Arbitrade-linked gold hands in limbo

  • Golden artefacts: gold hand casts of Nelson Mandela, once linked with Arbitrade, have still to find a new home following an auction in New York in March (Photograph by Guernsey’s)

    Golden artefacts: gold hand casts of Nelson Mandela, once linked with Arbitrade, have still to find a new home following an auction in New York in March (Photograph by Guernsey’s)


Pure gold casts of Nelson Mandela’s hands that were once linked with Arbitrade, have still to find a new home despite being put up for auction in New York City in March.

The collection of four casts failed to find a buyer for the set during the auction, although there were successful phone bids for two of the hands, which sold for $2.3 million and $2.25 million respectively.

However, it has now been reported that after the auction finished the successful bidder for the two casts immediately offered to buy the other two, at a total cost of $9 million for the set.

Five months later, the unidentified buyer has yet to make the payment, according to a report last week by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Auction house Guernsey’s held the auction at Jazz at Lincoln Centre, in New York.

The casts were made in South Africa in 2003 and Malcolm Duncan, who bought them that year, agreed in 2018 to sell them to Arbitrade Inc for $10 million. Arbitrade, a crypto company, acquired Victoria Hall, on Victoria Street, for its global headquarters the same year.

Arbitrade is no longer involved with the gold hands. Last June, it assigned its right to purchase the casts to Sion Trading FZE, a company in the United Arab Emirates that once acted as its gold procurement agent.

According to a court document earlier this year, Mr Duncan still held one of the casts and claimed to be awaiting a final instalment payment of about $1.4 million for one of the other casts.

Mr Duncan told Bloomberg Businessweek there is another potential buyer for the gold hands if the Guernsey’s sale never happens.

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Published Aug 4, 2020 at 12:00 pm (Updated Aug 4, 2020 at 12:00 pm)

Arbitrade-linked gold hands in limbo

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