US Coins

Collectors and dealers get ready for FUN show

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 pocket pieces.

The Dangers of Counterfeits”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.

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