One of the prettiest mid-century coins ever just realized $9,000

Classic condition rarities from the 1940s do well at Long Beach auction
By , Coin World
Published : 09/25/17
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Heritage hosted the official auctions at the recent Long Beach Coin, Currency, Stamp & Sports Collectible Expo. The firm’s auctions of U.S. coins, world coins and paper money topped $20 million. American large cents from the Padula Family Foundation Collection led the U.S. coin portion, including the most expensive lot, a very rare 1795 Flowing Hair, Reeded Edge cent that sold for $192,000. While these early American coppers attracted lots of attention, a trio of relatively common coins from the 1940s in uncommonly high states of preservation surpassed expectations, documenting the continued strength at the top of the market for condition rarities in these popular series. Here is one of that trio:

The Lot:

1945-S Walking Liberty half dollar, MS-67, CAC

The Price:


The Story:

Few U.S. coins are as beautiful as Adolph Alexander Weinman’s Walking Liberty half dollar. The 1945-S issue saw a relatively high mintage of more than 10 million coins, but in very top grades it is a condition rarity in the series.

U.S. Mint welcomes a fourth metal to the American Eagle bullion program. Also in this week’s print issue of Coin World, we teach our readers about what a “weak-fatty” gold coin is and why you don’t want one in your collection.

While solid Mint State 65 examples can be found for around $100, and handsome MS-66 representatives might cost $200, the population thins substantially in MS-67 with Professional Coin Grading Service showing just 42 in its population report, with only two, each graded MS-67+, numerically finer.

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Heritage’s Long Beach sale saw one of the prettiest PCGS MS-67 examples, also with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker indicating quality within the grade, sell for $9,000. More typical examples in this grade have sold for $5,000 at recent auctions, providing evidence of the premium that bidders placed on this example that had rich rings of magenta and green-gold color at the peripheries. The price reflected the implausibility of a collector finding a finer one.

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