There’s a lot going on in the world of rare coins, gemstones and precious metals. Here’s a roundup of some of the biggest news that we’ve been following the past few months:
Brazilian gold ingot sells for nearly $200,000
As we mentioned in a previous post, the 2013 Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Sports Collectibles Expo was filled with an impressive collection of gold. One highlight was a fantastic display of Brazilian gold that included important ingots and coinage from Portuguese colonial-era Brazil. The large 1812 Joao VI Prince Regent gold ingot with its original issue certificate was a highlight of the auction. Just one of 85 known specimens from the Sabara foundry, the historically and culturally valuable ingot weighs 90.2 grams and realized $199,570 at auction.
Other notable sales at the expo included a gold double-daric struck during the reign of Alexander the Great, a 1547 Danzig ducat, and an extremely rare South African Burgers Pond, which was one of only 142 to be minted.
Blue and white diamonds at the Hong Kong auction
Sotheby’s Hong Kong’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale featured the spectacular Premier Blue diamond, which at 7.59 carats is the largest fancy vivid blue diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America. We reported on the speculation that the magnificent stone would fetch upwards of $19 million, but when the gavel came down, the blue diamond failed to reach its reserve price, and so was not sold.
However, a 118-carat white diamond in the shape of an egg did realize $27.3 million at the auction. The stone weighed 299 carats when it was discovered in the rough in a southern African country in 2011.
The new $100 bill makes its debut
Back in August, we detailed the series of missteps that had plagued the design and production of the new $100 bill. This month, the new Benjamin has finally been released with some state-of-the-art features designed to reduce counterfeiting, including tiny 3-D images that move when you move the bill, a hidden message on Franklin’s collar and a Liberty Bell that changes color from copper to green when you tilt the bill. Over a decade of research and development has gone into the redesign of America’s second-most circulated bill (the dollar is still number one).
The estimated lifespan of a new $100 bill is 15 years; the paper on which it’s printed is designed to withstand 8,000 folds. And here’s a fun fact: Did you know that Massachusetts-based Crane & Co. has provided all the paper for American currency since 1879?
Interested in learning more about the ins and outs of buying or selling rare coins, gold or silver? Just stop by West Seattle Coins and Bellevue Rare Coins. While we don’t typically stock 118-carat egg-shaped diamonds, we do have a wide array of rare coins, gold and silver bullion and domestic and foreign currency — and we’re avid collectors who love to talk about coins, currency and precious metals.
Bellevue Rare Coins - Lynnwood Located at 18411 Alderwood Mall Pkwy,Suite F, Lynnwood, WA. Phone: 425-672-2646. http://www.wscbrc.com.