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Patterns Spotlighted at Spink’s
By World Coin News
July 15, 2013

This article was originally printed in World Coin News.
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A pair of choice German New Guinea rarities featured in Spink’s London coin auction on June 26-27. Both are unlisted in the Standard Catalog.

The pair consisted of a Neu-Guinea Compagnie 3.98g, 19.3mm copper pattern 10 marks and a 4.10g, 23.3mm bronzed pattern 20 marks. Both were dated 1895-A.

Production of the silver and copper coinage for Neu-Guinea Compagnie commenced at the Berlin Mint in 1894. These patterns for the gold 10 mark and 20 mark were produced the following year. They used the same designs as for the silver coins consisting of the value and date within a palm wreath on the obverse and a Bird of Paradise disporting on the reverse. Just the centers of the obverse design was changed to show the appropriate denomination and date.

Close examination of these two unpublished patterns show they differ from the issued coins. They were not produced from high quality dies such as used to strike the proof silver. They were simply sufficient for the concept to be approved. More finely cut dies were used for the issued coins to yield far greater detail of both the palm leaves and bird’s feathers.

Both of the coins offered for sale showed varying degrees of luster with the 20 marks carrying some corrosion spots on both sides.

They are the only known examples and sold for a very comfortable £10,800 [$16,426].

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