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London Coins

News and Press Releases

November 2009

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

Coin News
November 2009 - Page 29
"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 exceptionally rare variety with a slender 3 in the date. In Freeman's The Bronze Coinage of Great Britain, this variety is given a rarity rating of R20, which means it is "believed to be unique". The cataloguer gave a very wide estimate of £3,000-15,000. Certainly there was no example in the Laurie Bamford Collection sold at Dix Noonan Webb (DNW) in May 2006, albeit that four varieties of the 1863 penny were offered. John Jerrams in Early British Bun Pennies arid Their Varieties lists only one “slender 3" variety of this date in his 2001 census. A commission bid had been received up to £13,000. The piece was contested by a bidder on the phone and one in the room to £22,230, a new auction record for a Victorian bronze penny. The phone bidder proceeded at all times without hesitation. The previous record for a Victorian bronze penny was established on May 21, 2008 when another 1863 bearing the die number 5 on its reverse sold in poor condition at Tennants in North Yorkshire. The only specimen known with this die number it sold for a staggering £20,125. Although the die five variety is not recorded in Freeman (which was last revised in 1985), the existence of the actual coin was known from a letter published in Spink's Numismatic Circular in April 1989. The correspondent was a Mr. D. W. Noakes of the Rochford Hundred Numismatic Society. At the time, when l asked one UK dealer if he was surprised at the Tennants’ result, he responded, "No, I am horrified", adding that the price was way off track from the coin’s true worth. However, the fact that the record has been broken for another potentially unique 1863 variety, indicates that last year’s new record was not a fluke.

The Bamford Collection that was sold at DNW in June 2006 had examples struck from dies number 2, 3 and 4. The Bamford specimen struck from the number 2 sold for £4,600 in very fine state. It is perhaps the finest of all the numbered die pennies, certainly the realisation set a new record for a coin in the series until the Tennants’ sale last year. Bamford's penny struck from die number 3 sold for £2,760 in fine state and the mediocre specimen struck from die number 4 even sold for £2,300.

In this London Coins Auction sale, a good fine 1863 penny struck from die number 3 was offered in very good condition. In his census, Jerrams records three specimens of this variety. It was offered at this sale with an estimate of £750-1,250 and it sold for £3,627. Incidentally. the 1863 Bamford die 3 penny that sold for £2,760 in 2006, sold for the grand sum of £129 (including 8 per cent Buyer’s Premium) when the Freeman Collection was sold by Christie’s during October 1984. After the sale Stephen Lockett of London Coins Auction expressed amazement at the sums low grade Victorian bronze is realising. Pennies have certainly been on the up for a number of years now. However, the identity of the buyer of the five figures rarities remains a mystery. The word on the street after the Tennants’ auction was that the buyer was Scottish. This rumour persists, with the added information that he is "a millionaire". It is also believed that the same person acquired the London Coins Auction’s coin. As one leading dealer in the capital commented, "Most newcomers to coin collecting are middle-aged and turn to pennies as they can remember the Victorian ’bun pennies’ in their change during their childhood". Obviously coins do not rise to dizzy heights without their being an under-bidder (often referred to as "the auctioneers’ best friend"). However, the view still held by some is that there is a degree of "auction fever" with the current meteoric rise in prices for bun penny rarities. The surprises were not just restricted to UK coins. In the world section a 1928 South African sixpence was offered in good extremely fine state. The cataloguer added, “curiously unlisted by Krause". The piece had been lying in a dealer’s tray for some time with a £75 price tag. The estimate was a modest £50-75. The bidding started at £120, which was an indication that someone knew why it was not in Krause. Two telephone bidders from South Africa then contested it to a hammer price of £4,000. Stephen Fenton then stepped in and bid £4,200 which is £4,914 with the Premium. The piece was not illustrated in the catalogue. One dealer must be very happy!

Strangely, UK buyers as opposed to bidders from across the English Channel bought a couple of choice continental coins. The first was a 5-franc issued by Bonaparte as Premier Consul in year 11 of the French Revolutionary Calendar (1802/ 3). Described as “choice UNC with a grey tone over original brilliance with a few minor tone spots, certainly the best grade Napoleonic piece we have seen”, it was estimated at £200-300. It sold for £1,287. A German New Guinea 1894 2-mark in extremely fine condition, but which was enhanced by a pleasing metallic blue tone reverse (featuring a bird of paradise) caused a battle between Britain and Germany. Estimated at £150—250, it sold for £491. Does his mean that British collectors have a greater penchant for choice material than their continental counterparts?

The British market remains strong. The only piece of hammered English gold was an Edward IV Light Coinage (1464-70) Flemish imitative coinage ryal. The piece is in extremely fine state and struck on a broad full flan. It sold towards its top estimate at £1,638. Top price in the hammered section was for an Elizabeth l silver crown with the mintmark 1 (for 1601). In near extremely fine state, the Queen’s drapery is particularly sharp. The cataloguer added, “bold and even all round with an even tone, a few small surface marks" on the obverse which “hardly detract". Certainly examples in this state are rare and desirable. The auction house sold a marginally more desirable piece in December 2006 for a hammer price of £11,000. This example was estimated at £4,000-8,000, but sold at 20 per cent above the lower estimate for £5,616. This emphasises that buyers are prepared to go substantially more for the choicest coins and possibly indicates that following the problems in the financial markets, buyers are becoming even more discerning.

Top price for an early milled gold piece was the £7,605 paid for a 1668 five-guineas with the elephant below the King’s bust. Apart from some minor contact marks, this pleasing example is in good very fine/ nearly extremely fine state. The auction house had been hoping for a hammer price of up to £9,000 (£10,530 with Premium), but this proved a little too punchy. Top price in the modern British milled section was the £10,530 paid for a “nFDC—FDC" 1893 proof set in a black dated box.

The sale totaled a robust £475,000.
London Coins
Auction 126

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