Classic rarities and collector favorites topped bidding at Stack’s
Bowers Galleries’ Nov. 9 Rarities Night auction as part of its
official auctions of the final 2017 Whitman Coin and Collectibles Expo
The top lot was a famed 1792 Silver Center cent pattern graded Mint
State 61 brown by Professional Coin Grading Service with a green
sticker from Certified Acceptance Corp. indicating quality within the
grade that brought $900,000. It is counted among the finest of 14
examples known, with the silver plug in the center of the coin
representing an attempt to make a cent coin with a cent’s worth of
metal in it, while still maintaining a manageable size.
Mysterious zinc cent discovered in antique store.
A 1982 Lincoln cent and cent blanks encased in acrylic are
possibly employees’ souvenirs from when the Ball Corp. began
supplying the Mint with cent planchets.
It was consigned by the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation
and last sold at auction at Heritage’s 2012 Central States Numismatic
Society auction where it realized $1,150,000. The provenance in its
most recent offering noted that it traded between dealers John
Albanese, Kevin Lipton and Anthony Terranova prior to its acquisition
by the foundation.
Another consignment from the foundation was the finest known 1794
Flowing Hair half dollar of the Overton 105 die marriage, graded About
Uncirculated 58+ by PCGS, that brought $252,000. Curiously, it was
last offered at auction at Bowers and Merena’s August 2010 Boston
Rarities Sale where — then also offered as property from the Cardinal
Collection Educational Foundation and then graded Mint State 62 by
Numismatic Guaranty Corp. — it realized $189,750.
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The Stack’s Bowers description observes, “Satiny surfaces are
dressed in rich steel-olive patina, the luster virtually complete.
Splashes of reddish-orange color are evident along the right obverse
and reverse borders, direct lighting also calling forth iridescent
undertones of antique gold and blue-gray.” In recognizing the
potential bidder confusion stemming from its prior offering in an
MS-62 holder, the description adds, “With nearly full luster and
virtually complete striking detail, this coin has the appearance of
Mint State quality.”
Another early highlight was the only known Mint State 1797 Draped
Bust, Small Eagle silver dollar of the Bowers-Borckardt 72 die
marriage, graded PCGS MS-64, that realized $264,000. The variety is
the only die marriage of the 9 by 7 Stars obverse (where there are
nine stars to the left of Liberty and seven on the right) with the
small letters reverse, and is a distinct variety listed in the “Red
Book” (A Guide Book of United States Coins). It previously sold
at Heritage’s Eric P. Newman Collection, Part II sale, in November
2013, for $381,875, with the more recent result perhaps providing a
cautionary tale in the dangers of reoffering a rare coin too soon at auction.