A 10-coin set presented to Hall-of-Fame basketball player Dennis Rodman by the North Korean government in 2017 was recently certified by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC).
Rodman made his first trip to North Korea in February 2013, when he became one of the first U.S. citizens to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He has since travelled to the country at least five other times, often meeting with Kim.
“I’m so happy,” Rodman told CNN last year, after one of those visits to North Korea.
“I said to everybody the door will open. It’s amazing, when I said those … things, when I went back home, I got so many death threats … and I believed in North Korea … I couldn’t even go home. I had to hide out for 30 days … but I kept my head up high, brother. I knew things would change.”
2011 PROOF BRASS COINS
During an earlier trip, this in June 2017, Rodman was presented with a set of 2011 Proof brass 10-won coins celebrating North Korea’s scenic Mount Kumgang region.
A five-time National Basketball Association champion, Rodman later gave the set to his friend, former agent and well-known numismatist Dwight Manley, whose name graces the library of the American Numismatic Association.
While North Korean coins are usually ineligible for NGC certification, the company determined “it was important to preserve the provenance of this particular set,” according to a statement issued by the third-party grading service this August.
The NGC certification label includes the unusual pedigree, “North Korea Gift to Dennis Rodman (June 2017),” and each of the 10 coins ranges in grade from Proof-66 Ultra Cameo to Proof-69 Ultra Cameo.