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World Gold Coins – Incredible Albanian Prova 100 Franga Ari

ALBANIA. 100 Franga Ari, 1927-R. President Amet Zogu (1926-28)
ALBANIA. 100 Franga Ari, 1927-R. President Amet Zogu (1926-28)

By Chris Chatigny, Numismatist & Cataloger, Stack’s Bowers …..

This week’s preview for the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official World Coin Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo is a stunning large Albanian gold piece. This Prova (pattern or test) denominated at 100 Franga Ari was issued with a very low mintage of just 50 pieces. This fact, in addition to its being one of only three at this numeric grade with just two examples certified finer by either PCGS or NGC assures its desirability.

ALBANIA. 100 Franga Ari, 1927-R. ReverseThis world gold coin is from Albania during the presidency (military dictatorship) of Amet Zogu, future self-declared king of Albania. Though nominally a Republic and later a Constitutional Monarchy, in truth Zog I – as his official regnal name – was a dictator, suppressing civil liberties, murdering political opponents and censoring the press.

In addition to his vast executive powers he also held substantial legislative powers. Despite his considerable domestic influence he held little sway in foreign affairs, partially due to his Islamic heritage which alienated him from the predominately Christian European leaders. He did enjoy strong connections to Muslim royal families in the Arab world, particularly Egypt. One of Zog’s greatest European backers was Mussolini of Fascist Italy, and it was in Rome that a large portion of Albania’s coinage (including this Prova issue) was struck.

The obverse design of this world gold coins is a fairly simple head of the President facing left, with his name appearing around. The reverse features an impressive design by Giuseppe Romagnoli, a prolific engraver at the Rome mint responsible for many Albanian and Italian coinage designs of the time period. The design features a nude male atop a biga, in heroic pose with a drape about his torso, with the two rearing horses pulling the biga. Details pertaining to the coin are displayed in exergue; “ALBANIA- SHQIPNI / 1927 / Fr. A. 100.” The charioteer and biga are free of major marks and this, combined with satiny fields and sharp legends and rims, creates a stellar example of this popular type. This Prova is sure to become a treasured highlight in the next collection it calls home.

Lot # 39011 in the Stack’s Bowers November 2105 Baltimore Auction – Session A World Coins

Look for this and other world gold coin numismatic rarities in our November 5-10, 2015 official auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo. For details please refer to the Events Calendar link at www.StacksBowers.com.

Though our Stack’s Bowers November Baltimore Auction is no longer open for consignments, we are accepting consignments of world and ancient coins for our January New York International Auction as well as Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our December 2015 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. Time is running short, so if you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.

Stack's Bowers
Stack's Bowershttps://stacksbowers.com/
Stack's Bowers Galleries conducts live, internet, and specialized auctions of rare U.S. and world coins and currency and ancient coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels. The company's 90-year legacy includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable United States coin and currency collections to ever cross an auction block — The D. Brent Pogue Collection, The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Joel R. Anderson Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection, The Sydney F. Martin Collection, and The Battle Born Collection — to name just a few. World coin and currency collections include The Pinnacle Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, The Kroisos Collection, The Alicia and Sidney Belzberg Collection, The Salton Collection, The Wa She Wong Collection, and The Thos. H. Law Collection. The company is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California with galleries in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. Offices are also located in New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, Hong Kong, Paris, and Vancouver.

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