US Coins

Silver rarities in spotlight at Regency Auction XXI

Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ Regency Auction XXI, set for May 18, offers some popular Seated Liberty and Barber silver coins that are also the finest-known survivors, including an 1868 Seated Liberty quarter dollar graded MS-66+ by PCGS with a green CAC sticker.

It comes from a low mintage of just 29,400 pieces, and most examples enjoyed heavy circulation. When it was offered in 2014 by Heritage as part of the collections assembled by Pennsylvania collector Gene Gardner, Heritage wrote, “This enticing piece offers surprisingly strong luster beneath moderate aqua, azure, violet, and orange concentric toning. The strike is crisp, and the surfaces are immaculate and semiprooflike. The contrast between the reflective surfaces and frosty devices gives this specimen an unusual cameo appearance.”

Then-graded MS-66, it sold for $61,687.50. Gardner had purchased it for $69,000 at Heritage’s 2010 FUN auction, and it previously sold for $40,250 at Heritage’s 2008 Central States Numismatic Society sale. The auction estimate for Legend’s sale is closer to the 2008 offering, with an estimate of $44,000 to $46,000.

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Another finest-known coin in the auction is a 1908-D Barber half dollar graded MS-68 by NGC and bearing a green CAC sticker. Like the aforementioned quarter dollar, it too was once part of the Gardner collection and has registered a few recent trips to the auction block. At the Oct. 27, 2014, Gardner sale it realized $32,900, and then a year later Heritage’s auction of The Greensboro Collection it sold for $22,325. More than a decade ago, at Heritage’s 2005 FUN auction, it brought $17,250. Legend has placed an estimate of $19,000 to $21,000 on it.

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While the 1908-D 50-cent coin is not a rare issue, all Barber half dollars are rare in the highest grades and as Heritage wrote in its 2014 offering, “The bright, satiny surfaces are almost perfectly preserved, and the fields display a semiprooflike glow that adds considerable brightness to the multiple layers of toning on each side. Lavender and sea-green colors are dominant with varying amounts on each side, and several other colors intermingle as well around the obverse periphery.”

Legend concludes, “Since this is one of the finest Barber halves that survives of all dates, it is not only suited for the finest set of Barber halves, but it would also find itself at home in any superb type set.”

1853-C Coronet half eagleThe finest-known 1853-C Coronet half eagle:
Rare gold $5 coin from the Charlotte Mint with a low mintage is among the classic coins highlighting Legend’s Regency Auction XXI in New Orleans.

Among 20th century issues, a standout is a 1939 Walking Liberty half dollar graded PCGS MS-68+ and bearing a green CAC sticker. This coin is among the finest-known examples of the type in any date. It is one of only five PCGS MS-68+ examples with none finer graded at PCGS. Legend writes, “To call this magnificent coin a SUPERB GEM is an understatement. Ultra clean surfaces are devoid of even the tiniest of microscopic ticks. A bold, glowing luster swirls over the silken smooth surfaces. Both sides display a very subtle dusting of clear, golden, pale pinkish-rose, and powder blue hues accent the razor sharp devices and add depth to the details.”

The 1939 half dollar is an issue that “comes nice” since many were saved in rolls and most were well-produced, with bold luster and a solid strike. Few comparables have sold at auction, with the most recent being a 1939 MS-68+ CAC example that brought $19,550 at a 2010 Heritage auction. At that time it was the only Walking liberty half dollar certified MS-68+ by PCGS. With the growth in registry set collecting, Legend says that the subject coin could bring a record price and places an estimate of $14,000 to $16,000 on it.

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