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(8 September 2010) A rare and highly valuable Sammy Marks Tickey coin is currently being offered on the local online marketplace and auction site, bidorbuy.co.za.
The starting bid for the 1898 ZAR Sammy Marks Golden Tickey coin is R1.5 million. There is no reserve, which means that the starting bid is the minimum that the seller would be willing to accept.
The Sammy Marks Tickey always attracts a lot of attention from collectors. Sammy Marks, a Lithuanian Jew who came to Cape Town in 1868 to eke a living as a peddler, went on to become a leading Transvaal mining magnate and one of President Kruger's closest friends. In 1898, Marks was allowed to use the state mint for a day. He struck 215 golden tickeys (three penny pieces that are normally made of silver) as keepsakes for his relatives and friends, including President Kruger and members of the Volksraad (People’s Council).
Only a small fraction of the original mintage seems to exist today. From time to time, replicas of the Sammy Marks Tickeys appear locally and internationally. These have been manufactured by jewellers and placed in jewellery, with no claims to authenticity. In any case, the placing of any coin into an item of jewellery destroys its numismatic value.
The coin being auctioned on bidorbuy has been graded by PCGS, one of the two largest and most respected grading companies. The grading of MS-63 denotes an uncirculated or mint state coin, close to the state of the original at the time of minting. These are the most valuable coins to have in any collection, second only to specimen (SP) and proof (PR) coins. Uncirculated coins are graded with ten different grades, with Mint State 60 being the lowest and Mint State 70 the highest.
The bidorbuy 1898 Sam Marks Tickey is listed as a discreet auction, which means that the bidder’s user name will not appear publicly. This is normal practice on the site when large amounts of money are involved.
The coin is being offered by EWAAN Galleries, a seller with 100% positive ratings and the top bidorbuy seller for 2009. The same seller recently sold on bidorbuy a 1902 South African ZAR Veldpond for R450,000.