Heritage reports record-setting 2014 fueled by $395 million from coin auctions, company’s ‘heart and soul'

CEO attributes growth to the special crop of coins that hit the market and the passionate collectors out to get them
By , Heritage Auctions
Published : 01/05/15
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The following is a release from Heritage Auctions:

Heritage Auctions posted its "best ever" year in 2014—and its fifth straight year of growth—with more than $969 million in total prices realized across its auction business (more than $623 million) as well as its Private Treaty sales (more than $345 million).

The most significant growth was seen in Heritage's continued command of the rare coin market with U.S. Coins leading the way with more than $334 million brought in across all its auction venues. This is $115 million more than the same category posted in 2013, when totals reached approximately $218 million. That $334 million figure represents more than 62 percent of the Professional Numismatists Guild's (PNG) recently released $536 million total overall sales of rare coins sold at all reporting auction houses.

"As a company we continue to be impressed with what we see across all 39 categories we specialize in, culminating in our best ever year,” Heritage CEO Steve Ivy said, "but coins have always been our heart and soul. The growth in 2014 is a combination of great coins coming onto the market and passionate collectors dedicated to obtaining them."

A tremendous year was also had by Heritage's World & Ancient Coins category, which grew its 2013 total auction sales of $36.9 million by 65 percent to more than $61 million, the most significant growth seen in any category of the company for the year.

"The popularity of World & Ancient Coins has skyrocketed in the last few years," said Ivy. "Between the global reach of Heritage's Internet platform and the use of reliable third-party grading you have a formula for tremendous expansion, which is exactly what we saw."

Heritage's Fine & Rare Wine category finished 2014 with the category's best year yet, finishing with $12.3 million in total prices realized—about $5 million more than the category posted in 2013—while steady growth was seen in Heritage's Fine & Decorative Arts department's record year, with a total reaching almost $50 million, led by more than $26 million in Fine Art sales across the AmericanEuropean and Modern & Contemporary categories.

The vintage luxury handbags re-sale market, where Heritage is the undisputed leader, showed reliable growth in 2014 as collectors continued flocking to the market for high-end Hermès Luxury Accessories in the company's Signature Auctions and Internet-Only auctions, investing more than $9.3 million over the course of the year, significantly improving on 2013's record $7.7 million total.

Another bright spot in Heritage's year was the $8.2 million debut of its Luxury Real Estate category, the first of its kind introduced by a major auction house. Buyers and sellers both responded to the streamlined, transparent process of the auctions and solid prices were realized on the properties that Heritage moved across the auction block.

Heritage also saw steady year-over-year growth in several of its most important and industry-leading collectibles categories, including $31.2 million in Comics & Comic Art, $29.7 million in Vintage Sports memorabilia, and $8.5 million in Movie Posters. Heritage remains far and away the leading auction house in these three important categories.

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