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Rare 1937 Edward VIII Proof Set in Tyrant Collection Exhibit at ANA World’s Fair

Tyrant Collection 1937 Sovereign.
Tyrant Collection 1937 Sovereign.

$30 million “Tyrants of the Thames 2.0” display showcases superb portrait coins spanning 1,400 years of England’s numismatic history


Hundreds of historic English coins from the extensive and unprecedented Tyrant Collection will be displayed at the American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) 2023 Pittsburgh World’s Fair of Money, August 8-12.

The 300-coins exhibit will include a rare surviving example of England’s first gold coin as well as one of the few known 1656 Cromwell 50 Shillings pattern gold coins, and the only privately-owned complete King Edward VIII pattern Proof set produced in 1937 by the Royal Mint. It will be only the second time this set has been shown in public in the United States.

“English coins from the Tyrant Collection were displayed for the first and only time five years ago in California. However, there are many new, superb-condition additions since then, so the new name for the upcoming display is ‘Tyrants of the Thames 2.0’ to reflect the significant update,” explained Ira Goldberg, President of Goldberg Coins and Collectibles, Inc. in Los Angeles, California.

Goldberg is one of the numismatic professionals providing guidance in assembling the wide-ranging Tyrant Collection of superb quality, historic U.S., world, and ancient coins. Described as the world’s most valuable rare coin collection in private hands, the unparalleled collection is owned by Southern California collector Dan O’Dowd.

“The finest collection of English coins outside of Great Britain — and possibly the finest English collection in private hands anywhere – will be in the exhibit at the ANA convention. Insured for $30 million, these are superbly preserved examples of portrait coins minted in the Thames Valley over the last 1,400 years,” said Goldberg. “There is an example of every portrait coin denomination issued by English monarchs since the early seventh century.”

The exhibit will range from early Anglo-Saxon, to hammered “Heavy Weight” and “Light Weight” Noble varieties, to modern era coins.

Highlights of the Tyrants of the Thames 2.0 exhibit include:

· The finest privately held example of the gold Thrysma issued by Eadbald, King of Kent (616 – 640 AD), London Mint, S-758, graded PCGS MS64. This was the first English coin to carry the name of the issuing king.

· Anglo-Saxon pennies including one of only seven known surviving examples of what researchers describe as the first gold coin of England, a superb condition Henry III 1257 gold penny graded NGC MS63.

· Edward III, Plantagenet King (1327 – 1377), gold Double Leopard, S-1476, third coinage (1344 – 1351), graded PCGS MS62. There are only four known examples of this historic coin, and two are in museums. It is described as perhaps the most important English coin in The Tyrant Collection.

· Henry VIII, Tudor King (1509 – 1547), gold Fine Sovereign, second coinage (1526 – 1544), S-2267, graded PCGS MS63. The largest coin issued during Henry VIII’s turbulent reign. This example is believed to be the finest known.

· Elizabeth I, Tudor Queen (1558 – 1603), gold “ship” Ryal, sixth issue (1583 – 1600), S-2530, graded PCGS MS61. This specimen is one of the finest known and features a fabulous design emblematic of the English navy’s historical importance.

· One of the 12 known 1656 Oliver Cromwell 50 Shillings pattern gold coins. A century ago, this historic coin depicting one of the most important figures in British history was in the vast collection of Chicago beer baron Virgil M. Brand.

· An example of the rare 1663 Petition Crown created by Thomas Simon in an effort to persuade King Charles II to consider Simon’s designs for English coinage. Graded PCGS SP53, it was once part of the legendary Norweb Collection.

· Charles II, Stuart King (1660 – 1685), Proof or presentation gold 5 Guineas dated 1670, S-3328, graded NGC PR64 and one of the great treasures of The Tyrant Collection.

· George III, Hanover King (1760 – 1820), pattern Proof gold 5 Guineas by Tanner dated 1770, S-3723, graded PCGS PR63. This is one of the rarest coins of this denomination in the English series, and another of the great treasures of the collection.

· George IV, Hanover King (1820 – 1830), gold Proof Pound dated 1826, S-3797, graded PCGS PR65+ Cameo. Unlike most other 1826 issues, this magnificent cameo specimen is not marred by marks or hairlines.

· Victoria, Hanover Queen (1837 – 1901), graded PCGS PR64 Deep Cameo, this is one of the finest known examples of the world-famous Una & the Lion gold 5 Pound piece, which was obtained by the Tyrant Collection as part of a pristine original complete set of Proof 1839 coins issued for Victoria’s coronation. It is considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful coins.

· Gem condition, complete Proof sets from King George II in 1746 through Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, including the only privately-owned 1937 Edward VIII Proof set, considered the most valuable item in English numismatics.

On December 11, 1936, Edward VIII abdicated his throne to marry an American divorcee. Edward VIII then became known as the Duke of Windsor, and during his lifetime he was never able to acquire even a single English coin bearing his image.

Three of the four known complete Edward VIII Proof sets are owned by the Royal Mint, with one of the Mint’s two sets on long-term loan to the British Museum. A fifth set, lacking gold coins, was broken up over the years and the coins were sold off separately.

Visitors to the exhibit at the ANA convention can receive a free, illustrated educational booklet about this amazing display. Detailed catalogs with information and illustrations about each coin in the Tyrants of the Thames 2.0 exhibit will be available for $10 each.

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For additional information about the 2023 Pittsburgh World’s Fair of Money, visit www.WorldsFairofMoney.com.

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