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    The Iconic Imperial of Nicholas II

    Nicholas II gold Specimen Imperial of 10 Roubles 1895 SP62 PCGS, St. Petersburg mint, KM-Pn143, Fr-173, Uzd-314, Sev-549 (RRR), Bit-317 (R3). Obv. Bare head of Nicholas left. Rev. Crowned imperial double eagle facing, holding scepter and orb in talons; crown above, large coat-of-arms on breast, and smaller coats-of-arms on wings. One of the true rarities of the later Russian imperial series, this exquisite pattern issue, listed in Bitkin as 'donative,' has the denomination of an 'Imperial' of 10 Roubles, though in actuality it is equivalent to the concurrent 15 Roubles business strikes. Wide rims and highly mirrored surfaces lend to it a strong proof characteristic, though the exact nature remains uncertain, as PCGS has classified them as specimen strikings, while NGC has opted for a business strike designation. In any event, this short, three-year run (from 1895-7) is exceedingly rare. KM lists a mintage figure of 125 pieces for 1895, while Bitkin, mirroring this number for the 1896 issue, remains uncertain for the 1895 date, listing it merely with a (?). Indeed, the true mintage is likely less than KM's listing of 125. Some lightly scattered hairlines in the lustrous fields prevent a higher, choice designation, but it remains one of only two 1895 examples (the other being an MS61 by NGC) certified by either of the two major services. For comparison, the 1896 date has seen three specimens certified (an MS61 and MS63, along with an XF Details, all by NGC), and the 1897 date (likely of similar rarity to the 1895) has seen just one graded (an SP63 by PCGS). At auction, the more recent sales record for an 1895 date is the aforementioned NGC MS61, which, in the opinion of this cataloger, is far inferior to the present specimen, at least more so than the slight different between a 61 and 62 would lead one to believe. The former realized a hammer of $160,000 in the 2016 NY Sale. The sole 1897 certified--the PCGS SP63--realized a hammer of $300,000 in the 2014 NY Sale. Given the extreme quality and rarity of the present specimen, along with its awesome pedigree, it is no doubt that it will generate a tremendous amount of interest among the community along with bidding at the most elite of levels.
    Ex. Irving M. Moskovitz Collection ("Quality" Sales Corp. 2/1977 - Lot 917 w/ auction tag)
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    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    7th-8th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
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