Coins, Medals & Banknotes
Lyon & Turnbull’s team of Coins, Medals & Banknotes specialists have an established reputation for their auctions, selling both through our Scottish auction house in Edinburgh and via online auctions. The department’s specialist knowledge and proven ability to generate press coverage and significant market attention has been essential to the successful sale of great range of items including ancient coins, rare issues, military medals, commemorative medals, banknotes, bonds, share certificates and scripophily.
Medals and militaria are well suited to Lyon & Turnbull's style. We understand that each medal is unique, representing the achievements of a brave individual in the context of their struggle alongside their unit and their countrymen. Our ability to focus on these compelling individual stories and generate huge media attention around them ensures potential buyers worldwide feel a connection to the medal-winner, and choose to spend heavily in order to own the badge of their courage.
Perhaps the most surprising ‘find’ was to the recipient of a WWII Victoria Cross, while he was more than aware of the medals rarity and importance he was not sure of its value. As is often seen with medals awarded to family members, the piece was seen as solely sentimental as opposed to an asset of significant value. Spurred on to contact us by press reports of medals sold for between £50,000 and £80,000, we were thrilled to see such a rare and important group. Much consideration and research proved his medal group to be an extremely rare and sought after example of the Victoria Cross and a valuation of £480,000 was placed on them, much to the owner's delight.
Coins and banknotes are amongst the few areas where we enlist the assistance of alternate auctioneers in order to secure the best prices for our clients. The pool of serious collectors in this field is relatively small, and for these rare yet mass-produced items with a well understood history we find the best results are achieved in conjunction with certain highly specialised partners with well-developed databases of buyers and detailed knowledge of the marketplace.
Some examples of the success of this approach include a collection of proof and specimen banknotes found in a dusty Victorian photograph album, pasted to the deteriorating boards. This find was quickly identified as an unrecorded collection of engravers proof and patterns never before seen on the market. Considered by the family to be a novelty worth a few hundred pounds, they sold for in excess of £80,000 in a specialist London sale.
Not only do Lyon & Turnbull achieve leading prices for coins, medals and banknotes, we also treat these precious items with the respect and honour they are due. We currently host three specialist auctions a year in February, July and October. To find out more about our upcoming auctions or to talk further about a potential consignments please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialist team.