NGC-Certified Millennia Collection Breaks Records

Posted on 6/25/2008

Auction sales exceed $23 million

On May 26, 2008, Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles sold the Millennia Collection, the most valuable collection of World coins to cross the auction block in a single day. Total prices realized were $23,024,765. The entire collection was certified by NGC.

Rome. Severus Alexander, 222-235 AD. Gold Aureus, Colluseum reverse. NGC AU.
Realized $920,000

The Millennia Collection was built during a five-year collaboration between Ira and Larry Goldberg and their anonymous customer. Together they sought to build a collection that illustrated the changing nature of money and the circumstances that shaped World coinage throughout 2,500 years of history. They acquired large and beautiful coins that were the best representatives from their respective time periods, always choosing examples that were among the finest available. Most importantly, each coin type selected for inclusion had to tell a story. The collection served as the subject for their recent book, Money of the World: Coins That Made History.

Mexico 1714Mo J "Royal" 8 Escudos NGC MS65.
Realized $310,500

When it came time to sell, the collection was submitted in its entirety to NGC. According to Larry Goldberg, “One of the most important factors in selling the Millennia Collection was having the coins graded by NGC. It gave confidence to our buyers to know that the coins were genuine and accurately graded. The grading was very consistent and Ira and I were very happy with the service provided by NGC. If and when I ever get a similar collection, there's only one place I would go. NGC. Period.”

Ken Krah, NGC Vice President and head of World coin grading, comments that “It was an honor to grade such a significant collection, and I’d thank the Goldbergs for selecting NGC. The overall quality coin-for-coin in this collection was the finest I’ve seen in my 20 years at NGC.”

Along with participation via phone and Internet, numerous bidders were in attendance, and heavy bidding activity extended the auction from 10 am until late in the night. Rob Freeman of Freeman & Sear, a top bidder on several of the NGC-certified ancient lots, commented that he had “never seen such an auction that was so strong all across the board.” Lance Tchor of Federal Coin and Bullion, commented more succinctly, “It was the holy grail of World coin auctions.”

Russia 1705 Peter I Gold Novodel Ruble NGC MS63.
Realized $391,000


Greece 1876A 100 Drachmai NGC PF64.
Realized $218,000

The 1,000+ lot auction saw hundreds of record prices set . The highest price of the sale was for a Severus Alexander Gold Aureus with Colosseum reverse, NGC About Uncirculated, which realized $920,000. A Mexico 1714MO J Royal 8 Escudos realized $310,500. Russian coinage saw several records including a 1705 Peter I Novodel Ruble NGC MS63 which realized $391,000. A Greece 1876A 100 Drachmai NGC PF64 realized $218,000. More coins are available for viewing in the Millennia Gallery on NGC’s Web site.

Along those lines, Larry Goldberg notes: “Millennia is a very important pedigree and will stay forever with the coin.”

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