Chinese Gold Coins Lead Heritage Boston ANA World Coin Auction

by Heritage Auctions on August 23, 2010 · 1 comment

International coin rarities continued to assert their growing numismatic strength during the Aug. 11-16 Heritage Auctions Boston ANA World’s Fair of Money trio of auctions, realizing more than $8.6 million in Heritage Signature® World Coin Auction, part of the overall $46+ million total of the combined auction events.

Chinese 10,000 Yuan Lunar Kilo coins

These trio of Lucky Number 8 Year of the Dog, Year of the Horse, and Year of the Rooster Lunar Kilo 10,000 Yuan Gold Coins took the top three spots in the Heritage Boston ANA World Coin Auction. Their combined prices topped $480,000.

More than 2,860 collectors were on hand — whether on the auction floor or online via Heritage LIVE!™ — to bid on the more than 3200 offerings assembled for the auction, which translated into a sell-through rate of more than 94% by value.

"This auction offered one of the strongest groupings of any World Coins event we’ve held yet," said Warren Tucker, Vice President of Heritage World Coin Auctions, "and international collectors, I think, recognized that. As a result we saw excellent prices across the board, especially where British rarities were concerned; the Highlands Park Collection brought more than 30%-40% than our pre-auction estimates."

The trio of Chinese 10,000 Yuan Lunar Kilo coins that took the top three spots in the auction showed that Chinese collectors are asserting their willingness to claim their nation’s numismatic treasures.

It was an extremely rare Lucky Number 8 Year of the Dog 2006 Lunar Kilo 10,000 Yuan, Gem Ultra Cameo Proof, that led the pack with a final price realized of $162,627. That coin was very closely tailed by a Lucky Number 8 Year of the Horse Lunar Kilo 10,000 Yuan 2002, Gem Ultra Cameo Proof and a Lucky Number 8 Year of the Rooster Lunar Kilo 10,000 Yuan 2005, both of which brought $161,000. All prices include 15% Buyer’s Premium.

"The number 8 is widely regarded as a universally lucky number in Chinese culture," said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Vice President of International Numismatics at Heritage, "and it proved very fortunate for Heritage in this auction, as well.

We’re currently in a 20 Year cycle of the number 8, which began in the lunar year of 2004 and runs through 2024. All 15 of the Chinese Kilo Lunar issues are rare, but there is only one number 8 for each issue, hence the heated competition to acquire these beauties."

Chinese rarities were not the only coins bringing seriously high bids, as the rest of the auction’s Top 10 lots show, with the top seven lots all breaking the $100,000 threshold. As closely bunched as the prices of the top three lots were, they were again followed closely on the heels by a previously unknown 1928 George V Specimen Sixpence, KM16.1 for type but an unlisted date, SP63 NGC, Reeded Edge, struck in .925 (sterling) silver, which saw spirited bidding between several collectors before finishing at $155,250.

Russian rarities proved popular in the Heritage Boston ANA World Coin auction, led by a spectacular Nicholas II Proof gold 25 Roubles (2 1/2 Imperials) 1896, Bit 312 (R2), Fr-171, Proof 61 NGC, which brought $149,500. This coin was thought to be a special commemorative issue for the Coronation of Nicholas II and was issued in a tiny mintage of 301 pieces, of which very few examples are known to survive.

The Edward Roehrs Collection of U.S. Regulated Gold proved to be one of the most exciting highlights of the auction, one of the most hotly contested groupings, as collectors seriously went after the important offerings in it, including an historically important Myer Myers regulated Half Joe marked by New York’s most famous Jewish goldsmith, perhaps unique, Brazil. Jose I 6400 Reis 1771-R, Rio mint, KM172.2. EF-45, which brought $92,000, while a Chilean Carlos III 8 Escudos 1775 DA. Santiago mint. EB in oval for Ephraim Brasher, KM27, VF, coin of great historicity and collectible appeal — a genuine Brasher doubloon — realized $80,500.

Further highlights include, but are not limited to:

Magnificent Joao V 12800 Reis 1730-M. Minas Gerais mint, IR mark for Joseph Richardson, Jr., future assayer of the U.S. Mint, KM139, VF: One of the rarest regulated Brazilian denominations, this full Johannes (or double Joe) was the Portuguese equivalent of the Spanish 8 Escudos yet valued slightly higher ($16 vs $15) in the future United States in most eras and regions. This piece is particularly important as a regulation by the assayer of the first United States Mint in Philadelphia, one of just a few known to Heritage. From the Edward Roehrs Collection of U.S. Regulated Gold. Realized: $138,000.

Charles I gold Triple Unite 1644 Oxon, S2729, Schneider-303, plumelet mm on obverse only, Oxford mint, XF Details, Mount Removed NGC: Not perfect by any means, but this is in fact a very nice Triple Unite, especially of the smaller flan variety, made "late in the day" as the Civil War was heating up in 1644 and poor King Charles was literally on the run from fortress to fortress, his principal hold-out being at Oxford, where this historic coin was minted. From the Highlands Park Collection of British Coins. Realized: $103,500.

Charles I gold Triple Unite 1643, S2727 type without scarf, Schneider-299, plume mm with lower bands (#103), Oxford mint, AU50 PCGS:  Gold coins of this era, which after all were struck essentially for the king to pay his many expenses and his army during the horrific Civil War, began production in earnest in 1643-44, making this a high-value representative coin right out of this troubled period (used to pay the king’s own military needs). An impressive piece of early British numismatic gold. Realized: $74,750.

About Heritage Auctions

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

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