South Africa’s first gold coin, 1874 Burgers pond with Fine Beard, realizes £93,600

Finest known example of variety leads Dix Noonan Webb auction
By , Coin World
Published : 06/23/14
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Burgers supplied the gold specie, mined in the Transvaal.

Once the coins arrived from England, Burgers showed them to members of the Volksraad (Parliament), who quickly objected to the coin, since the legislative body had never been consulted, and also because the coins showed Burgers’ portrait.

While South Africa would adopt the gold pond in 1892, based on the English sovereign, Burgers’ attempt was rejected, and many examples were then sold to the public at twice their metal value and so became mementoes of the failed experiment. Many were used in jewelry, and few examples are so well preserved. After the Boer War, the coin’s rarity was publicized, and the coin has been a famed South African rarity for a century.

Other South African rarities

One of the strongest performances in the Mitchell Collection was the £24,000 ($40,284 U.S.) price paid, with buyer's fee, for the 1895 Paul Kruger gold pond.

The coin is graded NGC MS-63 and was estimated to realize £1,200 to £1,500. 

A total of 1,050 lots from 1,137 offered in the June 11 and 12 auction, or 92.3 percent, sold to 265 successful buyers. The auction overall realized £838,464 ($1,407,350 U.S.) including the buyers’ fee.

Dix Noonan Webb will continue to auction “important” South African coins, the firm stated, pointing to the auction in September of what DNW calls “the world’s greatest collection of South African coins assembled,” a collection built by Robert Bakewell which is expected to realize more than £2.2 million (more than $3.7 million U.S.).

Contact Dix Noonan Webb via telephone at (011) 20 70 16 1700, email it or visit its website.

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