$188,000, an 1879 Flowing Hair gold $4 Stella pattern piece in its
original box, a coin that had been off the market since the 1950s and
was subsequently graded Proof 65+ by Professional Coin Grading
Service, was a top lot at the auctions held before and immediately
after the Nov. 5 to 8 Whitman Coin and Collectibles Baltimore Expo by
Stack’s Bowers Galleries.
in all large auctions, while six-figure rarities may dominate
headlines, sales like the one just concluded offer many fascinating
pieces that sell at much lower price points.
is one of three that caught my eye.
1781 Libertas Americana medal, Extremely Fine, Surfaces Smoothed
Among American medals, certainly one of the most famous is the
Libertas Americana medal designed by Augustin Dupré. As the lot
description recorded, “Ranked #1 in Whitman’s 100 Greatest American
Medals and Tokens book, this piece is on every collector’s list
of most desired medals.”
This example was graded by Stack’s Bowers as having Extremely Fine
details with pleasing chocolate brown surfaces. It adds, “At first
glance it appears essentially problem free, but on closer examination,
it is apparent that the fields have been burnished, or smoothed, and
there is slight evidence of chasing within some of the legends and
around the major design elements.”
These problems made the medal more affordable than one without such
impairments and the $5,640 it brought was less than half of what an
example without smoothing might realize.