An extremely rare British Gold Pattern Dollar certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) is among the offerings in a sale presented by renowned European auction house MDC Monaco. It is one of more than a dozen NGC-certified coins that have a starting price over € 100,000 in the sale, which is being held on June 12, 2021.
Graded NGC PF 66★ Ultra Cameo, the double obverse pattern (lot 489) has a starting price of € 300,000 (about $366,000 USD). The sides vary slightly in their design, but both feature the head of King George III, who ruled from 1760 until 1820. One side says ‘GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA REX.’ The other side abbreviates ‘DEI GRATIA’ as ‘D:G.’ in the Latin inscription that translates to “George III, by the Grace of God, King.”
At the bottom left of George’s figure, the coin bears either the initials ‘CHK’ or ‘K’ — believed to represent Conrad Heinrich Kuchler, who designed several British coins before he died in 1810. Amid a coin shortage, Britain used this portrait of George III overstruck on Spanish 8 Reales to issue silver coins dated 1804. The reverse of these silver coins includes BANK OF ENGLAND near the periphery, as well as FIVE SHILLINGS and DOLLAR closer to the center around a Britannia figure.
Another British coin with a starting price of € 300,000 is an 1839 “Una and the Lion” 5 Sovereign graded NGC PF 64 Ultra Cameo (lot 495). The coin celebrates the recently crowned Queen Victoria with a youthful portrait on the obverse and a scene from Edmund Spenser’s 1590 poem The Faerie Queene on the reverse. In that scene, Victoria is seen as the character Lady Una, directing a lion, a symbol of England.
At the previous MDC Monaco sale in October 2020, an example of an “Una and the Lion” graded NGC PF 66 Ultra Cameo realized € 984,000 ($1.148 million USD). This and an 1831 Gold Crown graded NGC PF 66★ Ultra Cameo in that same sale each set a record for the most expensive British coin sold at auction.
The current sale includes a third great rarity from England: a 1701 Plain Sceptres 5 Guineas graded NGC MS 64+ with a starting price of € 200,000 (about $244,000 USD). Called a “Fine Work” 5 Guineas because of its well-executed portrait of William III, it is a testament to the revitalization of the Royal Mint under the skilled leadership of famed scientist Isaac Newton.
“We are proud to offer this impressive group of rarities from Britain and around the world,” said Nicolas Gimbert, MDC Monaco Numismatic Expert. “Whenever bidders have the opportunity to acquire ultra-rare coins like these, NGC certification helps them feel more confident.”
From across the English Channel, a rare France 1861 Piefort Gold 100 Francs graded NGC PF 65 Ultra Cameo (lot 385) also has a starting price of € 200,000. It bears the likeness of Napoleon III, who was halfway through his 17-year reign as emperor at the time.
Bidding also starts at € 200,000 for an Italy 1940R XVIII 100 Lire graded NGC MS 62 (lot 644) that represents the beginning of the end of the long reign of Victor Emmanuel III. That year, with the United States and the Soviet Union still on the sidelines, the Italian king consented to Prime Minister Benito Mussolini’s push to fight alongside Germany in World War II. In the end, Italy and the other Axis powers were defeated and the king abdicated in 1946 in an unsuccessful attempt to save the institution of the monarchy. [Editor’s Note: This coin ranked #32 in our book 100 Greatest Modern World Coins, published by Whitman.]
“NGC is proud to have certified these and other great rarities in this MDC Monaco sale,” said Ben Wengel, NGC Senior Grading Finalizer of World Coins. “The market for NGC-certified coins continues to grow, so I’m looking forward to the results of this sale.”
Other NGC-certified highlights in the sale include:
- A Germany 1745 PPW Nurnberg 6 Ducats graded NGC MS 60 PL (lot 92), with a starting price of € 150,000 (about $183,000 USD)
- A Germany (1765-90)ICB Regensburg 6 Ducats graded NGC MS 63+ DPL (lot 97), with a starting price of € 150,000 (about $183,000 USD)
- An England 1706 5 Guineas graded NGC MS 60 (lot 480), with a starting price of € 150,000 (about $183,000 USD)
- A Great Britain 1897B Gold Trade Dollar graded NGC PF 61 (lot 529), with a starting price of € 150,000 (about $183,000 USD)
- An India 1839(B) Silver Pattern Rupee graded NGC PF 65 (lot 558), with a starting price of € 150,000 (about $183,000 USD)
- A Bohemia 1639 Prague 10 Ducats graded NGC MS 63 (lot 136), with a starting price of € 130,000 (about $158,000 USD)
- A France L’AN 10A Gold Plain Edge 5 Francs (1801-02) graded NGC PF 62 Cameo (lot 316), with a starting price of € 120,000 (about $146,000 USD)
- A Hungary 1695KV Transylvania 10 Ducats graded NGC MS 63 (lot 779), with a starting price of € 120,000 (about $146,000 USD)
All starting prices are set by the auction house.