1937 British pattern brings £133K

A rare copper pattern coin struck for the short-lived reign of King Edward VIII recently brought £133,200, including buyer’s premium, at auction in the U.K.

Produced as a trial piece by the British Royal Mint in anticipation of Edward’s coronation in 1937, the pattern cent was never ultimately produced as the new king abdicated in December 1936 to marry U.S. socialite Wallis Simpson.

“I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility, and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love,” announced Edward in a national radio broadcast on Dec. 11, 1936.

His reign lasted only 10 months.

One of only “a handful” of Edward VIII patterns known to exist in private hands, this example was sold by Spink and Son as part of the Waterbird Collection of rare British coins spanning six centuries. It’s graded Proof-63-plus Red Brown and more than doubled its £60,000 estimate.

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