Each year the rare coin calendar starts with the Florida United
Numismatists show in sunny Florida and this year’s FUN is set for the
Fort Lauderdale Convention Center, Jan. 5 to 8. The show will offer
more than 1,000 dealers and massive auctions by Heritage that will set
the tone for the rare coin market in 2017.
Heritage’s FUN auctions are always packed with rarities and this
year’s is no exception. One of the famed offerings at Heritage’s
Platinum Night on Jan. 5 is an 1884 Trade dollar graded Proof 63 by
Professional Coin Grading Service. It is one of just 10 examples
struck and, amazingly, all 10 are accounted for today.
The Proof-only issue was largely unknown until the first decade of
the 20th century and, while the exact circumstances of its production
remain subject to debate, Heritage writes, “Today, the 1884 Trade
dollar holds a place of honor in the pantheon of U.S. numismatic
rarities. Its status is now assured thanks to [Carl W.A.] Carlson’s
research and the resultant conclusions that the 1884 is, indeed, a
legitimate product of the U.S. Mint.”
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The example offered at FUN has had some illustrious previous owners,
including Egypt’s King Farouk and Ambassador and Mrs. R. Henry Norweb,
and it even spent time in the personal collection of Coin World
columnist (and hobby legend) Q. David Bowers. It last sold at auction
in 2002 as part of Heritage’s offering of the Morris Silverman
Collection where it brought $138,000, though in 2017 its price should
be multiples of that. At the 2014 FUN auction, Heritage sold one
graded Proof 65 — the third finest known — for nearly $1 million.
FUN also offers a robust series of educational programs and a chance
to see some amazing coins. PCGS will be displaying a Specimen 66 1794
Flowing Hair silver dollar alongside some other important early
dollars at its booth. Some believe it is the first silver dollar
struck at the Philadelphia Mint, and it realized just over $10 million
in 2013, making it the most expensive coin ever sold at auction.
While U.S. coins and paper money are largely the focus of the FUN
auctions, those with more global interests can head north to New York
City. The following weekend is the New York International Numismatic
Convention at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where many of the world’s top
dealers convene for a weeklong series of auctions that start Jan. 8
and a bourse from Jan. 12 to 15.
In 2018 FUN’s signature winter show heads to Tampa, while NYINC
moves venues, to the Grand Hyatt in Midtown Manhattan.