A US gold coin minted in the 1930s is the most expensive piece of money in the world: the coin with a face value of $ 20 from the collection of US shoe designer Stuart Weitzman (79) was sold on Tuesday at Sotheby’s in New York for the record price of 18, 87 million dollars (around 15.5 million euros) auctioned. It belongs to the series of the last gold coins known as the “Double Eagle” and intended as regular currency, which were minted in the USA until 1933.
Never in circulation as a means of payment
As the most expensive piece of money, the coin replaces a silver coin minted in 1774 called “Flowing Hair”, which was auctioned in 2013 for ten million dollars. The “Double Eagle” shows on one side a female profile depicting Lady Liberty, on the other a flying eagle. The 1933 “Double Eagle” coins never came into circulation because President Franklin D. Roosevelt had heralded the end of gold coins as a means of payment.
A few specimens later found their way onto the collector’s market before they were confiscated by US authorities – with the exception of one that was in the collection of the then Egyptian King Faruk. After a detour via a British collector, it went to US designer Stuart Weitzman for $ 7.9 million in 2002, who has kept it since then – until it was auctioned off.
Postage stamp remained below the purchase price
Expensive stamps from the collection also went under the hammer: “British Guiana”, for example, which Weitzman bought in 2014 for the record price of 9.5 million dollars, this time brought in around 8.3 million dollars – only about half as much as previously expected . The stamp, which was issued in 1856, is said to have been discovered by a twelve-year-old student in the late 19th century. After that it had passed through numerous prominent hands.
Four other stamps – the so-called “24-Cent Inverted Jenny Plate Block” from 1918 – were auctioned for around $ 4.9 million. There are four stamps out of 100 originally, on which an airplane was wrongly printed upside down. They were last auctioned for almost three million dollars 16 years ago. Weitzman then bought it privately. Now, according to the auction house, the US billionaire David Rubenstein acquired the brands, the names of the buyers of the other two items were initially not published.
“All my life I had the dream of collecting the greatest rarities in the two great collectors’ worlds of stamps and coins and then making these extraordinary treasures, which had been hidden for decades, available to the public for viewing,” said Weitzman, who is already the feet of stars how Taylor Swift and Beyoncé dressed, quoted before the start of the auction. “That’s what I wanted to do and that’s what I did. That was my dream. Today my dream is to leave something behind for a good cause and I will use the proceeds from these sales for that.” (what/afp/dpa)