22 July 2024

Rare Tongan palladium coins to be sold at bumper Shropshire auction

A rare set of three Tongan palladium coins valued at more than £2,000 is set to go under the hammer at a bumper auction in Shrewsbury next month.

The Pacific island of Tonga achieved a world first when it produced the first palladium coinage in history on July 4, 1967 to celebrate the coronation of King Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV. A new denomination, the Hau, was created for the coins and only 1,500 sets were produced.

Halls Fine Art sold a set of the coins at auction for £4,600 in March 2022. However, the company’s coins specialist, Derek Ainsworth says the price of palladium has since fallen significantly.

“This set of palladium coins was found in the loft by a lady from Cambridge who took them to be valued at a local shop, was given a low valuation and decided to do some research online,” said Derrick.

“She came across a link to a 2022 story about Halls Fine Art selling the set for £4,600 and gave me a call. I believe the coins belonged to her parents and, although the price of palladium has fallen in the last couple of years, they are still rare and valuable. We have given the set a pre-sale estimate of £2,200 to £2,500.”

The company will be selling the Tongan set at a books, coins and stamps auction at the Battlefield saleroom on July 24. More than 100 lots, totalling in excess of 1,000 coins and ranging from Roman and Celtic to the present day, have been consigned already. The lots include six large collections.

Another “extremely rare” coin that will be sold in the auction came from India. The India-Princely States Faridkot gold Nazarana 1/3 Mohur coin is valued at £1,500 to £2,500 and has been consigned by a South Shropshire seller who was born in India before the Second World War.

The coin was issued during the reign of Raja Sir Harindar Singh of Faridkot in 1932.
Faridkot is in the state of Punjab, but prior to independence, a large part of this district was ruled by Maharaja of Faridkot.

In 1803, the state was under the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Sikh Empire but came under the British influence in 1809.

One of the collections of gold commemorative coins from South Shropshire is valued at between £9,000 to £10,000, while others are expected to fetch up to £6,000.

Also included in the auction is a sought after Kew Gardens 50p coin valued at up to £150. Only 210,000 of the coins were released into circulation in 2009 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Kew Gardens.

The July auction will also feature a large collection of more than 200 fountain pens by the best makers, including American examples.

“The fountain pens are the lifetime collection of a late Shropshire gentleman who bought them from auctions and antiques fairs,” said Derek. “Some are valued at more than £100 and the collection is expected to make between £7,000 to £8,000.”

Coins, books and stamps can entered in next month’s auction until this Friday, June 21. Contact Halls Fine Art on Tel: 01743 450700 or email fineart@hallsgb.com for further information.