Bonhams to offer Morgan Dollars And British Commonwealth Sovereigns from a private northern California collection and the Estate of Maria Helen Smith

Bonhams is pleased to announce two significant collections to be offered during our May 27, 2012 Rare Coins and Medals Auctions in Los Angeles. The auction house is privileged to be offering nearly 600 gold sovereigns of Great Britain and other commonwealth countries such as Australia, South Africa and Canada from the Estate of television and business pioneer, Maria Helen Smith. The coins are primarily of Edward VII and George V, and are notable for their overall superb state of preservation, as they have been in private hands for decades. Estimates range from $400 to over $1,000 per coin, and will be of notable interest to collectors of British and British Commonwealth coinage.

Paul Song, Director of the Rare Coins and Banknotes Department at Bonhams, states, "Bonhams is delighted to have been entrusted with these two disparate collections that have both been off the market between 30-50 years. They will be eagerly sought after by buyers in the United States, United Kingdom and abroad."

In the fall of 2009, Bonhams was pleased to offer property from the Estate of Maria Helen Smith during the auctions of Classic California: Important Motorcycles, Motorcars and Related Memorabilia and Sunset Estate as well as a single-owner sale of furniture and decorative arts. The Los Angeles-based sales brought more than $3 million dollars to become several of the company's most successful auctions to date.

From an Estate of a Northern California Private Collector, Bonhams will also be offering a collection of several hundred Morgan and Peace Dollars, the majority of which were collected for their pristine, mirror-like surfaces. Called "early strike" or "DMPL Dollars" by many, the coins are notable for their similarity to brilliant proof coins of the same years. These coins, from 1878 through 1921, will range in value from $100-$3,000, with many of them featuring original tags or labels of purchase from the 1970's.

The illustrated auction catalogue for the sale will be available online for review and purchase in the weeks preceding the sale at For more information about the department, please visit

New York Preview: by appointment only

Los Angeles Preview: May 25-26, 2012

Auction: May 27, 2012

Press Contact:
Jannelle Grigsby
(310) 567-7990


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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