US Coins

Mormon gold among Goldberg auction highlights

The Deseret Assay Office produced gold coins denominated $2.50, $5, $10 and $20 that were issued under the authority of the Mormon Church in the Utah Territory in the mid-19th century.

An example of one of the 1849 Mormon gold $5 coins is among the nearly 1,300 United States coins to be offered Sept. 4 and 5 in Los Angeles by Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers.

The sale is scheduled to be held at the firm’s auction gallery at 11400 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 800.

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The Mormon pioneer gold $5 coin is graded About Uncirculated Details, Altered Surfaces, by Professional Coin Grading Service.

The obverse of the territorial gold coin is inscribed THE. LORD. HOLINESS. TO. The inscription appears around the all-seeing eye of God with three-pointed Phrygian cap or miter above, emblematic of the Mormon priesthood.

The reverse is inscribed G.S.L.C.P.G. for “Great Salt Lake City Pure Gold” and FIVE. DOLLARS around the date 1849, with two clasped hands at center.

The coin is considered a Rarity 5, which means, according to Donald H. Kagin in Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States, that 31 to 75 pieces are extant.

The coin carries an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000.

1843 Mature Head cent

The first 400 lots in the sale comprise the Fred Iskra Collection, focusing on Late Date cents (1840 to 1857).

Premier among the lots is an 1843 Coronet, Mature Head, Large Letters cent, Newcomb 17 variety, graded PCGS Mint State 64 red and brown and stickered by Certified Acceptance Corp.

According to the auction lot narrative, “The beauty of this cent is enhanced when you consider its rarity and the fact that the next finest piece grades only net VF35 [Very Fine].”

Among the previous owners of the coin are noted collectors Robert E. Vail, R.E. “Ted” Naftzger Jr., and Adam Mervis.

The attribution and Naftzger provenance are noted on the PCGS grading label.

The coin carries an estimate of $15,000 and up.

1792 silver half disme

Despite being certified PCGS Genuine, Bent, the 1792 silver half disme being offered still has an estimate of $14,000 and up.

Only 1,500 of the pieces were produced at the fledgling U.S. Mint, with approximately 100 surviving examples known.

The U.S. Mint was established by Congress on April 2, 1792.

Attributed as Judd 7 in United States Pattern Coins by J. Hewitt Judd, edited by Q. David Bowers, the 1792 silver half disme is mostly known by examples with heavy wear, dents, and other deformities since the pieces saw considerable circulation.

President George Washington, in his fourth address to Congress on Nov. 6, 1792, attributes the silver 1792 half disme as the first U.S. coinage.

5¢ coin on cent blank

The auction lot description indicates the 1962-D Jefferson 5-cent coin struck on a cent planchet will grade Mint State 60 or better. The intended planchet on which the 5-cent coin should have been struck is an homogenous alloy of 75 percent copper, 25 percent nickel.

In 1962, two different alloys were used in the manufacture of Lincoln cent planchets.

The first alloy was 95 percent copper, 5 percent tin and zinc. The alloy was subsequently modified, removing the tin, and making the alloy 95 percent copper, 5 percent zinc.

The wrong planchet error was likely caused by a cent planchet being stuck in a coin hopper, then dislodged when the hopper was filled with 5-cent coin planchets for eventual transfer to a coinage press to strike coins.

The diameter of a Lincoln cent is 19 millimeters and that for a 5-cent coin, 21.2 millimeters. The error is slightly out of round since the planchet was too small for the surrounding collar.

Because of the diameter and thickness difference between the denominations, there was insufficient metal from the copper alloy cent planchet to fill the 5-cent coin designs details.

On the obverse, most of the letters for the inscriptions and the date are partial, with only about a third of the rim, at the bottom, formed.

On the reverse, most of the top half of the rim is complete, with letters of E PLURIBUS UNUM, MONTICELLO, and FIVE CENTS intact.

Some letters in UNITED STATES OF AMERICA are partial. Half of the D Mint mark is also missing.

The error carries an estimate of $150 and up.

A buyer’s fee of 17.5 percent will be added to the final closing hammer price of each lot won.

For more information on the sale, visit the firm’s website at

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