IRVINE, Calif. (August 19, 2015)— Stack’s Bowers Galleries is pleased to announce the results of their Official Ancients, World Coin and Paper Money Auction of the 2015 ANA World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Illinois. Overall, prices realized were robust, with many previously soft areas showing a marked increase in bidder activity. It is becoming more apparent with each passing auction that the market is improving, driving up prices, especially on better material. (All prices realized include the standard buyer’s premium).
Nowhere has the price correction been more profoundly felt than in the former BRIC countries of Brazil and Russia. Yet, as the result of multiple highly desirable coins coming to market from these countries at this year’s ANA auction, some surprising results were achieved. In the case of Brazil, a trio of hefty 20,000 Reis coins dated 1724, 1725, and 1727 all easily sailed past high estimates with closing bids near or above $10,000 each. Additionally, a 1728-M Brazil 12,800 Reis as lot 30148 realized $4,993.25, considerably more than twice the $1,400 to $1,800 estimate.
The rebound was even more pronounced in the case of Russia, with very few coins failing to meet reserve, and most posting very respectable prices, in spite of the continued turmoil and economic contraction seen within the Russian economy. Setting the pace early-on, the third Russian coin offered was lot 31132, a Peter The Great Ruble dated 1720 (the finest graded by over 2 points) which realized a solid $34,075 on a $30,000 to $40,000 estimate.
Among other coins from the Russian section, an Ivan VI Ruble dated 1741-CNB in AU-55 realized $21,150 on an $18,000 to $22,000 estimate. Additionally, lot 31180, a spectacular platinum 1831/0-CNB 6 Ruble crossed the block for $28,200 on a $20,000 to $30,000 estimate. Another notable coin making an exceptional showing, lot 31202, an 1885-CNB AT 3 Ruble in MS-64, finished the day at $15,275, more than triple high estimate!
Perhaps even more encouraging for the Russian market as a whole, several coins posted solid results in lower grades. Lot 31161, a 1780-CNB gold 10 Ruble graded only Fine-15 realized $3,290 on a $2,000 to $3,000 estimate. Likewise, a Paul I Ruble dated 1797-CMOU as lot 31170, and grading Extremely Fine-45, closed at nearly twice high estimate for $5,875.
The same trend held true with ancients in the sale, with the best coins beating high estimates by comfortable margins. Perhaps the star of the ancients was lot 30015, a Syracuse Decadrachm of Dionysios I (406-367 BC). An unsigned work by Euainetos, the Choice Nearly Mint State specimen found a new owner at $64,625.
Strength was seen among coins that heretofore have not experienced as dramatic a run-up in prices. This included anything struck in gold from Bohemia, whether minted in the 16th, 17th, or 20th century. Lot 30136, a Prague 2 Ducat dated 1636 in Almost Uncirculated-58, changed hands for $10,575, more than two and half times high estimate. Likewise, a Czechoslovakia 1934 Kremnica Mines Set as lot 30225 saw fierce competition before closing at $38,187.50 on a $20,000 to $25,000 estimate.
Perennially strong areas saw solid advances in prices, with Great Britain in particular putting in a stellar showing, with 42 of the 68 lots in the live session exceeding high estimates, and half a dozen of the coins achieving multiples of high estimates. This section was loaded with hammered gold coinage that performed past best-case expectations. Other more recent issues, such as lot 30415, a 1934 George V Crown in Mint State-63. posted similar results, finishing at $5,581.25 on a high estimate of $4,000.
A similar trend was readily evident in the extensive offering of Talers, Taler sized crowns, and multiple Talers from the Q. David Bowers Collection. Among the 37 coins listed in the Swiss section, 26 exceeded their high estimate, with lot 31307, a 1798-BA Helvetian Republic 40 Batzen soaring to over five times high estimate and closing at $11,162.50. Other central European Talers included an exceptionally rare Pfalz-Electoral Taler dated 1611 from the Heidelberg Mint as lot 30320, which was sold for $25,850 on a $10,000 to $15,000 estimate.
This same intense bidder activity was seen on nearly every coin viewed as seldom available in the market or as a condition rarity. Lot 30452, for instance, was a 1834 Italian States 120 Grana issued from Naples and Sicily. Though not a rarity, as the finest graded in MS-66 it closed at $4,406.25 or quadruple its high estimate. Likewise, a Transylvania Taler struck under Sigismund Bathori, lot 31315, sailed to within a sawbuck of high estimate, to close at $4,993.50.
The currency portion of the sale posted some equally stellar results, with the undisputed highlight being lot 32167, a rare Republica de Panama “Arias” 5 Balboa which realized $14,100.00, more than double the most optimistic projections. Another standout included lot 32202, a South African cancelled 100 Pound note, series of 29.1.1952, graded 66-EPQ by PMG, which realized $3,671.87, more than double high estimate.
All told, the Stack’s Bowers Galleries World’s Fair of Money sale was a resounding success, and points towards a gradually improving environment for many coins and banknotes. For those considering consignment to one of our future sales, there is still time left to include your coins in our 2016 NYINC Auction, or the December 2015 Hong Kong Auction for southeast Asian material, but only if you act now. We welcome hearing from you by phone at 949-253-0916 or via email at [email protected]
About Stack’s Bowers Galleries
Stack’s Bowers Galleries conducts live, Internet and specialized auctions of rare U.S. and world coins and currency and ancient coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels. The company’s 80-year legacy includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable United States coin and currency collections to ever cross an auction block — The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection, The Battle Born Collection and the D. Brent Pogue Collection — to name just a few. World coin and currency collections include The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, The Kroisos Collection, The Alicia and Sidney Belzberg Collection, The Wa She Wong Collection, The Guia Collection, The Thos. H. Law Collection, and The Robert O. Ebert Collection.
Topping off this amazing numismatic history is the inclusion of the world record for the highest price ever realized at auction for a rare coin, the 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar graded Specimen-66 (PCGS) that realized over $10 million, part of their sale of the famed Cardinal Collection. The company is headquartered in Irvine, California, with offices in New York, Wolfeboro, Hong Kong, and Paris. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is an Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic conventions, including American Numismatic Association events, the New York International Numismatic Convention, the Professional Numismatists Guild New York Invitational, the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring, Summer and Winter Expos, and its April and August Hong Kong Auctions.