Two NGC-certified European Gold Coins Top $700K Each in MDC Monaco Sale

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French and British gold rarities certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) realized over $700,000 in a sale presented by renowned European auction house MDC Monaco. Fourteen other vintage coins also certified by NGC realized at least $200,000 in the sale, held June 12, 2021.

1861 Piefort Gold 100 Francs graded NGC PF 65 Ultra Cameo
1861 Piefort Gold 100 Francs graded NGC PF 65 Ultra Cameo

An incredibly rare France 1861 Piefort Gold 100 Francs graded NGC PF 65 Ultra Cameo (lot 385) realized €696,000 or about $843,000, far above its starting price. It bears the likeness of Napoleon III, who was halfway through his 17-year reign as emperor at the time.

Though the design was adopted for circulation starting in 1862, the 1861 coins exist only as patterns. This example is a piefort, meaning it is extraordinarily thick. Within a decade of this coin’s striking, Napoleon III was captured during the Battle of Sedan in the Franco-Prussian War, ending his reign.

1839 Great Britain 5 Sovereign, Graded NGC PF 64 Ultra Cameo
1839 Great Britain 5 Sovereign, Graded NGC PF 64 Ultra Cameo

Meanwhile, a coin struck for Queen Victoria, a contemporary of Napoleon III, realized €600,000 or about $727,000. Graded NGC PF 64 Ultra Cameo, the 1839 "Una and the Lion" 5 Sovereign (lot 495) celebrates the queen with a youthful portrait on the obverse and a scene from Edmund Spenser’s 1590 poem "The Faerie Queene" on the reverse. In that scene, Victoria is seen as the character Lady Una, directing a lion, a symbol of England.

Another great rarity from England, a 1701 Plain Sceptres 5 Guineas graded NGC MS 64+ (lot 478), realized €360,000 or about $435,000. This coin is called a "Fine Work" 5 Guineas because its well-executed portrait of William III showcased the revitalization of the Royal Mint under the skilled leadership of scientist Isaac Newton.

Also realizing €360,000 was an undated England Double Obverse Pattern graded NGC PF 66★ Ultra Cameo (lot 489). Each side shows a slightly different portrait of King George III, who ruled from 1760 until 1820. At the bottom left of George’s figure, the coin bears either the initials ‘CHK’ or ‘K’ — believed to represent Conrad Heinrich Kuchler, who designed several British coins before he died in 1810.

"Once again, bidders seized the opportunity represented by NGC-certified rarities from around the world," said Nicolas Gimbert, MDC Monaco Numismatic Expert. "NGC certification helps bidders feel more confident when ultra-rare coins are offered in one of our sales."

Auctions presented by MDC Monaco continue to generate impressive results. At a sale in October 2020, two NGC-certified coins each realized €984,000 ($1.148 million): a Great Britain 1831 Gold Crown and an 1839 Una and the Lion.

"Sixteen NGC-certified coins from seven nations realized prices of at least $200,000, a testament to the strength of NGC’s World Coin Grading Program," added Ben Wengel, NGC Senior Grading Finalizer of World Coins. "This MDC Monaco sale shows that the market for NGC-certified coins continues to grow."

Other NGC-certified highlights in the sale include:

  • an England 1706 5 Guineas graded NGC MS 60 (lot 480) that realized €312,000 or about $378,000

  • a Great Britain 1897B Gold Trade Dollar graded NGC PF 61 (lot 529) that realized €306,000 or about $370,000

  • an Italy 1940R XVIII 100 Lire graded NGC MS 62 (lot 644) that realized €288,000 or about $348,000

  • a Germany (1765-90) ICB Regensburg 6 Ducats graded NGC MS 63+ DPL (lot 97) that realized €246,000 or about $297,000

  • an India 1839(B) Silver Pattern Rupee graded NGC PF 65 (lot 558) that realized €240,000 or about $290,000

  • a France 1878 Essai Gold 100 Francs graded NGC PF 65+ Cameo (lot 397) that realized € 240,000 or about $290,000

  • a Germany 1745 PPW Nurnberg 6 Ducats graded NGC MS 60 PL (lot 92) that realized €222,000 or about $268,000

  • a France 1894A Gold 100 Francs graded NGC MS 65 PL (lot 398) that realized €204,000 or about $247,000

  • a France 1832 Essai Gold Piefort 5 Francs graded NGC PF 63+ Cameo (lot 352) that realized €192,000 or about $231,000

  • a Bohemia 1639 Prague 10 Ducats graded NGC MS 63 (lot 136) that realized €180,000 or about $217,000

  • a France L’AN 10A Gold Plain Edge 5 Francs (1801-02) graded NGC PF 62 Cameo (lot 316) that realized €180,000 or about $217,000

  • a Hungary 1695KV Transylvania 10 Ducats graded NGC MS 63 (lot 779) that realized €168,000 or about $202,000

Prices realized include buyer’s premium.

About Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®)

NGC is the world’s largest and most trusted third-party grading service for coins, tokens and medals, with more than 49 million collectibles certified. Founded in 1987, NGC provides an accurate, consistent and impartial assessment of authenticity and grade. Every coin that NGC certifies is backed by the comprehensive NGC Guarantee of authenticity and grade, which gives buyers greater confidence. This results in higher prices realized and greater liquidity for NGC-certified coins. To learn more, visit NGCcoin.com.

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Kaiser Wilhelm

Upon examining the two spectacular coins pictured above, the question comes to mind as to whether it is possible that the art of coin design, and perhaps even the process of minting itself, has in fact evolved or merely stood still (and if not in former instance even occasionally regressed) over the centuries. It seems to me that one might be hard pressed to find all that many modern coins with images as strikingly rendered and as beautifully struck as the aforementioned French and British specimens. Difficult, however, does not equate with impossible, and here is a currently produced coin… Read more »

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Last edited 1 month ago by Kaiser Wilhelm