Yellow and Black Triumphant in Pittsburgh; Heritage Signature Sale Rakes in Over $16.1 Million

Posted on 10/20/2011

The third and final ANA brand name event for 2011 is in the books. The spring ANA Money Show...

The third and final ANA brand name event for 2011 is in the books. The spring ANA Money Show in Sacramento and the World’s Fair of Money in Chicago were held prior to this inaugural fall ANA show held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

With moderate to heavy rain showers in the region for most of the week, Mother Nature was not wholly hospitable; nonetheless PNG day on Wednesday, October 12 was the scene of heated wholesale business. A host of PNG dealers that I spoke to advised that they were able to purchase many superb certified coins for both inventory and their clients. A well known East Coast dealer said, “It was well worth setting up for my supply line was just about depleted.” Several vest pocket dealers also showed me multiple boxes of their latest acquisitions when the trading day ended. After a brief opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting on Thursday, the 9 a.m. bell signaled the always highly anticipated opening of the bourse to the public. Attendance was steady and energetic during the course of the show.

There were many collectors that had driven from all points of Pennsylvania, from places up and down the Eastern seaboard, and from as far west as Missouri and Illinois. A common theme was the excitement to actually be at an ANA show and an opportunity they wouldn’t have missed. All attendees seemed to be excited to be at the spacious David L Lawrence Convention Center. Not only to view the wonderful exhibits, but the opportunities to purchase the rarest that numismatics has to offer. One couple, Fred and Jessica, who hailed from western Pennsylvania, were perhaps the most enthusiastic duo that I encountered. Fred confessed to being an avid collector since 1966 whose specialty and passion is the Barber series. His wife Jessica, is proud to be a new numismatist of the 2011 vintage. “I’m here to learn as much as I can and to see what this hobby is all about. Everyone I’ve talked to has been more than helpful.” The couple is anxious to have their young daughter Libby, carry the numismatic baton as she gets a little older.

Speaking of carrying the baton, around 10 a.m. Saturday morning an anxious throng of Boy Scouts and their troop leaders arrived for a merit badge workshop. It is this type of exuberance that bodes well for the future of our hobby.

Very much like the host city’s infatuation with the yellow and black team colors of their favorite football team, the Steelers, rare bright yellow gold mint state representatives and deep black proof cameos from virtually every US Gold type series were being pursued like an opposing quarterback dropping back in the pocket. Semikey Morgan Dollars in high grade were easy sells yet lower-end certified examples remained bargained priced and found few takers. Only light action was observed within the classic US silver commemorative series as well. The feeling was that Gem quality coins and better representatives will still be readily available down the road and collectors seem to be more discerning when it comes to purchasing examples from this series. They can afford to be choosy with a wealth of superb material still available on the marketplace. Late 18th and early 19th Century problem-free type coins were on virtually everyone’s want lists and seemingly at the top of those requests were large-sized Capped Bust Quarters in Fine to XF. Although many established professionals may not have experienced the sustained floor traffic they had hoped for, several major players confirmed a tremendous volume of sales. One well known dealer from Southern California advised me that he sold over $1.5 million in certified slabs the first two days of the show with a good portion to retail customers. While perhaps not the perfect show for the more than 300 dealers in attendance it was one that went off without a major glitch as the head of security confirmed a great show with no incidents.

The host Signature auction held by Heritage Galleries was also extremely successful. The five session sale reeled in over $16.1 million! A host of superb NGC-certified slabs found new homes. Heading the impressive list was the 1864 $20 Liberty NGC PF 65 Ultra Cameo, raking in an impressive $345,000. Some of the more notable NGC offerings from this first fall classic include:

  • 1776 Pewter Continental Dollar NGC MS 61 $57,500
  • 1856 Flying Eagle Cent NGC PF 64 $16,100
  • 1857 Flying Eagle Cent NGC PF 64 $12,768
  • 1916 Lincoln Cent NGC PF 67 RD $34,500
  • 1936 Type Two (Brilliant Finish) Lincoln Cent NGC PF 67 RD $16,100
  • 1918/7–D Buffalo Nickel NGC AU 53 $13,800
  • 1926–S Buffalo Nickel NGC MS 66 $115,000
  • 1794 Flowing Hair Half Dime NGC MS 63 $25,300
  • 1796 Draped Bust Dime NGC MS 64 $54,625
  • 1835 Capped Bust Dime NGC PF 66 $43,125
  • 1874 Arrows Liberty Seated Dime NGC MS 69 $51,750
  • 1807 Draped Bust Quarter NGC MS 66 $115,000
  • 1901–S Barber Quarter NGC MS 64 $57,500
  • 1901–S Barber Quarter NGC MS 66 $86,250
  • 1794 Flowing Hair Half Dollar NGC AU 53 $46,000
  • 1796 15 Stars Draped Bust Half NGC F 12 $46,000
  • 1858 Liberty Seated Half NGC PF 66 Cameo $21,850
  • 1941 Walking Liberty Half NGC PF 69 $25,300
  • 1840 Liberty Seated Dollar NGC PF 65 $60,375
  • 1849 Liberty Seated Dollar NGC PF 65 $66,125
  • 1863 Liberty Seated Dollar NGC PF 68 Cameo $51,750
  • 1849 No L Gold Dollar NGC MS 67 $20,700
  • 1874 Obverse Brockage Gold Dollar NGC MS 62 $32,200
  • 1864 Gold Dollar NGC PF 66 Ultra Cameo $32,200
  • 1825 Capped Bust Quarter Eagle NGC MS 66 $115,000
  • 1841 Liberty Head Quarter Eagle NGC PF 55 $132,250
  • 1856–D Liberty Head Quarter Eagle NGC AU 58 $40,250
  • 1863 Liberty Head Quarter Eagle NGC PF 63 Cameo $50,500
  • 1864 Liberty Head Quarter Eagle NGC PF 65 Ultra Cameo $48,875
  • 1864 Three Dollar Indian NGC PF 64 Ultra Cameo $43,125
  • 1795 Draped Bust, Small Eagle Half Eagle NGC MS 62 $92,000
  • 1796/5 Draped Bust, Small Eagle Half Eagle NGC MS 62 $207,000
  • 1864 Liberty Half Eagle NGC PF 65 Ultra Cameo $103,500
  • 1864 Liberty $10 NGC PF 64 Ultra Cameo $138,000
  • 1860 Liberty $20 NGC MS 64 $54,625
  • 1864 Liberty $20 NGC PF 65 Ultra Cameo $345,000
  • 1901 Liberty $20 NGC PF 66 Cameo $112,125
  • 1907 High Relief, Wire Rim Saint-Gaudens $20 NGC MS 67 $126,500
  • 1907 High Relief, Flat Rim Saint-Gaudens $20 NGC MS 67 $103,500
  • 1915–S Round Panama-Pacific $50 NGC MS 65 $126,500
  • 1915–S Octagonal Panama-Pacific $50 NGC MS 65 $109,250
  • 1877 Judd-1547 Gilt $50 (Half Union) NGC PF 63 $184,000
  • 1860 Mormon Five Dollar NGC AU 50 $74,750

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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