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Friday, August 30, 2013

Horde confirmed: Though it appears to be a small one.

This "very rare" daric, which has appeared twice at auction in the last six years, both times at NAC and only once in nice condition has now appeared at least 14 times in auction catalogues, and via private purchase over the last month.  And fall auctions are just beginning to list.

As there are three of them in the upcoming Roma/Grotjohann auction it is a safe bet they came from Turkey through Germany.  The one above in gorgeous condition is typical of many of these coins, which were the earliest Darics, minted in about 500 BC as part of the first bi-metal coinage of Persia, following their conquest of Lydia. 

The first two coins to come out each sold at $25,000 +.  If they had been from "old collections," they would have been a bargain at the price.  As it is, the question remains: how many pieces are in the horde?

The answer is tough to know.  It is not certain that the German dealers who bought the horde know the answer themselves.  Because the Turks who control the horde are wily dealers themselves and they are apt to deliver the coins in small quantities over time, all the while swearing that each lot is the last of it.

These are still great coins.  If the horde is small as it appears, it will be quickly absorbed.  If not, they could appear for years to come.  It's tough to know.

The same thing happened with the once extremely rare Antiochus staters of Bactria that began to trickle out from Turkey several years ago.  As they kept hitting the market, year after year, finally the price settled in $5-7000 range for superb examples.  However, this coin, being the first Daric, and the second earliest gold issue after the Lydian Stater is very popular and may be quickly absorbed.

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