Australian coins break records in Monaco

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15 June 2021
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The recent auction at MDC Monaco featured an incredibly rare Australian £5 essay, described as a 'museum piece' and one of only seven minted, which fetched an incredible €800,000.

The seventh numismatic sale at MDC Monaco featured an array of coins from across the world, but it was one coin from Australia that stole the headlines, achieving a record-breaking price for an Australian coin at auction.  

The Victoria £5 essay features a design created by Joshua Payne in 1852, and just seven copies of the coin were minted in 1921 using the original die.

South Australia was officially established as a British colony on the 28 December 1836 and it became an autonomous colony in 1856 with the ratification of a new constitution by the British parliament, with secret ballot and a two-chamber parliament.

In 1851, the discovery of gold sparked a gold rush and later engraver Joshua Payne produced designs for legal tender gold coins in values of 10 shillings, £1 and £5, but only the £1 coin was minted and used. In 1921, the Melbourne Mint struck seven dies of the £5 coin, modelled on Joshua Payne’s coin from 1852. Another die is known at the Victoria Museum in Melbourne.

SOLD FOR £688,000

A Victorian sovereign essay of 1856 was another highlight of the sale, fetching an impressive €110,000. Minted at the Sydney Mint, the coin was described as being 'the only and the finest copy in ULTRA CAMEO!'

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SOLD FOR £94,600

Elsewhere in the sale Greek coins attracted great interest. The highlight, and featured on the catalogue cover, was an Aulerques Diablintes (2nd century BC) gold stater featuring a portrait of Apollo. The coin was desccribed as being an 'exceptional quality copy, with well-centred striking and particularly welcome reliefs. An exceptional currency. Superb.'

SOLD FOR £34,000


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