Published: March 30, 2021
DALLAS – A 1937 Edward VIII five-pound pattern coin – one of only a small number of commemorative British gold coins produced for the would-be coronation of Edward VIII – set a world record as the most expensive British coin when it sold for $2,280,000 during a public auction of world coins held by Heritage Auctions on Friday, March 26.
The coin is one of less than a half-dozen believed to be in private hands and both rarity and condition contributed to its record-setting auction price. The previous record for the most expensive British coin sold at auction was for a William IV proof 5 Pounds from 1831, which sold in Monaco in October 2020 for a hammer price of 820,000 euros.
Despite extensive plans that were made for the production of coronation sets for distribution to collectors and important persons, Edward VIII’s coinage was ultimately cut short by his decision to abdicate the throne to marry Wallis Simpson, a commoner and yet the woman he loved, after just 10½ months of rule.
Reports from 1935 to 1936 show that more than 200 dies for coins, medals and seals were prepared and then ultimately destroyed after his decision to abdicate.
Prices quoted include buyer’s premium. A sale recap will follow in a future issue.
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