Exceptional German New Guinea 5 Mark

Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio is eagerly anticipating the ANA World’s Fair of Money show in Chicago this August. This premier venue is the host of our next world and ancient coin and world paper auction, and is an ideal location to cater to diverse numismatic fields. The interesting piece we highlight today is from the short-lived coinage of the German New Guinea colony. When compared to the other European colonial powers, Germany was late to the game. Unlike most other colonial powers (England, France, Spain and Portugal) were united countries with powerful navies and centuries of exploration, the German States did not focus on a navy or unite until 1871. Due to this late start, Germany had few options in terms of colonies to procure. They were able to acquire the city-state of Tsingtao in China, various colonies in Central and South Africa, and the subject of this week’s coin, German New Guinea. This colony comprised the northeastern portion of New Guinea, as well as various West Pacific islands. The coinage issued for German New Guinea only occurred for the years 1894 and 1895, which increases the rarity of this coinage issue.

The obverse design evokes the tropical scenery of the island, with the iconic Pacific island fauna, the Bird of Paradise. This beautifully detailed bird is pictured perched on a branch which runs horizontally across the face of the coin. The bird is crouched low with spread wings, with its head facing left in alert, surrounded by a dotted border. The brilliant plumage that made this bird famous is equally stunning on the coin’s design as well. The reverse design incorporates all of the necessary information regarding the coin. “Neu-Guinea Companie” appears as the upper-most legend, directly above a wreath which encompasses the other information. “5 / Neu-Guinea / Mark / 1894” appears within the wreath, with the mint mark “A” just below the bow that ties the two half of the wreaths together. The entirety of the design appears within a dotted border. On the reverse, an olive green periphery fades to a desirable amber-orange center. The beautiful obverse gradient toning is superb, ranging from mint green to electric blue, which then merges into a purple and then into a fiery red-orange throughout the center of the design. The bright and vibrant toning feels natural for this coin and the tropical bird that adorns it. This coin is graded a stellar PCGS PROOF-66, in a secure holder. This coin is tied with two other coins with only one coin graded higher (PROOF-67) between NGC and PCGS. This coin is of exceptional quality and is causing a great deal of excitement for the upcoming ANA World’s Fair of Money show and Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio auction which will be held there.

Look for this and other World numismatic rarities in our upcoming August ANA World’s Fair of Money Auction and Sale. Preview this impressive coin along with the rest of our auction this July at the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio office located in Irvine, California. For details please refer to the Events Calendar link at To schedule an appointment, please call 800.458.4646. Our Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio August ANA World’s Fair of Money Auction is still open for further consignments of world and ancient coins for both our 2014 August Hong Kong and August ANA sales. Time is running short, so if you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.

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