By Kyle Ponterio – Stack’s Bowers Auctions ……
The ANA World’s Fair of Money auction has come and gone, and many rare and interesting numismatic treasures have found new homes, including a nice selection of Romanian coinage. One piece stands out not as the highest price realized in the auction, but as a testament its quality and rarity. Lot 21346 was a beautifully preserved Romanian 1870-C 20 Lei graded PCGS MS-65 in a Secure holder that realized $17,625 USD.
Normally found in condition between Very Fine and Almost Uncirculated, true Uncirculated examples are very rare. Not only is this a wonderful example of this one-year type with a reported mintage of 5,000 pieces, it is also pedigreed to the incredible Mortimer Hammel Collection. That gentleman’s eye for quality can’t be denied.
While still under the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire, the use of the effigy of the Romanian Prince Carol I was deemed by the Turks to be a sign of a desire for independence. Through protests of the Turks the later issues of 1872 and 1876 replaced his effigy with the coat of arms or the crown of Romania. When independence was gained in 1878 through the signing of the Treaty of Berlin, this effigy was returned to coinage as seen on the 1879 2 Bani and was used throughout the rest of his reign.
At six o’clock on the reverse can be seen the letter “C”, which stands for C.J. Candescu, an engineer who organized and became the first director of the Bucharest Mint.
Stack’s Bowers is currently accepting consignments for our January 2017 New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC) sale, as well as our April 2017 Hong Kong auction. For more information on consigning to these or another of our upcoming events, call 800-458-4646 and speak to a consignment specialist.