US Coins

Heritage auction among CSNS convention highlights

More than $50 million in auctions and an extensive presentation of numismatic exhibits featured prominently during the Central States Numismatic Society 75th Anniversary Convention April 23 to 26 in Schaumburg, Ill.

Topping Heritage Auctions’ various offerings was the finest of four known 1849 Pacific Company pioneer gold $5 coins, which realized $763,750. The coin is graded About Uncirculated 58 by Professional Coin Grading Service.

According to an April 30 Heritage press release, the U.S. Coin auction at CSNS realized more than $46.7 million, its U.S. Currency stood at over $4.1 million, and the World Currency auctions totaled $2.7 million, bringing the CSNS total to more than $53.6 million. 

Heritage officials said that the U.S. coin results at CSNS make it the all-time highest-grossing U.S. coin auction other than Heritage’s Florida United Numismatists auctions. 

The sale featured the Riverboat Collection — 62 pioneer gold coins and one gold pattern — all of which sold, for a total of $10,489,762. (See related auction coverage on Page 1.)

CSNS convention chairman Kevin Foley reported April 29 that attendance was comparable to 2013. For the 2014 convention, public attendance was 1,212 on April 24, 896 on April 25 and 739 on April 26. A total 806 dealers and associates occupied 277 dealer booths. The 277 dealer booths were sold out in February, Foley said.

The CSNS sold 156 Early Bird Badges, which allowed badge holders entrance to the bourse on dealer setup day April 23.

Foley said dealers have already bought and paid for 60 percent of the dealer booths for the 2015 CSNS convention.

The CSNS convention for 2015, 2016, and 2017 will also be held at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center as was the 2014 show. Foley said a contract is currently being negotiated to include the 2018 convention.

Numismatic exhibits

Georgia collector Mack Martin took home the CSNS’s Best in Show award for his exhibit, “Baby Bonds.” The exhibit also took first place in the Miscellaneous category.

Martin, who has been assembling the collection for 40 years, says it is the only complete collection of Baby Bonds known. 

The multicase exhibit features small bonds with denominations of $5, $10, $20 and $50, issued or supposed to be issued by the states of Georgia and Louisiana during the post-Civil War period known as Reconstruction.

The bonds feature portraits of infants or toddlers. Baby Bonds from Georgia are the rarer of the two states, with some issues known by only a single example.

The John Jay Pittman Award for Most Educational Exhibit was presented to Gavin Burseth for “Celebrating A Century of Honor — Boy Scout Medallions, Coins and Tokens.”

The Joseph and Morton Stack Award for the Best Exhibit By A First-Time C.S.N.S. Exhibitor was presented to Mitch Ernst for “The Sower — Symbol of Hope and Hard Work.” The exhibit consists of art medals that portray the sower. 

Tony Cass received the People’s Choice Award for “The World’s Columbian Exposition — The Chicago World’s Fair 1893.” The award was presented in memory of numismatic literature dealer John Burns from Pennsylvania, who passed away unexpectedly in January while attending the Florida United Numismatists convention in Orlando.

According to Fran Lockwood, who completed her 17th and final year as exhibit chairperson for CSNS, 51 exhibitors participated from 16 states. Of the 51, 11 were first-time exhibitors at a CSNS convention.

The 51 exhibitors staged 74 competitive exhibits and four noncompetitive exhibits. The competitive exhibits covered 320 display cases, while the four noncompetitive displays encompassed 25 cases, according to Lockwood.

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