World Coins

1898 South African '99' counterstamp pond in sale

One of 130 examples of South Africa’s rare 1898 gold pond counterstamped with 99 will be auctioned in December in London.

Coin images courtesy of Dix Noonan Webb.

During the Second Boer War, the British interception of coinage dies in 1899 did not deter South Africa from issuing gold coins.

But it did lead to the creation of an uber rarity, the 1898 gold pond counterstamped with 99 to identify the year of issue. An example of this rarity highlights Dix Noonan Webb’s Dec. 12 to 14 auction in London. 

South Africa’s Mint was dormant all of 1898 and through September in 1899, when striking of pond coins to fund the war began. But dies for 1899-dated coins never arrived at the Mint, so officials decided to use the dies from 1898 coins, at first using a single 9 counterstamp for a reported 137,000 coins, then striking 130 examples with the 99 stamp. This later type is extremely rare and often counterfeited. 

Connect with Coin World:  

Sign up for our free eNewsletter
Like us on Facebook  
Follow us on Twitter

The DNW auction offers a genuine example graded About Uncirculated 58 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. The coin is cataloged as Friedberg 2 in Gold Coins of the World by Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg.

The coin has been with the consigning family since 1900, according to the firm, though no other details of the provenance were available at press time. 

The coin has an estimate of £34,000 to £40,000 ($45,633 to $53,686 U.S.).

For full details of the auction, visit the firm’s website.

Community Comments