Auction review: 11-piece British Proof set highlights recent Heritage sale

One of the most sought-after Proof sets in all of British numismatics highlighted the April 7-10 CCE World and Ancient Coins Signature Auction hosted by Heritage Auctions.

The 11-piece 1826 George IV Proof set—Lot 30843—brought $282,000 USD (about $380,290 Cdn.), which topped the previous record price for the set.

According to auctioneers, the consigner was “thrilled” with the sale’s results.

“When I bought the set I knew that it was exceptional and thanks to Heritage, when I was ready to sell it, I was able to get the set into the hands of another admirer of rare Great Britain coins. I could never have imagined the astonishing, record price of $282,000 it realized at Heritage’s auction in Chicago. A fantastic result all around!”

It was the first time Heritage offered a complete set of this type, and this particular example is among the finest known. Every piece was graded by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. (NGC) and no pieces were graded lower than Proof-62. The set was sold with its original case of issue.


  1. Farthing – Proof-62 Brown (KM697a, S-3825)
  2. Half Penny – Proof-64 Brown (KM692a, S-3824)
  3. Penny – Proof-63 Brown (KM693a, S-3823)
  4. Six Pence – Proof-64 (KM698, S-3815)
  5. Shilling – Proof-64 (KM694, S-3812)
  6. Half Crown – Proof-62 (KM695, S-3809)
  7. Crown – Proof-63 (KM699, S-3806)
  8. Half Sovereign – Proof-67 Ultra Cameo (KM700, S-3804)
  9. Sovereign – Proof-64 Ultra Cameo (KM696, S-3801)
  10. Two Pounds – Proof-65 Ultra Cameo (KM701, S-3799)
  11. Five Pounds – Proof-63 Ultra Cameo (KM702, S-3797)

According to auctioneers, the half sovereign was of particular interest to bidders. Its grade of Proof-67 Ultra Cameo ranks it among the finest George IV sovereigns in existence.

“The set sold marked just the third time in the past decade a set of the type was offered publicly anywhere in the world,” said Cristiano Bierrenbach, executive vice president of International Numismatics at Heritage. “We are thrilled to deliver another world record result for a client.”

More than 2,800 lots sold during the four-day, $6.38-million auction.


Another 19th-century Proof set attracted six bidders and a selling price of $94,000 USD (about $126,735 Cdn.). The 10-piece 1983 Victoria gold and silver set was also certified by NGC. No coins graded lower than Proof-63 Cameo. This set was also sold with its original case.

  1. Three Pence – Proof-64 (S-3942)
  2. Six Pence – Proof-65 (S-3941)
  3. Shilling – Proof-64 (S-3940)
  4. Florin – Proof-64 (S-3939)
  5. Half Crown – Proof-65 Cameo (S-3938)
  6. Crown – Proof-63 Cameo (S-3937)
  7. Half Sovereign – Proof-64 Ultra Cameo (S-3878)
  8. Sovereign – Proof-64 Cameo (S-3874)
  9. Two Pounds – Proof-64 Cameo (S-3873)
  10. Five Pounds – Proof-63 Ultra Cameo (S-3872)

Lot 30248 of the April 7-10 auction brought $94,000 USD.


Lot 30248, a Claudius II AV Aureus, led the ancient offerings.

Claudius II, the “Roman Savior,” is the emperor to whom most historians attribute the revival of the Roman Empire during the great struggle of the third century. Claudius was hailed as a hero of the nation for his success in battle; however, he died only two years into his reign.

According to auctioneers, coins bearing Claudius II’s likeness—particularly of this quality—are “exceedingly scarce.”

This lot sold for $94,000 USD.

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