World Coins

Egypt's King Farouk commemorates 1938 wedding with gold coins

When Egypt’s King Farouk married Queen Farida in 1938, a gold 500-piastre coin was among the commemorations. A Proof 65 example, graded by NGC, realized $7,050 during Heritage’s CICF auction.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Egypt’s King Farouk is remembered by the hobby fraternity today for the famed coin collection that he built before being deposed in 1952.

His collection included a 1933 Saint-Gaudens gold $20 double eagle, and the auction of his collection in 1954 (minus that coin) drew collectors from around the world. 

During headier times, in 1938, the king celebrated his marriage that year to Farida of Egypt with commemorative gold 20-, 50-, 100- and 500-piastre coins. 

One of those 1938 Royal Wedding coins, a Proof 500-piastre piece graded Proof 65 by NGC, realized $7,050 during Heritage Auction's April 10 to 12, 2014, auction in Chicago, a bit less than the $7,931.25 realized for a Proof 65 Cameo example in the same sale, but better than a Proof 62 piece with slight handling that realized $5,581.25.

A collector unfamiliar with the language of the coin’s inscriptions would have no way of knowing that the coins celebrate a wedding, since only the king is shown on the obverse. The marriage would end in a divorce in 1948, and four years later the king would be exiled. 

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