The Royal Tidbits: King Farouk The Collector

93 years ago today (Feb 11th) King Farouk of Egypt was born.


Queen Nazli and King Farouk

Farouk, who ascended the throne when he was just 17 year-old wasn't just a sovereign, he was a collector of jewelry, stamps, currencies, antiques and everything rare and beautiful.




Although most of his collection is now lost thanks to the post-revolution auctions, some pieces that surfaced in the recent year gives us a clue on how this collection was like!

So let us celebrates King Farouk's 93rd birthday by highlighting some of the glorious pieces of his collection of coins today and every Monday will have a different collection!


Coins:

1933 Saint-Gaudens Double-Eagle
King Farouk owned the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle coin, all the other coins of this are understood to have been destroyed, King Farouk purchased this coin in 1944 and had to apply for a license to import it to Egypt, what Farouk didn't know (or maybe he did) is that the coin was stolen from the mint, and although the American government granted the license before discovering the theft, they requested the return of the coin, King Farouk didn't return it, after the revolution the coin disappeared, was it sold in an auction or was it stolen? no one knows, but in 1996 the coin was found in London, was returned back to the US in 2001, and in 2002 it was auctioned for over 7.5 million dollars, the sale took only 9 minutes. Quite a big amount of money, and a big loss for Egypt!


Olsen Liberty Head Nickel 

There are only five coins of Olsen Liberty Head Nickel and they were minted in 1913, Farouk of Egypt purchased one of them and most likely it was sold in the Sotheby's sale in Cairo in 1954. The coin reappeared again in 2010 in Hawaii in an auction. The coin was sold for 3.7 million dollars.


Knowing that King Farouk had 8500 rare coins in his collection, I can't help but wonder how much this collection would be worth today!

P.S: King Farouk's anniversary is next month, till then every Monday we'll talk about one of magnificent collections!


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