Auctioneers, Valuers of Fine art,
Antiques & Collectors Items
30 January 2012
THE £5 COIN THAT’S WORTH £1,500
Grandfather’s investment set to pay dividends at The Canterbury Auction Galleries
It was the year of King George V’s Silver Jubilee, but there was little to cheer about. In his address at St Paul’s Cathedral on May 6 1935, the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke of a quarter century “of almost unbroken anxiety and strain”. Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald confessed in his jubilee speech that the economic and industrial problems he faced were “baffling”.
With one in five men out of work and with “fear and preparation for war again astir in the world” as George V warned, his realm since he ascended the throne in 1910 was falling apart. History shows that abandoning the Gold Standard in 1931 had caused much of the problem in the post Depression years. The Pound traded on foreign exchange markets at 25% below its official value and with a consequent run on gold halving reserves, the Government formally resigned on August 23.
One man saw the turn of the year as time for action. On January 18 1935, he marched in to Spink & Son, the King’s jeweller and goldsmith, to purchase a George V £5 gold coin. The original receipt shows he paid £9/10/0 (£9.50) for the privilege and it has remained in his family ever since.
It was a wise investment. According to the Bank of England inflation calculator, goods and services costing £9.50 in 1935 would cost £526.92 in 2010 (the most recent figure available. But that same £5 coin is worth its weight – quite literally – in gold.
The precious metal has always been considered a safe haven for money in troubled economic times and a hedge against inflation. As its inexorable rise in value continues, the coin is expected to sell for around £1,500 in the Two-Day Sale at The Canterbury Auction Galleries.
One of almost 40 lots of coins in the sale on February 14-15, it is sure to bring cheer to its Ramsgate owner. The sale also includes a large number of Royal Mint proof coins and sovereigns from the reigns of Victoria to the present Queen with estimates starting at £200.
Interestingly, an Elizabeth II 2002 gold £5 coin in uncirculated condition and still in its Royal Mint case of issue is estimated at £1,000-1,200, while a United States of America 1997 Twenty Dollar gold coin is estimated at £900-1,100.
The coins will be sold alongside the usual eclectic mix of fine art, antiques and collectors’ items viewing for which is on Saturday February 11 from 10.00am to 4.00pm; Sunday February 12 from 12 noon to 4.00pm; Monday, February 13 from 10.00am to 7.00pm and on the mornings of sale from 8.30am. The catalogue can be viewed on-line at www.thecanterburyauctiongalleries/com and the sale will be broadcast on the Internet allowing for live bidding on www.the-saleroom.com. For further information, please contact the auctioneer on 01227 763337 or firstname.lastname@example.org.