Old-time collections provide rich lessons for today’s collectors.
Stack’s Bowers Galleries recently offered the Alexander Collection of
U.S. Coins at its November 2017 Whitman Baltimore Expo auctions.
The unnamed collector began collecting in the 1920s and purchased
coins from many of the hobby’s leading dealers in the 1930s.
Collectors’ Clearinghouse: What caused the
doubled letters on Douglass quarter dollars?
Also in this issue, Wendell Wolka finds more questions while
answering another in his "Collecting Paper" column.
He was especially fond of Proof gold coins and his collection
remained intact for more than 50 years. A dozen Proof Coronet $2.50
gold quarter eagles — most in lower grades — provide a rare
opportunity to look at this specialized market.
Here's one of three Proof gold coins that changed hands in Baltimore:
1898 Coronet gold $2.50 quarter eagle, Proof 61 Cameo
The most affordable of the dozen Proof Coronet quarter eagles in the
Alexander Collection did not have a named problem like cleaning,
tooling or spot removal, it just had a lot of “chatter” in the fields.
The many marks in the fields of the 1898 quarter eagle, graded PCGS
Proof 61 Cameo, affected its eye appeal, and it sold for $2,880. The
1898 quarter eagle is a well-produced issue and perhaps 100 survive
from an original mintage of 165 pieces.
Unlike the previously discussed 1903 Coronet quarter eagle, this one
did not have any single cluster of intentional marks; rather, it had
numerous scattered marks that suggest that it may have entered
circulation briefly or was carried as a pocket piece. No wear is seen
on the devices, however, consistent with PCGS’s grading standard for
Proof 61, which allows multiple heavy marks and hairlines.
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