06 October 2021
A gold physical bitcoin has become the world’s most valuable numismatic item after it was submitted to grading service PCGS by California-based auction house GreatCollections.
The lines between physical coins - the ones we collect – and cryptocurrency occasionally become blurred, but there are few examples of the likes of Bitcoin being of interest to numismatists. Until now.
Not seen for a decade, a one-ounce gold coin with a denomination of 1,000 Bitcoins (BTC) was purchased in December 2011 for $4,905, and is now worth $48 million at the BTC value as of 4 October 2021.
On behalf of its anonymous owner, GreatCollections Coin Auctions of Irvine, California (www.GreatCollections.com) submitted the gold 1,000 Bitcoin physical coin under armed guard for certification to Professional Coin Grading Service. It has been certified PCGS Proof-70 DCAM.
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Ian Russell, President of GreatCollections, said:
'This is the greatest return on investment for any numismatic item, a staggering 9,786 times the purchase price in just ten years. It may be the world’s greatest investment in that time span. Its value eclipses classic coins, such as the 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle recently auctioned by Sotheby's for $18,872,250 or the Sultan of Muscat 1804 Draped Bust dollar GreatCollections recently purchased at auction for $7,680,000 on behalf of a client.'
Whilst the value of the coin surpasses these high-profile numismatic rarities, many collectors would be put off by the garish design of the Bitcoin which cannot compete with the beauty of the older pieces.
The gold coin is dated '2012 CASASCIUS'. The legend on the obverse includes '1 TROY OZ .999 FINE GOLD' and the motto, 'VIRES IN NUMERIS,' Latin for STRENGTH IN NUMBERS. There is a multi-colour, tamper-resistant hologram design on the reverse.
The gold 1,000 BTC is not for sale, but Russell announced that a gold-plated 25 BTC coin, now certified PCGS MS-67, will be offered without reserve by GreatCollections in an auction that closes on 14 November.
'Bidding will start at $1, although I anticipate this 25 BTC will sell for more than $1 million,' predicted Russell.
Only six 1,000 gold BTC Casascius coins were made and four of them have not been redeemed including the one owned by Russell’s client.