World Coins

Denmark’s most expensive coin sells at auction

Denmark’s most expensive coin is actually from Norway.

Auction house Bruun Rasmussen sold the 1658 silver 2-speciedaler coin Nov. 3 in Copenhagen to a floor bidder who lives in Norway.

The coin was struck in Norway, but under the Danish King Frederik III. It realized 1,150,000 Danish kroners, about $170,000 U.S. Adding the 24 percent buyer’s fee pushes the sales total to about $210,800 U.S.

The unique coin was previously unknown to the numismatic community, according to the auction house. The consignor discovered the coin in a box of otherwise common material that he had inherited in 1982, the firm said. The coin came to light during a valuation session in Aarhus, Denmark. The consignor had inherited it from a family member with Norwegian roots, and the piece had been hidden away in a box with other heirlooms until this autumn when he had some of the material evaluated.

The coin was designed by German medallist John Blum, who had produced a medal for King Frederik III as well as many other pieces, according to the Biographical Dictionary of Medallists by Leonard Forrer. After years of questionable quality production from the Christiania Mint, Danish authorities commissioned Blum to create the work.

The unique coin was probably intended as a presentation piece for Frederick III’s cabinet of Curiosities in Copenhagen, but – possibly as a result of the wars with Sweden at the time – it never reached the city.

"It is a beautiful coin, which is destined to become the most expensive coin ever sold at auction in Denmark – both because of its rarity, aesthetic appeal, quality and historical significance. The coin is undoubtedly the most spectacular coin, which Bruun Rasmussen has ever had up for auction," said Michael Fornitz, chief numismatist for Bruun Rasmussen's coin auctions.

The coin was described by the auction house as Very Fine to Extremely Fine. The hammer price was slightly less than the pre-sale estimate of €160,000.

For full details about the auction, visit the Bruun Rasmussen website.  

Community Comments