One of Britain's rarest coins EVER sells for $1m at auction – here's why

One of the rarest and most valuable British coins in existence has sold for £817,929 or $1million at an auction.

It is now the most expensive silver British coin ever to be sold at auction.

The Petition Crown was expected to fetch £595,000 – or $750,000 – when it went under the hammer but smashed its estimate

Only 16 of these Petition Crowns exist, this one is part of the Cope collection

Worth a mint: A Petition Crown has sold for £817,929 or $1million at an auction, making it the most expensive silver British coin ever to be sold 

The ultra rate Petition Crown of King Charles II – or Petition Crown as it is known – was minted in 1663 and was part of a collection of British and Roman coins.

This particular Petition Crown is part of the Cope collection, which was owned by reknown numismatist Geoffrey Cope.

The collection in its entirety sold for a total of £6.9million or $8.8million.

The Petition Crown in the multimillion dollar Cope collection is one of just sixteen in existence.

There’s no chance you’ll find one wedged between the sofa cushions though, as the other fifteen Petition Crowns have fallen into the hands of millionaire private collectors or museum collections.

Coin experts at the Classical Numismatic Group said: ‘Our understanding is that there are eight examples of the Petition Crown in museum collections and a further eight in private hands.’

The Petition Crown in the Cope collection is one of the best examples of the coin in the world.

It was graded Mint State 63+ by the Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC), a third party grading and authentication service. This is the highest grade awarded to any Petition Crown by any third party grading service.

The Petition Crown coin is considered a masterpiece and has always been extremely collectible. Records show the sale of one dating back to 1742 for £20, which is around £3,600 today.

The Petition Crown is one of the rarest and most valuable British coins in existence

(Reverse) The Petiton Crown was struck in 1663 by celebrated medallist and coin-designer Thomas Simon, who worked for the Royal Mint

In 2007, a Petition Crown sold for £207,100 and in 2018 another one sold for $649,000 in New York. Earlier this year, another Petition Crown sold in New York for $960,000.

The Petition Crown has a patriotic history behind it. It was struck by celebrated medallist and coin-designer Thomas Simon, who worked for the Royal Mint, in 1663.

The coin was created by Simon to ‘petition’ King Charles II to reinstate him as the sole chief engraver at the Royal Mint and also as a petition against the contemporary coins designed by the Flemish brothers John and Joseph Roettiers.

Using new mechanical coin machinery, Simon printed message around the edge of the coin asking the King to ‘compare this his tryall piece with the Dutch’, a dig at the Femish engravers.

The coin features a striking portrait of King Charles II so detailed that even a shadow of the veins on the King’s neck can be made out.

David Guest, director of Classical Numismatic Group said: ‘Widely regarded as the most beautiful machine-made coin ever struck and undoubtedly the most important coin in the British series, we are delighted to have seen the 1663 Petition Crown realise a world record price.

‘The overwhelming success of the sale of the Cope collection further underlines the confidence in the market for superb and rare British coins.’

The Oxford Crown was minted in 1644 and shows King Charles I in battle at Oxford during the English Civil War

Oxford Crown

The auction saw a number of other records broken.

An Oxford Crown, the only coin in the British series featuring a depiction of a city, sold for £382,798 or $486,000, making a record for any coin, gold or silver, depicting Charles I.

This coin was expected to fetch £132,400 but experts at the Classical Numismatic Group said it would very likely sell for more.

The coin shows King Charles I in Oxford during the English Civil War. It was minted in 1644.

Only eleven original Oxford Crowns are known to be in existence, eight of which are in museum collections.

Regal: The King Henry VIII Testoon is one of the most sought after coins aside from the petition Crown

King Henry VIII Testoon

The King Hergy VII Testoon in the cope collection sold for £100,819, a record for its type.

It was expected to fetch fetch the equivalent of £35,300 but again experts at the Classical Numismatic Group predicted it would likely sell for far more.

This coin was struck in 1544. It has always been popular with collectors because of the striking portrait of King Henry VIII.

It represents a key moment in Henry VIII’s reign, when a lack of funds in the treasury led the Tudor government to introduce cheap metals into coins previously made of sterling silver – known as the Great Debasement.

The King Henry VIII Testoon in the Cope collection is viewed by experts as the finest of any in existence and is a coin which Cope himself spent his whole life searching for.

David Guest, director of Classical Numismatic Group said: ‘Widely regarded as the most beautiful machine-made coin ever struck and undoubtedly the most important coin in the British series, we are delighted to have seen the 1663 Petition Crown realise a world record price.

‘The overwhelming success of the sale of the Cope collection further underlines the confidence in the market for superb and rare British coins.’

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source: dailymail.co.uk