It’s Showtime in the Golden State

Posted on 2/10/2011

The numismatic brethren have been landing in waves in Southern California. The first Western show of the year was a welcome junket for the many dealers and collectors in attendance, not only for the excitement which surrounds...

Pair Of SoCal Auctions Hammer Home $13.5 Million

The numismatic brethren have been landing in waves in Southern California. The first Western show of the year was a welcome junket for the many dealers and collectors in attendance, not only for the excitement which surrounds the highly anticipated first Long Beach extravaganza, but also for a few days to thaw out from the frigid conditions which have enveloped the majority of the country. For those that came out a bit early, the Goldbergs held their diverse and well-attended pre-Long Beach sale in Beverly Hills, at the Crowne Plaza hotel, January 31 through February 1. On a dollar basis, a phenomenal 1839-O Capped Bust Half, reeded edge, graded NGC PR 65, (the vaunted Robison pedigree) was the big winner, realizing $264,500, which was some 30 percent over pre-auction estimates! A fantastic example of this extraordinarily rare branch mint Proof. This is the finest known of the four known Proof examples of this enigmatic issue, all graded by NGC. Demand for other high-grade NGC Proof coins as well as conditional rarities was extremely high at this venue, as evidenced by the following list. The “PQ” material in particular was certainly in strong demand throughout.

Goldberg Pre-Long Beach Sale

  • 1877 Indian Head Cent NGC PR 67RB $13,800
  • 1867 Shield Nickel NGC PR 65 Cameo $46,000
  • 1857 Liberty Seated Dollar NGC MS 64 CAC $14,950
  • 1885 Morgan Dollar NGC PR 69 Cameo $92,000
  • 1922 Grant Dollar, with Star NGC MS 68 $12,075
  • 1892 Liberty Head Quarter Eagle NGC PR 67 Ultra Cameo $29,900
  • 1854 Three Dollar Princess NGC MS 66 $20,125
  • 1889 Three Dollar Princess NGC MS 69 $21,275
  • 1842 C Liberty Head Half Eagle, Small Date NGC MS 61 $57,500
  • 1910 $5 Indian Head NGC PF 66 $40,250
  • 1849 Oregon Beaver Five Dollar Gold NGC AU 55 $71,875
  • 1898 $10 Liberty Head Eagle NGC PR 65 Ultra Cameo $33,350
  • 1915 S Pan-Pac $50 Round NGC 65 $115,000

With the Goldberg auction complete, realizing over $5 million, the migration some 30 miles south to Long Beach began in earnest. The dealer setup at the Long Beach Convention Center on Wednesday seemed to go smoothly, and an audible electric buzz was noted throughout the hall. Some dealers and ardent collectors did arrive a little late. A multitude of flight delays and missed connections due to the treacherous winter weather had stymied them. However, with nearly a full contingent on hand, business on both sides of the bourse was quite active.

As those fresh from the frosty climate were thawing out, news that “Punxsutawney Phil” predicted an early spring was well received. Wholesale and retail trade for the show’s duration was substantial. In fact, a well-known Delaware dealer informed us that ultra-high-grade NGC Proof gold was blistering hot. A fabulous trio including the finest known Civil War issue 1865 $10 Liberty NGC PR 67 Ultra Cameo, 1879 Flowing Hair Stella NGC Proof 65+ Cameo and a 1913 $20 Saint-Gaudens NGC PR 67 changed hands wholesale at $540,000.

The feature Heritage auction, which reeled in over $8.55 million, seemed to solidify the belief that midrange priced coins as well as key coins from all series are in strong demand. Rare Mint State gold, Liberty Seated coins, key dates and Registry quality coins made a solid statement. Classic US commemoratives were also very active; in fact, a glorious 1928 Hawaiian graded NGC MS 67 realized $33,350 at the Heritage sale. We believe this to be the highest price on record for a NGC coin in this grade! Aggressive bids were in abundance, as evidenced by the following listing.

Heritage Signature Sale, Long Beach

  • 1776 Continental Dollar, Pewter AU58 NGC. Newman 2-C, Hodder 2-A. $43,125
  • 1847 Liberty Seated Half Dime NGC PR 65 $19,550
  • 1968 No S Roosevelt Dime NGC PR 68 Cameo $21,850
  • 1921-D Walking Liberty Half NGC MS 65 $19,550
  • 1942-S Walking Liberty Half NGC MS 67 $27,600
  • 1944-S Walking Liberty Half NGC MS 67 $29,900
  • 1936 Long Island Commemorative Half NGC MS 68 $13,800
  • 1901 Morgan Dollar NGC MS 64 $25,300
  • 1880 Morgan Dollar NGC PR 68 Cameo $20,700
  • 1825 Capped Bust Quarter Eagle NGC MS 61 $25,300
  • 1860 Three Dollar Princess NGC PR 66 Cameo $66,125
  • 1906 Liberty Half Eagle NGC PR 67 $43,125
  • 1801 Draped Bust Eagle NGC MS 63 $46,000
  • 1913-S Indian Head Eagle NGC MS 63 $27,600
  • 1911 D/D $20 Saint-Gaudens NGC MS 67 $21,850
  • 1920 S $20 Saint-Gaudens NGC MS 62 $54,625
  • 1921 $20 Saint-Gaudens NGC MS 62 $126,500
  • 1925 $20 Saint-Gaudens NGC MS 67 $25,300
  • 1860 Five Dollar Mormon Gold NGC AU 50 $51,175

Jim Bisognani has written extensively on US coin market trends and values and was the market analyst and writer for a major pricing guide for many years. He currently resides in Southern California and frequently attends major coin shows and auctions.

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