A 1933 Double Eagle coin was auctioned on Tuesday in New York for 18.9 million dollars (about 15.5 million euros), thus becoming the most expensive in history to be sold to the highest bidder.
The golden Double Eagle, which was described at the auction as “the Mona Lisa of coins” , took a few seconds to rise from the starting price of 7 million to 10 million dollars (from 5.75 to 8.2 million euros), and after several more bids it rose to 16.75 million dollars (13.7 million euros) offered by a telephone buyer, with whom the sale was settled.
When adding the fees and taxes, the total price that the anonymous buyer will pay for Double Eagle of 1933 will be 18,872,250 dollars (about 15.5 million euros), notably above the estimated price of between 10 and 15 million dollars. (8.2-12.3 million euros) and almost double what was paid in January 2013 for the 1794 Flowing Hair dollar coin , considered the most expensive to date.
Little more than 10 million dollars was spent on it more than eight years ago, but when an attempt was made to auction it again last October, it did not reach the minimum price required, so it remained unsold.
The piece now auctioned is the only one of its kind that is still in private hands, since the rest are property of theUS Mint.
The gleaming gold coin, which has a nominal value of 20 dollars , was designed by the well-known sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, but it never came into circulation , since it was withdrawn when President Franklin Roosevelt decided in 1933 that the United States would stop support its currency to gold reserves as a measure to control the economic depression that plagued the country.
Both this coin and two other important stamps that were sold at the same auction were owned by designer Stuart Weitzman , 79, who decided to dispose of the three items after owning them for several years.
“It was a dream of his childhood to own the best stamp in the world, the best currency in the world and the best American stamp in the world,” explained the director of the Department of Books and Manuscripts at Sotheby’s, Richard Austin.
The most valuable stamp
For its part, the one considered the most valuable stamp in the world , the 1-cent Magenta of British Guiana, was auctioned for 8.3 million dollars (6.8 million euros) in a sale of less than a minute, markedly below the minimum price of 10 million dollars that the experts of the auction house had estimated.
Of this stamp, issued in 1856, only one copy is known,that it was rediscovered in 1873 by a 12-year-old philately enthusiast who lived there with his family and who found it among a series of papers, leaving it unaware of its extraordinarily unique character.
Meanwhile, the block of four stamps of the most popular stamp in the USA, the inverted Jenny , reached 4.8 million dollars (3.9 million euros), also below the minimum price of 5 million dollars that had been calculated in Sotheby’s. The stamps, bought for the first time in 1918, feature a Curtis JN-4 biplane aircraft, nicknamed Jenny, which was upside down due to a misprint.