CoinWeek reports on the stars of Heritage’s upcoming World and Ancient coin auction in Chicago, including this Canadian 1865 gold two dollar pattern coin from the Royal Mint. (The Royal Canadian Mint was not founded until 1908, and minted its first gold coin in 1912.)
Here is the description of the lot from Heritage’s catalog:
Among the Rarest and Most Important Patterns of Canada
Newfoundland. Victoria gold Pattern Specimen 2 Dollars 1865, London mint, KM-Pn15, NF-15, Bowman-P34, SP63 PCGS. Plain Edge – Coin Alignment. A marvelous coin whose design parallels that of the circulation type, but has enough differentiation to set is apart as distinctly different. Among the major differences is the treatment of the obverse legends. Segmented by a beaded border, the obverse legends of this type are rendered much like the reverse of both this and the circulated coinage, with numerous ornamental arches at 3 and 9 o’clock to break the lettering. Also, the font used is bold and distinctly blocked, unlike the circulating type that softened the look by adding serifs. The date is also translated through in a larger font that serves to decrease the size of the reverse fields. Produced with proof-like qualities, the fields show considerable mirrors and the devices hold nice cameo-producing frost. The strike, as one might expect from a pattern struck in its intended metal, is perfect. Pleasing orange tone traverses both sides and adds to the appearance of originality. A choice coin for the grade with very little present to prevent a higher numerical designation.
A monumental rarity – likely the only example in private hands – and accompanied by an illustrious string of ownership. In a 1969 article entitled ” Canada’s Ten Rarest Coins”, pioneering Canadian specialist Fred Bowman commented about this type, “only one specimen known…this piece was offered in Spink’s circular in 1910 and is now is a private collection.” While a second example has been confirmed to reside in the British Museum, in all likelihood, that 1910 offering represents the present coin, as no other privately-owned specimen has been confirmed in the last 100+ years. After the Spink sale, the current specimen likely found its way into the King Farouk collection, where the present coin in known to have resided. Later, it joined the famous cabinet of Emory May Norweb, where it was held until the eventual sale of the Canadian portion of the collection by Bowers and Merena in 1996. It’s worth noting that, in that sale, this coin realized a price of $39,600 – a truly astounding price for the period. Given the rarity and importance of the present specimen, one should expect an equally astounding price this time around.
From The Prager Collection of Canadian Specimen Coins Estimate: $80,000 – $100,000.