EDWARD VIII PENNY OFFERED TO COLLECTORS
Coin collectors and investors were recently given the chance to buy a ‘piece’ of an extremely rare King Edward VIII Penny, thanks to a ‘fractional ownership’ scheme launched by the website Showpiece.com, in partnership with auctioneers and dealers Baldwin’s.
The rare coin, which was one of a very few that survived after Edward VIII abdicated (read the full story of the coin on page 61), was offered on the site for £50 a piece, with 4,000 pieces of the coin made available, thus giving the coin a value of £200,000.
Weighing 9.36g and measuring 3.08cm, the current price tag makes the coin 500 times more precious than gold on a gram-for-gram basis, and 20 million times more valuable than its own face value. It is the only privately traded example of the coin which exists.
According to Showpiece 2,864 of the 3,500 available shares (or pieces) were snapped up on the first day of the general sale, with just 18% of available shares in the coin left to buy. Dan Carter, co-founder of Showpiece.com, said: ‘We knew sales volumes would be strong based on the number of collectors who had registered interest with us online, but we never expected to sell the majority of shares in the first 24 hours. Though the UK has been our strongest market, there’s been huge overseas interest too, particularly from India, Australia, and Canada. If the current momentum continues then we expect to sell-out all remaining shares in the coming days.’
A replica of the 1937 One Penny was made available to the first 100 collectors that purchased twenty or more pieces of the coin, whilst all purchasers have the ‘economic rights and voting rights’ over the future of the coin.
The coin’s ‘sale’ follows a similar scheme set up by Showpiece.com for the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, the most expensive stamp in the world, which attracted new owners from around the world. American website Rally also offered fractional ownership of a coin recently, offering the public the chance to own part of a Constantinople gold coin from around 695 AD which features what is thought to be one of the first depictions of Jesus Christ. The 2,000 pieces on offer were sold in a few hours, raising the selling price to $18,000.