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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Key Rarity in the British Colonial Series

CNG 111, Lot: 923. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $3500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

COLONIAL AFRICA, British. Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone Company. 1791-1807. AR Dollar (36.5mm, 28.51 g, 12h). Soho (Birmingham) mint. Dated 1791. SIERRA LEONE COMPANY, lion advancing slightly left, head facing; AFRICA in exergue / ONE DOLLAR PIECE, clasped hands; 1 above and below; date in exergue. Vice FT.1; KM 7. Near EF, toned with underlying brilliance, minor cabinet wear on high points, a few light circulation marks. Very rare, especially in this grade.

The striking of of a mere 800 silver Dollars for the Sierra Leone Company was, as David Vice relates, Matthew Boulton’s ‘first undertaking in the field of coining precious metals. The sole reason for the Soho Mint accepting such a small and unprofitable order was to gain experience in this sphere of operations. Copious notes were made of the costs incurred and the lessons gleaned for striking the Company dollar. This information proved invaluable in later years.’ Very few examples of this issue have survived in high grade.