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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Bonhams Appoints Paul Inho Song as Director Coins and Banknotes

Paul Inho Song joined Bonhams & Butterfields in July 2009 as Director, Coins and Banknotes Department. His primary responsibilities include business getting, appraisals and the day-to-day management of the newly formed Coins and Banknotes Department, which will hold three sales annually in Los Angeles and New York City.

Song has more than 20 years of experience in numismatics with a special expertise in appraising and selling 19th and 20th century American coinage. Over the course of his career, Song has been privileged to participate in the sale of over $250-million internationally.

Amongst his professional highlights, he has made one of the most significant discoveries in the field of American numismatics this century. In 1992, Song unearthed an extremely rare high relief of the 1907 Double Eagle designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The coin was deemed one of the greatest rarities of 20th Century by the numismatic community. Subsequently in 1995, Song discovered yet another example of this previously unique variety, which was sold at auction for $242,000 USD in 1995. He is also credited with the sale of a pristine example of this Ultra High Relief from The Sam and Rie Bloomfield Collection of
Highly Important Gold Coins for $825,000 USD in 1996, a world auction record at the time for any gold coin.

Song began his numismatics career in 1988 at an international auction house in New York City as a junior cataloguer. By 1990, he had organized his first sale and had been appointed Department Head within two years. In 1994 he was made Vice President. During his time with the department, Song played an integral role in organizing some of the most exciting sales to come to auction in recent years.

Highlights from his tenure included one of the world’s most valuable collection of ancient coins ever to be offered at auction, formed by Nelson Bunker and his brother, William Herbert Hunt; Merrill Lynch’s limited partnership – The Athena Fund Collection of Greek and Roman Coins; The Uruguayan Treasure of the Rio de la Plata, sold by the instruction of the country of Uruguay; The Sam and Rie Bloomfield Collection of Highly Important Gold Coins, sold to benefit the
Bloomfield Foundation in San Diego, California; The John and Rebecca Moores Collection of Important United States Coinage, sold to benefit The Scripps Research Institute; and The famed Treasures from the SS Central America, one of the most valuable salvaged shipwrecks in history. By 1999, Song was actively involved in the development of a joint venture between the auction house and an online web giant, and implemented online rare coin auctions.

In 2001, Song was hired by the West Coast office of an online auction house with a focus in coins. He took on additional responsibilities with the further expansion of the brand and corporate acquisitions of two additional firms, which included consolidation of the business from New York to Southern California in 2003.

Most recently, Song held the position as Senior Vice President of Auctions at a California-based auction house with a focus in rare coins, jewelry and timepieces. During this time he was responsible for business development, infrastructure and development of new auction categories. The highlights during his tenure included the implementation of jewelry and timepiece auctions, as well as the sale of
The Good River Collection featuring more than $10-million of United States coinage sold to benefit the State of Ohio pension plan.

Song holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a Masters in Business Administration from New York University, Stern School of Management in International Finance and Marketing. In addition, he is graduate of Sotheby’s American Works of Art course, New York, New York. Song and his family currently reside in Los Angeles, California.