Pattern coinage collected by Eric P. Newman, legendary numismatic researcher and founding member of the Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS), will be sold April 25 at the CSNS Annual Convention's Official Auction, presented by Heritage Auctions in Schaumburg, IL.
Items being sold are from the extensive collection of the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society and have been assembled over a period of 90 years. Proceeds of the sale of all items will be used exclusively for the benefit of other not-for-profit institutions for public purposes and also for supplementing the Society's own museum operations and scholarly research efforts.
"It is a great honor for us to offer this collection," said Jim Halperin, Co-Chairman of Heritage. "Eric P. Newman is a titan of numismatics and one of the hobby's greatest treasures. This sale will help many worthy causes, including Eric's tradition of adding to our knowledge about the history of money."
Through books and countless articles for numismatic periodicals, he has shared his knowledge with several generations of collectors. The centenarian Newman remains active in numismatic research, personally and as a founder of his eponymous society. He and his wife of more than 70 years, Evelyn, established the Newman Money Museum on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis; Newman attended Washington University's School of Law, receiving his J.D. in 1935, and practiced law for more than 50 years.
Though Newman is most famous for his work with early American coins and currency, he also assembled an extensive pattern collection. One of the rarest offerings is a 1915 Panama-Pacific half dollar without "S" mintmark, the Judd-1961 variety struck in silver, graded PR65 by NGC. A companion piece, the Judd-1962, is identical but struck in copper and is graded PR66+ Red and Brown by NGC.
An 1879 "quintuple stella" pattern has the proposed coin's weight and composition spelled out between stars on the obverse in the style of the four dollar patterns of the same year. The Newman example of the very rare Judd-1644 variety, struck in copper, is graded PR64+ Red and Brown by NGC.
An intriguing 1877 pattern, Judd-1506 in silver, has the portrait of the famous Morgan dollar on a half-dollar-size coin, while the reverse has an eagle framed by a seven-sided shield and a wreath around. The Newman coin, PR67 NGC, is the single finest certified example of its extremely rare type.
In addition to the pattern coins, a handful of other selections from The Eric P. Newman Collection will appear in the auction. Among these, the only Territorial gold coin deserves special mention. This coin, an 1852 Humbert ten dollar piece, was struck in San Francisco by the United States Assayer two years before the opening of the San Francisco Mint. Graded MS68 NGC, it far outclasses any other specimen of its kind ever certified. The best prior result at a major grading service was MS62. Remarkably, it also is finer than any other 19th century Territorial gold coin recognized by NGC or PCGS.