Rarities Abound in Heritage's May 2008 Long Beach Auction of US Coins

Posted on 5/27/2008

The Official Auction of the May 2008 Long Beach Coin Expo is now posted by Heritage Auction Galleries on their HA.com Web site. NGC-certified rarities can be found throughout the series.

NGC-certified rarities can be found throughout the series included in Heritage's Long Beach catalog – the Official Auction of the May 2008 Long Beach Coin Expo. The auction, being held in California May 28-30, is now posted by Heritage Auction Galleries on their HA.com website. Signature® catalogs for both U.S. and World Coins & Ancients will be presented.

“The strong market is continuing to bring great rarities onto the Heritage auction block,” commented Heritage President Greg Rohan, “with a wide range from Colonials through double eagles. May Long Beach will be an incredible event!“ Altogether, more than 650 consignors are participating in Heritage's May Long Beach auctions.

NGC-certified highlights from Heritage's Long Beach Signature® Auction:

Lot 334: 1891-O 25C Specimen MS65 NGC.
One of only two pieces known since it was first recognized in 1941 when it appeared in Mehl's Dunham Sale. Ex: William Forrester Dunham (B. Max Mehl FPL, 6/1941); Gene Edwards; 1980 ANA Sale (Steve Ivy, 8/1980), lot 2024; Jascha Heifetz Collection (Superior, 10/1989), lot 3652. From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 493: 1796 15 Stars Half Dollar, O-101, AU55 NGC.
The Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollar, bearing the dates 1796 or 1797, ranks among the lowest mintage of U.S. type coins, with only 3,918 pieces.

Lot 874: 1800 $1 Dotted Date, B-14, BB-194, R.3 MS66 NGC.
The famous Dotted Date dollar has been listed in the IGuide Book Q for a number of years, and this is the finest known survivor.

Lot 2956: 1808 $2.50 MS61 NGC, Breen-6125, BD-1, R.4.
Struck in just this one year, only 2,710 pieces were minted and of that number it has been estimated that fewer than 40 pieces exist today in all grades. Ex: Dr. Robert W. Dingle Collection (Heritage, 6/2001), lot 8829.

Lot 3461: 1907 $10 Wire Rim, Periods, MS67 NGC, Judd-1901, formerly J-1774.
The Periods variants of the 1907 Saint-Gaudens eagle hold an interesting place in American numismatics, as either patterns or regular issues. Only three have been certified finer.

Lot 3799: 1855 $50 Wass Molitor, MS61 NGC. K-9, R.5.
These large $50 “slugs” are simply some of the most impressive artifacts to have survived California's exciting Gold Rush era.

Lot 306: 1820 quarter dollar PR64 NGC. B-1.
A beautiful Choice proof with lovely golden-brown, jade-green, honey-gold, and lilac-gray toning. Ex: Auction '89 (Superior, 7/1989), lot 566, From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 651: 1839 No Drapery half dollar, MS64 NGC. WB-101.
The 1839 No Drapery half is popular both with type collectors (as a one-year subtype in the series) and Seated coinage enthusiasts (as a first year of issue among Seated Liberty halves). Ex: Chalkley (Superior, 1/1990), lot 3565. From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 667: 1854-O half dollar Arrows MS66 NGC.
The Arrows, No Rays, No Motto type was struck just two years, 1854 and 1855, and mintages at New Orleans were plentiful for both dates. Only three certified finer. Ex: Foxfire.

Lot 718: 1841 half dollar, PR64 NGC.
The 1841 half dollar in proof format is an extreme rarity; NGC and PCGS combined have certified a mere seven examples, and only one has been certified finer. Ex: The Boys Town Sale (Superior Galleries, 5/1990), lot 3803. From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 719: 1845 half dollar, PR64 NGC.
The 1845 proof half dollar is one of the more significant rarities in American numismatics; a sparse four coins have been certified by NGC and PCGS combined. Ex: Stack's (3/1965), lot 447; Superior Galleries (10/1990), lot 3662. Possibly earlier from the World's Greatest Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 4/1945), lot 273. From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 743: 1892-O Micro O half dollar MS65 NGC.
This legendary rarity was known as early as 1893, when Augustus G. Heaton mentioned it in his landmark treatise, Mint Marks. He wrote, “there is one rare variety of this piece [the 1892-O half] with an exceedingly small o, hardly larger than a period.” Ex: Moreira Sale (Superior, 1/1989), lot 4524; Jascha Heifetz Collection (Superior, 10/1989), lot 3770. From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 801: 1795 Flowing Hair, Two Leaves dollar, B-3, BB-11, R.5, AU50 NGC.
A “Silver Plugged” example created in 1795, as a thin silver sliver was added to the blank planchet to increase its weight -- by punching a hole in the planchet and inserting the sliver, which extended slightly past the planchet surface.

Lot 883: 1803 dollar, B-5, BB-252, MS63 NGC.
The obverse die is known only in this single die combination and is only found perfect, while the reverse was used for several different varieties beginning in 1801. Technically, the reverse die was first used in 1802, followed in combination with an 1801 dated obverse, then for these 1803 dollars.

Lot 937: 1871-CC dollar AU58 NGC.
Another of the Carson City Mint's rare silver coins, the entire mintage of 1,376 1871-CC dollars (a figure more suited to 18th century American gold than 19th century silver) was struck in August of that year. Only four known finer.

Lot 1059: 1922 No D Strong Reverse cent, MS64 Red and Brown NGC.
An amazing example of the popular 1922 No D cent with the strong reverse; only examples like the present piece, from the Strong Reverse die pair, also known as Die Pair 2, are the true No D cents.

Lot 1826: (1659) Lord Baltimore Fourpence, Large Bust and Shield. MS62 NGC.
This is the single finest certified Fourpence of Lord Baltimore, and is ex: Wayte Raymond Plate. From The Liberty Collection of American Colonial Coinage, Part Three.

Lot 2070: 1799 Gold Funeral Urn Medal, Baker-166, AU55 NGC.
George Washington was a favorite subject of medalists over the years, and a wide series of death medals were produced; the Funeral Urn medals were part of a series of gold, silver, and tin medals produced by Newburyport, Massachusetts engraver Jacob Perkins.
Ex: F.C.C. Boyd Estate; John J. Ford, Jr. (Stack's, 5/2004), lot 170; Columbus Central States Signature® (Heritage, 4/06), lot 198; FUN Signature® (Heritage, 1/08), lot 2649. From The Liberty Collection of American Colonial Coinage, Part Three.

Lot 2140: 1776 Continental Dollar, CURRENCY, EG FECIT, Pewter, AU53 NGC. Crosby Pl. VIII, Newman 3-D, Breen-1095, R.3.
The Continental dollars may have been intended to retire circulating Continental paper currency, or have served as a pattern for a planned issuance of silver dollars. What is nearly certain is that Elisha Gallaudet is the EG who engraved at least one set of dies--hence the EG FECIT on this variety.

Lot 2345: 1859 cent PR67 NGC.
This is one of the three finest certified of an important one-year type coin, with a reported mintage of just 800 pieces. From The Estate of Robert R. Rollins Collection, Part One.

Lot 3171: 1795 Small Eagle half eagle, BD-3, AU58 NGC.
This scarce variety is the most available of the 1795 Small Eagle half eagles; all other die pairings are rare in an absolute sense.

Lot 3175: 1802/1 half eagle, AU53 NGC. Breen-6440, BD-3, High R.7.
Clearly the rarest of all known 1802/1 half eagle varieties, with about five examples known today.

Lot 3215: 1842-C half eagle, Small Date, AU55 NGC. Variety 4-C, Die State I.
This issue is the rarest Charlotte half eagle, and is also the second rarest Charlotte coin behind the 1849-C Open Wreath gold dollar rarity. Four coins are listed on Winter's most recent Condition Census.

Lot 3266: 1861 half eagle MS65 Star NGC.
Despite its reputation as an available type coin, the 1861 half eagle is surprisingly elusive in better Mint State grades.

Lot 3292: 1878-CC half eagle, AU58 NGC.
The Carson City Mint was preoccupied in 1878 with striking Morgan Dollars (2.2 million coins), and not with half eagles (9,054 pieces); This coin is tied for the second finest certified.

Lot 3324: 1904 Liberty half eagle, PR67 Cameo NGC.
This is the finest 1904 proof Liberty half eagle that we have offered in any of our auctions, the previous best being a PR66 Cameo piece. Only one coin has certified finer.

Lot 3457: 1895 eagle PR65 Ultra Cameo NGC.
This stunning Gem has exceptional aesthetic appeal, and should prove to be a delightful addition to the connoisseur's collection. Both sides have impressively deep mirrors around highly lustrous and brilliant yellow devices. Only two certified finer.

Lot 3458: 1899 eagle, PR68 Star Ultra Cameo NGC.
There is and should be no doubt that this piece is the finest existing 1899 proof eagle.

Lot 3503: 1915 eagle, MS66 Star NGC.
The 1915 $10 enjoyed a high survival rate was quite high, but at the Gem level the 1915 become a condition rarity.

Lot 3622: 1871-CC double eagle AU50 NGC.
The 1871-CC is generally considered the second rarest Carson City $20, in overall rarity and condition rarity.

Lot 3629: 1872-CC double eagle, MS60 NGC.
The 1872-CC is scarce in all grades, and extremely rare in uncirculated grades.

Lot 3763: 1916-S double eagle, MS67 NGC.
The 1916-S is rare as an MS67; none have been certified finer.

Lot 3779: 1927-S double eagle, MS62 NGC.
Of the more than 3.1 million pieces recorded by the San Francisco Mint for the 1927-S $20, only 168 Mint State pieces have been certified in all grades at NGC and PCGS combined.

Lot 3785: (1837-42) C. Bechtler half eagle, 134G, With Star, MS63 NGC. K-20, R.4.
This variety is plentiful and widely available in better grades, making it a favorite of both type and specialty collectors.

Lot 3847: Silver Die Trial of 1864 Liberty Round 50 Cent, BG-1016a, MS62 NGC, R.8
This is one of perhaps two Mint State pieces known; this is NOT the BG-1016A, which has the same obverse as BG-1016, but a BG-1016a, the lowercase “a” signifying a regular BG-1016 but struck in silver.

For more information about Heritage's auctions, and a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit www.HA.com. To reserve your copy of any Heritage auction catalog, please contact Client Services at 1-800-872-6467, ext. 150, or visit www.HA.com/Catalog to order by email.

This is a guest article from Heritage Auction Galleries. The thoughts and opinions in the piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.