Livorno 1720 tollero Dav-1500

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Heritage sale 3041, lot 32286
Livorno H3041-32286r.jpg

This specimen was lot 32286 in Heritage sale 3041 (Chicago, August 2015), where it sold for $5,875. The catalog description[1] noted, "Livorno. Cosimo III Tallero 1720 MS64 NGC. A stunning Choice Mint State example of this scarce Italian tallero, with beautiful cabinet toning. It would appear that at least two obverse dies were used for this date, one of which has a rather distracting die break right on the date, further adding to the allure of this piece. Though the Krause Standard Catalog of World Coins suggests that this coin is not particularly rare, with a catalog value of just $600 in XF condition, this is one of those clear instances when you have to completely disregard what the catalog says and turn instead towards actual auction appearances and results to determine rarity and value. We have been able to find just four auction appearances of this date in the last twelve years, with the original sale of this piece in 2003 being one of them. When it last crossed the block, in Hess-Divo 298 (22 October 2003), it hammered at an extremely strong 3,800 CHF (or $2,861 at the time), which still remains the highest price ever paid for a coin of this particular date. Nonetheless, it seems to have been a very wise purchase. Indeed, in 2009 we sold another example of this type (dated 1711), also graded MS64 by NGC, for an amazing $8,625, which remains the highest price ever paid for this type of any date. That is likely the closest comparable result one could find in order to estimate this piece. As the market for high grade European crowns has only increased in the interim six years, we expect that record to be matched, if not surpassed, today." This type was struck by the Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany for Livorno 1707-23. The Italian word tollero may be translated into the German word thaler or the English word dollar. After the extinction of the Medici, the duchy was ruled by the Hapsburgs, who replaced the tollero with the francescone.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 27 g, silver.

Catalog reference: Dav-1500; KM-35.

Sources:

  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • Davenport, John S., European Crowns, 1700-1800, 2nd Ed., London: Spink & Son, 1964.
  • [1]Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Warren Tucker and David Michaels, Heritage World & Ancient Coins Auction 3041, featuring the Eric Beckman Collection of Canadian Coins, the Kaiser Collection of German Gold Coins and the Rudman Collection of Mexican Coins, Part I, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2015.

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