World Coins

Gold sovereigns among highlights in Bonhams auction

Nearly 600 gold sovereigns of Great Britain and other commonwealth countries, including Australia, South Africa and Canada, will be offered during Bonhams’ May 27 rare coins and medals auction in Los Angeles.

The coins, from the estate of television and business pioneer Maria Helen Smith, are primarily of Edward VII and George V, and are notable for their overall superb state of preservation, as they have been in private hands for decades, according to Bonhams officials. Estimates range from $400 to more than $1,000 per coin.

The May 27 auction will also feature, from the estate of a northern California collector, an assemblage of several hundred Morgan and Peace dollars, the majority of which were collected for their pristine, mirror-like surfaces. Called “early strike” or “DMPL dollars” (for deep-mirror prooflike) by many, the coins are notable for their similarity to brilliant Proof coins of the same years, notes Bonhams.

These coins, dated 1878 through 1921, have estimates ranging in value from $100 to $3,000, with many of them featuring original tags or labels of purchase from the 1970s, according to the auction house.

Paul Song, director of the Rare Coins and Banknotes Department at Bonhams, states: “Bonhams is delighted to have been entrusted with these two disparate collections that have both been off the market between 30 to 50 years. They will be eagerly sought after by buyers in the United States, United Kingdom and abroad.”

An illustrated auction catalog will be available online for review and purchase in the weeks preceding the sale at

Auction lot viewing will be offered by appointment only at Bonhams’ New York location, 580 Madison Ave., telephone 212-644-9001, and May 25 and 26 at the Los Angeles site, 7601 W. Sunset Blvd., telephone 323-850-7500.

For more information about the Rare Coins and Banknotes Department at Bonhams, visit ¦

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