Early US gold coins, both government and private issues, highlight the offerings in Heritage Auctions’ 2013 March 21 - 22 & 24 US Coin Signature Auction, to take place at their world headquarters in Dallas. This auction is now open for bidding at HA.com/coins.
Gold issues from the beginning of the Mint era always catch collectors' attention, and the outstanding examples in this auction show why. An 1801 eagle with stunning prooflike contrast exemplifies the offerings. The spectacular eye appeal of this Choice example will undoubtedly attract bidders interested in assembling the finest gold type set. NGC has only graded two finer examples of this date.
A 1806 half eagle, with a Round Top 6, is, at MS65, one of only three examples of this variety to be certified as a Gem by either major grading service. While type aficionados will undoubtedly be pursuing this coin as well, the Round Top 6 variety's listing in the Red Book will likely expand this coin's appeal beyond just type collectors.
Christopher Bechtler operated a private mint in Rutherford County, North Carolina in the 1830s and 1840s and issued gold coins from the abundant supply of gold then found in that area. His crudely designed but well-received output included coins of $1, $2.50, and $5, and he was in fact the first issuer of gold dollar coins in the United States. These coins were marked as either (North) Carolina or Georgia gold, depending on the origin of the metal provided to him. Our Dallas auction contains a rare variety of one of his Georgia issues, minted between 1837 and 1842. Like all of his Georgia issues, this is a half eagle, but it is distinguished by a colon after the G in 128 G(rains). Heritage catalogers are aware of only six examples of this variety to have crossed the auction block in the last 30 years or so. This piece is graded AU55 by PCGS, with bright luster visible around the legends.