Fantasy Great Britain INA Retro Crown PCGS PR68RD CAM
Fantasy Coins are coins that bear design and legends suggesting it was or could have been a coin or pattern produced for the country indicated, but which was never authorized or issued by that government. Rather, fantasy coins are generally commissioned by private individuals who specify obverse and reverse combinations unknown to the official coins or designs too intricate or high in relief to have been practical on the official issues.
This specialty area has long had its followers, but most coin collectors were either unaware or uninterested in such “coins.” However, younger collectors and those who started by collecting bullion coins are more familiar with modern world coins with a wide variety of designs which are more readily encountered in pristine condition. Consequently, there has been increasing interest in coins, medals, and fantasy issues with intricate, attractive designs. Especially those with frosty and mirrored finishes that are in pristine condition.
Circa 2000 the auction company Spink & Sons commissioned INA Limited of Birmingham, a private minting facility in Birmingham, United Kingdom to bring to life new designs or combinations of designs for which no official mint issue ever existed. These fantasy coins were produced in limited quantities in various metals and subsequently auctioned by Spink in July 2001. Many of these incorporate intricate designs similar to official mint issues in a quality that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive. The most attractive designs in cameo proof are now highly sought after. Such is the case with this beautiful crown sized fantasy issue.
This "1879" dated fantasy crown features a depiction of Queen Victoria by engraver Donald Golder on the obverse and crowned arms on the reverse. This design is a similar, but reimagined form of the official early crowns of Queen Victoria.
The demand for these pieces now far surpasses that of 20 years ago. The very limited number of pieces combined with a beautiful design that is universally adored by collectors of coins of Queen Victoria make this a rare opportunity.
As of this writing, the PCGS population report identifies this example as being tied for highest graded.
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