More than a penny, Albany Church penny rarity realizes nearly $50,000

Market Analysis: Stack’s Bowers presents Blue Moon Collection and Rarities Night sale
By , Coin World
Published : 04/27/17
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Off the market for nearly 40 years, a 1794 Flowing Hair dollar graded About Uncirculated 58+ by Professional Coin Grading Service with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker was a top lot at Stack’s Bowers Galleries Baltimore Expo auctions, realizing $910,625. It came from the Blue Moon Collection, which was especially strong in 19th and early 20th century Proof type coins and silver dollars, including an impressive group of Gobrecht dollars. While the Baltimore headlines were dominated by the final installment of the D. Brent Pogue Collection auctions, here are three more lots that represent the diversity and quality seen in the March 29 to 31 floor session auctions at the Baltimore Expo. 

Below is the second of three lots we’re profiling from the Blue Moon Collection:

The Lot:

Undated (1790) Albany Church penny, Extremely Fine 40, CAC sticker 

The Price:

$49,350

The Story:

The undated Albany Church penny is an enigmatic early American issue that has long been popular with collectors. This example, graded Extremely Fine 40 by PCGS and bearing a green CAC sticker, was struck over a well-worn English halfpenny, and remnants of King William III’s portrait can be faintly seen on the obverse.


Raised lines spark collector interestRaised lines spark collector interest: Inside Coin World: Raised lines and die gouges can create curious effects on coins. This week's Inside Coin World has plenty on the topic.


Two versions are known, the With D and No D pieces (D representing the British shorthand for the penny), among the 1,000 copper uniface tokens authorized by the First Presbyterian Church of Albany, N.Y.

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Examples in all grades are rare and this one sold recently at Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ March 2015 auction of the Henry P. Kendall Foundation Collection where it sold for $44,062.50. Two years later it was consigned to auction by Silicon Valley innovator Anthony Bettencourt, who began collecting with “wheat pennies” and moved on to Colonial coins as his interests progressed.

See more coins from the Blue Moon Collection

This ‘unicorn of sorts’ Indian Head $5 half eagle sold for nearly a quarter of a million dollars:  Pogue sale aside, the Stack's Bowers Galleries Baltimore Expo is no stranger to a variety of rare coins. This 'unicorn' Indian Head $5 is a great example.

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