During the Second Boer War, the British interception of coinage dies
in 1899 did not deter South Africa from issuing gold coins.
But it did lead to the creation of an uber rarity, the 1898 gold
pond counterstamped with 99 to identify the year of issue. An example
of this rarity highlights Dix Noonan Webb’s Dec. 12 to 14 auction in London.
South Africa’s Mint was dormant all of 1898 and through September in
1899, when striking of pond coins to fund the war began. But dies for
1899-dated coins never arrived at the Mint, so officials decided to
use the dies from 1898 coins, at first using a single 9 counterstamp
for a reported 137,000 coins, then striking 130 examples with the 99
stamp. This later type is extremely rare and often counterfeited.
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The DNW auction offers a genuine example graded About Uncirculated
58 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. The coin is cataloged as Friedberg 2
in Gold Coins of the World by Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg.
The coin has been with the consigning family since 1900, according
to the firm, though no other details of the provenance were available
at press time.
The coin has an estimate of £34,000 to £40,000 ($45,633 to $53,686 U.S.).
For full details of the auction, visit the firm’s website.