Coins

Since ancient times, rulers and governments have produced coins to establish a standardised form of exchange for their citizens. With these items often embodying the history of their age, antique coins remains a highly collectable field.

Coins often appear in mixed auctions but there are also specialist auction houses operating in this field.


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Twelfth century coin dug up by metal detectorist sells at £14,000

15 February 2021

This coin, from the period known as ‘The Anarchy’, was discovered by a metal detectorist in a Yorkshire field in March.

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Welcoming the Ides of March

15 February 2021

Roma Numismatics set a new record for a classical coin when a Brutus Eid Mar-type gold aureus, struck shortly after the murder of Julius Caesar, took £2.7m in October.

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Coin from the reign of Catuvellauni leader Agr sold at Timeline

15 February 2021

The numismatic department of TimeLine is a small but important part of the auction house’s activities in the related disciplines of antiquities and medieval works of art.

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Monarchs conjoined on a rare coin

15 February 2021

This William and Mary Five Guineas piece from 1693 features conjoined busts of joint monarchs.

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Spink's sale of Stratos collection led by Queen Anne five guineas piece

15 February 2021

This Queen Anne (1702-14) five guineas piece from 1705 sold for £220,000 (estimate £100,000-120,000) to top the Stratos collection of English gold coins offered by Spink on September 15.

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Harmers cashes in on the Regency golden age

15 February 2021

The 1826 £5 piece was the highest denomination in the coinage of the George IV and was not issued for general circulation. The epitome of Regency design, the reverse features the royal shield while the obverse designed by William Wyon features the bare head portrait.

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Silver penny that rewrote Mercian history makes £32,000 at auction

15 February 2021

This silver penny struck for Ludeca, a short-lived king of Mercia who ruled from 826-7, was found at Combe Bissett, Wiltshire, in 2016.

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Elizabeth I sovereign among highlights of Comber collection sold at Baldwin’s of St James’s

15 February 2021

Starting his collection with a 1568 sixpence purchased in Swanage in 1957, marine insurance broker Christopher Comber (1944-2019) formed a remarkable collection of Elizabeth I coins.

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British token record set at Dix Noonan Webb

15 February 2021

A record for a British token was set at Dix Noonan Webb on May 26 when this copper coin – the only specimen known in commerce – took £7000 (estimate £400-500).

New York style Brasher doubloon coin

$7.8m gold coin auction record for fabled Brasher dubloon

08 February 2021

A 1787 New York-style Brasher doubloon, perhaps the most celebrated issue in US numismatics, has set a new auction record for a gold coin.

Cromwellian gold 50 shilling piece

Record for Cromwellian coin is set by 50 shilling piece

01 February 2021

The fourth and final part of the North Yorkshire Moors collection of coins and medals included some exceptional examples from the Interregnum.

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Henry III coin strikes gold in US saleroom

25 January 2021

One of only a handful of known examples of Henry III’s gold penny – one of the most fabled coins in all of British numismatics – sold for $720,000 (£554,000) at auction in Dallas last week.

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Bidders on the scent of an 1810 ‘classic head’ US coin

11 January 2021

Some of the best US coin discoveries are today made in the UK.

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More ‘treasure’ likely to be unearthed in 2021

21 December 2020

A notable source of ancient coins and historical jewellery appearing on the market in 2020 has been the soil. It is the success of the Portable Antiquities Scheme that finders of ‘treasure’ are now encouraged to declare discoveries and share the proceeds of sales with the landowner.

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Gold stater of king Caratacus sets auction record for a British Iron Age coin

23 November 2020

David Sear, author of Roman Coins and their Values, called it “among the most exciting numismatic discoveries of the 21st century, if not of all time”.

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Best English milled gold coins strike it big in Monte Carlo sale

16 November 2020

The record for a British coin sold at auction has been broken twice at a sale in Monte Carlo.

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Bawden’s decimal coin design makes a Mint

28 September 2020

Edward Bawden (1903-89) was one of a number of artists invited to submit designs ahead of Britain’s changeover to decimal coinage. Designs were invited for six coins: the 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p pieces.

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Fabled Una and the Lion proof set returns to auction

21 September 2020

A celebrated Una and the Lion proof set minted in the first year of Queen Victoria’s reign returns to auction next month.

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Market proof: Queen Anne five guineas piece from 1705 sells for £220,000 at Spink

21 September 2020

Choice specimens of the rarest English coins are reaching new financial territory.

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Maintaining a gold standard: Coins market focus

21 September 2020

Coinex, the traditional autumn focus for the numismatic world, is cancelled this year.

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