Rare, never-issued Edward VIII coin expected to bring up to £200K

A never-issued Edward VIII halfcrown described by auctioneers as “extremely rare” is expected to fetch upwards of £200,000 (about $342,850 Cdn.) when it crosses the block in mid-September.

One of only six examples known to exist and the only one ever sold at auction, the coin – consigned by an anonymous collector – will be offered at Noonans in an auction of British coins, tokens and historical medals on Sept. 19-20.

“Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 before any coins in his name were released into circulation in Britain,” said Tim Wilkes, who heads Noonans coin department. “Patterns of each denomination had been prepared – all dated 1937 – but at the time of the abdication, they had not yet received royal approval. After the abdication, the few coins which had been struck were locked away, and work began on the coinage of the new king, George VI.  It is not known how the coins in private hands came to be in the public domain, so opportunities to acquire any of these coins are very rare, and we expect this coin to be keenly contested.”

The example on offer this September is one of only two pieces believed to be in private hands: it was originally sold at a U.S. auction in 1978.

The other four examples are in the Royal Collection, the British Museum and the Royal Mint Collection, the latter of which holds two pieces.

British designers T.H. Paget and G. Kruger Gray designed the coin, which is inscribed “EDWARDVS VIII D : G : BR : OMN : REX.” On the reverse, the royal standard is flanked by two crowned monograms, “FID : DEF : IND : IMP.”

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