Canadian 'Dot Cent' sells for $402k



2015-06-26 11:47:43

Canadian 'Dot Cent' sells for $402k

The George V coin led Heritage's first numismatic sale of the year

Heritage's January 3-4 coin sale has concluded, with an exciting session of live bidding in Dallas based around the remarkable Canadian 'Dot Cent' - a coin which only exists because of a royal scandal.

George V of England died in January 1936, and was succeeded by Edward VIII. However, a constitutional crisis loomed as the king wished to marry a divorce, Wallis Simpson, and the British government refused to accept this.

Edward VIII chose to abdicate the throne in December 1936 in order to marry her. It is thought by many that this was the government's intention, and that the real issue was the pair's Nazi sympathies in the run up to WW2.

Whatever the reason, the abdication caused great problems for the Canadian mint, which had prepared Edward VIII coin dies following George V's death, but now found them immediately invalid, whilst a coin shortage loomed.

The mint's solution was to create a limited run of coins using the most recent George V dies. The new coins, however, had a tiny dot added on the reverse in order to distinguish them. Only three of the dotted 1c and four of the dotted 10c coins are known to have survived.

Both a dotted 1c and 10c coin were available in Heritage's Auction, and the former, being the finest known, quickly built up bids online of up to $170,000. Heritage was still confident of improving on this at the live section of the auction, and they were right.

Furious bidding from the floor drove the sale price easily past double what internet bidders would offer, and the coin was eventually taken home for a stunning $402,500.

The 10c coin came close to doubling its internet bid too, reaching $184,000 against earlier bids of $95,000. Both coins were from the collection of John Jay Pittman.

Numismatists will now be looking forward to Heritage's next sale: the famous FUN auction in Florida. Until then, this range of collectible coins is available.

Images: Heritage Auction Galleries

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