World Coins

Tyrant Collection display coming to ANA convention

The Tyrant Collection includes an example of the rare 1663 Petition crown created by Thomas Simon. The coin will be on display in August in Pittsburgh along with other English rarities.

Images courtesy of Professional Coin Grading Service.

Hundreds of historic English coins from the Tyrant Collection will be displayed Aug. 8 to 12 at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Pittsburgh.

The 300-coins exhibit (which is reportedly insured for $30 million) will include a rare surviving example of England’s first gold coin and the only privately-owned complete King Edward VIII pattern Proof set produced in 1937 by the Royal Mint. This will be only the second time this set has been shown in public in the United States.

“English coins from the Tyrant Collection were displayed for the first and only time five years ago in California. However, there are many new, superb-condition additions since then, so the new name for the upcoming display is ‘Tyrants of the Thames 2.0’ to reflect the significant update,” said Ira Goldberg president of Goldberg Coins and Collectibles Inc., in Los Angeles.

Goldberg is one of the professionals helping to assemble the wide-ranging Tyrant Collection of historic U.S., world, and ancient coins. Described as the world’s most valuable rare coin collection in private hands by Goldberg, the collection is owned by southern California collector Dan O’Dowd.

“The finest collection of English coins outside of Great Britain — and possibly the finest English collection in private hands anywhere — will be in the exhibit at the ANA convention,” said Goldberg. “There is an example of every portrait coin denomination issued by English monarchs since the early 7th century.”

Highlights of the Tyrants of the Thames 2.0 exhibit include the finest privately held example of the gold thrysma issued by Eadbald, King of Kent (616 to 640 A.D.), struck at the London Mint, graded Mint State 64 by Professional Coin Grading Service.

This was the first English coin to carry the name of the issuing king.

The Tyrant Collection includes one of 12 known 1656 Oliver Cromwell 50-shilling gold patterns, once part of the Virgil M. Brand Collection, and an example of the rare 1663 Petition crown created by Thomas Simon that was once part of the legendary Norweb Collection. Graded Specimen 53 by PCGS, the coin is an artifact of Simon’s unsuccessful effort to persuade King Charles II to consider his designs for English coinage

The aforementioned 1937 Edward VIII Proof set is the most valuable item in English numismatics, according to Goldberg.

The Royal Mint owns three of the four known complete Edward VIII Proof sets, with one of the Royal Mint’s sets on long-term loan to the British Museum. A fifth set, lacking gold coins, was broken up over the years and the coins were sold off separately.

Visitors to the exhibit at the ANA convention can receive a free, illustrated booklet about the display. Detailed catalogs with information and illustrations about each coin in the Tyrants of the Thames 2.0 exhibit will be available for $10.

There is a special website for the collection at

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