Mega-collection auction catalog offers more than just rare coins

This 1808 Capped Draped Bust gold quarter eagle is highly sought as a one-year type. What is considered the finest known example realized $2.35 million in the May 19 Pogue Collection auction. Images courtesy of Stack's Bowers Galleries.

Images courtesy of Stack's Bowers Galleries.

?The first auction of the D. Brent Pogue Collection is now history and collectors are beginning to review the results for the 128 silver and gold coins sold May 19.

The auction brought more than $25 million — that’s an average of about $195,000 per coin.

Of course, not all of the coins sold for six-figure prices. Some of the coins sold for well under $10,000, and one for less than $5,000. Still, for many collectors, even these prices exceeded their annual collecting budgets.

Should a collector on a limited budget feel marginalized when so much attention is focused on mega-collections like that assembled by Brent Pogue with mega-coins bringing mega-prices? Absolutely not.

The auction catalog created by Stack’s Bowers Galleries and Sotheby’s for the auction is a well-researched, well-written work of numismatic literature, and it is available free as a download at

Every collector should seek out the Pogue catalog and make it part of their library. It will offer many hours of reading pleasure.

You will discover, for example, the cataloger explores the concept of a “Specimen coin” in writing about the second coin offered in the auction, a gorgeous 1794 Flowing Hair half dime. In just 100 words or so, the catalog deftly reviews what collectors and dealers have long known — that a few 18th century coins show signs of being struck with special care, or in the words of the cataloger, “that particular forethought must have been involved in their creation.” The catalog is filled with insights like this on virtually every page.

Yes, most of us can’t afford a six-figure coin, but we can all enjoy reading about them and learning something new and exciting.