According to Baldwin’s, this is the sole example of the Edward VIII sovereign available individually. It was sold in 1981 by Spink in a private transaction. Spink sold it again in a 1984 auction of the Professor R.E. Gibson Collection, where it realized a hammer price of £40,000. It was later sold in a 2008 auction in Tokyo.
Its May 8 appearance is only the third time for this example to appear at public auction and its first time in 30 years to be for sale in the United Kingdom.
Steve Hill, director of British Coins at Baldwin’s said: “It has been a pleasure to be involved with partly forming, completely cataloguing and today selling this monumental collection. ... The Edward VIII gold proof sovereign that sold today, for a record breaking price, was a fitting celebration of the iconic British denomination, both the owner who formed the collection and Baldwin’s are thrilled with the result.”
Though a full results list was not available at press time, the auction house reported results for two other highlights.
A Proof Elizabeth II 1953 gold sovereign sold for £384,000 (about $650,107 U.S.), including the buyer’s fee. The coin was issued in very limited numbers for the coronation of the new queen.
It is the first example available to the market individually since 1985, according to the auction house.
The other result disclosed was for the top lot among hammered (hand-struck) coins: a circa 1502 to 1504 Henry VII gold sovereign, which sold for £120,000 (about $203,158 in U.S. funds).
Auction catalogs are available (and full prices realized will soon be available) online at www.baldwin.co.uk.