US Coins

Former Mint director's High Relief Peace dollars sell

Two Matte Proof 1922 Peace, High Relief silver dollars pedigreed to having once been owned by former U.S. Mint Director Raymond T. Baker sold for a reported combined $561,063 in Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctions June 2 Pre-Long Beach Sale session.

The example graded Proof 67 by Professional Coin Grading Service and stickered by Certified Acceptance Corp. realized $458,250 against an estimate of $250,000 and up, while the Proof 64 example realized $102,813 against an estimate of $75,000 and up.

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The Goldbergs’ June 1 to 4 sale offering United States, world and ancient coins, as well as paper money and other numismatic collectibles, brought total prices realized of $14,587,264.

In total, 3,336 lots, or 88 percent of the lots offered, were sold, according to the auction firm.

The prices realized include the 17.5 percent buyer’s fee added to the final closing hammer price of each lot won.

About those Peace dollars ...

The two Matte Proof 1922 Peace, High Relief dollars, among possibly 13 examples of Proof 1922 Peace, High Relief dollars known, were consigned to the Goldbergs’ auction by the family of the man to whom Baker’s daughter, Yvonne, had given the coins. The consignors’ father received the coins in the 1960s as a gesture of thanks.

The 2-inch by 2-inch manila envelopes in which the two coins had been housed identified Raymond T. Baker as secretary of the Treasury. Baker actually served as the director of the U.S. Mint, appointed by President Woodrow Wilson. Baker served in the office from March 1917 until March 1922.

In Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States, A Complete Encyclopedia by Q. David Bowers, with Mark Borckardt, it is suggested that, while the 1922 Peace dollars with Proof finish could have been created during the period of experimentation at the Philadelphia Mint to lower the Peace dollar’s relief for general circulation, “... this does not seem likely, as the relief and designs are nearly identical to that of 1921.” 

The Bowers-Borckardt text continues, “It may be they were coined by or for [Chief Engraver] George T. Morgan as delicacies for private sale to collectors. Certainly, there is no record of their having been placed on general sale.” 

The firm described the Proof 67 piece as “a fascinating and incredibly beautiful example whose details surpass any we have offered for sale before.” 

The Proof 67 coin was purchased by Texas collector Bob Simpson, who has amassed a collection of high grade rarities.

Other sale highlights:

  • 1776 Continental Currency dollar in pewter, Newman 3-D (1776 Continental Currency Coinage & Varieties of the Fugio Cent by Eric Newman), PCGS Mint State 64, $135,125.
  • 1867 Shield, With Rays 5-cent coin, PCGS Proof 65 Cameo, $61,688.
  • 1871-CC Seated Liberty dime, PCGS MS-62, $82,250.
  • 1799 Draped Bust dollar, Bowers-Borckardt 158 in the aforementioned reference by the two numismatists, PCGS MS-61, CAC, $114,563.
  • 1893 Coronet gold $5 half eagle, Numismatic Guaranty Corp. Proof 68 Ultra Cameo, $111,625.
  • Kellogg & Humbert Assayers gold bar, 888 Fine, 28.02 ounce, $514.35, No. 862, from the SS Central America treasure, gem Uncirculated, $129,250.

For further information on the June 1 to 3 Goldberg sale, contact the auctioneer at Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins and Collectibles Inc. at 800-978-2646. 

Visit the firm's website.

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