The finest certified 1880-O Coronet gold $10 eagle will highlight the
March 30 Rarities Night auction by Stack’s Bowers Galleries as part of
the Whitman Baltimore Expo.
Graded Mint State 64 by Professional Coin Grading Service, it is the
finest graded, with the auction description noting that the MS-64
listed on the Numismatic Guaranty Corp. Census represents an earlier
submission for this coin. The offered coin was, before that, housed in
a PCGS MS-63 holder and realized $27,600 when presented at an August
1999 Heritage auction, where it was then-recognized as the finest
known. Its description in that sale was prescient, with the cataloger
recognizing, “A definite candidate for an MS 64 designation, this coin
even possesses some claim to the gem grade level.”
Previously it was sold by Stack’s in its October 1988 sale of a
“Rare and Important United States Gold Coins Collection,” where it
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The 1880-O Coronet gold eagle comes from a low
mintage of 9,200 pieces since the New Orleans Mint was focused on
striking Morgan dollars at the expense of its gold coin production at
the time. Most examples entered circulation, and PCGS and NGC have
certified just 14 Mint State examples — though this number is likely
inflated by resubmissions of the same coin — with the catalog entry
suggesting a more reasonable number of 8 to 10 Mint State survivors.
Coronet $10 eagle: Mint Engraver
Christian Gobrecht probably never dreamed his Liberty Head or
Coronet design adapted for the $10 eagle beginning in 1838 would be
used on that denomination until as late as 1907. How much are Coronet $10 eagles worth?
Of these, the subject coin is the finest certified by two full
grading points, and as the description further observes, “Clearly this
coin must have been set aside at the time of issue, either
intentionally or by chance, for it bears no evidence of having been
jostled around as part of shipments to and from foreign banks (the
destination for many U.S. gold coins struck during the later 19th and
early 20th centuries).”
Rare Mint State 1854-S $10
Another rare Mint State coin in the same series is the 1854-S
Coronet gold eagle in the Rarities Night auction, graded MS-60 by
Independent Coin Graders.
Is coin jewelry a form of self-expression or
mutilation?: Inside Coin World:
Jewelry made from coins can be found for sale all over the
Internet, and even at major coin shows. Is it numismatic art or
The San Francisco Mint began operations as a Branch Mint that year
and produced 123,826 1854-S Coronet double eagles. It would be the
last large-scale production of the issue at the Mint until 1879. Most
examples encountered today are in lower grades since the issue saw
wide circulation in the western states.
As a result, the 1854-S Coronet eagle is elusive in Mint State
grades, though About Uncirculated 58 examples are available. For
reference, a solid NGC AU-58 example with a green Certified Acceptance
Corp. sticker sold for $5,170 at last year’s Florida United
Numismatists auction. The sole recent certified Mint State comparable
at auction is a PCGS MS-62 coin that realized $35,250 at that same
Heritage sale, making the valuation of the subject coin a challenge.
The description of the coin offered by Stack’s Bowers Galleries
notes “the complexion is dominated by rich medium-gold tones and the
most subtle pinkish accents scattered about,” adding, “Satiny luster
remains bountiful and distributed across virtually every region, as
evidence of true friction is minimal throughout.” As MS-60 represents
the lowest Mint State grade, some impairments are seen, including a
thin horizontal scratch below Liberty’s chin and some reverse rim marks.
A few other highlights in the sale include three key Lincoln cents
in high grades: a 1909 Lincoln, V.D.B. cent graded Proof 66 red and
brown by PCGS with a green CAC sticker, a 1913 cent graded PCGS MS-67+
red, and a 1914-D Lincoln cent in a PCGS holder, graded MS-66 red.
Two Proof gold standouts include a 1914 Indian Head gold $5 half
eagle graded PCGS Proof 68 and bearing a CAC sticker, and an 1883
Coronet double eagle in NGC Proof 66 Ultra Cameo with an NGC Star designation.
The Rarities Night sale by Stack’s Bowers Galleries is scheduled for
March 30 at 7:30 PM in room 308 of the Baltimore Convention Center.
Earlier in the day the firm will present Part I of The Blue Moon Collection and on March 31 it will
— along with Sotheby’s — offer Part V of the D. Brent Pogue Collection at
Baltimore’s Evergreen Museum and Library.
The Whitman Baltimore Coin and Collectibles Spring Expo is set for
March 30 to April 2 at the Baltimore Convention Center.