Rarities close to broaching major price barriers at FUN sale

Proof 1884 Trade dollar at $998,750; 1927-D $20 at $1,997,500
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Published : 01/15/14
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Two coins came extremely close to breaking substantial price barriers during Heritage Auctions’ Jan. 9 Platinum Night sale.

An 1884 Trade dollar in Professional Coin Grading Service Proof 65 with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker brought just close to $1 million, selling for $998,750.

It’s the third-finest certified example of just 10 that are known to collectors today. Like the Proof 1885 Trade dollar — of which just five are known — it’s a classic U.S. rarity. The same coin sold at a 2005 Heritage auction for $603,750 and in a pre-sale press release Heritage said it expected the dollar to bring $600,000.

The issue is cloaked in mystery as both the Proof 1884 and 1885 Trade dollars were known only by rumors until they surfaced in the estate of Philadelphia coin dealer William K. Idler, who died in 1901.

Nearly cracking $2 million was a 1927-D Saint-Gaudens gold $20 double eagle in NGC MS-66 that realized $1,997,500.

It is considered the rarest regular-issue 20th century U.S. coin and is one of around a dozen examples known (of which four are housed in museum collections). Most of the original mintage of 180,000 coins was likely melted after Franklin Roosevelt’s famous gold recall in 1933.

Per Heritage’s roster, it was previously offered in David Akers’ auction of the Dr. Thaine B. Brice Collection, then-graded PCGS MS-65. It realized $577,500 at that May 1998 sale. ■

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