Russian rouble sells for £1.9 million


13 April 2021
A very rare Russian pattern coin recently realised over £1.9 million at a Stack’s Bowers auction quadrupling its pre-auction estimate of $400,000 to $600,000 and setting the record for most expensive world coin sold by the auction house.

The Russia 1825 Constantine – Plain Edge Rouble, graded NGC PF 62, proved to be the highlight of the Pinnacle Collection, which was offered in a 162-lot auction in Hong Kong on 6 April 2021.

The coin shows the bust of a would-be emperor, Constantine, who was expected to become emperor after his brother’s death in 1825 but refused to take the throne.

The coin, certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), was the sixth NGC-certified coin have sold for over $1 million this year. Ben Wengel, NGC Senior Grading Finalizer of World Coins, said:

'Whether it’s a British rarity being offered at an American auction or a Russian coin offered at a sale in China, in both cases, NGC certification gave bidders from around the world the confidence to lift these numismatic treasures to new heights.'

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Only eight of the Constantine Rouble Patterns are known, including three that are held by museums in Russia and the United States. Adding to its prestige, the example that just sold is one of only three with a plain edge, and NGC has pedigreed it to the collections of L.K. Joseph and F.F. von Richter.

Matt Orsini, Stack's Bowers Director of World & Ancient Numismatics, said:

'This is one of the most elusive and desirable coins in Russian numismatics. We are thrilled that the NGC-certified rarity set a record for the most expensive world coin ever sold in a Stack's Bowers auction and by an American auction house.'

A second NGC-certified Russian rarity in the sale also impressed. A Russia 1771 Pattern Rouble graded NGC MS 65 realised $156,000, passing its pre-auction estimate of $60,000 to $90,000.