World Coins

Princess Diana Proof gold £5 coin soars in sale

A Proof gold £5 coin honoring Diana, Princess of Wales, recently sold in a London auction for £6,200 ($8,797 U.S.) including the 24 percent buyer’s fee.

Images courtesy of Dix Noonan Webb.

For all the attention — some might even say controversy — focused on the British royals over the last year, it’s clear the coin collecting public still loves Diana, Princess of Wales.

A Proof gold £5 coin featuring the late princess, the woman who would never become queen (paired on the coin’s design with the longest-reigning British queen), realized a hammer price two-and-a-half times the coin’s high estimate.

The coin, sold as issued by the Royal Mint in 1997, realized £6,200 ($8,797 U.S.) including the 24% buyer’s fee, during Dix Noonan Webb’s June 2 auction in London. The hammer price (£5,000) is two-and-a-half times the high estimate of £2,000 and more than three times the low estimate (£1,500).

One might assume that it was a case of the auction house using a woefully unrealistic estimate to entice bidders, but the catalog value for the coin, in the 2020 edition of Coins of England & the United Kingdom, Decimal Issues, is £2,500 ($3,528 U.S.), so the result is evidence of market movement.

The coin is accompanied by a serialized certificate identifying it as No. 611 from the mintage of 7,500 pieces.

The issue was released as the capstone to a four-coin program honoring her life after she died Aug. 31, 1997, with companion Dodi Fayed in Paris after a car accident attributed to the rush of paparazzi following her every move.

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