Some Heated FUN Ahead

Posted on 6/30/2011

Stack's-Bowers Sale Reels In $10.1 Million In Baltimore

Another Whitman Baltimore show is history and the demand for truly rare as well as conditionally rare certified coins continues to blaze as summer finally appears on our calendar. Typically the June show yields the smallest dealer harvest of the three Baltimore installments and this was no exception. Many vacant tables visually reinforced that fact. Some of the no-shows were obviously taking some well earned time for summer and Fourth of July holidays. Several others that I spoke to were just too busy and decided to stay on their own home turf to conduct business. Regardless, the Whitman staff deserves high praise, producing and managing a very professional and well executed event. Public attendance was moderate to heavy for most of the show. It seemed many collectors were on a quest, aggressively searching the expansive bourse for prime acquisitions. A host of hobbyists I spoke to were actually quite particular as to which coins were being targeted to fill holes and bridge gaps in their specific areas of expertise. Certainly the collector is alive, well and buying, albeit selectively.

I think the majority of dealers holding tables will concur that one of the best things about the Whitman show is that there always seems to be a steady stream of attendees. It doesn’t really matter who, what or from where; traffic eventually leads to sales. Whether buying simple bullion related material or five figure coins it’s good to know that there are customers that continually make the pilgrimage to this venue. In fact multiple dealers have told me they will see “regulars” as well as referrals that have made the trip to Baltimore to specifically meet them there. As one Florida dealer said “you can never get enough customers. If a referral comes up to my table or just a new face, I simply ask what they're collecting and ask for their email address so I can send images of coins and keep them informed when I have new inventory." Overall I think the consensus from most dealers on the bourse was that they had a fairly good show. Certainly in many instances it really depended on what type of material you have in your showcase. Bullion people did very well as did the collectible “meat and potatoes” dealers. Those selling problem-free midgrade keys within the $500-$2,500 range did especially well. Even the elite dealers and firms in attendance admitted good wholesale and moderate retail trade during the shows run.

The esoteric and conditionally rare performed very well at the host Stack’s-Bowers sale. For example, the popular and highly prized 1652 Massachusetts Bay Colony “Ghost Tree” Oak Tree shilling graded NGC XF 40 realized a solid $12,650. This is nearly 30% more than what this exact coin sold for when it appeared in a Stack’s sale in January 2007. The single finest early Walker--or perhaps any Walking Liberty Half Dollar for that matter--is the 1916 graded NGC MS 68 that realized a powerful $21,850. This spectacular ultra-Gem of a coin is a standout Pop 1, the only example graded that high by either major grading service, and was last seen publicly as part of Heritage's Signature Houston, Texas sale on November 30, 2007 when it realized $16,100. This coin, like the Oak Tree shilling, had been off the market for four years. This installment is certainly destined for the finest registry set or for those wanting the single finest first year Walker half in existence. One well known West Coast specialist in Walkers concurs: ”Fully struck blazing white coins are bringing huge premiums.” Keys and semikeys in MS 64 and better are also clogging many want lists. An 1895 Morgan dollar, a proof-only issue, graded PF 68 Ultra Cameo by NGC, raced to $109,250. This glorious coin shares the same numeric distinction with a mere handful according to the NGC census and only a single specimen is graded a single point higher! With all precincts reporting, the host Stack’s-Bowers sale captured a tidy $10.1 million. Strong competition existed for various high grade Liberty Seated denominations. The Barber series also received strong attention. Top tier Walkers, rare patterns, and select Morgan dollars made bold statements. Other Stack's–Bowers NGC highlights are listed below:

  • 1894/1894 Indian Cent NGC MS 64 RD $4,485
  • 1909 VDB Lincoln Cent NGC PF 65 RB $23,000
  • 1851-O Three Cent Silver NGC MS 66 $5,175
  • 1797 15 Stars Draped Bust Half Dime NGC MS 65 $46,000
  • 1829 V-5, LM-6.3 Capped Bust Half Dime NGC MS 67 $7,015
  • 1937-D 3-Legged Buffalo Nickel NGC MS 64$10,350
  • 1825 Capped Bust Dime NGC PF 63 $18,400
  • 1837 No Stars Seated Liberty Dime NGC MS 62 $2,588
  • 1884 Seated Liberty Dime NGC PF 67 Ultra Cameo $4,600
  • 1874 Arrows Liberty Seated Quarter NGC PF 67 $13,800
  • 1898 Barber Quarter NGC PF 68 Ultra Cameo $9,480
  • 1883 Seated Liberty Half Dollar NGC PF 68 Cameo $19,550
  • 1916 Walking Liberty Half Dollar NGC MS 68 $21,850
  • 1921-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar NGC MS 64 $12,650
  • 1939-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar NGC MS 68 $5,319
  • 1854 Seated Liberty Dollar NGC PF 64 Ultra Cameo $21,850
  • 1873 Trade Dollar NGC MS 65 $10,350
  • 1878-CC GSA Morgan Dollar NGC MS 65 $4,313
  • 1879-S Morgan Dollar NGC MS 68 PL $14,375
  • 1879-CC GSA Morgan Dollar NGC MS 64 $10,063
  • 1895 Morgan Dollar NGC PF 68 Ultra Cameo $109,250
  • 1934-S Peace Dollar NGC MS 66 $25,300
  • 1888 Gold Dollar NGC PF 68 Cameo $27,600
  • 1844-D Liberty Quarter Eagle NGC MS 62 $13,800
  • 1867 Three Dollar Gold NGC MS 61 $9,200
  • 1831 Capped Bust Half Eagle NGC AU 58 $46,000
  • 1863-S Liberty Half Eagle NGC AU 58 $25,875
  • 1916-S Indian Eagle NGC MS 64 $10,925
  • 1855-O Liberty Double Eagle NGC AU 53 $40,250
  • 1866-S No Motto Liberty Double Eagle NGC AU 50 $25,300
  • 1882-CC Liberty Double Eagle NGC MS 61 $13,260
  • 1907 High Relief, Flat Rim Saint-Gaudens $20 NGC MS 65 $48,875
  • 1912 Saint-Gaudens $20 NGC PF 67 $82,800
  • 1928 Saint-Gaudens $20 NGC MS 67 $12,075
  • 1892 Columbian Exposition Half Dollar NGC PF 65 $7,475
  • 1855 Judd-167 Flying Eagle Cent NGC PF 65 BN $16,100
  • 1869 Judd-783 Liberty Eagle NGC PF 62 $48,875
  • 1873 Judd-1344 Liberty Double Eagle NGC PF 62 $29,900
  • 1851 Lettered Edge 880 THOUS Augustus Humbert $50 NGC AU 55 $63,250

Many dealers and avid numismatists will attempt to take some time off from the rigorous schedule for a brief summer respite as directly after the Fourth of July holiday the Summer FUN show takes center stage July 7-9. Orlando, Florida will again be the host city for this highly anticipated venue. Both the physical climate and atmosphere within the spacious Orange County Convention Center is bound to spawn some heated FUN. The Heritage host auction offers up a virtual treasure trove for all numismatists, encompassing over 6,000 lots in five sessions. NGC highlights are listed for your perusal.

  • 1806 Draped Bust Half Cent NGC MS 64 RB
  • 1864 'L' Indian Cent NGC MS 65 RB
  • 1863 Three Cent Silver NGC PF 66
  • 1873 Three Cent Silver NGC PF 66
  • 1885 Liberty Nickel NGC MS 63
  • 1937-D 3-Legged Buffalo Nickel NGC MS 64
  • 1838 Capped Bust Quarter NGC PF 64
  • 1892 Barber Quarter NGC PF 68 Ultra Cameo
  • 1906-O Barber Quarter NGC MS 67
  • 1794 Flowing Hair Half Dollar NGC EF 45
  • 1926 Sesquicentennial Half Dollar NGC MS 66
  • 1919-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar NGC MS 64
  • 1927-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar NGC MS 64
  • 1870 Liberty Seated Dollar NGC PF 67
  • 1880 Trade Dollar NGC PF 67
  • 1881 Type III Gold Dollar NGC MS 68
  • 1797 16 Stars Small Eagle Draped Bust Half Eagle NGC AU 53
  • 1813 Capped Bust Half Eagle NGC MS 63
  • 1871-CC Liberty Half Eagle NGC MS 61
  • 1892 Liberty Half Eagle NGC PF 67
  • 1908 Indian $20 NGC MS 68
  • 1860-E Liberty $20 NGC AU 50
  • 1861-O Liberty $20 NGC AU 58
  • 1927-S Saint-Gaudens $20 NGC MS 61
  • 1915-S Round Panama-Pacific $50 NGC MS 63
  • 1915-S Octagonal Panama-Pacific NGC MS 63

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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