A COIN collector from Chester paid £516,000 for a rare gold sovereign – the highest sum ever paid for a British coin.
Jordan Lott, of Regal Rare Coins, purchased the coin on behalf of the company owner Mark Manning, at AH Baldwin & Sons in London.
He said he would have paid another £50,000 to bag the piece, despite the fact it only contains £180 worth of gold.
He told the Leader he had dug so deep for the coin because of its rarity, its immaculate condition, and most importantly, the story behind it.
It bears the head of Edward VIII, who famously abdicated the throne in 1936 before he was officially crowned in order to marry American socialite and divorcee Wallis Simpson.
It is one of just six made as ‘prototypes’ for a series of commemorative coins ahead of the planned Coronation in 1937.
Mr Lott, whose employer is based in Deeside, said: “The story behind this coin is remarkable. It’s basically a story of love. This man was a king and he gave it all up to marry the woman he loved. The Americans love it! It’s the classic tale of the princess marrying the king.”
The six gold coins represent the centrepieces of their respective sets, which include corresponding silver coins.
The Queen owns one of the gold pieces, three are in museums, a private collector owns the fifth, and now the final coin belongs to Mr Lott – and it is locked away in a safe.
His new coin last sold in Tokyo in 1984 for £40,000.
“I wish I’d bought it then,” he said. “It would have saved me some money.”
Mr Lott, whose company is part of the Regal Group which is featured in TV show Pawn Stars UK, said he will keep the coin as its value is expected to keep soaring.
He said rare gold coins made excellent investments and urged people to snap them up whenever possible.
“We’re trying to show the public that English coinage is so undervalued it’s incredible,” he said.
“A piece like this with an equivalent story would be worth £10m plus in the States. There is huge investment potential with rare gold coins. The higher the rarity, the higher the investment leap.”