US Coins

Early 20th century key dates at Legend Regency 57

Three always-popular silver key dates from the early 20th century are featured at Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ Regency Auction 57 in Las Vegas on Feb. 23.

A prized duo of Standing Liberty quarter dollars starts with one from 1916 graded Mint State 65 full head by Professional Coin Grading Service. The Philadelphia Mint struck a modest 52,000 of Hermon Atkins MacNeil’s design in its first year, where the reverse arrangement of stars differs from the revised design that would be introduced the next year, as does the bare breast on Liberty, seen on the 1916 quarter dollar and first 1917 coins.

The offered 1916 Standing Liberty quarter dollar previously sold at Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ March 20, 2020, Session 7 of the D. Brent Pogue Collection, where it brought $43,200. There, catalogers praised the bold strike, observing, “Frosty luster swirls around both sides and blends nicely with iridescent pastel powder blue, apricot and champagne-pink toning.”

PCGS awards full head designation on 1916 and 1917 Standing Liberty, Bare Breast quarter dollars, “when there is a clear and distinct separation between Miss Liberty’s hair cords and her cap.” Legend places an estimate of $32,000 to $36,000 on the coin.

A 1918/7-S Standing Liberty quarter dollar graded PCGS MS-64 has no such claims to full head status, with the typical lumpy strike seen on Liberty’s head on this prized overdate. Unlike the 1916 issue, which was saved due to the novelty of the design, this overdate is rare in all Mint State grades, since it was not widely known until several decades after its production.

Legend praises the glowing, satiny frost, along with iridescent gold and silver pastel highlights. When offered in April 1997 at Bowers and Merena’s offering of the Louis E. Eliasberg Sr. Collection, the catalogers there said it had around 60% of the head details. It more recently sold in December 2020 at Stack’s Bowers offering the Larry H. Miller Collection for $31,200. It carries an estimate of $30,000 to $35,000 at Legend’s sale.

Nearly full bands on 1916-D

Another standout of the era known as the “Renaissance of American Coinage” is a 1916-D Winged Liberty Head dime graded PCGS MS-64 and featuring a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker. With a mintage of 264,000 coins, the 1916-D dime is rarer than its Philadelphia and San Francisco Mint counterparts featuring the first year of Adolph A. Weinman’s new design.

Most survivors are well-circulated, and owning any Mint State survivor is an accomplishment. Legend calls it “totally original and very pleasing,” writing, “lustrous surfaces beam with a strong brilliance throughout. Splashes of blue and coppery-gold color cling to the smooth silvery surfaces. The strike is bold and crisp, with just a touch of weakness in the central fasces band.”

PCGS places a full bands designation on coins of the type that grade Mint State 60 or finer featuring “a full separation of the central crossband on the reverse of the coin.” The grading service will use the “FB” designation on 1916-D Winged Liberty Head dimes if appropriate in grades as low as About Uncirculated 50, but adds, “In all cases, there must be no interruption of the separation of the subject crossbands, including marks, gouges, nicks, or other surface imperfections.”

Connect with Coin World:  
Sign up for our free eNewsletter
Access our Dealer Directory  
Like us on Facebook  
Follow us on Twitter

Community Comments