July 7, 2011 – The unique gold coin which portrayed former Beatle John Lennon on the obverse was sold for a staggering USD 96,600 at auction in London. The coin, part of the “Great Britons” series from Alderney in the Channel Islands portrayed John Lennon and was issued in 2010, which would have been the 70th birthday of the iconic singer.
The coin, originally issued to collectors in both cupro-nickel and sterling silver from the Royal Mint in the United Kingdom was minted as a one-off 22 carat gold strike and presented to Yoko Ono Lennon, for her assistance and support of the Great Britons series as well as consulting on the portrait used on the coin. When told of the extraordinary amount the coin reached at auction, Yoko stated: “As Honorary Patron of the Alder Hey “Imagine” Appeal I am delighted with the amazing amount raised from this coin. I know it will make a real difference to some of the 250,000 children and young people they see at the hospital every year”.
The coin was kindly given to the Alder Hey “Imagine” appeal, the children’s hospital in Liverpool of whom Yoko is an ardent patron. The coin was included in Bonham’s collection of entertainment memorabilia with several other items pertaining to the Fab four and conducted on the 29th June.
After a bidding contest which included collectors from Asia, America, Europe and the Middle East with interested parties bidding over the telephone and via the internet, a bid of GBP 58,000 (USD 93,300) was achieved by telephone bids with lightening speed after the opening bid of GBP 4,000 (USD 6,400) and was eventually out-bid by an interested party in the room. The successful winner bid a staggering GBP 60,000, securing the unique one of a kind numismatic treasure to cheers and clapping.
Bonham’s began the bidding by stating that there had been substantial interest in the unique gold coin after it had been the subject of attention from the press and featured in a live interview on CNN’s “The Brief” two weeks before the scheduled auction. The successful bidder so far remains anonymous but expressed their pleasure at having won the item with smiles and acknowledgement of the cheers from a stunned crowd. The coin had been dubbed “the star attraction” by the auctioneer and after only six more lots, the auction was concluded.
Together with the buyer’s premium and VAT (sales tax), the coin will have sold for a total of GBP 74,400 or USD 119,780, possibly a record price for a modern gold coin. Congratulations go to the Alder Hey “Imagine” appeal and a heartfelt thanks go to Yoko Ono for the generous donation to such a worthwhile appeal.
We announced this auction here.