Eckfeldt gold medals return to auction block in June offering

Goldberg sale includes pieces pedigreed to ‘first family of the U.S. Mint’
By , Coin World
Published : 05/17/17
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Gold medals and supporting presidential documentation pedigreed to The Eckfeldt Collection from the “first family of the U.S. Mint” anchors Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles Inc.’s June 4 sale of United States coins and paper money.

The lot in the firm’s Pre-Long Beach Auction carries an estimate of $100,000.

Among the other featured lots in the auction are an 1839 Coronet, Silly Head cent counterstamped for Chile; a 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain, AMERICA, With Periods cent; a 1794 Liberty Cap, Starred Reverse cent; and a 1795 Flowing Hair dollar with silver plug.


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The June 4 auction also features The Manuel Ahumada Collection of Large Cents 1816–1839 and the Gene Heard Collection of Red Book Large Cents 1793–1857.

The Pre-Long Beach Auction, to be held beginning at 10 a.m. Pacific Time in the numismatic firm’s galleries at 11400 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 800, in Los Angeles, comprises a total of 1,343 lots, the first 681 strictly being early U.S. copper pieces.

Remaining lots comprise small cents through miscellaneous gold, and include U.S. pattern coins and U.S. paper money.

A buyer’s fee of 17.5 percent will be added to the final closing hammer price of each lot won.

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For more information on the sale or to purchase a print catalog, visit the firm's website.

Eckfeldt legacy

The Eckfeldt family’s legacy dates back to the 1790s with John Jacob Eckfeldt, who was a contractor to both the Mint of North America and the first U.S. Mint and was involved in the creation of coinage for the American Colonies before independence. 

The Eckfeldt lot comprises:

➤ A possibly unique .900 fine gold 50-millimeter 1839 medal presented to John Adam Eckfeldt, known professionally as Adam Eckfeldt, upon his retirement as the second chief coiner of the United States Mint. The medal is graded Proof 62 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

➤ 1925 .900 fine gold 50-millimeter medal presented for 60 years of Mint service to Jacob B. Eckfeldt, Adam’s grandson. NGC Proof 66.

➤ Jacob B. Eckfeldt’s gold 1930 retirement gold medal as assayer. 55 millimeters by 40 millimeters. NGC Proof 67.

➤ 1803 Capped Bust, Heraldic Eagle gold $10 eagle, obtained by member of Eckfeldt family in 1807. NGC Mint State 61.

➤ Three original presidential appointment documents: one, dated February 1814, signed by President James Madison and Secretary of State James Monroe, appointing Adam Eckfeldt as chief coiner; an April 30, 1832, letter signed by President Andrew Jackson and Secretary of State Edward Livingston appointing Jacob R. Eckfeldt (Adam’s son and father of Jacob B.) as assayer; and a Dec. 21, 1881, document signed by President Chester A. Arthur and Acting Secretary of State Frederick T. Frelinghuysen.

Chile counterstamp

The 1839 Coronet, Silly Head cent is attributed as the Newcomb 9 variety in United States Copper Cents 1816–1857 by Howard Newcomb. The coin, certified by Professional Coin Grading Service as PCGS Genuine, Extremely Fine Details, Damaged, carries an estimate of $1,000.

The coin is counterstamped with a government validation stamp from the city of Valparaiso, Chile.

The stamp appears as an 8-millimeter dentillated circle in which are illustrated three volcanic mountains with VALP inscribed below.

The coin is from the Manuel Ahumada Collection.

1793 Chain cent

The 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain, AMERICA, With Periods cent is graded PCGS VF-25. The coin carries an estimate of $25,000.

The large cent variety is attributed as Sheldon 4 in Penny Whimsy, earlier Early American Cents, by William H. Sheldon.

The cent is from the first year of large cent production at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. It is part of the Gene Heard Collection.

1794 Starred Reverse

The 1794 Liberty Cap, Starred Reverse cent, S-48, has 94 single, small, five-pointed stars positioned between the reverse dentils.

The coin is graded PCGS Fine 12.

The auction firm places an estimate of $20,000 on the coin, which is also part of the Heard Collection.

1795 Silver Plug dollar

The 1795 Flowing Hair dollar with a silver plug is attributed as Bolender 7 in United States Early Silver Dollars from 1794 to 1803 by M.H. Bolender.

The coin offered in the Goldberg sale is graded and encapsulated About Uncirculated 50 by PCGS.

It is believed that before striking, each planchet was weighed to make sure it conformed to statutory standards. Any planchets that were underweight were pierced and a silver plug of proper weight was inserted to bring the total weight into legal tolerances.

Evidence of the silver plug can be seen on the obverse on Liberty’s cheek and reverse on the eagle’s breast feathers.

The coin carries an estimate of $45,000 to $50,000. 

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