A newly discovered example of an 1854-O Coronet gold double eagle
graded Extremely Fine 45 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. realized
$204,000 and topped bidding at Heritage’s March 29 Premier Session of
its Dallas U.S. Coin Auction. It was one of two dozen examples of this
rare New Orleans Mint issue individually traced by Heritage in its
catalog entry for the three-day auction that realized nearly $6.2 million.
Isn’t there more to talk about at a show than
grades? Brad Karoleff laments the changing nature of
conversations at shows, which have veered toward incessant
discussions of grade. Also this week, some points to consider before bidding.
But not all of the big prices were for large-sized,
high-denomination coins. Here is a silver half dime in a top grade,
one of several small coins that impressed bidders.
1858 Seated Liberty half dime, MS-68, NGC Star, CAC sticker
It can seem incredible that a coin more than 150 years old looks
almost as good today as when it left the Philadelphia Mint. This 1858
Seated Liberty half dime graded Mint State 68 by Numismatic Guaranty
Corp. with both an NGC star and a green sticker from Certified
Acceptance Corp. attesting to its tremendous appeal. Its diameter of
15.5 millimeters places it among the smallest U.S. coins. For
comparison, other small coins include the Coronet gold dollar (Type 1
, 1849 to 1854) measuring 13 millimeters, later Type 2 and Type 3
small-sized gold dollars measuring 15 millimeters, and the silver
3-cent coin that measured 14 millimeters. A current circulating
Roosevelt dime is nearly 18 millimeters in diameter.
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Heritage writes, “This is one of the greatest Stars Obverse, No
Arrows type coins known to exist,” praising its bold strike, full
luster and — of special interest to numismatists — prominent die clash
marks visible on both sides. It brought $8,700 and is perhaps destined
for an exceptional type set.