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NUMISMATICS; FRANKLIN MINT WILL STRIKE NEW EGYPTIAN COIN
By Ed Reiter
- July 24, 1983
Old and new will be blended in an unusual manner later this year when Egypt, one of the world’s oldest countries, joins forces with The Franklin Mint, one of the world’s most modern minting facilities, to produce a new gold coin honoring Queen Nefertiti.
The coin, to be dated 1983, will carry a face value of 100 pounds, making it the first Egyptian coin ever struck in that denomination – and the largest in the nation’s history. It also will be the first Egyptian coin of any kind ever produced in the United States.
Plans for the coin were announced in Washington on Friday by Ashraf Ghorbal, Egypt’s ambassador to the U.S. Addressing a press conference at the Egyptian Embassy, Mr. Ghorbal said the coin, to be issued only in proof, will have legal-tender status in his homeland.
Plans call for an initial mintage of 2,500 in October, with overall production for worldwide sale to be limited to 15,000. The coin will be 32 millimeters in diameter and will have a reeded edge. It will contain 17.15 grams of .900 fine gold.
A portrait of Nefertiti, renowned as one of history’s most beautiful women, will appear on the obverse. It will show her at the height of her beauty in a crowned-bust likeness which accentuates her long, graceful neck. The portrait was prepared by Dominic Angelini, a Franklin Mint master sculptor whose recent works include a medal which was issued to mark the 15th anniversary of the Special Olympics program.
In depicting Nefertiti, Mr. Angelini made reference to actual relics discovered during archeological excavations of Egyptian tombs. There are no inscriptions or other design elements on the obverse to divert attention from the central portrait, thus heightening its impact.
The reverse carries the date and statement of value in English and Arabic, along with the Arabic words for ”Arab Republic of Egypt,” written in a form of decorative calligraphy known as kuphic writing.
Nefertiti has appeared previously on two other Egyptian coins: a brass 5-milliemes and a copper-nickel 5-piastres issued in 1975 to commemorate the International Women’s Year. Those two coins bear identical portraits showing her along with a sheaf of wheat. The new coin is thought to be the first to portray her as the sole design element.
Nefertiti was the wife of King Akhenaton, who ruled Egypt from 1367 to 1350 B.C. Akhenaton was the first Egyptian monarch to preach monotheism and Nefertiti – a firm supporter of his teachings – assisted him in the new religious ceremonies based upon those doctrines.
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As of early July, 100 Egyptian pounds had a value of $142.86 in U.S. funds. The new coin’s issue price has not yet been set. Egyptian officials authorized a 100-pound gold coin in 1977, but it never was issued. The highest-valued Egyptian coin ever issued previously carried a face value of 10 pounds.
Although it has never struck coinage for Egypt before, Franklin Mint has produced legal-tender coins for nearly two dozen other countries. It is the only non-government mint in this country which produces official coinage for sovereign foreign governments.
This is not the first Egyptian coin to be made by a mint outside Egypt. Previous Egyptian issues have been struck by private mints in Britain and by government mints in Britain, India and Hungary.
Inquiries about the Nefertiti coin should be sent to The Franklin Mint, Franklin Center, Pa. 19091.Auction ’83
Auction ’83, one of the year’s biggest public auction sales of rare coins, will take place on Friday and Saturday at the New York Sheraton Hotel, Seventh Avenue and 56th Street. There will be four sessions, one for each of the four participating firms, and exactly 500 lots will be sold at each one.
Paramount International of Miami will conduct the first session, at 1 P.M. Friday. Stack’s of New York will follow at 7 that night, andSaturday’s schedule will spotlight Rarcoa of Chicago at 1 P.M. and Superior of Beverly Hills, Calif., at 7 P.M. For a copy of the catalogue and a post-sale list of prices realized, send $10 to any of the participating firms.New York Show
The third annual New York Invitational Coin Show will take place this week at the New York Sheraton. The show, organized by New York dealer Neil Berman, will feature a bourse with more than 100 dealers. It will be open to the public Thursday through Saturday from 9 A.M. to 8 P.M. There will be a small admission charge covering all three days with proceeds going to benefit charity.Melnick Sale
Herbert I. Melnick Inc. of Rockville Centre, N.Y., will hold a public auction sale of United States coins and currency next Sunday at the New York Sheraton. The 1,551-lot sale will take place in two sessions, at noon and 5:30 P.M.
Among other things, there will be extensive offerings of private and territorial gold coins, Morgan silver dollars, commemorative coins, Colonial coins, large-and small-size currency and National Bank notes. There also will be a large and intriguing group of error coins, including many pieces that were struck on planchets of the wrong size or wrong metallic composition.
A five percent buyer’s premium will be added to the cost of each item. For a copy of the catalogue and a post-sale list of prices realized, write to Herbert I. Melnick Inc., 265 Sunrise Highway, County Federal Building, Suite 52, Rockville Centre, N.Y. 11570.Medal Auction
Johnson & Jensen of Danbury, Conn., will conduct a public auction sale of medals, medallions, plaquettes, decorations and related items at 1 P.M. next Sunday at the New York Sheraton. The sale will encompass more than 2,000 lots, including important groups of George Washington medals, British coronation and jubilee pieces, William Shakespeare medals, military decorations and space medals.
Among the highlights is a 7 1/2-inch framed galvano of a British medal issued in 1865 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Johnson & Jensen describes this as ”the most incredible work of medallic art we have seen in 15 years.” The auction lots will be available for viewing at Johnson & Jensen’s bourse table at the New York Invitational Coin Show, which will take place at the same hotel from Thursday through Saturday.
Catalogues can be obtained there, or at the auction itself. To obtain a copy by mail, along with a post-sale list of prices realized, send $1 to Johnson & Jensen, P.O. Box 1085, Danbury, Conn. 06810.George Hatie Sale
The George D. Hatie Collection and other important consignments will be sold at public auction in New York Aug. 3-5 by Bowers and Merena Galleries Inc. of Wolfeboro, N.H. The sale will take place at the St. Moritz Hotel, 50 Central Park South, with sessions scheduled for 7 P.M. each night and 1 P.M. Thursday, Aug. 4, and Friday, Aug. 5.
The sale will encompass more than 3,000 lots and will feature ”something for everyone,” according to Q. David Bowers, chairman of the board of the auction firm, with United States coins predominating. Highlights in this area will include a type set of early gold coins; an extensive offering of silver dollars; a complete set of matte proofs of the four gold coins of 1914; and a large group of commemorative coins, including a brilliant uncirculated specimen of the octagonal 1915 Panama-Pacific $50 gold slug.
There also will be major selections of ancient coins, Colonial American coins, California fractional gold, U.S. paper money, encased postage stamps and numismatic literature.
George Hatie is a past president of the American Numismatic Association and currently serves that organization as general counsel. He is known as a collector of wide-ranging interests, and this is reflected in the wide diversity of the coins to be offered in the upcoming sale.
The lots will be available for viewing at the St. Moritz beginning this Wednesday, July 27, and continuing daily – except next Sunday – until 5 P.M. Friday, Aug. 5. To obtain the catalogue, along with a post-sale list of prices realized, send $10 to Bowers and Merena Galleries Inc., Box 1224, Wolfeboro, N.H. 03894.Israel Society
The American Israel Numismatic Association is establishing a new local affiliate in the San Diego area and will hold an inaugural meeting at 8 P.M. Tuesday, Aug. 16, at the Town & Country Hotel in San Diego. There will be an audio-visual slide program on Israeli coins and medals and refreshments will be served. The annual convention of the American Numismatic Association will be taking place in San Diego during that week. For further information, contact Morris Bram, P.O. Box 25790, Tamarac, Fla. 33320, or call him at (305) 726-0333.Trade Token Book
Russell Rulau, well-known numismatic scholar, author and editor, has written a major new reference work entitled ”United States Trade Tokens 1866-1899.” The softbound, 224-page catalogue furnishes a wealth of information on U.S. trade tokens of the post-Civil War period, including facts and figures that have never been published before. It is profusely illustrated and provides market prices in four degrees of condition.
This is the fourth in a series of volumes written by Mr. Rulau on American tokens. The three previous catalogues covered the period from 1700 through 1860. The author is currently working on a fifth volume, ”Tokens of the Gay Nineties.” He envisions an eventual series of catalogues listing every American token from the nation’s Colonial beginnings to the advent of Prohibition in 1920.
Like the earlier books, ”United States Trade Tokens 1866-1899” was published by Krause Publications of Iola, Wis. It is priced at $12.95 and can be obtained at coin shops or directly from the publisher. Mail orders are postpaid and should be sent to Krause Publications, Book Division, 700 East State Street, Iola, Wis. 54990.A version of this article appears in print on July 24, 1983, Section 2, Page 31 of the National edition with the headline: NUMISMATICS; FRANKLIN MINT WILL STRIKE NEW EGYPTIAN COIN.