigreed to Joseph, Richter, and the Pinnacle Collection that realized $2.64 million on April 6, 2021
- A Great Britain 1937 Gold Pattern Edward VIII 5 Sovereign graded NGC PF 67 Ultra Cameo and pedigreed to the Paramount Collection that realized $2.28 million on March 26, 2021
- A 1786 Lima-Style Brasher Doubloon graded NGC MS 61 and pedigreed to the Partrick Collection that realized $2.1 million on January 21, 2021
- An 1880 Coiled Hair Stella graded NGC PF 67 Cameo and pedigreed to the Paramount Collection that realized $1.86 million on February 24, 2021
Prices realized include buyer’s premium and are expressed in US dollars. All estimates provided by the auction house.