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Queen Anne five guineas piece from 1705, £220,000 at Spink.

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The headline figure, published in this issue as part of ATG’s annual survey of the capital’s numismatic auction scene, represented a rise of more than 10% despite a 3.5% fall in the number of lots offered.

The market benefited from buyers having extra collecting time during the Covid-19 restrictions and what Spink (with sales of £9.9m) described as “a crossroads where the veteran collector meets the technologically savvy investor resulting in explosive auction results”.

Pierce Noonan, CEO of Dix Noonan Webb (£13.6m), estimates that coins and medals increased in value by “around 15-20% on average across the board” in 2020.

The roller-coaster 12 months featured several auction landmarks, including a new record for any classical coin set by Roma Numismatics during an extraordinary year in which the firm almost doubled its year-on-year sales to £17.8m.

Read ATG's full report of the coin auction market in 2020 in this issue.