World Coins

Gold issue from Spink recalls fairy-tale marriage of Grace Kelly

A 1966 gold 200-franc item referencing Monaco (but issued by Spink and struck in France) is in a June auction in the Netherlands.

Coin images courtesy of Schulman

A fairy-tale romance of royalty and Hollywood in the 1950s led to an interesting numismatic issue now coming to auction.

Grace Kelly was an American film actress who, after starring in several major films in the early to mid-1950s, married Prince Rainier III in April 1956.

She was at the height of her career when it came to an end, as her retirement from acting at age 26 was necessary to allow her to begin duties as Princess of Monaco.

A favorite femme fatale for famed auteurs like Alfred Hitchcock, she starred in such films as Dial M For Murder, Rear Window and To Catch A Thief.

She is listed 13th among the American Film Institute’s 25 Greatest Female Stars of Classical Hollywood Cinema.

And she walked away from all of that, for love, a story sort of reminiscent (in reverse) of King Edward VIII of England, whose marriage to American Wallis Simpson led him to abandon the throne.

 Princess Grace served in numerous charitable roles as princess, before her life was cut short in 1982 at 52 years old. She died at Monaco Hospital on Sept. 14, 1982, from injuries sustained in a car crash the previous day.

Coining a rarity

A Proof .920 fine gold 200-franc piece from 1966, marking the 10th anniversary of her wedding, is offered in Schulman b.v.’s auction No. 367 on June 17 in the Netherlands.

The piece is a fantasy issue from Spink, and was struck at the French Mint with a mintage of 5,000 examples (a companion silver piece was also issued).

The obverse of the item carries jugate (side-by-side, joined) busts of the happy couple.

The reverse shows the crowned arms of Monaco.

The example in the sale is graded Mint State 66 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., and has a pre-sale estimate €1,000 ($1,218 U.S.), but its eventual price is likely to at least reflect the actual gold weight of 0.9645 ounce, which at press time May 20 is worth about $1,803 U.S.

Consigned: Fantasy 1966 gold 200-franc piece
Condition: Mint State 66
Auction Location: Amsterdam
Auction Dates: June 17, 2021
Details: Fantasy issue from Spink celebrates Prince Rainier, Grace of Monaco’s 10th anniversary

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