A pair of South African rarities led all lots as our first auction of 2012 brought in over $9 million in New York, January 2 and 3. All prices include a 15% Buyer's Premium.
South African numismatics is hot, and the prices in this auction show why. Atop the auction results was a unique bronze 1928-SA pattern sovereign. Graded Matte Proof 64 by NGC, this coin appealed to countless collectors worldwide — collectors of sovereigns, patterns, George V coinage, or simply super-rare coins. Estimated at $40,000-$50,000, this coin realized $184,000 when bidding ended. Right behind this rarity was a spectacular proof 5 shilling piece dated 1892 and graded Proof 66 Cameo by NGC. This beauty from the Orange River Collection is one of an estimated mintage of only 25 pieces and perhaps the finest we have ever seen. With a final price of $161,000, it roughly doubled the pre-auction estimate.
Two other numismatic hotbeds contributed the next three results from this auction. From Brazil, a pair of extremely rare 6400 Reis coins from 1827 — one from the Rio mint and one from Bahia — realized $143,750 and $126,500 respectively. From Australia came a very rare 1919 George V copper-nickel pattern Kookaburra penny, a choice and original piece that sold for $86,250.
Others among the many highlights of this auction included:
- South Africa: Republic gold Burgers Pond 1874, KM1.2, MS64 NGC. Sold for $71,875.
- Regensburg. Free City gold 8 Ducats, ND (1765-90), Fr-2558, MS63 Prooflike NGC. Sold for $69,000.
- Poland: Nicholas I Proof 10 Zlotych-11/2 Roubles 1833 HГ (St. Petersburg), KM-C134, Proof 67 NGC. Sold for $63,250.
- Australia: George V copper-nickel Kookaburra Pattern Penny 1921, KM-Pn20, SP63 PCGS. Sold for $57,500.
- Russia: Nicholas I Novodel Family 1-1/2 Roubles 1836, KM-C172.2, MS61 NGC. Sold for $57,500.
- Argentina: La Rioja gold 8 Escudos General Rosas 1842R, KM14, XF40 NGC. Sold for $51,750.
- Cuba: Republic gold 2 Pesos 1916, KM17, Proof 65 PCGS. Sold for $51,750.
- South Africa: George VI "Short" Proof Set 1939, 8 pieces, farthing to 2 1/2 shillings, KM-PS14. Sold for $51,750.
- South Africa: Republic gold Veld Pond 1902, KM11, MS64 NGC. Sold for $48,875.
- China: Hupeh. Tael Year 30 (1904), KM-Y128.2, MS64 NGC. Sold for $46,000.
- South Africa: Republic gold Threepence 1898, KM-PnA23, MS64 NGC. Sold for $46,000.
Our world coin auctions have not concluded! On January 10-11, exclusively through HA.com and Heritage Live!, you have a chance to bid in our 2012 January World Coin Non-Floor Session. This auction, along with our FUN auctions of US Coins and Currency, should have something to interest almost any numismatist.