Rare Saxony coin discovered by Canadian dealer brings $42,600 USD

As reported in a previous issue of CCN (Vol. 56 #13), a newly discovered unlisted date of Saxony’s two-ducat gold coin, this struck in 1740, was found by an anonymous Canadian dealer last September.

The nearly 280-year-old coin features an “FWoF” mint mark, indicating it was struck by Dresden mint master Friedrich Wilhelm o Feral. It was an “extraordinary” find according to fellow dealer Peter McDonald, who helped the anonymous dealer in researching the discovery.

He found it in a lot of gold coins he purchased – a bullion collection – and he couldn’t identify it,” said McDonald. “He went through all his books, the whole nine yards, but there’s nothing on it per se, being an unlisted date,” said McDonald, who was the winner of the 2018 Charles D. Moore Professional Numismatic Award.

“He recognized it looked like a Polish coat of arms on the reverse, but he thought, ‘What would that be doing on a German coin?’”


This issue normally comes with a half- or one-ducat denomination, but a two-ducat example is “special,” McDonald said, adding he checked the Gold Coins of the World catalogue authored by Arthur and Ira Friedberg, and “this date was not noted.”

Two-ducat coins dated 1735-39 with the “FWoF” mintmark are listed as #2843, but no 1740-dated examples are known.

The coins depict the right-facing bust of Frederick Augustus II, who served as elector of Saxony in the Holy Roman Empire from 1733-63, on the obverse. He was also the king of Poland and grand duke of Lithuania around this time.

A crowned coat of arms of Augustus II (also known as Augustus III of Poland) is depicted on the reverse.

“Your normal Polish coins and your Saxony coins are usually half ducat or one ducat, but this is two ducats, meaning it’s a multiple,” said McDonald. “It would’ve been struck for a special occasion. Any time there’s an unlisted multiple coming onto the market almost 300 years after it was struck, it’s pretty exciting.”

$42.6K USD

After being certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) as Mint State-62, the coin – searchable on NGC’s online database as #4701388-001sold for $42,600 USD (including buyer premium and fees).

It crossed the block during the Jan. 6-7, 2019 New York International Numismatic Convention World Coins Signature Auction, which is widely considered to be the most prestigious annual auction in the U.S.

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