The following post is pulled from Coin World editor Steve
Roach’s Market Analysis column in the Sept. 8 issue.
Breaking down the massive series of auctions by Heritage and Stack’s
Bowers at the recent American Numismatic Association convention is a
massive undertaking. This week, gold coin specialist Doug Winter helps
by sharing his notes on three coins that he viewed and bid on in the auctions.
Doug’s most notable purchase was an 1861 Coronet, Paquet Reverse
gold $20 double eagle that brought $1.645 million at Heritage’s Aug.
7, 2014, auction. But of course not all of his bids were for
RELATED: More than $50 million in U.S. coins sold during
Heritage, Stack's Bowers auctions at ANA convention
He explained his process for evaluating major auctions, which he
tries to do before a show starts. “For me this means the following: my
special coin lamp, music played loud over headphones, no distractions
and plenty of time to take notes on the coins I’m most interested in,”
he said. “I can’t do this at a coin show as, by then, my nerves are
frazzled and I can’t properly concentrate. And when I don’t pay full
attention, I make mistakes. In my level of dealing, a small mistake
can equate to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, so I
want to be cautious, careful and critical.”
analysis of one of the three coins:
Right on the money
This 1804 Capped Bust, Small 8 Over Large 8 $5 half
eagle was graded About Uncirculated 55 by Professional Coin Grading
Service with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker. It brought
$12,925 when offered Aug. 6, 2014, as part of Stack’s Bowers’ auction
of the Dr. James A. Ferrendelli Collection.
It last sold
at a 2011 Heritage auction for $12,650.
The variety is
notable for the obvious use of two different “8” punches in the date.
The auction firm provided an estimated mintage for the variety of
7,500 to 12,500 coins with just 100 to 150 surviving today.
Doug said that while he’s put the kibosh on many other examples
of this coin due to quality issues, after examining this coin in
person — described by the auctioneer as having “Pleasing orange-gold
hues [with] a dash of copper mixed into the patina of both sides” — he
knew that this coin would be perfect for a client who had been
searching for a great example of this coin for nearly two
Doug adds, “I told him I would gladly bid $10,000
to stock it in my inventory and won it at that bid. The collector
texted me about 15 seconds after the lot had closed. When I told him
the coin was his, I got back a short but rewarding text saying
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