The 1873-CC Seated Liberty, No Arrows dime broached the $1 million level for the first time when it was sold during Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ auction of the Battle Born Collection Aug. 9.
The unique dime realized $1.84 million with the 15 percent buyer’s fee during the official auction of the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia.
The coin sold to an anonymous buyer who wished not to disclose any details of his collecting habits, according to Brian Kendrella, director of operations for Spectrum Group, parent company to Stack’s Bowers Galleries. Kendrella placed the winning bid on behalf of the buyer, who placed his bid through Kendrella by telephone.
Bidding had opened three to four weeks previously at $1 with no reserve on the lot, reaching $950,000 by the time live bidding on the floor was opened.
The first bid on the floor, for $1 million, was placed by Nevada dealer Rusty Goe, who in July 2004 purchased the coin for $891,250. Goe also sold the coin to the anonymous owner of the Battle Born Collection.
During the Aug. 9 auction, bids then were placed, back and forth, at $100,000 increments, with Kendrella and another Stack’s Bowers representative handling phone bids. Goe dropped out after his $1.2 million bid was eclipsed. Also bidding on the floor was California dealer Kevin Lipton.
The bidding closed at $1.6 million.
Kendrella said the buyer was an “important client” of Stack’s Bowers buying “an important coin.”
The winning bidder was among several collectors who expressed interest in the unique coin in the days leading up to the Aug. 9 auction after seeing how high the pre-bidding had gone, according to Kendrella.
The coin is graded Mint State 65 Secure by Professional Coin Grading Service.
The price realized for the unique 1873-CC Seated Liberty, No Arrows dime was vastly different from the price paid for what was presumably the same coin, in the first auction appearance of a No Arrows dime. The coin realized 17 cents in that May 1878 auction, of the John Swan Randall Collection, by dealer Edward Cogan through auction house Bangs and Co. in New York City.
The first mention of the No Arrows dime in numismatic literature was in the 1878 auction.
The dime, or at least an 1873-CC Seated Liberty, No Arrows dime, made various public appearances after that sale before being sold in a private treaty transaction to collector Louis E. Eliasberg Sr. on Nov. 7, 1950, for $4,000.
Eliasberg and the owner of the Battle Born Collection are the only individuals to ever own a complete assemblage of Carson City Mint coins by subtype, date and denomination, totaling 111 pieces.
Also reported at the Stack’s Bowers website as having been sold in the Battle Born Collection auction were an 1876-CC Seated Liberty 20-cent coin, PCGS MS-64 Secure, $460,000; an 1871-CC Seated Liberty quarter dollar, PCGS MS-65 Secure, $345,000; an 1876-CC Coronet gold $5 half eagle, PCGS MS-66, $477,250; and an 1870-CC Coronet gold $20 double eagle, Numismatic Guaranty Corp. About Uncirculated 53, $345,000.
The rarity of the 1873-CC Seated Liberty, No Arrows dime results from changes to the weights of the silver dime, quarter dollar and half dollar. The Coinage Act of Feb. 12, 1873, among its many provisions, ordered a slight increase in weight for the three denominations. Arrowheads were added to either side of the date on the heavier versions of the three denominations to give them a distinctive difference in appearance from the lighter pieces.
The coining department at the Carson City Mint delivered 12,400 Seated Liberty, Without Arrows dimes, and five of them were sent to the Philadelphia Mint in compliance with the annual Assay Commission provision. According to Carson City Mint researcher Goe, of Reno, Nev., “It is believed that the only 1873-CC Seated Liberty, Without Arrows dime known to exist survived from that five-piece parcel sent” to the Philadelphia Mint. ■