VOC Ducaton 1728, West Friesland

Mint master
J. Knol (1715-1741)

Rider to the top left, West Frisian coat of arms

Generality coat of arms between two lions including VOC monogram

Worth knowing
The only other known example of a 1728 golden Ducaton from West Friesland is in the Teylers Museum in Haarlem.

VOC Ducaton

Coin in jewelery box breaks national record

Suppose you are cleaning up the estate of a deceased loved one, you find a nice coin, and this turns out to be a VOC Ducaton from 1728. The coin appears to be so rare that bidders worldwide want to purchase it for top prizes. This happened to a family in a Dutch village called De Bilt. During an estate clearance they came across a jewelry box. When they opened this, they found a beautiful gold coin. They did not immediately realize its value and were pleasantly surprised when they had the coin appraised by Heritage Auctions.

Test stroke

Expert Jacco Scheper immediately saw that it was a unique piece. It turned out to be an exceptionally rare coin that was struck for the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in 1728 in Hoorn. Scheper: “We normally call this type of coin a 'Silver Rider', because of the knight on a horseback depicted on it. Tens of thousands of these were minted, but the coin in question is exceptional for it is gold, not silver. The gold coin was probably minted as a trial or test version. Usually these unique samples were given as presents to mayors or a captains of the VOC. They are stunning and very rare. Only a few of those gold coins are known today, such as this one from 1728 and two others from 1732 and 1733.”

National record

Scheper advised the family to auction the coin. And they did. During the Coins, Currency and Medals auction in IJsselstein on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, their coin yielded no less than 196,800 euros. This is the highest amount ever paid for a coin in the Netherlands. The 'Golden Rider' from De Bilt took over the national record (then still 160,000 euros) from a gold ten ducat from Deventer, which was also auctioned in IJsselstein. The 196,800 euros is not the highest amount ever paid for a Dutch coin. That honor goes to another, qualitatively superior VOC Ducaton from 1728 (with the rider to the right!). It raised $336,000 in January 2019 at parent company Heritage Auctions in New York.

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