British Colonial Coins Exceed Expectations at Official Coinex Auction 26th September 2013 saw the final Official Coinex Auction, and the start of a new adventure, with the first part of The Arielle Collection of British Colonial Coins going under the hammer. This first
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The Arielle Collection Part One
British Colonial Coins Exceed Expectations at Official Coinex Auction
26th September 2013 saw the final Official Coinex Auction, and the start of a new adventure, with the first part of The Arielle Collection of British Colonial Coins going under the hammer. This first sale featured the most comprehensive collection of coins of British Africa to have been offered for many years. In Randy Weir’s introduction to the catalogue he suggests that, “The price you pay is quickly forgotten when you win the ‘must have’ coin that you have been chasing for years.” A room full of eager bidders that had flown in from all over the world to witness this remarkable event, obviously had this in mind, resulting in a ‘white glove’ auction with all 818 lots selling for a total of £505,092.
Lots were offered in geographical order and the auction opened with coins from British West Africa. Although the area has not been extensively studied, lots sold well, achieving solid prices across the board. Lot 3202 however set the bidders alight; this remarkable George V, brass 2-shilling survived the economic hardship of 1929 when 22,000,000 of these coins were melted down. Thought to be one of only two still in existence, it is clear why this semi-prooflike coin ultimately sold for an outstanding £12,000.
As the auction moved towards coins from South Africa bidding grew stronger and lots achieved some exceptional results. The East Africa selection proved extremely popular, claiming the best prices from the sale. Lot 3663, an exceedingly rare George V trail/pattern Silver Florin, dated 1921 created much excitement, and sold for £13,200.
The last section of the sale focused on the coinage of Zanzibar, a country that has a very limited history of coinage prior to 1882 when Sultan Barghash began to issue coins. The only gold coin in the section; Lot 3694 a very fine Sultan Barghash idb Sa’id, Gold 5-Riyals attracted a lot of attention selling for £19,200, double the pre-sale estimate. Struck in Belgium at the Brussels mint, the 5-Ryials was the largest denomination minted under Sultan Barghash, the second Sultan of Zanzibar and one of only two gold coins. During this period the Sultan controlled much of the East Coast of Africa and trading routes, but was targeted by the British and German powers from 1886 onwards for control of the area. Inscribed in Arabic this gold 5-Riyals is not just a coin of beauty but a rare survival from Zanzibar that achieved a worthy and superb price.
Baldwin’s Auctioneer, Seth Freeman, commented after the sale:
“We were delighted to be able to continue offering such important collections to our clients. The international response to this auction exceeded even our expectations and was clearly demonstrated by the number of bidders active in the room and online, as well as the prices achieved. The owner has already expressed his thanks for such a well