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Rare Money Blog

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

Our upcoming Official Auction of the ANA World's Fair of Money will see numerous highlights cross the auction block, including many exciting rarities that seldom present themselves. A perfect example of this is a type last offered as a part of our Frontenac Sale (Bowers and Merena, November 1991). Featuring the normal design for the current (at the time) New Brunswick 20 Cents on the reverse, an incredibly rare obituary "pattern" utilizes a special, rather moving obverse commemorating the life of an engraver who passed away at a far too early age (lot 40099). Reading "G. W. WYON / OBIT / MARCH 27th 1862 / ÆTAT / 26 YEARS" in five lines, this piece poses an intriguing question: why would an issue seemingly commemorative in nature exhibit an ordinary coin type reverse?​​

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

In addition to an exemplary live session of ancient coins, our upcoming Official Auction of the ANA World's Fair of Money will feature the magnificent "Collection of a Gentleman," an advanced cabinet of Greco-Roman denominational rarities. Assembled over the course of five decades, this astounding array features various denominations that are not often seen, with a handful offering some rather incredible pedigrees. One such rarity emanates from the Sicilian city of Gela and displays a man-headed bull on the obverse and a nymph on the reverse. G. Kenneth Jenkins, in his die study for the coinage of the city, lists only a small handful of the type known to him, with the offered piece being one of those cited.​​

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

Our upcoming Official Auction of the ANA World's Fair of Money will present a tremendous array of stunning ancient coins emanating from various well-cultivated collections. A standout among them is a dazzling and lustrous gold aureus of Roman emperor Macrinus, who reigned briefly in A.D. 217-218 during a chaotic time in Rome's history. This stunning example, quite likely the finest of the type—or of any gold issue for the emperor—presents an exacting, razor-sharp strike that is so well centered that the beading of the borders on each side is wholly contained upon the flan. ​

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

The city of Hamburg had an ongoing problem between its Senate and Citizens' Council in the late 17th century, with its local Jewish population a chief concern. Though a Sephardic Jewish population had more long-standing roots in the city, the Ashkenazi population had arrived much more recently and had no actual legal status regarding its ability to reside there. The Citizens' Council (dominated by orthodox Protestants) and the Lutheran clergy sought to block concessions by the Senate to the Jewish populations, with the issue eventually reaching much further up in the hierarchy of the Holy Roman Empire. ​​

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

Following World War I and the demise of the once vast and powerful Ottoman Empire, various parts of the realm were partitioned off, including the land that makes up present-day Lebanon. In this case, France held a mandate officially meant to foster future states, although such mandates often entered the sphere of pseudo-colonialism. Not surprisingly, the early coinage of Lebanon—beginning in 1924—featured a strong French flair owing mostly to their manufacture at the mint in Paris. ​​

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

Stack's Bowers Galleries' monumental June Collectors Choice Online (CCO) Auction of World and Ancient Coins offers over 2,700 lots of ancient and world coins and medals. Among this array of interesting and eclectic material is a selection of attractively toned silver crowns and minors that will appeal to aficionados of iridescence. These modestly-estimated "rainbow toners" emanate from various countries around the world and are sure to attract attention. ​

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

With over 200 lots of ancient coins in our June 2021 Ancient and World Collectors Choice Online (CCO) Auction, there are numerous exciting highlights. One particular standout is a silver Tetradrachm of the Thracian king Lysimachos, who had served as one of Alexander the Great's closest generals. Following the death of Alexander in 323 B.C., Lysimachos governed the province of Thrace, eventually centralizing power and crowning himself king in 306 B.C. ​

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

As mentioned in a previous blog post, award medals often combine the elegant and artistic elements of numismatics with interesting aspects of material culture, often relating an individual to a particular event in time. Such is the case with a fascinating silver medal in our June Ancient & World Coins Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auction. Emanating from the 1878 International Exposition (World's Fair) held in Paris, this award medal was designed by the refined hand of Jules-Clément Chaplain, a key figure in the founding of the Art Nouveau movement. The obverse features the head of Ceres wearing a laurel wreath, while the reverse depicts Fama announcing winners with her trumpet and victory wreath and a cherub holding up a plaque meant to host the winner's name.​​

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