Gold is on the menu when Éditions Victor Gadoury conducts its annual
auction in Monaco.
The sale, scheduled for Dec. 3, includes hundreds of lots, many
geared around the theme of the sale, “Gold: from Ancient Times to the
There are, of course, coins and medals of other metals, but many of
the highlights have a golden gleam.
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Gold coins from all historical eras and countries, from gold aurei
of the Roman republic to Chinese Panda coins, are at the heart of the
upcoming Gadoury auction, to be conducted in the Hotel le Méridien
Unlike many European auction houses, many of the pieces in this sale
have been graded and encapsulated by major third-party grading services.
Roman coin in silver
The auction includes many gold denarii from the time of Trajan and
Hadrian, but a historical highlight is the silver denarius for
Marciana, Trajan’s sister.
The circa 98 to 117 A.D. coin was struck in Rome. It weighs 3.23
grams and measures 18 millimeters in diameter, so it’s about the size
of all Lincoln cents, and slightly heavier than pre-1982 Lincoln cents.
Trajan and Marciana had a close relationship, and the deep affection
between them is evident in Trajan’s decision to grant her the title of
Augusta, the first sister of an emperor to receive the title. Marciana
thus became a part of the imperial iconography, and her statue was
placed at the same time as those of Trajan and his wife Plotina on the
Arches of Trajan in Ancona.
The coin is graded Fleur-de-Coin, meaning Proof. It features an
exceptional portrait, according to Gadoury, and has an estimate of
€5,000 ($5,553 U.S.).
Many French patterns
Standing out from the wide array of French coinage from the
Carolingians to the Fifth Republic are the more than 50 lots of French
patterns and piedforts.
One of the rarest patterns on offer, and with probably the most
famous French coin design ever, is the 1959 La Semeuse (The Sower)
gold 5-franc coin by Louis Oscar Roty.
Roty designed the image decades earlier, and it was used for various
silver coins across several eras. But an effort to issue a gold
5-franc piece in 1959 was short-lived, and only eight examples of the
pattern were struck.
This coin is one of the rarest coins of the Fifth Republic,
according to the auction house.
Graded Mint State 65 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., the coin has an
estimate of €15,000 ($16,661).
Real Russian rarity
One of the final world highlights is among the classic gold rarities
of 19th century Russian numismatics, an 1896 Nicholas II 25-ruble
coin. The coin is also called a 2½ Imperial piece.
It shows Nicholas II on the obverse, and is thought to be a special
commemorative issue for his coronation. The reverse shows the crowned
double-headed Imperial eagle.
The piece, graded About Uncirculated Details by NGC, is from a
mintage of 300 pieces and “very few” have survived, so despite the
Details grade, it remains in demand.
The coin has an estimate of €40,000 ($44,426).
U.S. gold coins abound
Rounding out the auction is a large collection of American gold $20
double eagles, many of which were produced in the aftermath of the
Californian Gold Rush.
In the mix are 15 different coins from the Carson City Mint, but a
rarity from another branch mint, New Orleans, is chief among the offerings.
Only 2,325 examples of the 1879-O Coronet gold double eagle were struck.
The coin features the standard James B. Longacre design of Liberty.
The example offered by Gadoury also evidences damage noted by a
grading service, in the Professional Coin Grading Service Genuine,
Repaired, AU Details grade.
The coin has an estimate of €15,000 ($16,661).
To see all lots in the auction or to bid visit the auction firm website.