US Coins

Holed Seated Liberty dollar from Carson City Mint sells for $7K

This 1873-CC Seated Liberty dollar graded Very Fine Details, Holed and Plugged sold for the same amount as a problem-free About Good 3 example: $7,050.

Images courtesy Heritage Auctions.

The following post is pulled from Coin World editor Steve Roach’s Market Analysis column in the Sept. 29 issue.

An oft-repeated adage in collecting is to “buy the best coin you can afford.” To many, this modus operandi excludes problem coins. 

Among the most stigmatized problem coins in the marketplace are coins that have been holed and subsequently plugged. 

But a collector who is willing to overlook the flaws of a problem coin can get a coin with substantially more detail for the same amount of money. 

Alternately, one can buy a rarity that he or she otherwise could not afford.

Coin World is profiling three holed and plugged coins sold at Heritage’s recent Long Beach Expo auctions, Sept. 4 to 6. Here’s one:

The coin: 1873-CC Seated Liberty dollar, Very Fine Details, Holed and Plugged

The price: $7,050

The story: A great thing about holed coins is that, often, they allow someone to get a visually handsome coin at a steep discount from what the same coin would sell for without a problem. When a hole is repaired well, the damage is often not visually intrusive. 

Such is the case with this 1873-CC Seated Liberty dollar graded by Professional Coin Grading Service as Very Fine Details, Holed and Plugged.

The mintage for the issue was a scant 2,300 pieces and many were likely later melted. It’s a well-known 19th century rarity. The repair on this example is very skillful — from the image of the coin, it is unclear where exactly the piece was holed and then repaired. 

Even the best-repaired rarities sell at a fraction of the price as their problem-free counterparts. For comparison, a problem-free VF-25 example sold for $23,500 at Heritage’s March 20 sale of the Donald E. Bently Collection. 

Conveniently for our purposes, an About Good 3 example also sold for $7,050 at a July 11 Heritage auction. 

With the prices realized at auction for a Very Fine plugged dollar and a no-problem AG-3 example being equal, it is a question of perspective for the buyer as to which coin is more desirable.

Read the rest of Steve Roach's Sept. 29 Market Analysis: 

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