03 January 2023
Baldwin’s November 2022 sale set not one, but two, world records! The first for a Chinese Hupeh silver 10 Cents of Ben Shen type which was soon followed by a Kuwait gold Pattern 3 Dinars of Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah.
First of the two record breakers was lot 363 China, Hupeh, silver 10 Cents, 1895, Ben Shen type.
Amazingly, it exceeded its estimate of £4,000-£5,000 and hit a new high at £65,000.
China, Hupeh, silver 10 Cents
A series of coins with the Chinese characters ‘Ben Shen’ meaning ‘This Province’ to the left and right of the dragon, indicated that these coins are redeemable only in Hupeh.
A study published in 2005 discovered the purpose of this, an official proclamation printed on reverse of a Hupeh Government Cash Bank note. It indicated that due to the lack of cash coins, the newly minted silver coins with ‘This Province’ were equivalent to 1,000 cash for paying taxes.
The high price of copper caused a fluctuation in the exchange rate from silver to copper. This series was short lived, as authorities realized the public would not accept them at face value. The majority of this issue was recalled from circulation and melted. It is extremely rare to find these coins, especially in mint condition.
Kuwait gold Pattern 3 Dinars
The second victory of the day was lot 405 – Kuwait, gold Pattern 3 Dinars of Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah. This coin, otherwise known as a Sovereign, fetched a whopping £23,000, which is over 4 times its estimate of £4,000-£5,000.
Only a handful of these patterns are known to exist. Only one other is known to have come to the market in the last 10 years, making them an extremely rare find.
After the sale, Ema Sikic, World Coin Expert at Baldwin's and a regular contributor to Coin Collector magazine, said:
“For our Auction 108, we were very pleased to present some exceptional rarities, especially these two extremely rare coins of China and Kuwait that achieved record-breaking prices.
"The Hupeh 10 Cents of Ben Shen type is the finest we have ever handled and one of the finest in the world at the moment. From this Hupeh type we have only seen a few ever come to the market in Baldwin’s 150 year-long history. The Kuwait 3 Dinar Pattern is indeed the finest one we have ever handled and a very interesting coin, we are pleased it got the result befitting its rarity.”
The complete auction sold at 85.8% and had a total value of £465,715, which is an incredible response for our 5th auction of the year.
A H Baldwin & Sons Ltd has a history that dates to 1872 and is one of the largest and longest established numismatic dealers and auction houses in the world.
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