US Coins

1875-S Coronet $5 half eagle a ‘filler piece’ with provenance

A scarce VF-25 1875-S Coronet $5 half eagle sold for $1,292.50 at Heritage’s most recent auction of the Newman Collection.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

The following post is pulled from Coin World editor Steve Roach’s Market Analysis column in the Dec. 8 issue.

A collection as extensive as St. Louis numismatist Eric P. Newman’s has more than its share of top-tier rarities, but it also contains many other coins that are more ordinary. Heritage’s recent Nov. 14 and 15 auctions for the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Educational Society provided collectors a chance to buy a coin with a sensational provenance, at little or no premium to what an unnamed coin might bring. 

The coin: 1875-S Coronet $5 half eagle, VF-25

The price:

The story:
 Collectors who think that famous collections have only top-quality coins need only look at this example to see how even great collectors have coins that may be described as a filler piece.

This 1875-S Coronet $5 half eagle graded Very Fine 25 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. brought $1,292.50. It’s a scarce issue, with a low mintage of 9,000 pieces, of which an estimated 100 to 150 are known today. Heritage notes that “this example is moderately abraded but displays lively, medium-gold surfaces and surprising amount of underlying flash.”

While comparables are scarce at auction for a thinly traded issue like this in an unusual grade, this piece sold for what may have been expected, considering that Heritage sold an example graded NGC VF-20 in 2011 for $1,035, and last year Heritage auctioned one graded Extremely Fine 40 for $2,585. That the Newman piece brought slightly more than the VF-20 piece while selling for less than the EF-40 piece could be expected, even with the bonus of a Newman provenance.

Read the rest of Steve Roach's market analysis:

Popular 1923-D Saint-Gaudens $20 double eagle bought without ’substantial premium'

A Newman Collection Indian Head cent sold for only $42?

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