A record £516,000 for royal coin

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A record £516,000 for royal coin

A record £516,000 for royal coin: Incredibly rare sovereign bearing head of Edward VIII and struck before abdication sold at auction


PUBLISHED: 9 May 2014


Coin is one of two gold ‘proofs’ struck before planned 1937 coronation

But it was never properly struck because Edward VIII stepped down in 1936

An incredibly rare coin bearing the head of Edward VIII has sold for a record £516,000, the highest sum ever paid for a British coin.

It is one of only two ‘proof’ gold coins that were struck ahead of the production of commemorative sovereign coins to mark the king’s coronation in 1937.

But in December 1936 Edward abdicated in order to marry US divorcee Wallis Simpson, before the sovereigns were made, making the coins redundant.

Today the coin collector who bought it said he would have bid another 50 per cent to secure the coin he called ‘the greatest and most famous British coin of all.;

Jordan Lott, of Regal Rare Coins, based in Chester, told MailOnline: ‘I was the first to place a bid and I was determined to be the last.

‘In the world of coins, it’s the coin’s story that makes it important, and this coin has the most fantastic story.

‘It’s also beautiful and in mint condition – I would have paid another £50,000 to make sure I got it.’

Mr Lott, whose firm is part of the Regal Group which is featured in Pawn Stars UK, the British version of the hit TV series Pawn Stars, says he will hang on to the coin, which he believes will be a good investment.

He said: ‘It last sold in Tokyo in 1984 for £40,000 and I wish I’d bought it then. British coins are seriously undervalued.’


Only six of the coins were ever made to show the King: four are in museums, one is in a complete set of rare sovereigns, and this is the sixth.

After some fierce bidding it eventually sold for £430,000, but with fees the total hit £516,000.


The price represents a world record for a Royal mint coin produced in the UK.

Ever controversial, Edward refused to follow coinage tradition and have his head face the opposite direction to his predecessor, his father King George V, who had faced left.

This tradition started in the 17th century with King Charles II who wished to face the opposite way to Oliver Cromwell and has been followed ever since.

Edward sat for portraits and presentations of plaster models for the coin in February 1936, a month after he became King.


On the reverse of the gold coin is St George slaying a dragon with his sword and the year of 1937.

Happy buyer: Auctioneer Ian Goldbart, with Jordan Lott, right, of Regal Rare Coins, holding the sovereign

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