Jay Cline’s Standing Liberty quarter dollars in January auction

Series expert's collection in several of Heritage's FUN show sales
By , Coin World
Published : 12/31/16
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Heritage’s various auctions, including its January 7 Platinum Night sale held during the Florida United Numismatists convention in Tampa, Fla., include many noteworthy collections. One significant holding offered is the Jay Cline Collection of Standing Liberty Quarter Dollars. 

Cline, known for his devotion to the series, wrote dozens of articles and several editions of his essential book Standing Liberty Quarters and was acknowledged as an expert. 

He spent 31 years operating his own coin shop, Cline’s Rare Coins in Dayton, Ohio, before moving to Palm Harbor, Fla. Cline passed away on Jan. 8, 2015, and Heritage is selling Cline’s personal collection on behalf of his wife, Vicky. 

The lots in the printed catalogs are noted by a graphic of a top hat, since, as Heritage wrote, “Recognized by all he met for his top hat and ‘the beard,’ Jay was always quick with a smile and eager to greet his many friends and associates.” Cline wrote on his website that he “began collecting coins in high school with a few Indian Head cents. His first Standing Liberty Quarter was a severely cleaned 1918-S from a friend who asked the great sum of 35¢ for the coin. He bought that piece in the early 1950’s.”

Two of Cline’s quarters — the 1916 and 1927-S coins — are included in Heritage’s Jan. 7 Platinum Night auction. Other coins from his collection will be offered earlier that day during Heritage’s Session Three U.S. coin auction, while others are included in an online session on Jan. 10. 

First year of issue

Representing the first year of issue for the Standing Liberty quarter dollar series, Cline’s 1916 Standing Liberty quarter is graded Mint State 67 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker noting quality within the grade. Both sides are enhanced by rich, satiny luster with deeper jewel colored toning on the reverse. The 1916 Standing Liberty quarter dollar is a low-mintage issue with just 52,000 struck. 

As Cline wrote in his most recent edition of Standing Liberty Quarters, “When 1916s come up at auction, the bidding is spirited and all grades are strongly supported. With a mintage this low, Full Head vs. non-Full Head is not so important on this piece.”

His example was last sold at auction in Heritage’s 2006 FUN sale where it sold for $40,250, though the firm observes, “With a Full Head Superb Gem recently garnering nearly $150,000 without a CAC endorsement, this equally pristine and visually almost comparable non-Full Head piece would be a sterling acquisition for the astute Standing Liberty quarter specialist.”

The Mint issued two main design subtypes of the Standing Liberty quarter. What is often called “Type I” was struck in 1916 and 1917 and features a bare chested Liberty and no stars below the eagle on the reverse. The design was modified in 1917 to give Liberty a coat of chain mail, and three stars were moved below the eagle. This second subtype design was used until the series ended in 1930. 

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