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London Coins Auction 156
Grange Hotel Bracknell, Charles Square, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 1ED
London Coins Auction 157
Grange Hotel Bracknell, Charles Square, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 1ED

News and Press Releases

November 2011

London Coins - General Sale - September 3 & 4 2011

Coin News
November 2011 p26
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. When a 2011 Maundy set in a red case of issue was offered, auctioneer Stephen Lockett thought that a dealer who purely traded in Maundy money was going to have a seizure. Five years ago Spink sold a 1981 Maundy set in its original case for £85, while sets relating to that year (2006) were being offered retail by the company at £120. Traditionally sets in the year that they were issued have always commanded a premium. The reason for this year's anomaly is simple: the recipients treasured the money with which they were presented and the only people prepared to sell were those who received sets for officiating at the service.

In 2006 1,942 Maundy sets comprising the four silver coins from the fourpence (groat) to the penny were struck. Of these 662, a staggering 34 per cent, were given to those who officiated. When I noted last year that no London dealers had been offered a single Maundy set, I contacted the Office of the Royal Almonry of the Privy Purse and Treasurer's Office at Buckingham Palace. Its spokesman would not talk about current mintage figures for 2010. When I asked how many officials receive sets, the response was along the lines of there had been an audit and "things were much different than they once were". However, the Royal Mint revealed that in around 1,600 sets had been struck for that year.

At some point after 2006, there was a severe cutback in Maundy freebies to officials. In 2009 Baldwin was offered no sets issued that year and was only aware of two 2008 sets being offered the market in 2008 and one in 2009. Newcomers to the world of Maundy money are totally confused that Victorian and Edwardian sets are relatively inexpensive. This is because there are plenty around as the public could buy them. Edward VII stopped the practice from 1909 protect the value of Maundy to recipients.

Recently the Royal Household appears to have reduced the order for Maundy coins as an economy measure. As the number required for recipients is determined by a formula cast in stone, the only place to makes cuts is in the number given to those officiating. Last year I predicted, "The fact that sets are now more exclusive means that not only are they unlikely to appear on the market, but, when they eventually do, the price will be high." So what happened when a 2011 set in its original red leather case appeared at this sale? The 2012 Coin Yearbook lists a 2010 Maundy set at £450 (which is retail), LCA estimated its 2011 set at a not unreasonable £225—around £263 with the
Premium. At this event the 2011 set was fiercely fought over. The hammer fell at £800 - which is a cool £936 with the Premium. The nation's octogenarians and those who are even older will be clamouring to be Maundy recipients! Even a 2002 set that the Coin Yearbook lists at a mere £185 sold for £468.

The auctioneer was pleased to see a couple of clients who had not been active in the market since 2005 at the viewing. Coincidentally, both were interested in the general bulk lots. While these were once the Cinderellas of the auction world, they have become popular of late and are possibly purchased by people who sell the coins individually on eBay. The two potential bidders were shocked at the prices realised and did not raise their hands once to bid. Both declared that they would bring "their entire holding" to be auctioned at the next sale. Top price was for three albums containing 95 George III to Victoria coins ranging from crowns to farthings in mixed grades. It sold for double expectation at £2,808.

Top price for a lot was not surprisingly in the gold section when 35 sovereigns were offered in mixed grades to UNC. Interestingly it was described as a "35-coin set", which would have been fine had there been some kind of order to it. However, it just appeared to be a motley collection thrown together without thought. Its contents ranged from an 1869 example with the die number 58 to a 2006 example. It sold for £9,477.

Interestingly. the two highest prices for lots comprising just a single item were in the banknote section. London Coins Auction has been building this side of their business over the last few years and at this event over 1,000 lots of papermoney were offered. The highest price was paid for a Kentfield E50 bearing the serial number E01 000001, which is the first of this issue and in the words of the cataloger "excessively rare thus, and offers an almost unique opportunity to acquire a first issue note". Graham Kentfield was the Bank of England's Chief Cashier from 1991 to 1998 and the note is in uncirculated condition. However, what price for such a rarity? The cataloguer
gave it a wide estimate of £5,000 - 15,000. It sold for the lower end of this range - a hammer price of £5,200, which is £6,084 with the Premium. Possibly at some future date collectors will think that they missed an opportunity to acquire a great rarity at a reasonable price.

A Nairne £1 "gold note" sold for a little less. When World War I broke out in the summer of 1914, it became increasingly clear that Britain acquired a smaller note than £5 (the then smallest denomination) to replace the gold sovereign that circulated freely in the country. Before it had been established who should issue such a denomination, the Bank of England started preparations for the note. This was somewhat premature for the government of the day decided that the Treasury should issue the denomination, together with its fractions. The unissued proof form of the Bank of England's 1914 £l is a sought after rarity in the English series only 15 examples have come to light. Despite the small number, there are two versions: one with the prefix A/1 prefix to the 00000 serial number and one without. It was the "one with" version that was offered here. In GEF state, its estimate was £5,000-7,000 but at the sale it sold for £5,850, which again is not a particularly high price.

Although a general sale, there was some interesting material, including some patterns that had pre-decimal price tickets indicating that they had not been on the market for at least 40 years. One of these was a 1713 pattern farthing in silver, its reverse featuring the figure of Britannia in a portico (Peck 747). Apart from a few minor hairlines, on the obverse the condition was given as UNC / nFDC with the cataloguer stating that it is "a most pleasing example that compares favourably with the example in the Cooke collection". With a wide estimate of £500 - 1,000, it sold exactly on the upper figure, making it £1,170 with the Premium. However, there was competition for a pattern 1848 florin bearing the adopted Gothic head of Queen Victoria. Its obverse bears ONE FLORIN within a wreath with ONE TENTH OF A POUND below (ESC 904). The piece, which is near FDC state, was estimated at £750 - 1,250. It sold for a healthy £1,872. The market always reacts well to material that is fresh as opposed to that which "has done the rounds".

The highest price for a British coin was paid for what, in my opinion, is one of the most boring 20th century coins: a 1934 crown. These were the country's first issue of crowns since 1902. The issue was intended for collectors and as presentation pieces - a good idea, but not only is the reverse type unimaginative; it never altered for any of the nine years it was minted. The mintage in any one year never exceeded 10,000 and of course the lowest year of striking was 1934 when only 932 were struck. In EF state, it sold for £3,978.

The highlight of the English section, a Henry VIII third coinage sovereign struck at the Southwark mint offered with an estimate of £15,000 - 25,000 did not sell, however, a rather scruffy James I second coinage rose ryal which
apart from two crease marks is in fine / nearly very fine state sold for £3,042. A Charles I Pontefract 1648 shilling which is holed, but otherwise in a sharp and pleasing very fine condition, nevertheless sold for £2,574. Had it not been holed, it would have sold for £6,000 - 8,000. Nevertheless the vendor should be delighted.

The surprise for the sale was in the world section. A Chinese Hu-Peh Province 1 tael of 1904 was offered in GVF. The Krause Standard Catalog of World Coins 2011 lists this at US$900 (say £600) in VF and US$1,750 (say £1,200) in EF. London Coins Auction estimated the piece conservatively at £225 - 350, possibly hoping for £800 - 900 on a good day. Well, it was not a good day; it was an absolutely fantastic day for this coin. The coin generated considerable interest and there was a right battle royal to secure it. The hammer eventually fell at £4,800 - making it £5,616 with the Premium. The coin was not even illustrated in the catalogue - though it was on the web. If you have one tucked away, it may be worth far more than you think. A person in the room who is believed to have links to Hong Kong bought it.

There were other surprises too in the world section. An Indian Bengal Presidency copper dump token coinage 1 anna of 1774 was offered. Krause refers to the "Dump token coinage", whereas Pridmore describes them as "postal tickets", which in reality was their use. They were issued in April 1774 by the Patna Postmaster at the inception of the General Post Office in Bengal. They were sold in quantity to individuals who made frequent use of the "Dawk", as the postal system was then known. There were two denominations - the 2 annas and 1 anna. The tickets were used to ensure that servants dealing with post on behalf of their masters did not have to handle money! A single letter was charged 2 annas for each 100 miles, while letters by sea or from foreign settlements were charged 1 anna on delivery. The auction house graded the piece as having some surface porosity, but otherwise being good fine. It was estimated at £120—150, which seems reasonable and realistic. However, it sold for £1,287.

The sale totalled £701,069.
London Coins
Auction 134

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