A pure gold coin weighing an astonishing 1 kilogram is due to go under the hammer at an auction in Hong Kong on 23rd August. The coin was struck by The Royal Mint on behalf of the Channel Island of Alderney in celebration of the Chinese Year of the Dragon in 2012.
Whilst the coin features a face value denomination of only £1,000, it contains just over 32 ounces of solid gold, which would make it worth around £33,000 for its precious metal content alone at current gold prices.
However, the hefty gold content by itself does not tell the whole story. Owing to the coin’s great size, value and the amount of workmanship required to produce it, The Royal Mint has only minted 10 of these impressive issues – an edition limit that goes a long way to explaining why the auction house has placed an estimate of £65,000 on this particular piece.
Indeed, the effect of his tiny mintage on the expected sale price is a very real example of the significance placed upon the numismatic premium of an issue – the value a coin can attract over and above its intrinsic precious metal value.
Furthermore, the significance of the coin subject in this particular case is another contributory factor in the added premium expected for this piece. The dragon is regarded as one of the most prestigious of the twelve creatures that make up the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. And with the Far East being the fastest growing numismatic market in the world, it is not surprising that these factors combined have led to the coin being auctioned in Hong Kong.