February was a busy month for coin auctions, with both Larry &
Ira Goldberg Auctioneers and Heritage Auctions holding major sales
prior to and during California’s Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Sports
Collectible Expo, held Feb. 7 to 9.
In total, the two firms’ February Long Beach auctions realized more
than $28 million, allaying some doubts in the coin market about the
viability of the thrice-yearly Long Beach Expo as a successful auction platform.
Leading the Goldberg auctions was the Paul Gerrie Collection of
Large Cents, 1793 to 1814, which realized $3,681,668 across 83 lots.
In total Goldberg’s various pre-Long Beach auctions of U.S., world and
ancient material realized just over $18.3 million with a strong 93
percent sell-through rate by lot.
Among the highlights of the Gerrie Collection were multiple 1793
cents. A 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain, AMERICA cent graded Mint State 62
brown by Professional Coin Grading Service brought $402,500 and a 1793
Liberty Cap cent graded PCGS About Uncirculated 53 realized $310,500
against an estimate of $100,000 and up. The collection’s finest 1793
Flowing Hair, Wreath cent, graded PCGS AU-58, brought $43,700.
Heritage’s Long Beach auctions realized more than $9.7 million with
an 88.3 percent sell through rate by lot.
The Heritage auction showed that the market for top modern rarities
continues to sizzle. For example, a 1986 American Eagle silver bullion
coin graded PCGS MS-70 realized $21,150 and a 1992-D Lincoln cent of
the Close AM design (a distinct and rare reverse subtype) graded MS-65
red by PCGS brought $13,512.50.
Exceptional rare coins from ancient to modern continue to bring
strong prices at auction, perhaps buttressed by recent mainstream
attention that has been paid to the rare coin market in the wake of
the $10 million sale of a 1794 Flowing Hair dollar.
For those who missed the chance to take home a great large cent from
the Gerrie Collection, Goldberg is planning to offer “The Missouri
Cabinet,” which it touts as “the only complete collection of U.S. half
cents ever formed” with “every business strike variety and every proof
variety” included. The collection has around 300 coins, most being the
finest known, and will be offered in February 2014. ■