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August 2011

London Coins - General Sale - June 5, 6 & 7 2011

Coin News
August 2011 p28
This was a landmark event for auctioneer Stephen Lockett. Potential bidders could not have failed to notice that his regular auction has now been extended from two to three days and that paper money now has it's own catalogue, This auction house has been chipping away at the market and there is every indication that its efforts have paid off and it has established itself as a serious force in the marketplace.

Indeed, the top three prices for the event were for papermoney. The highlight was for a proof of a Treasury 5-shilling note dated December 1917. Spink last auctioned the piece on October 8, 1992. Printed on watermarked paper, the issue was distributed to the clearing banks, but none was placed into circulation. Indeed, all were recalled by the Treasury and destroyed. It is believed that this is the only proof that survived. In 1992 it sold for a hammer price £11,800. Its sale was even reported in the Sun and the winning bidder received the cutting to mark its sale being a newsworthy event. The piece was given a wide estimate of £25,000 to £50,000, but in the event the top end was a little optimistic as the hammer fell at £42,000 - but that's £49,140 with the Premium. Perhaps the estimate was set with the Premium in mind?

Other notable paper money prices were £42,120 for a set of eight Bradbury £1 trial notes. Five are printed on thick paper, three on thin and six are with crowns and two are without. The colours of each are different. Needless to say, an excessively rare set. An excessively rare link pair of Bradbury £1 notes were also offered. The first is numbered LL/ 34 000299 and the second note's serial number immediately follows, i.e. LL/ 34 000300. A truly remarkable pair that sold for £19,890.

The highest price for a coin was paid for a Victorian bronze penny. After the hammer, one person in the room was heard to say to another, "that seems a lot to get for a coin with numbers scratched on it". This was an 1867 penny with 542/329 scratched in the field before the bust. The actual coin is listed in Peck (No 1675) and is described as "probably unique". Peck lists 15 pennies from 1862 through to 1867 marked in this way (though in one case the smaller number is in front of the bust and the larger one behind it). All numbers are different. Peck gives no explanation as to why the numbers are there.

However, Michael Gouby in British Bronze Coins (third edition) does reveal why. He cites a Royal Mint Report in 1982 when Graham Dyer, the Mint’s then Librarian and Curator states that the numbers relate to batch samples that are
additional to all other tests and inspections to internal pyxing carried out at the mint. The larger numbers are the cumulative output since 1860 expressed in tons, while the smaller numbers are the cumulative output for that particular denomination also expressed in tons. The engraving of the numbers is therefore official and not as the overheard attendee at the sale thought, graffiti.

I must confess, I had never heard of these numbers until I read this sales catalogue. However, Michael Grouby advises that there are 30 examples of pennies, halfpennies and farthings bearing these numbers. More than half of these—17 to be precise—are in the British Museum. The penny offered at this sale is from the Peck collection. The cataloguer estimated the piece at £2,500-3,000. It realised £10,530.

Other highlights in the English/British section of the sale are an 1831 proof crown. This piece certainly is aesthetically appealing and has a rich tone. There are scuffs in the fields, but otherwise it is in about uncirculated state. It sold for £8,775, its lower estimate. There was interest in a choice 1658 Cromwell halfcrown. The piece is practically in mint state and there is an attractive blue and gold toning. The striking is "crisp". The dealer’s ticket sold with the piece indicated that it had been offered in the trade at £7,500. Someone must have been disappointed - either the dealer or the person who bought it - it sold for £5,616, a shade below its upper estimate. A 1746 proof crown described as "UNC or near so and pleasing with a light tone" sold for £5,616.

The catalogue contained pages of proof sets, most of them being modern. However, there were some vintage ones. For example, there was a 1911 "long set" comprising the 12 coins from the gold £5 to the silver Maundy penny in its original case. Described as "a most pleasing set in FDC", it realised £4,914. The same price was secured for a Golden Jubilee Gold Proof Set 2002 comprising the 13 coins from the £5 to the Maundy penny all sold for exactly the same price! This has to be the Royal Mint's most popular proof set for years!

The auction was full of surprises. The biggest without doubt was a Straits Settlements 1890 proof quarter cent. The Krause catalogue simply states "rare" and no price is given. Apart from a corrosion spot on the reverse, the piece is about UNC and is toned. The cataloguer thinks it may have been lacquered at some time. The piece was estimated at £250-750. It was contested to £8,775! Lucky vendor!!

There were also some surprises in the British section. A 1908 penny (Freeman 164A - dies 1* + C) was offered in very good state with an estimate of £15—30. It was contested to £515. A 1921 shilling also surprised. This has the deeply engraved portrait used prior to 1920, but with the nose "going south". It is listed in the Standard Catalogue (54023) at £185 in UNC. Apart from a hint of cabinet friction on the reverse, the example offered is uncirculated. It sold for £248.

At the beginning of this report, I said that this was a sale special for several reasons. The total was £1.138 million - which is the auction house's highest ever total. Furthermore, 3,451 lots were offered, making it London Coins Auction's largest event.
London Coins
Auction 133

London Coins - Coins, paper money, medals, bonds and shares - February 28 - March 1, 2015


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May 2015

Coin News
This 3,000 - lot sale set a new record for the company as it was their first March sale to break through the £ 1 million total. With such a huge sale there was literally "something for everyone", with prices ranging from under £ 20 to over £ 20,000. The sale... Continue reading

London Coins Auction-General Sale - December 6 - 7, 2014


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February 2015

Coin News
Top lot at this event was an 1839 plain edge proof crown. Its reverse contains much brilliance while the obverse has a choice blue and gold tone. Slabbed and graded by CGS at 82 (choice uncirculated), documents with the piece shows that it was graded at MS65 by ICCS, the Canadian... Continue reading

London Coins Auction - General Sale - March 1 - 2, 2014


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May 2014

Coin News
The highlight of this event was a 1953 UK proof set comprising the 10 coins from the crown to the farthing. I expect that after that opening statement, readers will think that this sale went downhill from there. However, it was not one of the 40,000 sets issued by the... Continue reading

London Coins - General Sale - June 1 & 2 2013


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August 2013

Coin News
The highlight of this sale was a 1643 Oxford Mint Charles I triple unite in very fine state. It had an excellent provenance from Sir K. Vaughan-Morgan (Sotheby's 1935), through R. C. Lockett (Glendining's 1961), Spink (1990) to more recently Bonham's (2006). The estimate of £40,000 - 50,000 brought mutterings... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 141

London Coins - General Sale - March 2 & 3 2013


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May 2013

Coin News May 2013
This sale not only attracted bidders from all over the UK, but others travelled from further afield, including the Far East, Portugal, Russia, Spain and the USA. The highest price at this sale was the £15,795 paid for an 1826 proof five pounds. Apart from some hairlines on the portrait and... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 140

London Coins - General Sale - December 1 & 2 2012


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February 2013

Coin News
As the proverb goes, "Two swallows don't make a summer", but it was nevertheless good to hear that after a long absence two buyers from financially distressed Greece made a reappearance at Bracknell. Other overseas buyers included Russians and Spaniards. Bidders had to contend with a commotion outside the rooms... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 139

London Coins - General Sale - September 1 & 2 2012


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November 2012

Coin News
What was fascinating for me with this sale is that it included a good collection formed in the 1980s. It was an eclectic cabinet embracing Roman, English hammered and milled. It was not sold as a named collection, but was offered in the relevant sections of the sale. Now I have... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 138

London Coins - General Sale - June 2 & 3 2012


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August 2012

Coin News
During the first weekend in June, there may have been plenty of fireworks in London as HM Queen E1izabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, but there were also plenty of fireworks at this sale. There were gasps from the audience before bidding on one lot got underway. As is the... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 137

Can you make a mint from Jubilee coins?


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29th May 2012

Money Market UK
While for many such coins may really be a sentimental purchase, just how do they shape up as investments? The Royal Mint has issued a range of coins, including special sets, to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year. The latest issue is a range of silver, gold and platinum versions... Continue reading

London Coins - General Sale - December 3 & 4 2011


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February 2012

Coin News
Top price at this weekend auction was for a stunning 1732 proof crown. Examples are extremely rare. Graded as about FDC, the cataloguer added, "This piece is virtually free of contact marks, has an even grey tone and shows just a hint of friction on the points of the obverse,... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 135

Stephen Lockett Interview with Coin Week


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23rd February 2012

Rare Coin Auction Market in Great Britain

Coin Week
Auction continues to be a popular method to sell coins in Great Britain. Stephen Lockett shares what items have been selling and how prices are faring. He talks about what sales his company has coming up in the future. Continue reading

London Coins - General Sale - September 3 & 4 2011


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November 2011

Coin News
Prior to the event, the team of London Coins Auction (LCA) thought that this was a routine sale. However, with the buoyant market, when they analysed the results they realised the sale total was the company's second highest to date. To say that some prices were astounding is no exaggeration.... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 134

Stephen Lockett Interview with Coin Week


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19th November 2011

Coin Auctions & Third Party Grading in Great Britain

Coin Week
Mr. Lockett operates London Coins Ltd, a coin business that trades in numismatics and includes an auction service. He is also founder of Coin Grading Service UK, Britains first encapsulating grading service. He shares his perspective on the collector market, how auction functions in the sale of coins, and the... Continue reading

London Coins - General Sale - June 5, 6 & 7 2011


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August 2011

Coin News
This was a landmark event for auctioneer Stephen Lockett. Potential bidders could not have failed to notice that his regular auction has now been extended from two to three days and that paper money now has it's own catalogue, This auction house has been chipping away at the market and... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 133

London Coins - General Sale - March 5 & 6 2011


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May 2011

Coin News
The best place to see what is going on at an auction is from the auctioneer’s podium. The results of this sale reflect the strength of the market, but the thing that struck Stephen Lockett in his role as auctioneer is that a year or two ago the then relatively... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 132

London Coins - General Sale - December 5 & 6 2010


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February 2011

Coin News
Just prior to this sale, the snow fell in Kent for 72 hours. The sale was held in Berkshire and Stephen Lockett not unnaturally was concerned as he was snowbound in Kent. The van hire company could not promise to supply a vehicle, but remarkably they did - after digging... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 131

London Coins - General Sale - September 4 & 5 2010


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November 2010

Coin News
London Coins auctioneer Stephen Lockett commented after this sale: “The sale was notable in my view for its all round strength with an overall hammer total of £580,000 with the vast majority of items selling. It seemed that dealers, collectors and new faces are all in the scramble for new... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 130

London Coins - General Sale - June 7 & 8 2010


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August 2010

Coin News
This sale was held on a Monday and Tuesday as opposed to a weekend, which means that the coins were available for viewing at the London Coin Fair on the Saturday. At one of its regular clinics, the auction house was approached by a member of the public with a... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 129

London Coins – General Sale – March 6 & 7, 2010


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May 2010

Coin News
I have never seen so many certified coins in a UK auction before. Some had been slabbed in the US, but the Coin Grading Service UK (CGS) encapsulated most. Top of the slabbed pieces was a 1601 "Elephant and Castle" five-guineas certified by CGS UK as EF 60. Estimated at... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 128

London Coins – General Sale – December 5 & 6, 2010


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February 2010

Coin News
This £500,000 plus sale took London Coins' turnover for 2009 to a record £2m for this auction house—an increase of 30 per cent over 2008. Because this was a bumper sale of 2,500 lots over two days, the usual convention of having papermoney and bonds exclusively on the Saturday, meant... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 127

London Coins – General Sale – September 5 & 6, 2009


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November 2009

Coin News
"We kicked off the season in a very robust and exciting way", said Stephen Lockett after this sale. It was certainly an extraordinary event setting a new record for a Victorian bronze penny. The piece is dated 1863, but needless to say this was not the standard coin but an... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 126

London Coins – General Sale – June 6 & 7, 2009


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August 2009

Coin News
The first weekend in June is clearly popular for coin sales. Stephen Lockett commented after the event, “The market is still good and we are pleased with a £373,000 total". Top price was for an 1841 London sovereign, which is the key date rarity (as opposed to variety) in the... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 125

London Coins – General Sale – February 28 & March 1, 2009


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May 2009

Coin News
Prices for copper and bronze material was very strong. For example, an 1843 penny with no colon after REG was offered in uncirculated state with around 70 per cent lustre. Estimated at £750—1,500, the piece was contested to £4,212. Interestingly, the same coin but with the colon was also offered... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 124

London Coins – General Sale – December 2008


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February 2009

Coin News
As I browsed through this catalogue, I was drawn to a rather splendid example of a Charles I shilling struck at besieged Newark in 1645. By the very nature of these specimens I being an emergency coinage, surviving examples are not always the best creations to emanate from a mint.... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 123

London Coins – General Sale – September 6 & 7 2008


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November 2008

Coin News
“There is no sign of the credit crunch here", remarks Stephen Lockett from his base south of London. He continued, “I asked a Russian buyer, who had journeyed from Siberia to our sale, how the credit crunch was affecting the Russian market. He looked at me seemingly astonished by the... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 122

London Coins – General Sale – June 6 & 7 2008


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August 2008

Coin News
This sale broke with tradition and was held on a Friday and Saturday as opposed t0 a Saturday and Sunday. The top price was for an impressive Charles 1 1643 Oxford mint triple unite. This is an example of the large bust without a scarf. The piece has some minor... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 121

London Coins – General Sale – March 2008


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May 2008

Coin News
This has to be a first – the successful bidder’s car broke down while removing his newly acquired “bulk lot” from the sale’s venue. To be fair, it was perhaps one of the mightiest coin bulk lots offered at a coin auction. Consisting of 22 boxes of British and world... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 120

London Coins – General Sale – September 1 & 2, 2007


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November 2007

Coin News
This was London Coins’ best ever sale, both in the number of lots offered and the realisation. The 2,640 lots resulted in a total of 580,000. There was another record for the auction house too – the highest realisation for an individual coin. So congratulations all round to Steve Lockett... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 118

London Coins – General Sale – June 2007


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August 2007

Coin News
As usual, the sale started with an offering of banknotes. However, just over 100 of these lots had very unusual provenance. Known as the “Organ Pipe Hoard”, they were found when a church organ at an undisclosed location was being restored. When three of its wooden pipes were thrown into... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 117

London Coins – General Sale – March 3& 4, 2007


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May 2007

Coin News
This was the first sale held at The Grange Hotel at Bracknell in Berkshire as opposed to The Dartford Hilton in Kent. The auction house’s former venue was unable to provide the required accommodation. Stephen Lockett of London Coins said after the event, “I am convinced more business can be... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 116

London Coins – General Sale – December 2006


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February 2007

Just over 500 lots of banknotes were featured on the first day of the sale. English notes were strong with a Bradbury first issue type 1 Treasury £1 with the serial number letter A selling for 50 per cent above the estimate at £1,650 in almost extremely fine state. A... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 115

London Coins – General Sale – September 2 and 3, 2006


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November 2006

Coin News
There were many new faces at this event. Banknotes were in great demand with dealers commenting that the prices for English notes were “sky high”. As usual, there was a strong demand for Scottish material. The highlight of the coins was a 1706 five-guineas in very fine/nearly extremely fine state.... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 114

London Coins – General Sale – March 4 & 5, 2006


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May 2006

Coin News
There was a good offering of UK bronze and copper at this sale. The highlight was a potentially unique 1922 penny variety. Unrecorded in any of the standard references, the coin is dated 1922, but the Britannia featured on the reverse is the one used for pennies struck from 1927... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 112

London Coins – General Sale – November 26 & 27, 2005


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February 2006

Coin News
This event was held on the weekend that parts of the UK suffered very early snowfall. Road travel was very difficult in some parts of the country. However, this did stop one bidder battling his way from Cornwall, the county worst affected, to attend the event – en route he... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 111

London Coin Auctions – General Sale – March 5 & 6, 2005


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May 2005

Coin News
This is not a central London sale as it is held at the Hilton Hotel at Dartford Crossing. The venue is just off the M25, London’s Orbital motorway, in Kent. The organisers must have been somewhat concerned in the week leading up to the sale as the county of Kent... Continue reading
London Coins
Auction 108