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Rare British coin showing King Edward VIII before abdication sells for record US$1.3M

Rare British coin sells for CA$1.7 million
WATCH: Rare British coin sells for CA$1.7 million

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 (US$1.3 million, or almost CA$1.7 million), setting a new record for a British coin.

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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.

Fun facts about Canadian coins at the Royal Canadian Mint
Fun facts about Canadian coins at the Royal Canadian Mint

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

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“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.

Unique coins available at Royal Canadian Mint
Unique coins available at Royal Canadian Mint