2017 is closing down and dealers are busy preparing for the holiday
season, stocking their coin shops (or online presence) with items that
may interest gift givers, enjoying time with their families and
preparing for the upcoming Florida United Numismatists show in January.
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The coin show calendar is winding down for the year with the
successful Whitman Baltimore Expo, held Nov. 9 to 12, accompanied by a
full slate of auctions by Stack’s Bowers Galleries. Heritage Auctions
will host its final 2017 Signature U.S. Coin auction in Dallas, Dec. 7
to 10, and Legend Rare Coin Auctions will hold the last major U.S.
coin auction of 2017 with its Regency Sale XXIV in Las Vegas on Dec. 14.
The new year starts with a bang as Heritage holds the multi-session
official sales of the FUN convention, with this year’s installment set
for Tampa, Jan. 4 to 8. In between these large sales, online auctions
will keep coins flowing in the marketplace.
The U.S. Mint celebrated its 225th anniversary in 2017 with a 2017
Enhanced Uncirculated Coin set that is limping toward its maximum
production of 225,000 sets. There has been modest interest in the 2017
Lions Club commemorative silver dollar and even weaker interest in the
gold $5 half eagle, silver dollar and copper-nickel clad half dollar
produced to honor the centennial of Boys Town in 2017. While late
orders might lift the sales totals of both programs, the Proof and
Uncirculated 2017 Boys Town gold $5 half eagles appear headed for
extremely low mintages, and it seems that demand for traditional
annual products like Proof and Uncirculated Mint sets continues to
shrink with each passing year. The U.S. Mint is surely hoping that the
2018 World War I Centennial silver dollar and associated medals,
currently set to go on sale Jan. 17, 2018, will be a hit with collectors.
Collectors and dealers alike share the hope that some fresh material
will come to market soon. Heritage’s Nov. 1 and 3 sessions featuring
Part IX of the Eric P. Newman collection had some wonderful coins that
had been off the market for at least a generation and totaled $4.5 million.
One lot showed the robust interest in a more esoteric corner of the
marketplace. An eight-slot leather coin holder, made around 1920, that
once held all five of the 1913 Liberty Head 5-cent coins, brought
$10,800 at Newman IX. The set was purchased intact from the “Col.”
E.H.R. Green estate — with the famed “nickels” in place — by a
partnership of Eric P. Newman and B.G. Johnson. The five 1913 Liberty
5-cent coins have long since dispersed, including the most famous
example: the George O. Walton example graded Proof 63 by Professional
Coin Grading Service, which was long thought to be lost after
allegedly disappearing in a 1962 car crash. That example emerged four
decades later and would sell at Heritage’s 2013 Central States
Numismatic Society auction for $3,172,500.