US Coins

Proof 1872 Seated Liberty half tests bidders' grading skills

A handsomely toned Proof 1872 Seated Liberty half dollar sold for $1,725 on June 29. It was one of many silver late 19th century Proof coins offered at the sale.

Images courtesy of Numismatic Auctions LLC.

For every massive coin auction presented by one of the major auction firms, there are many smaller auctioneers around the country that also have strong coin sales.

Steven L. Davis’ Michigan firm Numismatic Auctions LLC typically holds two auctions a year, and its latest summer sale took place June 29 in Okemos, Mich. Unlike many auctioneers, Davis offers the majority of his coins uncertified, letting bidders ultimately decide what a coin is worth. His latest auction offered a huge range of U.S. and world material, and literally had something for everyone and nearly every budget.

Here is one of three coins that we took note of. 

The Coin

1872 Seated Liberty half dollar, Proof


The Price


The Story

A highlight of the auction was a run of U.S. Proof coins from the second half of the 19th century. These coins were virtually all sold “raw” (meaning that they weren’t certified by a third-party grading service) and tested the grading skills of the bidders. 

This 1872 Seated Liberty half dollar was described as “Brilliant Proof” with “radiant electric blue, violet and gold peripheral toning with mostly white centers, only faint hairlines.” It was a good looking coin that will perhaps eventually find a home in a type set. 

It sold for $1,725. That price is consistent with what a high quality Proof 63 example might bring, such as one in an older-style Professional Coin Grading Service holder with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker that sold for $1,763 at Heritage’s Florida United Numismatists auction earlier this year.

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