July is typically a quiet month for the rare coin market as dealers
enjoy a breather, perhaps take a vacation, and prepare for August’s
American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money.
Heritage’s July 11 to 14 auction in conjunction with the summer
Florida United Numismatists show in Orlando saw nearly $10 million in
rare coins trade hands across nearly 5,000 lots.
Tiny jumps in quality continue to be separated by huge dollar
amounts as seen by a 1937 Walking Liberty half dollar graded Mint
State 68 by Professional Coin Grading Service, with a green Certified
Acceptance Corp. sticker, that brought $35,250.
It was described as an incredibly preserved coin that could be
mistaken for a Proof and was one of three comparable PCGS coins and
the only one with a green CAC sticker. A year ago Heritage sold an
MS-67+ example of the issue with a green CAC sticker for $8,812.50,
and “normal” MS-67 examples sell at the $1,300 level. Again, proof of
what a difference a single grading point can make.
At the other end of the quality spectrum was one of the most
affordable gold $4 Stellas in today’s marketplace. An 1879 Flowing
Hair Stella graded by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. as Extremely Fine
details, Plugged, Harshly Cleaned, would not win any beauty contests
but serves as a solid “filler” for the type and brought $47,000. As
the cataloger aptly wrote, “For many collectors who would otherwise be
shut out of owning this famous issue, all the problems taken together
are not enough to wipe away this truth: it is still a Stella.”
At Heritage’s Jan. 4, 2012, FUN auction, the same coin brought
$32,200, with the new price representing a substantial increase. It
was offered in the same NGC holder both times.
Modern coins continued to do well. A handsome chocolate brown
About Uncirculated 58 (again with a green CAC sticker) 1969-S Lincoln,
Doubled Die Obverse cent realized $28,200.
An NGC MS-70 1999 American Eagle silver bullion coin brought
$18,800. Perhaps surprisingly, while NGC has 90 MS-70 examples of this
issue included in its population report, PCGS has graded none MS-70. A
2000 NGC MS-70 silver American Eagle — one of 200 graded perfect by
NGC — brought $8,812.50 while two comparable examples in the same
auction each sold for $5,875. ■