Gold prices were flying high before lockdown. Now we’re seeing some quite extraordinary results, writes Charles Hanson.
Despite tough economic times, our May Historica: Coins, Banknotes and Antiquities Auction was a phenomenal success. We attracted bidders from all over the world and many lots soared well above their estimates, particularly if they were made of gold.
In total, the Antiquities Auction made £100,000, a record for Hansons Historica. Plus, every single lot sold in the Coins and Banknotes section. Demand was buoyant and golden objects sparked fierce bidding.
For example, this time last year gold sovereigns were selling for around £100 each. In our latest auction they raced to £300.
This George II half guinea,1756, sold for £320.
So, what does this mean for you? Well, if you’ve found some unwanted gold - coins, jewellery or watches, perhaps – at the back of the sofa or in a drawer during lockdown it’s a good time to sell.
Gold has long been regarded as a safe investment in an unstable world. Prices fluctuate on a daily basis but demand is so strong right now, this may be the ultimate moment to maximise your gains.
And we can help you do that. Many businesses are still closed but our auctions are flourishing again, online-only, and our global reach through online bidding is achieving top prices.
The results of our May Coin Auction say it all. Gold dominated our Top 10 lots. The top price achieved was for lot 1083, an historical set of coins, guide price £2,500-£3,000. Dating back to 1887, the 11-strong set ranged from a gold £5 to a silver threepence. Still preserved in its original case, the set sold for £11,000 – four times its estimate.
This set of coins dating back to 1887 sold for £11,000.
Gold also came to the fore in lot 1086. This Bahama Islands, 1971, gold proof set of $100, $50, $20, $10 coins made £2,300. Then there was lot 1016, a gold William and Mary guinea dating back to 1693 which made £2,100 from an estimate of £1,000-£1,400.
The success continued with lot 1007, a George IIII, 1821, sovereign. It secured a hammer price of £1,600. In the same vein, lot 1047, a George IV 1830 Sovereign made £950.
Meanwhile, lot 1021, a limited-edition Royal Mint, 2005, gold proof, two-pound coin, in original case with certificate, was contested to £740. Likewise, lot 1008, a Royal Mint, 1995, gold proof two-pound coin made £700.
Gold also shone brightly in our Historica sale. Lot 46, a medieval gold stirrup ring made £4,600 from an estimate of £2,500. Dating back to the 12th-15th centuries, it was inscribed in capitals with + IO SVI EI EN which translates as ‘I am here in’.
Then there was lot 69, a circa 1720 gold mourning ring which reached £2,500 from a humble estimate of £400-£600. And lot 67, a 17th century posy ring bearing a unique romantic message ‘Fortunate if Favoured’ reached £800 from a £500 estimate.
This 17th century posy ring sold for £800.
Centuries-old rings awash with sentimental value or romance always attract buyers, and some aof these objects are plucked from the ground.
Guy Gordon, 56, a retired retail site manager from Lichfield, found the ancient posy ring while metal detecting on pastureland in Warwickshire in May 2018. He was particularly delighted as, after examination by experts, the ring turned out to have a unique inscription: ‘Fortunate If Favoured.
Typical posy ring messages include, 'I love and like my choice' or ‘In thy breast my heart doth rest’. This is a ring like no other.
Gold posy rings, sometimes spelled posy, posey or poesy, have an inscription on their surface. They were popular from the 15th-17th centuries in England and France as lovers' gifts.
'Poesy' is derived from the old French word poesie, meaning 'The art or composition of poetry' and this refers to the inscription which is usually in rhyme. Guy decided to sell it because it was so small it only fitted on to the tip of his middle finger.
I’m delighted the ring found favour at auction and hope Hansons’ sales success will inspire people to get in touch.
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We’d love to help you turn lockdown finds, private collections, coins, jewellery, watches - objects of any kind in fact - into a windfall. We can arrange virtual valuations and contactless collections. Items can also be posted for valuation to: Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, DE65 6LS. To find out more, please email [email protected] or call 07725 514855.
Entries are warmly invited for our July Antiques and Collectors Auction which include all types of gold jewellery, watches and coins.