One of seven known George V cent minted especially for commemorative use set a world record for a coin of its type sold at auction when it cleared $193,875 during the Platinum Night auction of World and Ancient coins held Aug. 11 by Heritage Auctions
The lot opened at $50,000 and a bidding war broke out on the floor between two American collectors. A U.K phone bidder took control to drive the bid to $193,875, nearly double the previous world record for a coin of this type. coin. The last time a 1933 George V cent sold it brought $100,000.
"A coin this wonderful deserves to be a world record holder," said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President at Heritage Auctions. "We are thrilled this piece of British monetary history has found its way back across the Atlantic into an important Collection in Britain. What a journey has it taken!"
Offered during Heritage's Platinum Night Auction during the American Numismatic Association's World's Fair of Money in Anaheim, it is estimated only about seven George V cents were minted in 1933 year sets specifically to dedicate the construction of various important buildings. The cents were encased in cornerstones never to be seen again by the general public. One of the seven cents known was stolen in August 1970 and still remains unaccounted for.
Three of the coins surfaced in the hobby, inspiring an entire generation of children and adults to enter numismatics in an attempt to find the valuable 1933 cent following World War II. It was the dream of many children to find the rare coins, much like finding Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket, Bierrenbach said.
The George V penny was designed by French engraver André Lavrillier and the specimen offered by Heritage retained the coin's rich reddish-brown coloring, with a surface of impressive gloss with very faint iridescent blue and yellow tone highlighting portions of both sides. The surfaces are also essentially free of spots or marks from handling.