Famous Low-Denomination British Rarities Certified by NGC Crossing the Auction Block

Posted on 12/13/2022

The famous British coins — a Penny and a 3 Pence — are each expected to sell for tens of thousands of dollars in a Heritage Auctions sale.

Heritage Auctions is offering two highly sought-after British coins from the 1930s that have been certified by Numismatic Guaranty Company™ (NGC®). Online bidding begins in mid-December for the NYINC World & Ancient Coins Platinum Session and Signature Auction, which will be held January 9, 2023.

One of the coins is an example of the famed Great Britain 1933 George V Penny, which is graded NGC MS 63 BN (lot 32230). This great rarity has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.

A global economic downturn led the Royal Mint to suspend production of new Pennies for circulation in 1933. But the mint did strike at least seven coins because it was a tradition to bury coins under the foundation stone of newly constructed public buildings of prominence.

Great Britain 1933 Penny graded NGC MS 63 BN and pedigreed as St. Mary's example
Click images to enlarge.

Three of the coins were buried under the foundation stones of the University of London of Bloomsbury, St. Mary's of Hawksworth Wood, and the Church of St. Cross of Middleton. Of the seven known examples, two are in museums, one remains in the ground and one was stolen, leaving a mere three examples available to the collecting community. The coin in this auction is the one from St. Mary's.

YouTuber Tom Scott featured the famous George V Penny in a three-minute video titled "There's a £100,000 coin buried under this London building," which has garnered over 2.4 million views since it was posted in February 2022.

The Heritage sale features another low-denomination rarity from the 1930s: a Great Britain 1937 Edward VIII Nickel-Brass Pattern 3 Pence graded NGC MS 64 (lot 32235). Edward VIII’s reign as King of England was infamously short and controversial; he ruled from only mid-January to mid-December 1936 before he shockingly abdicated his throne to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson.

Great Britain 1937 Nickel-Brass 3 Pence - Edward VIII graded NGC MS 64
Click images to enlarge.

The Royal Mint intended to produce a full series featuring Edward VIII. In 1936, the mint created more than 200 dies for coins, medals and seals for the series. His coinage today exists only in a series of patterns, all of which are rare and eagerly sought by the collecting community. This particular coin has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.

Estimates are provided by the auction house.

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