The “Baby Cas,” a gold-plated coin issued by Casascius and packed with 25 bitcoins (BTC), has realized $1.698 million US (about $2.167 million Cdn.) at a California auction.
GreatCollections Coin Auctions in Irvine, Calif., offered the physical BTC piece – certified as Mint State-67 by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) – on Nov. 19. Auctioneers received more than 100 bids for the coin, which was one of eight denominations produced by Casascius from 2011-13.
“As expected, there was a significant amount of bidder interest for the most important physical bitcoin ever to appear in auction,” said GreatCollections President Ian Russell. “We had new bidders register from 14 countries specifically for the bitcoin auction, not to mention the interest from the traditional numismatic community.”
The coin’s realization represented a $49,700 US premium over the BTC price as bidding ended on Nov. 19, when the value of a single BTC hit $58,115 US (about $73,485 Cdn.).
Total realizations for the single-day sale, which offered more than 3,000 coins and banknotes, topped $5.25 million US (about $6.7 million Cdn.).
The 25-BTC Baby Cas was graded by PCGS alongside what Russell called “the holy grail of crypto physical coins,” the “Gold Cas,” a one-ounce gold Casascius coin packed with 1,000 BTC. The current value of the Gold Cas exceeds $60 million US and is now believed to be one of the world’s most valuable numismatic items despite being issued only 10 years ago by a private company.
Headed by Mike Caldwell, Casacius produced physical Casascius coins in increments of 0.1, 0.5, 1, 5, 10, 25, 100 and 1,000 BTC as well as BTC ingots.
More than 800 of the 25-BTC coins were produced, and less than half of them remain unredeemed.