A New York auction exceeded all previous world records for Gold Coin Collections, where a collection of 642 rare Greek Gold Coins were sold on January 2, 2012 for a whooping $25 million. These rare coins are known as the Prospero Collection and had been accumulated by a private British collector over the past three decades.
The ancient Greek coin, which was sold at the grand amount of $3.25 million, bore a design of a bearded satyr and a winged griffin figure. This piece is believed to have come from a colony on the Black Sea, Pantikapaion. Coinage experts have described this as a masterpiece of ancient Greek art.
The identity of the owner of the Prospero Collection is kept a heavily guarded secret by London-based specialty coin dealer AH Baldwin & Sons, which organized the selling. If rumors are to be believed, there are strong indications that the collection was started by Colonel Richard Seifert, who was the architect of London’s Centre Point skyscraper as well as the Tower 42.
3 Famous Gold Coin Collections of the World
Over the years, there have been many famous gold coin collections in the world. Most of these collections are kept in museums, whereas some have even been assembled and owned by individuals. Some gold coin collections which had a lot of impact on the coin collecting world are:
1. Smithsonian Institution’s National Numismatic Collection
This collection is known to contain more than 450,000 decorations, medals and coins along with more than 1.1 million pieces of paper currency. The numismatic items in this collection include medieval coins, ancient coins and US issued coins. The collection of these items was begun in 1923. This happened when the US Mint gave its rare coin collections for display and storage to Smithsonian. The collection also contains United States Rarities like:
• The 1787 Ephraim Brasher half doubloon
• The 1849, $20 gold Double Eagle
• Two 1877 one dollar pattern pieces
• Three types of 1804 silver dollars
• Two 1933 $20 gold Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles
• The 1913 Liberty Head nickel
2. Eliasberg Collection
This collection was actively maintained from mid 1920-1976 by a Baltimore businessman named Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. He was the only person known to have been able to assemble an entire collection of US coins in circulation by date and mint marks. He did not collect die varieties and mint errors. The only famous coin that he did not have in his collection was the 1849 Double Eagle. Eliasberg’s collection included:
• A1913 Liberty Head nickel
• The unique 1873-CC no-arrows Liberty Seated dime
• An 1804 silver dollar
• An 1870-S three dollar gold piece
• A 1933 gold $20 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle.
3. American Numismatic Association’s ANA Money Museum
This museum plays home to a quarter of a million objects that are known to have captured the history of numismatics. The most famous collection of this museum is the Harry W. Bass Collection, which is known to consist of the finest US paper money, pattern coins and gold coins. The museum features every piece of the Bass Collection in a multimedia presentation which can be viewed by the visitors in an interactive way. This Collection includes rarities such as:
• An 1804 silver dollar
• Two 1913 Liberty Head nickels
These are some of the most popular all-time collections of gold coins in the world. There are other known coin collections in the world which may be bigger in size as well as value from these collections. However, these are the three which are known to have greatly impacted the world gold coin collections.