The finest known 1681 Elephant & Castle halfcrown highlights a wealth of British material in Heritage
's upcoming World & Ancient Coins Signature Auction, scheduled for September 3 - 5 in Long Beach, in conjunction with the Long Beach Coin and Collectibles Expo. Additional lots nearly 6,000 in all will be offered September 9-10 through Heritage LIVE! at HA.com/Coins.
"This auction not only offers specialists rare opportunities to enhance their collections, it also features famous coins known all over the world," said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. "The roster of important coins in this auction spans millennia and reaches every corner of the globe."
The Elephant & Castle hallmark served to identify coins minted with precious metal mined in Africa at the Gambia River. Examples of this coinage in gold are scarce, but far more abundant than silver coinage, which included shillings, halfcrowns, and crowns. The specimen offered by Heritage is graded AU55 by PCGS, and has for more than a century been recognized as the finest of about 20 known halfcrowns. It serves as the plate coin for the issue in the Spink catalog.
Ancient coin offerings in this auction are highlighted by Byzantine coins from The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. A gold histamenon nomisma serves as a rare representative of the unprecedented joint female reign of Zoë and Theodora in 1042. Coins from this seven and a half week reign are among the greatest rarities of Byzantine coinage, and this one has been graded by NGC (photo-certificate) as Choice AU (star), 5/5 strike, 5/5 surface. The usurper Artavasdus reigned only slightly longer, and after his defeat in 743, his coins would have been recalled and melted. Likewise, a mint state gold solidus, also NGC-graded with a photo-certificate, stands as a singular rarity and as the finest of about 40 such pieces in existence.
An 1874 South African Pond, featuring the bust of Thomas Burgers, is a highly coveted rarity in any grade thanks in no small part to its small mintage of only 174 pieces. Coins as nice as the NGC-graded AU58 example offered in Long Beach are truly rare and expected to generate intense bidder interest. Australia provides the finest certified example of the legendary 1921 Kookaburra pattern penny, encapsulated as Specimen-65 by PCGS. This unusual copper-nickel issue has a provenance that can be traced directly back to the collection of the late Deputy Master of the Royal Mint at Melbourne from 1921-25, Mr. Albert Malet Le Souef.
Additional highlights include rarities from the following periods or countries:
Roman Imperial: Gordian III (AD 238-244). AV aureus. Rome, ca. AD 240-243. RIC IV 101. Calicó 3202a. NGC MS 5/5 - 4/5
Roman Imperial: Gordian III (AD 238-244). AV aureus. Rome, AD 242. RIC 103. Calicó 3225. NGC MS 5/5 - 4/5
Byzantine Empire: Michael III 'the Drunkard' (AD 842-867). AV solidus. Constantinople, AD 856-866. Sear 1688. DOC III 3. NGC (photo-certificate) MS 5/5 - 4/5
Byzantine Empire: Alexander (AD 912-913). AV solidus. Constantinople, AD 912-913. Sear 1737 (same dies). DOC 2. Berk 272. NGC (photo-certificate) MS 5/5 - 2/5
An Apulian Large Red-Figure Amphora from Greek Italy. Ca. 320-300 BC
Great Britain: George IV gold Proof 5 Pounds 1826 PR63 PCGS, KM702, S-3797. Bare Head, raised lettered edge
Mexico: Republic gold 8 Escudos 1829 EoMo-LF AU50 NGC, Tlalpan mint (Estado de Mexico), KM383.4, Fr-69
Russia: Nicholas I platinum Proof 3 Roubles 1829 CПБ PR65 Cameo NGC, St. Petersburg mint, Bitkin-74 (R), KM-C177, Fr-160
Russia: Nicholas I platinum Proof 3 Roubles 1831 CПБ PR65 PCGS, St. Petersburg mint, Bitkin-77 (R), KM-C177, Fr-160