Hungarian Gold Masterpieces. Charles I. 20 Korona 1918. Brilliant Uncirculated. Fr. 259R

It is not often that we are able to offer a coin that is rare as soon as it is made, and which has not yet even been published in any book, magazine, or newspaper. The original striking of this coin is one of the rarest Hungarian issues of the modern era. It is listed in our Friedberg Gold Coins of the World catalog as Fr. 259. We have not even been able to ascertain how many were struck, but the last one sold brought € 90,000 (about $115,000 ) at an auction in Vienna in 2004. We have not seen another original striking since.  It is a coin virtually out of reach for any collector not only because of price, but also availability.

Fortunately, there is a long custom in Hungary of restriking certain coins, and these have formed a traditional part of Hungarian numismatics for generations. The latest is this piece, of which the Hungarian Mint in Budapest restruck  exactly 100 examples in 2010 using the original tools. The dies used to make the issue have since been destroyed and no more coins of this type will ever be made. It comes with the display box and Certificate of Authenticity from the Hungarian Mint shown here. Of the 100 coins, less than twenty of them are available to collectors in the United States and Canada, and once this allocation is absorbed, it is unlikely that any further specimens will be available.  Just several months ago, one of the first coins to enter the market sold in Europe at auction for €3,500 (about $5,000 at present exchange rates) We are pleased to offer them to you now at $4975.00 (we pay shipping and insurance).

The coin is the same type as the better-known 20 korona of Emperor Franz Josef. Here, Charles I, as emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (also known as King Charles IV of Hungary) is seen standing holding an orb and sceptre. The legend reads KAROLY I•K•A•C•S   ÉS M•H•SZ•D•A•P•KIR• The reverse has two angels supporting the coat of arms topped by St. Stephen's crown, and the legend MAGYAR KIRÁLYSÁG, the denomination 20 KORONA, and the letters KB, which is the mintmark of the Kremnitz mint, where the original coins were struck . Specifications are identical to the original:  6.775 grams of .900 fine gold and a diameter of 21 mm.

Charles I was the last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire: The last Emperor of Austria, the last King of Hungary, and also the last King of Bohemia, Croatia, Galicia and Lodomeria. He was the last monarch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. From 1916 until 1918, he ruled as Charles I as Emperor of Austria and Charles IV as King of Hungary, after which he "renounced participation" in state affairs, but did not abdicate. The chaos of the post war years was a difficult time for Hungary. The country began to collapse as a result of the war, rising prices and shortages. Charles tried to preserve the monarchy through secret peace negotiations and a series of reforms, but it all proved fruitless, and he spent the remaining years of his life attempting to restore the monarchy until his death in 1922.

It is not often that we have the chance to bring our customers coins like this. There are many collections of Hungarian coins in the world but very few will ever have this as one of its pieces. So if you are interested in a unique opportunity that few others will ever have to own remarkable piece of Hungarian numismatics, please contact us today.

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