On the Money: Skinner’s Coins and Currency Auction


Offering an intriguing variety of coins, paper money, and other numismatic treasures

Coins and currency combine historic interest, aesthetic appeal, and very often intrinsic value as well. The examples in this sale span centuries and continents. Many items are fresh to market from long-treasured family collections.

Among the notable lots being offered are rare Panamanian banknotes from the short-lived 1941 administration of Arnulfo Arias.

  • 20 Balboa “Arias” issue (Lot 1559, estimate $8,000-10,000)
  • 10 Balboa “Arias” issue (Lot 1560, estimate $6,000-8,000)

These denominations are especially prized. Almost all examples of the series, Panama’s first paper currency, were destroyed when President Arias was deposed seven days after the printing.

1896 $2 Educational Silver Certificate, Fr. 247, Gem Uncirculated (Lot 1520, Estimate: $6,000-8,000)

Other rarities include a $2 United States silver certificate of 1896 (Lot 1520, estimate $6,000-8,000). This uncirculated note with exceptional color is one of the “educational series,” considered by many to be the most beautiful notes ever printed.

Notable coins include five lots of the prized 50-yuan gold panda coins from the People’s Republic of China. Each lot consists of five coins, dated 1997 (Lots 1405-1409, estimate $8,000-12,000 each)

1928 Hawaiian Commemorative Half Dollar, NGC MS66 (Lot 1078: Estimate $3,000-5,000)

A splendid coin of historic interest is the Hawaiian Commemorative half dollar, 1928 (Lot 1078, estimate $3,000-5,000). It bears the portrait of Captain James Cook and was issued for the 150th anniversary of his landing in Hawaii. Fewer than 11,000 examples were minted, and the coin became very scarce almost immediately after its issue.

Kyle Johnson, Skinner coin specialist, notes that in addition to high-value rarities, this sale contains many significant and intriguing items at very affordable prices.

The Leiden Siege Money 5 Stuivers Paper Coin (Lot 1215, $200-300) is a poignant piece of history. Some of the hardest-fought battles of the Eighty Years’ War in Europe occurred between the Dutch and the invading Spaniards. In 1574, during the siege of Leiden by the Spanish, the Dutch produced these paper coins. Metal of all kinds was in short supply and desperately needed for the war effort, so coins of paper were made in the dies that had been used for metal coinage.

Copper coins now known as Conder tokens were another ingenious response to a shortage of metal currency. (Lots 1249-1264, estimate $20-40 each). These pennies and halfpennies were produced in the English provinces in the 1780s and 90s because there was a severe shortage of small coins, especially in the countryside. The British government had stopped minting the smallest, and most popular, denominations.

Many private companies with access to copper started to make their own coins, which were readily accepted and widely circulated for about ten years.

Auction and Preview Information

This auction will be held online only. It offers an excellent opportunity to bid at leisure and to acquire items of numismatic interest and importance from a leading auction house of impeccable reputation.

Auction open for bidding February 8 – February 16

Previews at Skinner’s Marlborough gallery, 274 Cedar Hill Street, February 13, 12PM to 5 PM; February 14, 12PM to 7PM; February 15, 10AM to 5 PM

About Skinner

Skinner attracts top consignments and commands record-breaking prices in the international auction marketplace. With renowned expertise and extraordinary service, Skinner is the place for buyers, sellers and the passionately curious. Skinner appraisers are familiar faces on PBS’s 15-time Emmy Award-nominated ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. Visit us in Boston, Marlborough, New York or Miami, or online at https://www.skinnerinc.com

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