June 13, 2021

Philately and numismatics: two record millionaire auctions

The Weitzman auction dispersed by Sotheby’s in New York has kept – almost – all of its promises, with two world records.

Obverse of the

The American gold “Double Eagle” coin of 1933 fetched $ 18,872,250 (15.520 million euros) for an estimate of between $ 10 million and $ 15 million, becoming the most expensive coin in the world.

Reverse of the

This coin showing a value of 20 dollars – representing the image of a woman on one side, an eagle in flight on the other – had not been issued at the time, following the end of the convertibility of the American currency into gold, a few copies fraudulently escaping recasting before ending up on the market.

Read also Record auction in sight for US and British Guiana stamps

The seller, shoemaker Stuart Weitzman, had bought it for $ 7.9 million in 2002.

“Jenny Inverted”, auctioned 4 million euros on June 8.

Second record of the sale, for the block of four American airmail stamps of 1918, the “Jenny inverted” (“Jenny reversed”), depicting a Curtiss Jenny JN-4 biplane, stamp with the center printed in the upside down by mistake.

Price reached by the block of four units which went on sale on June 8: $ 4.86 million, while similar blocks had taken down $ 1.74 million in 2019 and $ 2.970 million in 2005, while a stamp in the unit recorded, in 2007, 977,500 dollars at Sieger. What makes the error expensive!

1 cent magenta from British Guiana (1856), 6.83 million euros, at Sotheby's, June 8, which remains the most expensive stamp in the world.

The only – relative – disappointment comes from the stamp of British Guiana of 1856 (“British Guiana One-Cent Magenta”), estimated between 10 and 15 million dollars, which reached “only” 8.307 million dollars, whereas a previous transaction, in 2014, at Sotheby’s, had allowed it to become the most expensive stamp in the world (which it remains however), with 9.4 million dollars.

These results testify, if not to the good health of philately, at least to the realities of speculation …