World Coins

Only known gold coin for 1982 Dutch visit with Reagan

The only known example of this 1982 gold 50-gulden coin from the Netherlands, presented to President Reagan in celebration of 200 years of friendly Dutch-American state relations, highlights Schulman B.V.’s June 29 and 30 auction.

Coin images courtesy of Schulman b.v.

The only known example of a special gold coin from the Netherlands highlights Schulman B.V.’s June 29 and 30 auction in Amsterdam.

The gold 50-gulden pattern coin was made in 1982 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Dutch relationship with the United States.


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Then-president Reagan (nicknamed Dutch) spoke at the reception for the state visit of the Dutch monarch Queen Beatrix to the United States, saying: “Today we recognize not only the 200th anniversary of our relations, but also the lasting imprint your country has made on America. Your majesty, who can forget that New York was first New Amsterdam.” 

The state visit by Queen Beatrix and her husband, Prince Claus, was a highlight of festivities marking the anniversary. In addition to visiting Philadelphia and New York, the monarchs were also received by the president and first lady Nancy Reagan. 

 

Gifts were exchanged during this diplomatic visit. Prince Claus received a red leather-bound book with gold imprint depicting photos of Washington, D.C., and, according to the auction house, “The Royal couple presented Ronald Reagan with a pattern struck in gold of the newly circulating commemorative 50 Guilders.” 

According to ex-employees of the State Mint, the Schulman firm said, a total of six gold pieces were minted and placed in wooden cassettes with the Dutch coat of arms. The actual mintage and how many pieces were disposed of has never been confirmed.

To date, only this example has been seen in public sale, causing a puzzle for researchers today, the auction firm said. 

It is general procedure that the state mint keeps two examples of any struck numismatic item. This was done with the gold patterns of the 1988 and 1990 50-gulden coins, of which two examples each reside in the Dutch National Numismatic Collection. However, of the 1982 pattern none appear to have been preserved. 

In addition, the 1982 law authorizing the 50-gulden coins mentions only silver examples. 

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Whereabouts of the other rumored five examples is a mystery. The offered piece is also the only graded example, according to current Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corp. population reports. This coin is graded Mint State 64 by PCGS. 

“However, as the coin is visibly prooflike or proof, the grade description is conservative and incorrect,” Schulman said. “In 1982 the patterns were struck with special polished dies with the description of ‘Prooflike.’ ”

The consignor acquired the coin in early September 2015 from Nancy Reagan’s former designer, who worked with her to redecorate the White House, according to the auction house. 

For more information about other lots in the auction, visit the firm’s website.


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