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Bonhams sells 100% of French champagnery’s gold coin treasure

June 5, 2013 in Antique Coins, Auctions, Coins, Gold, Gold Coins, Numismatica, Numismatics, Precious Metals, Rare Coins, USA Coins

Los Angeles — Bonhams was delighted with the results of The Champagne Lanson Bonnet Vineyard Collection of $20 Gold Coins during its June 3 auction of Rare Coins and Medals in Los Angeles . Every lot from the vineyard’s cache found a buyer, making it a “white glove” sale, in auction parlance.

The well-publicized discovery of the hidden treasure occurred in France last February by chance when, according to the vineyard, several of the coins rained down on a worker remodeling a former grape-drying facility. It is unknown how the coins found their way to the attic in the eastern village of Les Riceys, France, but the building was owned by a wine producer who traded with the US and England in the 1930s.

The Collection featured 497 gold US coins minted between 1851 and 1928, selling for a total of approximately $945,000 including the buyer’s premium. Individual prices for the coins ranged from $1,500 to over $8,000. The coins had been untouched for nearly a century and range in condition from Very Fine to Choice Mint State.

Paul Song, Director of the Rare Coins and Banknotes Department at Bonhams, said of the auction, “Bonhams is extremely pleased to have worked with The Lanson-BCC Group on this auction. Their professionalism and partnership to make this a successful auction venture, along as an opportunity to promote the Lanson brand in the United States was a true privilege for us. Our Bonhams Paris Office was instrumental in working closely with the consignor, Lanson-BCC Group, parent company to Alexandre Bonnet Champagne. As well, we are delighted that the auction of the coins not only promoted the name of the Lanson Group Champagne brands in the US but that half of the proceeds from the auction will go to the individual who discovered the coins in the house. The vineyard has described him as a modest employee of the Lanson firm, who brought the Collection to the attention of the company not knowing that he would be entitled to half of the proceeds under French law. According to the vineyard, this anonymous individual will now be able to buy or build a house for his family with the auction proceeds.”

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