Heritage ANA Auctions Eclipse $46 Million

Posted on 8/24/2010

1907 plain edge eagle, thought to be the only example seen by Saint-Gaudens before his death, brings $359,375.

DALLAS, TX — The total prices realized for Boston, Mass., Signature® and Platinum Night ANA US Coin Auction reached $34,065,984, including 15% Buyers Premium, for the 7,133 total lots in the auction. This translates into a sell-through rate of 93.310% by lot. The total of all three Heritage numismatic category auctions – US coins, World coins and currency – that took place throughout the week of the ANA’s World’s Fair of Money was more than $46 million, a new record total for a Heritage ANA event.

“I’d categorize the auction results as quite strong indeed,” said Greg Rohan, president of Heritage Auctions. “We had rarity, history and beauty all in large supply and collectors took full advantage of the offerings. Rare coins continue to be seen as a good market to be in, as the record totals indicate.”

The coin that generated the most pre-auction buzz – even generating a pre-auction story on New Hampshire Public Radio – was the 1907 $10 Wire Rim, Plain Edge, Judd-1902, formerly Judd-1774A, Pollock-1996, R.8, PR 62 NGC, believed to be unique with the Plain Edge, possibly the first Indian Eagle ever struck and likely the only Saint-Gaudens coin that Augustus Saint-Gaudens himself ever laid eyes on. The hype proved to be worth it, as at least two collectors vied for this historic coin before it finally went to a determined bidder for the figure of $359,375.

“We believe this specimen is the sole surviving representative of the plain edge 1907 Indian eagle pattern, although a second example may still exist,” said Rohan. “We know that two plain edge patterns were struck in July 1907, with one sent to Treasury Secretary George B. Cortelyou and forwarded to President Theodore Roosevelt, and the other sent to Saint-Gaudens. Although we are unable to say which of the two coins the present specimen is, it is highly likely that this is the coin sent to Saint-Gaudens, which gives it the special cachet of being the only actual coin of his design that the sculptor personally saw. All other Indian eagles and all of the Saint-Gaudens designed double eagles were struck after the artist died on August 3, 1907.”

If, on the other hand, this is the example sent to Cortelyou and forwarded to Roosevelt, then it is also historically important. Heritage coin specialists, however, believe it was more likely that the Roosevelt example was eventually returned to the mint and melted down.

“In any event,” said Rohan, “the second, while it may well still be extant, has never surfaced.”

Other highlights include, but are certainly not limited to:

The Farouk-Norweb 1915 P50C Panama-Pacific Half Dollar in Gold, Judd-1960, formerly Judd-1793, Pollock-2031, High R.8, PR 64 NGC, one of only two known, was among the highest selling lost of the auction, with a $460,000 tally coming amidst spirited bidding.

Momentous 1797 Small Eagle, 15 Stars Five Dollar, BD-2, R.7, Finest Certified, only Mint State example, MS 60 NGC, Breen-6419: The 1795 half eagles were the first US gold coins, produced in the third year of official US Mint coinage and under the second and third mint directors, William Henry DeSaussure and Elias Boudinot, respectively. This piece appears to be the finest of any of the eight examples Heritage is aware of. Realized: $218,500.

A previously unknown South Africa 1928 Sixpence struck in sterling silver was among the top prices realized in Heritage’s Signature® World Coin Auction. This coin was the subject of a recent From the NGC Grading Room article. Realized: $155,250.

The market for Russian coins remains strong, demonstrated by a Nicholas II Proof gold 25 Roubles (2 1/2 Imperials) 1896 St. Petersburg that realized a healthy $149,500.

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 www.HA.com

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