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One of the Rarest of all British Gold CoinsEra of George III gold Yorkshire token 1812, Dalton37, 3.2 g, Phoenix Rising From the Flames motif, AU55 Terner PCGS, a really fine example of the RRR gold half-guinea token struck for Younge, Wilsons & Younge, of Sheffield, Yorkshire, the foundry town famous the world over for its silverwork (swords, plate, etc.). Actually struck during the Regency Period, when the Prince of Wales, who would soon become King George IV, represented the monarchy of his ill father, "mad" King George. The denomination is given on this issue as "10 S . 6 D" in "standard gold" in the center of the obverse, standing for 10 Shillings and 6 Pence, or Half a Guinea. As such, this important gold coin is a transition piece, of sorts, between the half guineas that were just ending their commercial existence and the coming half sovereigns, first struck in 1817. One of just two types known (from three issuers) of gold tokens of this denomination. Also listed (without images) in the new British tokens book by Withers, page 420, referring to Dalton's #37. Mislabeled on the grading insert as D-35. As rare as this coin is in the absolute sense, it's even rarer still in the quality seen here, and it comes from a fabulous collection, now pedigreed by PCGS as from the Jacob Y. Terner MD Collection, and so noted on the grading insert. Its fields are glittering with luster and prooflike, with a rich gold tone, and the strike features crisp legends, a deeply detailed mythical Phoenix bird, and broad, deep denticles that frame the design on each side; there are only minimal abrasions, proving by their presence its commercial use -- this was no mere bauble made for collectors, but a genuine specie piece struck during the Napoleonic War, when royal-issued gold had all but disappeared from circulation as it was being hoarded for fear of both inflation and an unfavorable outcome to the war. The cataloguer originally purchased this specimen for Dr Terner in January 1993, and it last sold in the Terner auctions held in Beverly Hills nearly a decade ago. Other coins of much less rarity, from various countries, have garnered much publicity and attention -- coins that are not nearly so elusive as this one, a "sleeper" at a time when sovereigns are keenly sought, Chinese issues that are regularly seen are bringing gigantic prices at auction, and numerous U.S. coins sell for six figures or more. By comparison, if it sells for our top estimate, this coin is a bargain. An historic coin made during a time of war and never meant to be saved, it is truly rare, only a few examples being known, and this one still really sparkles!
From The Pikes Peak Collection.
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