Overall the rare coin market feels healthy right now. Increased mainstream attention to gold is bringing people into local coin shops and shows, and investors uneasy about volatility in both stocks and precious metals could easily gravitate toward collectible assets like rare coins.
Though not as valuable as its peers in the Golden Gate Collection, this gold aureus of Nero may offer the most character. Well-traveled, worn and relatively common, this piece was still held in high regard at last month's ANA show, where it realized a tick over $2,000.
While Roman coins depicting men formed the majority of the Golden Gate Collection, some strong and beautiful women were also represented, including Faustina Junior, daughter of Antoninus Pius and wife of Marcus Aurelius.
The Golden Gate Collection of Roman Gold Aurei, a group of 40 coins spanning a century during the peak of the Roman Imperial period from A.D. 60 to 160, reflects “a time when the Roman Empire reached its greatest... artistic influence." The collection's unique gold aureus of Hadrian shows the river god Nilus reclining, half draped, on the reverse, relaxing with one arm...
A 1921-S Walking Liberty half dollar graded Mint State 65 by Professional Coin Grading Service topped bidding at Bonhams’ Sept. 5 Coins and Medals auction in Los Angeles, selling for $88,920.
This lot was the most affordable coin in The Blue Ocean Collection, with the runner-up being a Proof 68 Deep Cameo 1955 half dollar with CAC sticker that sold for $4,465.
Grading service population figures confirm this rarity: the pictured example is the only Proof 69 Cameo example graded by PCGS, with just one Deep Cameo piece in this grade certified.
This coin is the finest Deep Cameo example certified by PCGS, and, as Heritage observes, “This could very well be the pinnacle of collecting for an advanced Franklin half dollar proof specialist.”
Regarding the issue in general, the cataloger of the first D. Brent Pogue auction observed, “Beyond its status as the key date among all issues of the denomination, the 1802 half dime is a classic"
Problem-free is a relative term when applied to well-circulated examples of the 1802 Draped Bust half dime. This one, graded Very Good 8 by PCGS, is described as “Outwardly attractive,” with both sides “richly toned in a blend of original dove and charcoal gray.”