NGC-Certified 1879 "Washlady" Dollar Brings $161,000 at Heritage COINFEST Auction

Posted on 11/2/2010

Demand for quality and rarity in US coin market continues to drive "very strong" prices.

DALLAS, Texas — Rare US coins continue to provide for steady, even stellar prices in a crawling national economy, as evidenced by Heritage’s $9.42 million COINFEST Signature® US Coin Auction, held Oct. 27-30 at the Marriot Hotel & Spa in Stamford, Conn., and by the auction’s top lot, a magnificent 1879 Washlady dollar, which brought $161,000.

“These results are 20% higher than our pre-sale projections,” said Greg Rohan, president of Heritage Auctions. “The market for rare coins is, simply put, very strong. The best examples continue to command top prices and the top collectors are more than happy to acquire these examples.”

More than 4,380 bidders participated in the auction — both live on the auction room floor and via Heritage LIVE!™, the company’s proprietary live Internet auction platform. The auction boasts a sell-through rate of 92% by value and 97% by number of lots.

Recent Heritage coin auctions have mostly seen examples of rare gold coinage taking the top slot, but the stunning 1879 $1 Washlady Dollar, Judd-1603, Pollock-1798, High R.6, PR 66+ NGC, the finest known specimen, handily took top honors, finishing at $161,000 after a fierce bidding between advanced collectors. Between 12 and 15 examples are believed known of the Washlady dollar in both copper and silver. There is also one example known in white metal.

“In the late 19th century, this design was not well-received by dealers and collectors, and was apparently given the nickname of ‘Washlady’ by David Proskey around April 1891 at the Doughty Sale,” said Rohan. “The name stuck, but today the Washlady design is considered one of the most beautiful ever produced by the Mint.”

The equally rare and collector-coveted 1785 COPPER Connecticut Copper, African Head VF 30 NGC. M. 4.2-F.6, W-2360, R.8., from The W. Philip Keller Collection of US Colonials, took the second spot on the auction podium in Stamford, realizing $115,000.

The finest-known 1879 $1 Metric Dollar, Judd-1622, Pollock-1818, Low R.7, PR 68 Cameo NGC, a highly desirable coin of great beauty and peculiar metallic composition (silver, copper, aluminum and white metal), realized $74,750. Another highlight included the 1909 $5 PR 67 NGC Roman Finish. Only two graded higher: Realized: $51,750.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third-largest auction house, with annual sales of more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com

The thoughts and opinions in this piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.

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