Steinberg’s Inc. recently released its Spring 2014 “Gold Coins of the World” fixed-price list.
Among the 635 lots is a Mexican 1988 gold 500-peso coin honoring the 50th anniversary of the nationalization of Mexico’s oil industry. Although it is listed in several standard catalogs, the Steinberg’s listing says, “No major world gold dealer here in the U.S. has ever seen or handled one,” and the firm believes that the type is extremely rare.
Robert Steinberg said: “Nobody can seem to pinpoint any real Info on it. I’m thinking they must have been used for promotional purposes to oil execs, bigwigs in the government and oil industry, etc., as the coins were struck in 1988 and today is 2014 and nobody here this side of the border has ever seen one.”
The coin being offered is graded Mint State 61 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. and is identified by a small scratch on the obverse, under the word PESOS. It is priced at $4,950.
Steinberg said that coins like this are challenging to price, due to a lack of comparables. The catalog states, “We don’t really know how to price this item as we can’t find any auction records on it and nobody we know has ever seen one!”
Steinberg said, “[I] really didn’t know what to charge for it, to be honest. It could be worth $1,000 or $10,000 — who’s to say? It’s a modern coin but it’s a rare modern coin, [the] only one ever seen or graded by NGC.”
Multiple experts in Mexican coins told Steinberg that they had never seen or handled one, and longtime Mexican coin dealer Don Bailey told Coin World that he had only ever seen just one of the gold 500-peso pieces.
Countries represented on Steinberg’s new fixed-price list range from Albania to Yugoslavia, and the firm also offers various ancient coins.
Other highlights include a 1978 Belize $100 coin celebrating the Mayans with a mintage of 351 Uncirculated examples, and a Chilean 1751-So J gold 8-escudo coin of Ferdinand VI recovered from the Nuestra Senora de la Luz shipwreck.
The list reflects recent purchases at coin shows around the country, through auctions and by private treaty sales.