Record Price for Rare Coin as Louis Vuitton Splurges on Enormous Diamond

Rare Coin of Britain’s King Edward VIII Fetches Record $1.3M

(Associated Press) One of the world’s rarest coins, a gold piece bearing the image of Britain’s King Edward VIII before his abdication, has sold for 1 million pounds ($1.3 million), setting a new record for a British coin.

The historical oddity shows Edward, the uncle of Queen Elizabeth II, before he relinquished the throne in 1936 to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

The buyer was a private collector who wanted his identity kept secret. He told the BBC it was a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity.

Rebecca Morgan, head of collector services at the Royal Mint, said the record price was not surprising.

“The Edward VIII sovereign is one of the rarest and most collectible coins in the world,” Morgan said Friday.

The 22-carat gold coins were never released to the public. The Royal Mint says only a handful are known to exist.

Louis Vuitton Buys Second-Biggest Rough Diamond Ever

(Forbes) Just two months ago, Louis Vuitton parent company LVMH announced the acquisition of Tiffany for a record-breaking $16.2 billion, providing a significant boost to its watches & jewelry business, currently the smallest division in the group’s portfolio. Now, Louis Vuitton itself has paid an undisclosed sum for the largest stone mined since the Cullinan diamond in 1905.


It follows a declaration of intent in 2018, when the house hired former Tiffany Design Director Francesca Amphitheatrof who has sent the Vuitton jewelry offering in a much bolder direction. Although the house is a relative newcomer to the fine jewelry business, producing its first fine pieces 19 years ago, as Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke told the Financial Timesthe recent moves are all part of the company’s jewelry business strategy to become “one of the top five players” in the notoriously competitive $270 billion jewelry market.

For Tobias Kormind, managing director of 77diamonds.com, the choice of stone with which to make a move towards leadership is surprising: “although this diamond is remarkable for its record size, Louis Vuitton have chosen a stone of relatively low quality, suggested by the black color of its current rough form. It will be interesting to see whether they break it into many smaller stones or try to create a few larger ones. I estimate the value of the stone to be between $6.5 million and $19.5 million, but it is unlikely to yield top-quality diamonds.”

[Read more…]