A monumental Polish gold 100 ducats coin struck nearly 400 years ago has sold for $1.38 million at an auction by Stack’s in New York City. The price set a record for a world coin.
The 1621 coin is one of only two known in private hands and is considered to be the crowning glory not only of Polish coinage but of all European Gold, according to catalogers. It is probably the largest gold coin ever struck in Europe, weighing in at nearly a troy pound of gold. Few were made, and the Polish king, Sigismund III, presented one to Pope Gregory XV.
It was struck from dies prepared by Samuel Ammon of Danzig and Jacob Jacobson of Emden as a special issue to celebrate the Polish victory over the Turks at the Battle of Chocim.
The coin was described as struck on a fully rounded planchet. The obverse depicts a half-length, armored bust of Sigismund III wearing the Order of the Golden Fleece with meticulous detail down to the pupil of the monarch’s eye. On the reverse is the quartered Arms of Poland and Lithuania with the Swedish and House of Vasa Arms on a central escutcheon. Its condition was described as “overall extremely fine or better.” The coin’s dimensions are 68.46×69.1 mm. It is 4.9 mm thick and weighs 349.49 grams (224.75 Dwts).
The January 14th sale was part of the much-anticipated auction of the Kroisos Collection held by Stack’s at the Le Parker-Meridien Hotel. Bidding was heated, as rare Polish and Russian gold coins and medals are among the hottest items in the nuministic world. Other sale highlights included a Peter the Great piece celebrating the 1714 naval battle of Gangut at $345,000 and a very rare Russian Order of Saint Alexander-Nevsky Sash Badge with diamond brilliants, which commanded $690,000.