Our international reputation, built up over many years of trading, make us ideally placed to handle the sale of numismatic collections both large and small. We work tirelessly with vendors on an individual basis to ensure we always achieve the best possible results.

Our world-class team of specialists have guided thousands - whether a first-time seller or an experienced dealer - right through from initial contact to after the sale. Our in-house marketing team also conduct strategic demographic and geographical campaigns prior to every auction we hold, ensuring that we provide a service that cannot be found anywhere else in the numismatic community.

The more people that know about your item/s or collection, the more it will make. This 360 approach has time and time again resulted in some of the biggest prices realised ever seen, and Baldwin's of St James's are the current holders of a number of World Record prices achieved at auction.

 

New World Record Hammer Price for a British Coin 

£845,000

13 January 2019

 

1703 VIGO Five Guineas

 

 

A fantastic auction achievement for Baldwin’s of St. James’s at The New York Premier Sale. The bidders of the room were joined by over 150 hopeful bidders online. The highlight of the day came towards the middle of the session when a 1703 VIGO Five Guineas piece, graded MS62 - one of the finest examples of British Coinage - garnered bids from both the room, over the phone and online. After some intense bidding to start with, the battle was eventually fought out between two phone bidders before the hammer finally came down on a price of $1,080,000 including premium (£845,000).  The realised price was more than expected and a new world record for any British coin under the hammer, said Stephen Fenton of Baldwin’s of St James’s.

The superb piece is special for a variety of reasons. Three variant positions of the hallmark are known to exist, of which the variety seen on the present specimen appears to be the rarest. As the coin was struck in extremely limited numbers, according to all historical accounts, this represents quite an opportunity for research to explain how three obverse dies were created.

The most recent history of the Royal Mint, edited by C. E. Challis, underscores the mint’s considerable need for gold specie at this time. Just as Anne assumed the throne, the War of Spanish Succession broke out, in 1702; it was a battle for dominance in much of Europe between two sets of allies (and old enemies), England and the Dutch Republic, against the hated French and the Bourbon Spanish. Hard money ruled the day, not credit nor good will. The vigours of war were upon the British just as the coffers of the Bank of England suffered from a lack of gold. Fate, however, was about to intervene in a battle which no one could have predicted to become memorable. The result was more patriotically stimulating than financially helpful, yet its influence was considerable.

A furious naval battle was fought on 23 October and the victory this time was England’s, despite a forbidding boom consisting of heavy chain and timber that stretched across the entrance to the bay, as well as a battery of cannons, meant to block and defeat any attack. But the allies’ men o’ war crashed through the boom with little difficulty.

With all resistance gone, the Anglo-Dutch warships sailed right towards the docked Spanish ships, easily destroying or capturing the remaining enemy ships. In a day and a half, the Battle of Vigo Bay had been won, and the booty was ready to be seized. It was a tremendous victory!

 

Jubilation reigned until the English discovered that most of the ships’ holds were nearly empty, that the treasure from the New World mines had been unloaded and carted away before they arrived at Vigo. Nevertheless, winning the battle was a significant moment in the war and what remained of the specie was taken and delivered to the Royal Mint. Although it fell far short of expectations, and was not in the form of New World cobs, most of the booty was a hefty 4,500 pounds of silver that had been ornaments and ‘plate’ belonging to the Spanish and French officers. Challis notes, as have previous chroniclers, that the gold specie weighed just 7 pounds, 8 ounces. It has long been believed that, from this small amount, all British gold coins given the boasting hallmark VIGO were minted: a mere handful of the large 5-guineas, it is said, as well as a small number of the two other denominations, guineas and half-guineas. The coins’ celebrity has only intensified through the centuries. Just as they were about to be minted, however, Queen Anne issued a royal warrant authorising their creation in which she poignantly stated that the VIGO hallmark would be applied to the coins so as to ‘Continue to Posterity the Remembrance of that Glorious Action’ at Vigo Bay. And, indeed, Anne’s Vigo coinage remains some of the most desirable of all British coins. 

 

 

VICTORIA PROOF SET 1839

WORLD RECORD

£502,000

Sep 2015

VICTORIA PROOF SET 1839

The famous 1939 Victoria Proof Set containing 15 Gold, Silver and Copper coins, all graded as the finest the NGC had ever seen, and with a provenance that went back to a sale in 1856 where it sold for £10 and 10 shilling. Current World Record for a British Proof Set.

HONG KONG TRADE DOLLAR

WORLD RECORD

£220,000

Sep 2015

HONG KONG TRADE DOLLAR

This Hong Kong Trade Dollar was sold for a record breaking price at our auction in London, breaking the record that had been set only 4 months previously at our auction in London. Current World Record for a Hong Kong Trade Dollar.

LAVRILLIER PATTERN 1933 PENNY

WORLD RECORD

£72,000

May 2016

LAVRILLIER PATTERN 1933 PENNY

The 1933 Lavrillier Pattern Penny captured the imagination of many, and its sale was reported in national press around the world. Current World Record for a Penny.

PANTIKAIPAION GOLD STATER

WORLD RECORD

$3.25 MILLION

Jan 2012

PANTIKAIPAION GOLD STATER

From the magnificent Prospero Collection of Ancient Greek coins - regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of ancient coinage and one of the most spectacular numismatic objects to survive from the classical world. Current World Record for an Ancient Greek coin.

KING EDWARD VIII, GOLD PROOF SOVEREIGN, 1937

WORLD RECORD

£516,000

May 2014

KING EDWARD VIII, GOLD PROOF SOVEREIGN, 1937

The only single example of its kind, sold as part of the Hemisphere Collection of Gold Sovereigns. Current World Record for any Royal Mint coin

NOTABLE COLLECTIONS

As well as many record-breaking individual items, Baldwin's of St James's has also sold hundreds of very high-profile collections all over the world. We work tirelessly to ensure that the right collections are sold in the right markets, and our international presence enables us to target the right buyer's in the right place.

THE PROSPERO COLLECTION

THE PROSPERO COLLECTION

New York, Jan 2012

The magnificent Prospero Collection of Ancient Greek Coins was sold to a packed room at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, New York. The white glove sale featured a number of key items that had rarely been seen on the market, and featured the World Record for a Ancient Greek Gold Coin when the Pantakaipon Gold Stater sold for an incredible $3.25 million.

THE DAVID FORE COLLECTION

THE DAVID FORE COLLECTION

London, Sep 2013

The David Fore Collection of Coins of British India was sold over the course of three days, a world-class collection regarded as the most comprehensive of its kind. It attracted buyers from all corners of the globe, and was heavily publicised across the world.

THE BENTLEY COLLECTION

THE BENTLEY COLLECTION

London, May & Sep 2012

The Bentley Collection of British Milled Sovereigns was undoubtedly the finest collection of its type ever sold at auction, packed with many unique varieties and incredibly rare items, many of which had not appeared on the market for decades.