A coin Double eagle, out of 1933, reached 18.9 million dollars (15.5 million euros at current exchange rates) on Tuesday at a Sotheby’s auction held in New York, which made it the most expensive in the world. In the same sale, what is considered the most valuable stamp on the planet failed to exceed the minimum price that the specialists had awarded it.
The golden Double eagle, which was described in the auction as “the Mona Lisa of the coins ”, it took a few seconds to rise from the seven million starting price 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 buyer by telephone, with whom the sale was settled. When you add the fees and taxes, the total price that the anonymous buyer will pay for Double eagle of 1933 will be $ 18,872,250, 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 coin Flowing Hair dollar (the dollar of the loose mane), considered the most expensive so far. A little more than 10 million dollars was disbursed for 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 was left unsold.
Double eagle, gleaming gold and has a face value of $ 20, it was designed by the well-known sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and stands out as the only one of its kind still in private hands, as the rest is owned by the United States Mint. This model never circulated, since after being minted it was withdrawn when then-President Franklin Roosevelt decided in 1933 that the United States would stop supporting its currency with gold reserves as a measure to control the economic depression that hit the country.
Along with the coin, two other major stamps were auctioned, a trio of collectibles that had spent several years in the hands of 79-year-old designer Stuart Weitzman, who bought them individually to fulfill one of his wishes. “It was a childhood dream to own the best stamp in the world, the best coin in the world and the best American stamp in the world,” explained Richard Austin, director of the Sotheby’s Department of Books and Manuscripts.
In the sale, however, what is considered the most precious stamp in the world disappointed, the Magenta 1 cent of British Guiana. Sotheby’s experts had estimated that it had a value of between 10 and 15 million dollars (8.2-12.3 million euros), but its hammer price remained at seven million dollars (5.75 million euros ) after one minute of auction, reaching 8.3 million when including taxes and fees (6.8 million euros). Of this stamp, issued in 1856, only one copy is known, which was rediscovered in 1873 by a 12-year-old boy fond of philately who found it among a series of papers, leaving it without knowing its extraordinarily unique character.
The third object, the block of four copies of the most popular stamp in the United States, the Inverted jenny, reached a hammer price of four million dollars (3.3 million euros), or 4.8 million dollars of total amount (3.9 million euros), also below the minimum price of five million dollars (4.1 million euros) that they had calculated at Sotheby’s. These are stamps bought for the first time in 1918 and in which a Curtis JN-4 biplane plane appears nicknamed Jenny and that due to a misprint it was upside down.