A Dutch cent from 1818 was sold this week in Veldhoven for a record amount of no less than 110,000 euros. Auctioneer Karel de Geus of the auction house of the same name saw the bids for the rare coin quickly rise to over a hundred thousand, the amounts flew around his ears. “If you let this pass you by, you might have to wait another ten or fifteen years.”
“It is a so-called test run, which was made about two hundred years ago to see whether such a cent would be suitable as a means of payment,” says Karel, who is still delighted with the sensational sale.
“The mintage is very low, only a few pieces of this cent were made. “Combine that with the wonderful quality of this coin, because it has never been used as a means of payment, and you have something unique.”
“It is a very popular specimen among collectors,” the auctioneer explains. “If you had let this coin pass you by, you might have to wait another ten or fifteen years.”
The family business is popular with collectors all over the world. The owner, his wife and daughter have customers from forty different countries who offer and buy silver and gold coins, medals and banknotes. An auction is organized twice a year, when thousands of pieces go under the hammer in Veldhoven.
The centuries-old coin was offered to the auction house last summer by a collector. “It is someone who is a bit older,” says Karel. “He asked himself the question: should I leave these types of expensive coins in my collection any longer? Or should we give other collectors the opportunity to enjoy them as much as I did? Because if at any time I no longer have them, “If I and my relatives are somewhat careless with it, he reasoned, then I would find that worse than saying goodbye to the coin now.”
At the start of the auction, there were at least five people interested in the antique cent, including someone from America. “In the end, there were two left who really wanted him. And one of those two struck, and also showed the courage to exceed that 100,000 euros. Because I really thought, now we are there.”
Karel keeps it a secret who the buyer is. “What I do want to reveal is that it is someone from the Netherlands and that he is in the Quote 500, so he can afford it.”
The auctioneer speaks of an astronomical amount. “A few years ago we once sold a half cent for half a ton, and it was about the same rarity as this 1818 cent. So we thought, in theory this might fetch a ton, who knows “I never would have dared to think that we ended up even slightly above 100,000 euros. It’s fantastic.”
“The family would have preferred to immediately open a bottle of champagne after the successful sale to celebrate the unique moment. “But it was eleven o’clock in the morning at that time and we ended up working until half past nine to auction all 1,500 items. We were really too tired for bubbles afterwards, but we were certainly euphoric!”