From a million dollars paid for an early American large cent to $4.5
million paid for the first gold coin struck for the young United
States, the market for high-quality, historic U.S. rare coins set
another record for numismatic auctions in 2014.
The overall U.S. rare coin market was estimated at about $5 billion,
and a dozen coins sold for $1 million or more each at public auctions
in 2014, according to a year-end tabulation by the Professional
The PNG is a nonprofit organization composed of many of the
country's top rare coin and paper money dealers.
"The prices realized for U.S. coins sold at major public
auctions in 2014 totaled nearly $536 million, surpassing 2013's record
of nearly $393 million. Several important collections will be offered
at auctions in 2015, and I anticipate we'll again see record prices
for so-called 'trophy coins' that combine historic significance,
rarity and superb condition," said PNG President Terry Hanlon.
"We estimate the overall coin market in the U.S. at about $5
billion in 2014. That includes auctions and private transactions made
at coin shows, by mail order, online and at coin stores, but does not
include numismatic bullion items or the modern coins sold directly by
the United States
Mint," explained Hanlon.
"In the second half of the year, there was some softness in
prices for relatively 'common' coins as gold and silver prices
dropped, but the market for truly high-quality, historic rare U.S.
coins continued to do quite well," he said.
These are the 12 U.S. rare coins purchased by winning bidders for $1
million or higher in 2014, and the auction companies that sold them:
- 1787 Brasher Doubloon with designer Ephraim Brasher's
"EB" punchmark on the eagle's wing, graded by Numismatic
Guaranty Corporation (NGC) as Mint State 63, $4,582,500 (Heritage
- 1913 Liberty Head nickel, NGC Proof 64,
$3,290,000 (Heritage Auctions).
- 1927 Denver Mint
Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle ($20 denomination gold coin), NGC Mint
State 66, $1,997,500 (Heritage Auctions).
- 1804 Draped Bust
Dollar Class III type, NGC Proof 63, $1,880,000 (Stack's Bowers
- 1861 "Paquet Reverse" Double Eagle,
graded by Professional
Coin Grading Service (PCGS) Mint State 61, $1,645,000
- 1792 Pattern Cent (Judd-1, Pollock-1),
NGC Mint State 63+, $1,410,000 (Heritage Auctions).
silver Continental Dollar, "CURRENCY" and "EG
FECIT" variety, NGC Mint State 63, $1,410,000 (Heritage
- 1927-D Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, PCGS Mint State
63, $1,292,500 (Heritage Auctions).
- 1797 Half Dollar
(Overton-101a) PCGS Secure Mint State 65+ PCGS Secure, $1,292,500
- 1792 Half Disme (an early spelling of
"dime") (Judd-7, Pollock-7 variety) PCGS Secure Specimen
67, $1,292,500 (Heritage Auctions).
- 1794 Half Cent PCGS
Mint State 67 red and brown color, $1,150,000 (Ira and Larry
Goldberg Coins & Collectibles).
- 1811 Half Cent,
PCGS Mint State 66 red and brown, $1,121,250 (Ira and Larry Goldberg
Coins & Collectibles).
The auction companies responding to the PNG questionnaire
about their 2014 auctions of United States rare coins were Bonham's, David Lawrence
Rare Coins, GreatCollections Coin Auctions, Heritage
Auctions, Ira and Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Legend Rare Coin Auctions, Scotsman Coin and
Jewelry, and Stack's Bowers Galleries.
All prices include the buyer's premium, if any, to reflect
the actual total prices paid by the winning bidders. The PNG survey
did not include 2014 auctions of paper money or coins produced by
other countries ("world coins"), two areas of the numismatic
marketplace that also experienced record prices for many items.
With the continuing trend of high prices for high-quality,
historic rare coins, Hanlon cautioned: "We have an important
saying in the numismatic marketplace. If you don't know rare coins,
you'd better know your rare coin dealer."
Founded in 1955, the Professional Numismatists Guild is
composed of many of the country's top rare coin and paper money
dealers. PNG member-dealers must adhere to a strict code of ethics in
the buying and selling of numismatic merchandise. A complete listing
of PNG member-dealers is available online.
For a copy of "The Pleasure of Numismatics," an
informative, 10-page illustrated educational booklet about collecting
rare coins, paper money, tokens and medals, send $1 to: Professional
Numismatists Guild, 28441 Rancho California Road, Suite 106, Temecula,
For additional information about the Professional
Numismatists Guild, visit online or telephone PNG headquarters in Temecula,
Calif., at 951-587-8300.
More from CoinWorld.com:
are they going to open the Boston time capsule and see what's inside?
Trade dollar series remains one of the most heavily counterfeited
among U.S. coins
City Mint coins unwanted when first struck but now they are wildly popular
States Mint to offer 1-ounce silver Proof 2015-W American Eagle
dollar beginning Jan. 2
Can a Modern commemorative $1 outshine a 1907 High
Keep up with all of CoinWorld.com's news and insights by signing
up for our free eNewsletters, liking
us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter. We're also on Instagram!