"Making" some scarce dated Netherlands Gold Ducats

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deposito

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I started buying the Netherlands gold ducats in 2009 after reading a book called "A Splendid Trade."  Also that year I read "Pirate Hunter" about Captain Kidd from New York, and how he got done dirty by the new Dutch King William of England of the late 1600's / early 1700's.  I checked on Ebay, my go-to source at the time, and found I could get my hands on what turned out to be fairly common dates from the 1600's.  No matter.  Once I had a 1648 in my hands, and some warped worn out ones from the late 1500's, I was hooked, and it hasn't let up.  In the last four years I have divested many of those back to the sea of Ebay, but still have a nice 1612 and 1649 from the original crew.

I thought to put this entry together after reading journals from other users about "making" new NGC coins in thinly-populated parts of the registry.  I commented that it was satisfying, despite usually finding that your raw coins have some problem or another leading to a "details" grade.  Lately I have picked up some raw examples and sent them to NGC, mostly finding that they were cleaned, filed, scratched, clipped, or otherwise damaged, despite looking pretty good.  Grade is barely half the battle with these coins, since each engraving is fairly different, and then the hand-striking and the variable waviness of the planchet all are sources of ugliness.  What I care about most is the face of the knight, and a non-wavy surface.  Most recently, I am looking for coins from dates that NGC and PCGS hasn't seen any examples, or any decent examples.  Here are four I won at auctions (both in Poland) or purchased directly from sellers in the Netherlands and Switzerland in the last three months, and got back from NGC as the best, and frequently only, example of their mint and year:

The close-up heading up this entry is a 1635 of West Friesland that NGC graded MS61.  It is the most beautiful example of these four, whatever the numeric grade.  It is the only 1635 Netherlands ducat of any mint in any condition certified by NGC.  PCGS has certified one Gelderland ducat of 1635, at MS62, but it doesn't look good.  I found pictures of it an acsearch.info where it didn't sell at auction.

The next is the scarcest of all of these, a 1622 West Friesland ducat.  It also is the least appealing. 1622.thumb.jpg.634ee6bf276584b391d681bf499fd887.jpg

There are no others of this date from any mint in any condition certified by NGC, and PCGS has certified one, of Utrecht, with "tooling", which someone is trying to sell on Ebay now for $5,000 (this coin cost nothing close to that).  This coin here, which somehow got graded MS62, is the only mint-state graded ducat of any mint from the entire decade of the 1620's at NGC or PCGS.  Notwithstanding the grade, it doesn't look that great.  There is no detail on the face.  I dealt directly with a dealer in Switzerland to get this, who sent me some photos of the original collector's documents showing it to be from the collection of a Hans Erb, of Chur, Switzerland, active at the end of the 1800s.  There was not sufficient documentation to get that on the NGC label unfortunately.  The 1620's are the decade when the Dutch were the first to discover parts of the coast of Australia, and when they founded New Netherlands and New Amsterdam, which would later become New York.

The next coin is a 1661 Utrecht ducat that I am grateful made it back without a problem because it looks a little beat up.  1661.thumb.jpg.f0b6ca86b29799cbab50347ea5bb91e2.jpg

NGC said MS61, and that is kind of a gift.  NGC has also graded one of these of the same mint and date AU58, but that one has a blank face, like the 1622 I just covered.  That one recently sold at a Heritage auction, and I passed on it because of the head.  The 1660's are a decade when the Dutch engaged in one of their several wars with England and were accused of starting the great fire of London of 1666.  They probably didn't do it.  There are no better examples of this date and mint at NGC or PCGS.

The last coin here is the second-best looking, a Utrecht ducat of 1697.  I was very concerned that, based on the weakness at the feet of the knight, this coin had been formerly mounted or in jewelry or something. 

1697.thumb.jpg.96b703a4d468ddf2f6febb77dd9a03e9.jpg

I also picked this one up by directly negotiating with a dealer in Amsterdam.  He was not able to tell me more than that this was consigned by a collector who got it "long ago" at a coin fair in Amsterdam.  My investigation into this coin's history is ongoing.  This coin is pictured, in black and white, as the example on NGC's "Numismaster" "Krause Publications" webpage for the issue, but without any explanation of where that photo comes from.  I have examined that photo carefully and determined that it is not just a black and white version of the photo used by the dealer who sold me the coin.  When I inquired about where that picture was from, NGC told me it was "proprietary information."  See: https://www.ngccoin.com/price-guide/world/netherlands-utrecht-ducat-km-7-1-1600-1743-cuid-25707-duid-75206  .

   75191f.jpg.5d39e309a91d77df828db850998f339e.jpg

I have been looking at old catalogs and books, to the extent possible, on the Newman Numismatic Portal and Google Books without luck.  This is now the highest-graded Netherlands Ducat from any provincial mint of the 1690s, all of which come from Utrecht, including one other from 1697 in AU53, a 1696 in AU53, a 1695 in XF45, and one 1692 in MS61.  PCGS has only graded one Utrecht ducat from the 1690's, which is a 1694 in VF condition.  As I mentioned, I know for sure there is an excellent looking raw 1694 out there that someone else just won at auction.

Part of the fun is the hunt, and the other part is bringing together long-separated buddies all struck in the Netherlands from their resting places around the world.  The knowledgeable European collectors of these coins do not put them in plastic cases, or care what NGC or PCGS says about them.  I have been personally reprimanded for doing this by some of them.  As one of these guys told me, it isn't a crime, it's just a bad habit.  Having the "finest graded" at NGC or PCGS doesn't come close to meaning the finest known. But, this is how I keep track of my collection, and fit these coins into my timeline of gold.  The same guy made good use of my ignorance to buy what probably is a very rare 1686 Holland ducat off me a couple years ago, which I was eager to part with because it had a dull appearance and earned a "surface hairlines" details grade by NGC.  Recognizing my mistake, I have been further motivated to seek out an even better replacement from that decade, the 1680's, so far without any luck. 

 

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Well done on successfully getting coins graded, particularly given the dates, as early European coinage will always be of interest as it is a fascinating and dynamic period of history. I find that there are so few graded examples of many world coins, more so for the earlier periods, that there is often no choice but to submit them yourself and I too spend time tracking individual coins back through auction catalogues! Surprisingly (or not!), apart from a couple of dates there are few of the Napoleon Netherlands ducats graded so I may well have to submit coins should I try and complete these sets. As you say there are more than likely good examples that have not made it to NGC or PCGS but until these appear for sale no one will know so it will be specialist collectors such as yourself that will be able to take advantage of the opportunities that this presents and form world class collections.

I agree that most European collectors prefer their coins raw however this appears to be changing rapidly particularly given the recent changes to the law regarding provenance and even the German collectors who seemed to be the most vocal against slabbing have now adopted the approach - for example there has been a massive increase in graded collections of coins of the German States at auctions such as Heritage. Even the German auction houses have started 'slabbing' coins for sale as it will make it easier to demonstrate where the coins have come from and when and as a result there are now increasing numbers of 'slabbed' coins available across Europe which already achieve a premium over raw examples. I expect that provenance and the increasing numbers of counterfeits will only make graded coins more popular and certainly easier to sell in the future - these are the main reasons that I started grading coins a few years ago.


 

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6 hours ago, Jade Collection said:

congrats on the grade Deposito! Collect the way you like and enjoy the hobby!

Thanks Mike, I haven't been able to kick the habit.  I think we both like opening packages and getting our new coins in the mail TWICE!

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6 hours ago, ColonialCoinsUK said:

...apart from a couple of dates there are few of the Napoleon Netherlands ducats graded so I may well have to submit coins should I try and complete these sets. As you say there are more than likely good examples that have not made it to NGC or PCGS but until these appear for sale no one will know so it will be specialist collectors such as yourself that will be able to take advantage of the opportunities that this presents and form world class collections.

...there are now increasing numbers of 'slabbed' coins available across Europe which already achieve a premium over raw examples. I expect that provenance and the increasing numbers of counterfeits will only make graded coins more popular and certainly easier to sell in the future - these are the main reasons that I started grading coins a few years ago.

I want one of those Louis Napoleon Netherlands Ducats from when he got to be their King.  I believe there are gold coins available also of the other Bonaparte brothers; Joe of Spain and Jerome of Westphalia.  I have never handled one or tried too hard to get one, but that could be considered a bucket list.  I have never seen any but the Louis of the Netherlands coins at any auction I watched; 1807 I think is a fairly available date?

As for slabbed coins increasing in popularity in Europe, and European / world coins increasing in popularity worldwide and in the USA, I can only hope so. I grew up with a coin collecting dad, and grandparents who hoarded pre '64 silver starting in 1964.  But it never occurred to me until I was in my mid 20's that I could get my hands on hundreds-of-years-old coins from the people and places that made up the history of civilization, much less in gleaming gold and silver.  We got coin world and he helped me buy indian cents out of it in the late 80s and 90s, and there must have been some ads for ancient or other coins.  Never crossed my mind.  When I first started getting silver Roman Republic denarii on ebay in 2005, my brothers doubted they were even real, and I think I did pick up a fake one.  Engaging in unlicensed psychology a bit, I will speculate that these very old, good looking coins are so damn cool they seem TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.  If I'm right, then maybe the slabbing industry and the internet will conspire to ignite a wave of interest.  I think it should be more interest than US coins receive.  But, on the other hand, in the USA, it seems interest in history is pretty well snuffed out in my own and younger generations (besides as an excuse to be mad at someone and think you should get their bike)

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12 hours ago, deposito said:

But, on the other hand, in the USA, it seems interest in history is pretty well snuffed out in my own and younger generations (besides as an excuse to be mad at someone and think you should get their bike)

I think it depends on the kind of household you were raised in. I love watching documentaries and docu-series on Netflix like Roman Empire and The Last Czars. But I have a PhD in Engineering and my mother had a Masters in History, so I concede that I may not be a very representative 33 year old Millennial.

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On 2/10/2020 at 8:34 AM, Revenant said:

I think it depends on the kind of household you were raised in. I love watching documentaries and docu-series on Netflix like Roman Empire and The Last Czars. But I have a PhD in Engineering and my mother had a Masters in History, so I concede that I may not be a very representative 33 year old Millennial.

Hi Rev, unfortunately I am pretty confident that you are NOT very representative of 33 year-old millenials, or anyone within about 10 years of your age in either direction.  I am sure lots of people are watching documentaries based on history, but, you are collecting coins, and have mentioned that this habit came from a grandpa through your mom.  There are not a lot of people like you minted each year, or for the previous 40 years.  The good news is that it can strike at any time, someone doesn't have to have become interested as a kid, and most of us who did collect coins with a parent as kids dropped the habit for a solid 10 years from about 13 to 25 or so, or longer.  I hope it is not like smoking, where if you don't start by 18, you never will.  It seems a kind of maturity, and exposure to what is actually available, could trigger an interest even in someone who never thought about it before when they are an adult.  We'll hope so.  But I remain confident that there are not a lot of you out there bud, unfortunately.

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On 2/10/2020 at 1:50 AM, deposito said:

I want one of those Louis Napoleon Netherlands Ducats from when he got to be their King.  I believe there are gold coins available also of the other Bonaparte brothers; Joe of Spain and Jerome of Westphalia.  I have never handled one or tried too hard to get one, but that could be considered a bucket list.  I have never seen any but the Louis of the Netherlands coins at any auction I watched; 1807 I think is a fairly available date?

As for slabbed coins increasing in popularity in Europe, and European / world coins increasing in popularity worldwide and in the USA, I can only hope so. I grew up with a coin collecting dad, and grandparents who hoarded pre '64 silver starting in 1964.  But it never occurred to me until I was in my mid 20's that I could get my hands on hundreds-of-years-old coins from the people and places that made up the history of civilization, much less in gleaming gold and silver.  We got coin world and he helped me buy indian cents out of it in the late 80s and 90s, and there must have been some ads for ancient or other coins.  Never crossed my mind.  When I first started getting silver Roman Republic denarii on ebay in 2005, my brothers doubted they were even real, and I think I did pick up a fake one.  Engaging in unlicensed psychology a bit, I will speculate that these very old, good looking coins are so damn cool they seem TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.  If I'm right, then maybe the slabbing industry and the internet will conspire to ignite a wave of interest.  I think it should be more interest than US coins receive.  But, on the other hand, in the USA, it seems interest in history is pretty well snuffed out in my own and younger generations (besides as an excuse to be mad at someone and think you should get their bike)

1809 seems to be the date which appears most often for Louis ducats but having said that a 1810 is up for sale at the Kunker auction on the 20th March. The most common coins from Joseph are the silver 20 reales although the 80 reales in gold are available, the 320 reales are much rarer and way beyond my price range! The same now goes for Jerome's coinage from Westphalia as there seems to have been a recent big price increase in this collecting area with some spectacular coins/sets at the last Kunker sale (31st Jan- 2nd Feb where a gold 40 franks hammered at 65000euros!!!) aswell as the upcoming sale from WAG on the 15-16th February which has some very nice graded gold thalers. Unless I win the lottery I expect that Jerome's half-frank, which I already have, is likely to be the largest denomination I will now be able to afford!

Westphalia-1^2F-1808J-Rcrop.jpg

Westphalia-1^2F-1808J-Ocrop.jpg

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So Hieronymus is Josef.  I learn something from coins all the time.  Also learned from a coin 2 weeks ago that Wuhan, home of the flu, is also where the 1911 revolution that overthrew the last Emperor started.

Too bad about 65,000 euro coins!  Still a great portrait on your 1/2 franc silver coin, so it appears you can do a silver set of the Bonaparte bro.'s until winning the lotto.  I might want to try that set myself.  

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