US Coins

Market Analysis: California small gold pieces each bring $20,400

An 1853 octagonal dollar with the Coronet/Liberty obverse graded MS-61 and an undated Liberty round 25 cent piece in MS-63 each brought $20,400, sharing honors as the top-lot among the “Cal. Gold” offerings. Both represented rare varieties.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Two of Maurice Storck’s California small-denomination gold pieces tied for the most-expensive of Storck’s holdings in this area, each bringing $20,400 in Heritage’s Oct. 15 auction.

An octagonal 1853 Coronet (or Liberty Head) dollar graded Mint State 61 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. is considered the finest-known of the Breen-Gillio 516 variety. Heritage observes, “Predominantly peach-gold with a blush of blue-green on the upper right reverse,” noting for accuracy, “A dull horizontal field depression is beneath the bust.”

An undated round 25-cent Coronet piece, BG-204C, graded NGC MS-63, has the denomination stated as ¼ DOL. on the reverse. It is the only example certified at either NGC or Professional Coin Grading Service, although another example has been published as part of the Jay Roe Collection.

Heritage writes, “The Liberty head is engraved in fine style, and the strike is sharp despite the high relief of the bust,” noting, “Hints of rose toning accompany smooth peach-gold surfaces.”

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