A trio of major auctions in December finished the 2017 auction
season, as collectors and dealers alike eagerly anticipate the
upcoming Florida United Numismatists convention in Tampa, Jan. 4 to 7, 2018.
Heritage’s Dec. 7 to 10 Signature U.S. Coin auction in Dallas
totaled nearly $7 million, quickly followed by Bonhams’ Coins and
Medals auction in New York City on Dec. 11 and Legend Rare Coin
Auctions’ Regency XXIV sale in Las Vegas on Dec. 14.
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Among the interesting offerings in the December auctions was an 1858
Seated Liberty silver dollar graded Proof 20 by Professional Coin
Grading Service. While the once deeply mirrored fields are largely
absent — though glimpses of reflectivity are seen in the most
protected areas — the 1858 dollar is a Proof-only issue and none were
struck for circulation. Official production numbers for Proof 1858
dollars are debatable, but researchers believe today that around 300
were struck. Of those, a few entered circulation or were kept as
The quality of the coins is getting better, and
so are the counterfeits.
Europe is experiencing the same problems seen in the United
States, warns Coin World's correspondent in Germany.
The issue is popular for date set collectors in the Seated Liberty
dollar series, and this example, characterized as Proof because it was
struck by the Philadelphia Mint as a Proof even if it retains few
visual characteristics that a collector might expect from a Proof,
sold for $8,700 at Heritage’s recent Dallas auction. That it was in an
older PCGS slab used in the early 1990s added to its desirability,
since an old holder indicates that the dollar has not been handled (or
“improved”) for several decades. For reference, the offered dollar
sold for more than several lower-end Proof 60 and Proof 61 examples
that have crossed the auction block in the past few years.
Thankfully, this year’s FUN show does not coincide with the New York
International Numismatic Convention, described as “the United States’
largest and most prestigious numismatic event targeting the needs of
the world and ancient numismatic communities.” The Jan. 11 to 14 NYINC
hosts dozens of auction sessions in New York City before and during
the show, and the combination of the FUN and NYINC bourse and auction
action sets the tone for the market in the new year.
Going forward in 2018, Heritage hosts the official FUN auctions Jan.
3 to 8, and following Heritage’s various sales, Legend will hold its
Regency Auction XXV in Las Vegas on Jan. 25. The next major show
post-FUN is the Long Beach Expo on Feb. 22 to 24, with auctions by
Heritage and lively preshow auctions by Ira and Larry Goldberg
Auctioneers. Next up is Kagin’s Inc.’s auctions at the 2018 American
Numismatic Association National Money Show in Irving, Texas, March 8
to 10. Moving to the East Coast brings us to the Whitman Baltimore
Expo, March 22 to 25, accompanied by a full slate of auctions by
Stack’s Bowers Galleries. A continuing presentation of online auctions
fill in the gaps between these larger auctions, alongside many smaller
local and regional coin shows.