FUN 2017: The early U.S. numismatic treasures that headlined the year’s first major sale

The most expensive coin in the 2017 FUN auctions was a 1792 pattern half disme graded PCGS MS-66
By , Coin World
Published : 01/12/17
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The following is part three of our 2017 FUN Platinum Night auction coverage. Links to additional coverage can be found at the bottom of this post.

Unlike in previous Heritage FUN Platinum Night auctions, there were no million dollar standouts in the 2017 sale that took place Jan. 5 in Fort Lauderdale.

The most expensive coin in the 2017 FUN auctions was a 1792 pattern half disme graded PCGS MS-66 that sold for $493,500, followed by a PCGS Proof 63 1884 Trade dollar — one of just 10 known — that sold for $423,500.

A coin that is perhaps less well-known, but still very important, is the 1802 Draped Bust half dime.

Heritage offered one graded About Uncirculated 53 by PCGS with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker.

Both the number minted and the number known are unclear. No comprehensive survey of the issue has been completed recently, so estimates of the total number of examples known today range from 30 to 50.

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It is estimated that approximately 1,000 1802 half dimes were struck, since the recorded mintage of 3,060 probably includes coins struck with dies dated 1801 and 1803. The Heritage example was formerly in the collection of Louis Eliasberg Sr., a provenance that remains important to collectors more than 20 years after the sale of silver coins from his collection in 1996.

The little half dime with lavender, soft blue and gold-gray toning, the second finest known after one graded AU-55, sold for $329,000.

A few other early highlights included a 1797 Capped Bust, Small Eagle, 16 Stars Obverse gold $5 half eagle graded AU-58+ by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. that brought $305,500 and one of just four known Proof 1839-O Capped Bust, Reeded Edge half dollars (graded NGC Proof 65) that sold for $211,500.

More 2017 FUN Platinum Night coverage:

Gold SS Central America ingotFUN 2017: Huge gold ingots recovered from the SS Central America still making a splash: A 327.97-ounce gold ingot pulled from the wreck of the SS Central America some 30 years ago, from the California Gold Rush, topped Heritage Platinum Night sales.

1792 Silver Center pattern centFUN 2017: The high-priced rarities that fell short of their minimum bids: A number of the anticipated top lots at Heritage's FUN 2017 Platinum Night auction failed to meet their reserves set by consignors.

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