Numismatica Genevensis Offers Incredibly Rare and Valuable Swiss Coin Certified by NGC

Posted on 10/20/2022

The beauty of the 1741 Basel 20 Ducat is unparalleled among City View coins.

It has been referred to as the most beautiful Swiss coin ever minted and the most important City View coin in the world. In November, it could become the most valuable Swiss coin ever sold.

Numismatic Guaranty Company™ (NGC®) is proud to have certified a Switzerland 1741 Basel 20 Ducat, which will be part of Auction 16 presented by Numismatica Genevensis SA in Geneva on November 13, 2022. Graded NGC MS 65 PL, the ultra-rarity is expected to inspire spirited bidding.

Switzerland 1741 Basel 20 Ducat graded NGC MS 65 PL.
Click images to enlarge.

“We are thrilled to offer the most important City View coin in the world and the most important Swiss coin ever struck,” said Dr. Alain Baron founder of Numismatica Genevensis SA.

Situated where modern-day Switzerland, Germany and France meet, Basel was an important industrial and banking center in the 17th and 18th centuries. City leaders honored visiting diplomats and business leaders by presenting them with exquisitely designed coins like the 1741 20 Ducat.

“It’s a very imposing and impressive piece,” said Ben Wengel, NGC Senior Grading Finalizer of World Coins. “It was struck with great care because it was meant to be given to someone very important.”

According to historians, those who received the coins kept them as a type of hedge against hard financial times. When circumstances demanded, the gold coins were melted down and sold to meet financial obligations. As a result, very few survived. This particular coin weighs 68.68 grams, or nearly 2.5 ounces.

The 1741 20 Ducat was designed by Swiss medalist and engraver Johann Jakob Handmann, whose signature “I.HM.” appears on the coin. The obverse of the coin features a basilisk holding a shield that bears Basel’s coat of arms. Encircling the basilisk, a creature that was viewed as the guardian of Basel, is an inscription in Latin that reads, “Lord, Keep Us in Peace.”

The reverse side of the coin features an elaborate Basel cityscape, with well-known church spires towering over the Rhine River. Cityscapes became popular subjects for coin design when local governments rejected traditional iconic religious images.

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