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November 2012

London Coins - General Sale - September 1 & 2 2012

Coin News
November 2012 p30
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 been saying for sometime that the demand for quality hammered English gold has been buoyant. The pieces that make the news are the choice rarities that only are keenly sought by a relatively small sector of buyers. What is interesting with this collection is that you can see how good "middle market" pieces performed. One of the first lots that caught my eye was an Elizabeth I half-pound with the tun mintmark. It had been bought from Michael Trenerry in 1985 for £800. There is one piece of advice that I shall always remember Michael giving, "Don't be totally influenced by grade, it is important that the coin is pleasing."

£800 way back in 1985, is the equivalent of around £2,025 in today's terms-i.e. taking inflation into account. There was a tremendous rise in the price of coins in the early 1970s, a plateau in the mid-70s and a further rise in the second half of the decade. Whereas there was a recession in the early 1980s, coins initially were not affected as there was a bullion boom fuelled by the activities of the Hunt brothers who with members of the House of Saud were manipulating the silver market. The price peaked at over £20 an ounce and gold at over "800. The coin market remained very buoyant in the first couple of years of the 1980s and then prices began to fall. The half pound is in very fine state, but the flan is round and the portrait is very pleasing. It is just the kind of coin that would have attracted Michael. The 1984 Standard Catalogue listed a VF example at £1,200, so £800 would have been considered a "good" price. How did it fair at this sale? Estimated at £4,000-7,000, it sold for £7,020. This is a multiple of 8.78 of the original purchase price. The annual compound interest rate to turn £800 into £7,020 would be just over 8 per cent.

However, remember that this does not take the costs of selling into account. The hammer price for the coin was £6,000. If the vendor was charged no commission, the compound rate to turn £800 into £6,000 is just under 7.5 per cent. Had he been charged 10 per cent plus VAT commission for selling the coin, he would receive £5,280 from the auctioneer. This would reduce the compound annual rate to just below 7 per cent. Now this is still a very good return, but probably as much as one would think when looking at the raw data. If I was the collector, I would feel pleased. By the way, Capital Gains Tax is payable on "chattels" that sell for over £5,000, so the sum payable to HMRC will take a little of the shine away. The coin that followed also had eye appeal. It is an Edward VI half sovereign with the second period crowned half bust. Again struck on a round flan, the piece had "a handful" (sounds a lot to be on a coin!) of heavier contact marks in the obverse field. Yes, there are some heavier than usual contact marks, but the portrait of the Boy King is excellent. Bought from Grantham Coins in 1985 for £825, it was estimated at £3,000-6,000 and sold for £5,382. This is a multiple of 6.52 of the original purchase price. A James I third coinage laurel, while struck on a round flan, was offered in nearly very fine state. While quite acceptable, it does not have the appeal of the Elizabeth I or Edward VI pieces. It was purchased from C. J. Martin in 1985 for £315 and it sold at this sale for £1,638, a multiple of 5.2 of its original purchase price. So what does this tell us? What we already know - better quality coins fare better over the long term than poorer grades.

The same happened with the hammered English silver. A good very fine Alfred the Great third coinage two-line type of neater style was offered in good very fine state. Bought from C.J. Martin in 1984 for £575, it sold for £2,340, a multiple of 4.07 of its original purchase price. However, an Aethelwulf phase II penny struck at Canterbury by the moneyer Herebeald did not fare so well. Its flan is ragged, but it is nearly very fine and is not recorded in the Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles. It was purchased in 1985 for £400, was estimated at £175-350, but sold for £819, a multiple of just 2.05 over its original purchase price.

One of the biggest surprises of the event came in the English hammered section. A fine Anglo Gallic penny issued by Eleanor, wife of Henry (Elias 11) was offered with an estimate of £10-20. It had been purchased from the Torbay Coin Gallery in 1984 for £10. It was contested to £2,223. A Henry V Class C penny issued at Durham was also sought, but not quite so dramatically. In fine state with a dark patina it was bought from the same outlet in 1983 for £30. Offered with the same estimate as the previous lot, it was fought over to £111.50. Top lot of the sale was an 1887 proof set. It was not in its original case, but a custom made square one bearing the date of issue. Unfortunately the coins had been mishandled. The gold is scuffed and rubbed and the crown has a slight edge bruise. On the plus side, the silver has a rich matching tone. Overall the grade of the coins is extremely fine to uncirculated. Choice sets have been realising up to £15,000 recently, but given that this is not a desirable one, the lot was given a "tease" estimate of £5,000-7,500. It sold for an amazing £14,040. A choice 1893 long set was offered in a contemporary case with the coins described as near nFDC-FDC. There were the usual hairlines, but the silver has a matching tone. The estimate was bullish, being £10,000 - 15,000. It sold for £12,870. A 1937 gold set was offered in near FDC state. It sold for £4,914.

An Australian 1916 shilling was offered in uncirculated "or near so" grade with an estimate of £40-60. It was fought over to £1,989. However, the highlight of the Australian coins on offer was a 1912 florin, which apart from minor friction on the obverse and the tiniest of rim nicks is in choice mint state not surprisingly attracted great interest. It was chased to £4,680. In the banknote section, I loved the description of one multiple lot "world in an album". It contained 1,336 notes including pre-World War II issues and some large denominations. The grades are mixed, but many later issues are uncirculated. Estimated at £400-600, it clearly contained some juicy material as it was contested to £4,914.

Top of the early British milled silver was a 1751 crown described as "EF or better", it has an attractive grey tone. It sold for £4,446. A very rare 1841 crown in good very fine condition with hints of a gold tone realised £5,850 against £1,200 in VF in the 2012 Coin Yearbook. There was keen interest in a 1967 sovereign struck in brass. The cataloguer's description reads, "good milling and striking so presumed a Royal Mint strike . . . perhaps a trial piece or unofficial off metal striking". It sold for £643. I wonder what it would have realised if sold with a letter of authenticity from the Royal Mint?

Auctioneer Stephen Lockett commented after the sale, "There was no sign of any abatement in the market." The sale totalled £743,440.
London Coins
Auction 138

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