US Coins

ANA convention auctions test market strength

The official auctions at this year’s American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, Aug. 14 to 18 in Philadelphia, will present thousands of coins and test nearly all levels of the rare coin market.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Aug. 15 Rarities Night sale includes the finest-known 1913 Liberty Head 5-cent piece — graded Professional Coin Grading Service Proof 66 with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker. Also, the John Whitney Walter Collection and extraordinary error coins including three 1944 Lincoln cents struck on zinc-coated steel planchets (intended for 1943 cents and Belgian 1944 2-franc coins) from each of the three Mints active those years, Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco, will tantalize bidders.  

August 6 2018 issue of Coin World.Inside Coin World: Building a $20,000 collection of U.S. coins: Features in the Aug. 6 issue focus on building a $20,000 collection of U.S. coins, world coins depicting despots and dictators, and national bank notes from Coin World’s own hometown.

Heritage’s Aug. 16 Platinum Night auction features a previously unknown 1854-S Coronet gold $5 half eagle — the fourth confirmed example of just 268 minted and the first to appear at auction since 1982. Numismatic Guaranty Corp. graded it Extremely Fine 45; NGC Chairman Mark Salzberg said that the discovery was “like finding an original Picasso at a garage sale.” 

The sale’s important offerings include one of 10 confirmed 1870-S Seated Liberty dollars, this one graded PCGS Extremely Fine 40 that last brought $505,250 at Heritage’s May 2015 sale of Gene Gardner’s incredible collection, and a unique 1792 George Washington gold $10 eagle pattern that Heritage believes may have been Washington’s pocket piece, from the Eric Newman Collection. 

In a sort of counterprogramming, GreatCollections has been advertising “Sell your coins well before the phone book-sized ANA catalogs,” and it continues to do well with specialized collections in its weekly auctions. On June 24 the online auctioneer offered 29 Standing Liberty quarter dollars from the Erasmus Hall PCGS Registry Set that brought strong prices, including a 1924 quarter graded PCGS MS-66 full head with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker and housed in a First Generation PCGS holder that was utilized by the third-party grader between 1986 and 1989. While a typical example might sell for around $2,000, this one brought a massive $9,225 — a price that indicates that the buyer will likely try to upgrade this to an MS-67 grade (of which PCGS has graded 12) or it may even tie the finest known MS-67+ example graded by PCGS. 

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Two other standouts included a PCGS MS-64 full head 1920-S and a 1923-S MS-66 full head — both with green CAC stickers — that brought $19,155 and $15,773, respectively. GreatCollections president Ian Russell said that the sale reflects growing strength in the market: “We’re finding many different aspects of the U.S. coin market much stronger compared to 12-24 months ago.” He concludes, “There is definitely a focus on attractive coins with superior eye appeal.”

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