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South Africa: Republic gold Threepence 1898,...

2013 September 25 - 27, 30 & October 1 World and Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach #3026

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Auction Ended On: Sep 27, 2013
Item Activity: 6 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Long Beach Convention Center, Room 103A
300 E. Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90802

A Splendid Golden "Tickey"
Republic gold Threepence 1898, KM-PnA23, Hern-ZP5, plain edge, SP64 PCGS, a fabulous example of this great South African rarity, among the most famous of the Kruger Republic coins, this coin exhibiting deeply mirrored surfaces fantastically well preserved, vibrant luster, a fully detailed strike, and high squared-off rims. Under a glass, some minute contact marks may be found, doubtless accounting for the "64" grade given to an otherwise superb coin. Faint, wispy hairlines. What may appear as more lines via Internet viewing are in fact horizontal mint-made raised die-lines, not defects. The cataloguer also described the MS64 NGC example which we sold in January 2012 and believes the present specimen to be superior to that one, although it was without question a real beauty as well. Copies exist but they are easily discerned once you have seen the real thing, and here we are most thrilled to be able to offer for sale what may well be the finest known piece. A jewel-like treasure of a coin!

This mysterious coin was stealthily made in 1898 by Sammy Marks, a ZAR entrepreneur who was something of a character, according to local legend. It seems he bought his way into the mint at Pretoria and selected a pair of dies for the silver threepence coinage, either altering the date or else using a die for the dated reverse side that was intended for but never employed to make commercial coinage. No silver 1898 threepence is known to exist. Sammy Marks created "at least 215 pieces" all in gold, avers Brian Hern in his standard reference on the ZAR coinage. The source of the gold used is not known. The dies used to make this coin remain in the South African Mint museum. Many of the pieces ended up in jewelry, and are impaired. The survival of a coin of this stature is surely a miracle. Based on auctions records, we believe that our top estimate may be exceeded.

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