Daniel Frank Sedwick sold a rare set of six gold coins of Cuba on 2nd and 3rd November in Orlando, during its Treasure Auction No. 24. The coins were issued in 1915 and each one was sold individually for $473,025 in total, against a combined estimated value of $49,000. The same bidder bought all of them.
Except for the 5-peso coin, all the other coins (1-, 2-, 4-, 10- and 20-pesos) are the only known Specimen strikes for its type, graded by NGC. The 5-peso coin is graded Mint State by NGC. Designed by U.S. Mint chief engraver Charles Barber and struck at the Philadelphia Mint, the first gold coins of the Republic of Cuba were issued in 1915.
The weight and fineness of the 5-, 10- and 20-pesos coins were similar to that of American $5 half eagles, $10 eagles and $20 double eagles of that time. Likewise, 1-, 2- and 4-peso pieces had to be proportional to the other three coins when their American counterparts were not struck.
The obverse side of all coins features Jose Marti along with the legend PATRIA Y LIBERTAD which translates to “homeland and freedom”. The reverse side features the Cuban Arms with country name and denomination in Spanish. Some of these coins were struck in Proof. However, the Specimen strikes are rarer to find.
Since more force was used to strike Specimens, higher, squared rims were formed. The planchets underwent special finishing to get rid of polish lines, lint marks etc. The design’s detailing is appealing and the fields have a semi-matte texture to it.
The 20 pesos coin was graded Specimen 63 by NGC and was sold for $130,900 against a starting bid of $20,000. The 10 pesos coin was graded Specimen 64 by NGC and was sold for $107,100 against a starting bid of $10,000. The 5 pesos coin was graded MS 66+ by NGC and was sold for $77,350 against a starting bid of $6,000. The 4 pesos coin was graded Specimen 64 by NGC and was sold for $53,550 against a starting bid of $5,000. The 2 pesos coin was graded Specimen 66 by NGC and was sold for $65,450 against a starting bid of $6,000. The 1 pesos coin was graded Specimen 66 by NGC and was sold for $38,675 against a starting bid of $2,000.
Image Courtesy: Sedwick Auction