An USA 1933 Double Eagle Fetches AU$14M

A NEW WORLD RECORD PRICE FOR A COIN. Strong demand was putting pressure on current prices, and there is no doubt that this trend is continuing. In the past few months there have been two major auctions held in Melbourne, as well as a series of numismatic trade fairs in other areas.

These events were very well attended and many record prices were set for key rarities, generally however, there is a lack of high-grade material available to the market.

Here are just a few items that sold in the recent Melbourne auctions:

COIN GRADE 1997 2002

  • 1813 Holey Dollar (about Fine) $16,500 $32,000
  • 1813 Dump (about VF) $7,500 $20,970
  • 1930 Penny (good Fine) $10,000 $19,572
  • Adelaide Pound (about Unc) $17,500 $29,590
  • Adelaide Pound (good EF) $15,000 $27,965

Worldwide volatility in financial markets (stocks, bonds and currencies) has definitely turned investors’ attention towards the collectables markets. Many are seeking a safe haven for their wealth, especially as it is apparent that markets will continue to weaken, further impacting pensions, superannuation plans and life savings. This predictable thrust of diversification by investors sees a lot more money chasing a diminishing supply of high-grade rare coins and banknotes.

This situation was no more apparent than at the combined Sotheby / Stack’s one – lot auction in New York on July 30th. The sale was of the 1933 $20 Double Eagle gold coin, unique in private hands. The auction was widely reported by media right around the world, and Barrie Winsor represented Monetarium at the sale. The coin fetched a record price of US$7.59 Million – nearly double the previous record for the sale of a coin.

The anonymous buyer made the winning bid in a fiercely contested 9-minute battle against 8 other bidders, being joined by 500 coin collectors and dealers in the auction house audience. There were an additional 534 observers following the bidding on e-Bay.

The auctioneer commented that “this is an astonishing new record for a coin” – whilst Stack’s Managing Director confirmed that “he had never seen as much interest in the sale of any coin during his 30 years in the business”.

Such a successful record-breaking event provides an enormous confidence boost to the rare coin market. It is also appropriate to state that Australia does have coins of similar rarity to the US piece – albeit not with a A$14 million price tag. Adelaide Assay Office ingots, the 1937 Penny and by association the Adelaide Pounds are but a few such coins that qualify as excessively rare and yet remain undervalued.

Monetarium prides itself, through its commitment to research, in its ability to source rare high-grade stock and in the long-term experience of its personnel, to assist clients in providing portfolio recommendations that will provide a valuable investment diversification in these volatile economic times.

By Alexandre Laurent

Alexandre Laurentl is working in the jewelry and investment gold since 2002. Alexandre graduated from The Normandy School of Business and from the University of Perpignan a Bachelor of economics in 1995.

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