World Coins

Ancient electrum stater tops bidding in Baldwin's Sept.

A circa 650 to 600 B.C. electrum stater from Ionia led all bidding during Baldwin’s auction No. 70, realizing £29,500 (about $46,016 U.S.).

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An ancient coin topped all bidding during British auction house Baldwin’s 70th auction, which was one of three sales the firm held in conjunction with Coinex, the largest British coin show.

The highlight of the auction was a circa 650 to 600 B.C. Ionia electrum stater that realized £29,500 (about $46,016 in U.S. funds) including the 18 percent buyer’s fee.

The stater, which numismatists generally consider an example of the first true coin, bears an obverse design type as well as a reverse punch. Prior to this, currency took the form of small ingots with blank surfaces, followed by the addition of a reverse punch and eventually a striated obverse, according to the catalog.

The lot was one of 934 total lots offered in the auction, which realized £381,429 ($594,976 U.S.) with the fee. The Sept. 28 auction featured ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins, and a collection of English copper and bronze coinage in a consignment described as “the property of an English gentleman.”

Additionally, the auction featured paper money of the Siege of Mafeking during the Boer War, and a small but historical selection of orders, decorations and medals.

A total of 778 lots, or 83.3 percent, sold in auction No. 70.

All lots from the firm’s 70th auction can be viewed at

The total for all three auctions cumulatively reached £1,327,375 ($2,070,175 U.S.). All prices shown here include the buyer’s fee.

For more information, telephone Baldwin’s at (011) 44 20 7930 9808, email the firm at or visit its website,

Some highlights:

Greece, Thrace, Maroneia, circa 386 to 348 B.C. silver stater, “dark patina,” Very Fine, £4,248 ($6,626 U.S.).

Roman Empire, circa AD 65 to 66 gold aureus, Nero, Lugdunum Mint, “attractive old reddish tone,” Nearly Extremely Fine/VF, £3,894 ($6,074 U.S.).

Australia, 1779 bronze medal, death of Capt. James Cook, unsigned, 37 millimeters, Eimer 778 (British Commemorative Medals and Their Values by Christopher Eimer), “light cabinet wear to the higher points,” Good VF, £8,260 ($12,884 U.S.).

Great Britain, circa 1361 to 1369 gold noble, fourth coinage, Treaty period, 7.73 grams, “struck on a broad fully round flan ... light red tone,” EF, £14,160 ($22,088 U.S.).

Great Britain, Queen Victoria, 1897 official Diamond Jubilee gold medal, by G.W. deSaulles, after William Wyon, 55 millimeters, 91.5 grams, Eimer 1817, £4,012 ($6,258 U.S.).

Great Britain, Boer War, Siege of Mafeking, March 1900 £1 note, serial number 65, with blind embossed Bechuanaland Protectorate penny revenue stamp, “minor break in paper at top left corner, slightly dirty at right side on back, otherwise” Good VF, £779 ($1,125 U.S.).

Great Britain, Boer War, Siege of Mafeking, March 1900 £1 note, serial number 356, “rare in such a high grade,” About Uncirculated, £2,124 ($3,313 U.S.). ¦

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