NGC Certifies the Paramount Collection, an Extraordinary Culmination of Ambition and Acumen
Posted on 1/27/2021
Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) recently had the privilege to certify the Paramount Collection, an incredibly vast collection of US, world and ancient coins of the highest caliber. The collection was submitted to NGC for authentication, grading and encapsulation in anticipation of its sale by Heritage Auctions — an amazing opportunity for the hobby’s most advanced collectors.
Heritage Auctions will offer the collection's US coins February 18-21, 2021, as part of the Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction, and the world and ancient coins from the collection March 25-27, 2021, in the Paramount Collection World & Ancient Coins Signature Auction.
“The Paramount Collection is among the most important collections that Heritage has ever handled, and the most significant collection of world and ancient coins to come onto the market in at least a generation,” said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President of International Numismatics at Heritage Auctions. “With NGC certification ensuring bidder confidence, we expect many pieces to achieve extraordinary results.”
Comprised nearly entirely of large format gold coins and trophy coins, the Paramount Collection’s highlights are many and expansive. Presented here are just a few of the exciting pieces that elite collectors will compete for in February and March.
1907 Extremely High Relief, Lettered Edge $20 graded NGC PF 68
Few stories in American numismatics are as well-known and often recounted as the circumstances that led to the creation of the 1907 Double Eagle. President Theodore Roosevelt, with the desire to create a coinage that reflected the majesty of the United States, hand-selected Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the greatest living American sculptor, for the task.
The design chosen for the $20 Double Eagle features an allegorical Liberty striding forward on the obverse and an eagle flying westward over the rising sun on the reverse. Its extremely high relief, sometimes referred to as “Ultra High Relief,” purposefully recalled the coinage of Ancient Greece, a high watermark for artistry in numismatic history.
As much a sculptural work as a pattern coin, only about 20 were produced, and they reign as one of the most prized artifacts in all of US coinage. The Paramount Collection includes this beautiful and pristine NGC PF 68 example, which was crossed to an NGC holder after previously having been certified by another third-party grading service.
Great Britain 1937 Edward VIII 5 Sovereign Pattern graded NGC PF 67 Ultra Cameo
Only a small number of British pattern coins were produced for Edward VIII after his coronation in 1936. His abdication from the throne before the end of the year meant his coinage was never issued and only a few pattern Proof sets were produced.
The grandest and most prized of them all is the gold 5 Sovereign, and the Paramount Collection example is not only the sole individual piece in private hands, but is uncompromising in terms of beauty and quality, achieving the lofty NGC PF 67 Ultra Cameo grade.
When a smaller Edward VIII gold 1 Sovereign sold at auction in 2014 for £516,000 (about $874,600 USD), it set a record for the highest price realized for any coin struck by the Royal Mint. Later graded NGC PF 63 Cameo, it was sold again in January 2020 for £1 million (about $1.3 million USD), setting another record for a British coin — one that will be broken when the Paramount Collection sells.
France 1640A 8 Louis d’or graded NGC MS 61
Another large format gold trophy coin, this very rare France 1640A 8 Louis d’Or graded NGC MS 61 is part of a series that includes the largest gold coins produced in France’s pre-Republic history. Made specifically for use by the king, the reason for its existence was entirely symbolic: to demonstrate France’s wealth and opulence, a message reinforced by Jean Warin’s powerful portrait of Louis XIII.
Incredibly, the Paramount Collection also includes a rare early restrike 1640-dated 10 Louis d’Or graded NGC MS 61.
Roman Empire, Magnentius (A.D. 350-353) Gold Medallion graded NGC Ancients MS★, 5/5 Strike, 3/5 Surface, Fine Style, Light Graffito
The Paramount Collection also includes a number of significant ancient coins. Roman gold medallions are among the most desirable of all ancient numismatic items, for they are larger than most coins and are usually of exceptional artistry. These medallions were made to secure the loyalty of top officers and officials, whose support was sorely needed — especially in times of divided loyalties.
The occasion for this Roman gold medallion — which NGC Ancients graded Mint State★, 5/5 strike, 3/5 surface, along with the “Fine Style” designation — was the entry of the Gallic usurper Magnentius (A.D. 350-353) to the Italian city of Aquileia late in A.D. 350 or in 351. A man of peasant or slave origin, Magnentius worked his way up from a barbarian conscript to one of Rome’s most decorated field commanders and, eventually, self-declared emperor.
The imagery of the reverse type is stunning. Magnentius is portrayed as a savior and liberator entering Aquileia on horseback in full armor, adorned with a nimbus and flowing cape. Before him is the kneeling city goddess, who holds a horn of plenty and offers a scroll, likely with a formal “welcome” from the city’s nobility.
“The ambition and acumen required to assemble such a collection is something to be admired and applauded,” said Ben Wengel, NGC Senior Grading Finalizer of World Coins. “We are honored that NGC certification will help the Paramount Collection realize its full potential at auction. I am sure the applause at the conclusion of the sale will be resounding.”
NGC will be providing more information about coins in the Paramount Collection in the coming weeks. Please check back for additional announcements about the top coins in each Heritage Auctions sale.
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