US Coins

Goldbergs prepare Pre-Long Beach auction

Three appealing Mint State coins from the San Francisco Mint are among the highlights of Ira and Larry Goldberg’s Sept. 3 to 5 Pre-Long Beach auction. 

A 1913-S Barber quarter dollar graded Mint State 67+ by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. is one of the finest known examples of this popular series key with a low mintage of just 40,000 coins. 

The offered quarter dollar has a prominent die crack through the 3 in the date that connects the bust to the rim. As Ron Guth on PCGS CoinFacts suggests, “Given the low mintage of this date, the crack may have been the reason for the early retirement of the dies.” Nearly the entire low mintage entered circulation and most examples are well-circulated — Heritage noted that the average grade of certified examples hovers around Fine.


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The cataloger adds, “Having a massive cornerstone like the present offering will certainly put any specialist high on the map of numismatic stardom.” 

The coin carries an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. For reference, one graded MS-67 by Professional Coin Grading Service and bearing a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker brought $70,500 at Heritage’s June 23, 2014, sale of the Gene Gardner Collection, where the cataloger theorized that some of the high-end Mint State 1913-S quarter dollars surviving today may have been purchased directly by collectors from the San Francisco Mint. 

1883-S Morgan dollar

Another S-Mint highlight is an 1883-S Morgan dollar graded MS-65 by PCGS that has a narrower estimate of $28,000 to $30,000, though the cataloger observes, “Prices are all over the map for historic offerings of an 1883-S in gem, so what it will bring won’t be known until the underbidder gives up at this auction.”

A look at auction records where examples sold in the last few years confirms this wide variance. These include a colorful PCGS MS-65 dollar that brought just under $29,375 at a September 2015 Legend auction and a brilliant and nearly untoned PCGS MS-65 dollar with a green CAC sticker from the Coronet Collection that sold for $52,875 at a June 2015 Legend auction. More recently, Sotheby’s sold a PCGS MS-65 1883-S Morgan dollar for $50,000 at its May 2018 auction of the Ralph and Lois Stone collection in New York. 

Most Mint State examples of this famed condition rarity show substantial bag marks and generally poor eye appeal. Beyond the gold and green toning on both lustrous sides, the catalog description for the offered example notes, “The strike is sharp on all devices, and what makes this coin so special is the quality of the surfaces,” calling the coin “truly amazing, and clearly of gem quality.” 

1857-S Coronet gold double eagle

The recent announcement that more gold coins recovered from the SS Central America shipwreck will be sold has brought increased attention to the coins marketed nearly two decades ago from “The Ship of Gold.” The quintessential coin from the treasure is the 1857-S Coronet gold $20 double eagle, and examples — especially with their original PCGS gold foil label — remain popular today with numismatists and noncollectors alike. 

One in the auction graded PCGS MS-65 shows the Bold S Mint mark on the reverse and is housed in its original gold-foil PCGS label holder. The CAC-stickered double eagle is estimated at $14,000 to $15,000 when it crosses the auction block on Sept. 3.

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