Summer FUN Sale Reels in $9.3 Million, Philadelphia ANA Next Up

Posted on 7/26/2012

Market Still Showing Broad-Based Strength - Final Preparations Underway for the World's Fair of Money

The sixth annual Summer FUN convention is in the books. Overall registered dealer turnout was a bit heavier than anticipated for this summer show that is sandwiched in between the Baltimore and Philadelphia shows. Collectors and the public didn’t disappoint either as they came out in moderate numbers to scour the bourse. Dealers, when not manning their tables, were canvassing the floor anxious to capture any fresh deals. While the market is still showing broad-based strength, it is indeed very selective. Many feel that high quality coins, and not necessarily limited to just the ultra-rarities, are still being closely held. Well known Massachusetts dealer Charles Hertan concurred, advising me, “I sense that we are still in a holding pattern this summer.” Exceptions seemed to be the wealth of action on the various electronic trading networks targeting mid-grade generic gold type, slightly better date Mint State Morgan Dollars and Gem quality and better Walking Liberty Halves from the short set. However, Craig Gantner, a well respected dealer from Minnesota, shared a common refrain quoted by many dealers--customers lose interest in coins a little bit during the summer although the action picks up like clockwork in early fall. As for the present state of the coin business, Craig observed that the market is perhaps stronger overall especially when you consider that virtually all major auction houses have been quietly implementing an increase in buyer’s fees. “To me that’s pretty big in light of the fact that as a natural course of increasing coin prices and auction volumes, their net margins have to be going up from that alone. Apparently the market can support it,” advised Craig.

As the majority of the coin arena may be on “autopilot” until the ANA, there are areas that may remain overlooked. As one knowledgeable collector from New Hampshire advised me, “Even markets that are not considered ‘hot beds’ within numismatics right now are still performing well when eye appealing or exotic examples appear for sale. For some it is the lightly traveled segments that sprout opportunities and value in this market. I think MS 65 and better quality common Buffalo Nickels and Full Bands MS 66 Mercury Dimes are great bargains at these levels.” Another enthusiast said that he loves Classic US Commemoratives, both gold and silver. “With the prices as low as they are, I am buying as many as I can while I can still afford to.” For hobbyists just getting acquainted with the certified coin market, there are numerous options at all price points. Beautiful eye appealing, obsolete coins are great acquisitions for the eager newcomer. For the seasoned numismatist they offer a pleasant diversification and value while experiencing another area of collecting.

Those not able to fulfill want lists with offerings on the bourse floor also enjoyed the host Heritage Signature Auction which featured a noteworthy array of collector coins in all grades. In total over 5,600 lots were sold generating a solid $9.3 million. While the market remains selective, especially for eye appealing and rare coins, it is significant to note that only one coin at public auction in the Sunshine State eclipsed six figures, verifying that strong collector and dealer demand for coins within the $5,000 to $50,000 range remains a focal point. A few noteworthy examples include a dazzling 1936 Lincoln Cent graded NGC PF 66 RD Brilliant Cameo which delivered $11,500. This represents a 43% increase in the price realized compared to the last time this exact coin appeared at public sale, which was at the FUN show in January 2008 when it captured $8,050. This coin has always been popular amongst Lincoln collectors and proof collectors as 1936 was the first year in which the brilliant proof format was offered in the venerable Lincoln Cent series. With only four coins appearing on the NGC Census as Red Cameo, this solid, problem free Gem is tied at the top of the grading ladder. Another is an exemplary 1795 Silver Plugged Flowing Hair Dollar graded NGC VF 30. Only 16 coins of this popular (BB 21) variety are listed in the NGC Census, of which nine are graded Very Fine. Attesting to the strength in the market when quality early Federal coins such as this appear, a solid $25,300 bid took home this popular second year Type coin. This appears to be a record for an NGC coin in this grade. A rare and popular 1890-CC Liberty Head Half Eagle graded NGC MS 65 also made an appearance. Tied for the finest known, this boldly struck frosty gem realized $31,050. Prior to this Florida venue only two other Gems, both NGC MS 65 specimens, had appeared at public auction in the last 12 years. The most recent was at the Heritage Central States Platinum Night April 19, 2012 when a MS 65 example, not quite as fully struck as the FUN coin, brought home $32,200. Other NGC standouts at FUN included the following cast:

  • 1955 Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln Cent NGC MS 65 RD $14,950
  • 1863/2 Three Cent Silver NGC PF 66 $12,650
  • 1913 Type I Buffalo Nickel NGC PF 68 $17,250
  • 1795 Three Leaves Flowing Hair Dollar NGC MS 61 $51,750
  • 1852 Restrike Seated Liberty Dollar NGC PF 64 $35,938
  • 1854 Seated Liberty Dollar NGC PF 64 Ultra Cameo $23,000
  • 1877 Trade Dollar NGC MS 66 $24,150
  • 1880 Trade Dollar NGC PF 68 Cameo $25,300
  • 1893-S Morgan Dollar NGC AU 53 $16,675
  • 1854 Type II Gold Dollar NGC MS 64 $13,800
  • 1848 CAL. Liberty Quarter Eagle NGC AU 58 $53,188
  • 1799 Small Stars Reverse Capped Bust Half Eagle NGC MS 62 $40,250

Boy does time fly! As this article posts we are less than two weeks away from the granddaddy event within the numismatic world. Virtually every dealer, serious collector and “coindexter” throughout our shores and beyond is making final preparations for the ANA World’s Fair of Money in historic Philadelphia August 7 -11.

Heritage will conduct a powerful prelude to the ANA in the “City of Brotherly Love,” with their Signature and Platinum Night Auctions on August 2 -5 at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel. A partial roster of the NGC marvels up for bid include:

  • 1776 Newman 2-C Pewter Continental Dollar NGC MS 64
  • 1792 One Cent Silver Center J-1 NGC VF 30
  • 1793 Flowing Hair Wreath Cent Lettered Edge NGC MS 66 BN
  • 1855 Arrows Liberty Seated Dime NGC PF 67 Cameo
  • 1838 Capped Bust Quarter NGC PF 64
  • 1901-S Barber Quarter NGC MS 67
  • 1794 Flowing Hair Half Dollar NGC AU 50
  • 1838 Reeded Edge Capped Bust Half Dollar NGC MS 67
  • 1921 Peace Dollar High Relief NGC PF 64 Satin
  • 1796 No Stars Capped Bust Quarter Eagle NGC MS 63
  • 1845 Liberty Quarter Eagle NGC PF 67 Ultra Cameo
  • 1861-S Liberty Eagle NGC MS 61
  • 1932 Saint-Gaudens $20 NGC MS 65

The ANA host auctioneer Stack’s Bowers will start their auction on Saturday, August 4. All sessions will be conducted at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The powerful Rarities Night session slated for Thursday, August 9 includes an absolutely scintillating grouping of some of the finest known Carson City silver and gold coins imaginable. NGC graded numismatic legends include the following formidable lineup:

  • 1781-Dated Silver Libertas Americana Medal NGC MS 62
  • 1793 “AMERICA” No Periods Chain Cent NGC MS 66 BN
  • 1875-CC Twenty Cent Piece NGC MS 67
  • 2000-P Sacagawea Dollar Reverse Muled with Statehood Quarter Obverse NGC MS 67
  • 1872-CC Liberty Seated Dollar NGC MS 64
  • 1889-CC Morgan Dollar NGC MS 65
  • 1843-D Liberty Half Eagle NGC SP 65
  • 1871-CC Liberty Half Eagle NGC MS 63
  • 1878-CC Liberty Eagle NGC AU 58
  • 1881-CC Liberty Eagle NGC MS 64
  • 1870-CC Liberty Double Eagle NGC AU 53
  • 1871-CC Liberty Double Eagle NGC MS 64
  • 1873-CC Liberty Double Eagle NGC MS 61

The ANA is certainly rolling out the red carpet for attendees and dealers with a smorgasbord of numismatic attractions. The bourse floor will be a mammoth 225,000 square feet. Centered in the cradle of our country’s birth and its first capital, Philadelphia is also steeped in our numismatic history and lore. It was here in 1792 that our young republic’s first mint at 7th and Arch Streets opened its doors; not all that far from the Pennsylvania Convention Center that hosts this year’s ANA! With so many commemorative issues for collectors and massive quantities of regular coinage produced for the general public today, it is easy to forget the primitive equipment and arduous conditions that the first Philadelphia Mint’s workers encountered. Certainly a far cry from the automated marvel today which can turn out 1 million coins in 30 minutes, our earliest federal issues were actually individual works of art. Each coin leaving the press was unique and practically handcrafted by coiners in early Federal Philadelphia. Think of this the next time you encounter an early Large Cent or perhaps a 1795 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar with a silver plug mentioned earlier.

This summer classic is a chance for the numismatic elite to display superb coins and impart sage advice to all attendees. Even those collectors that may have eased back on their activity level over the summer months will be rejuvenated with a shot of numismatic adrenaline which only the ANA World’s Fair of Money can generate. All of us in the forefront of this profession are also thrilled to extend an invitation to newcomers, both young and old, to be a part of this glorious celebration and hobby. Hope to see you there!

Until next time, happy collecting!

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.

Stay Informed

Want news like this delivered to your inbox once a month? Subscribe to the free NGC eNewsletter today!


You've been subscribed to the NGC eNewsletter.

Unable to subscribe to our eNewsletter. Please try again later.

Articles List

Add Coin

Join NGC for free to add coins, track your collection and participate in the NGC Registry. Learn more >

Join NGC

Already a member? Sign In
Add to NGC Coin Registry Example
The NGC Registry is not endorsed by or associated with PCGS or CAC. PCGS is a registered trademark of Collectors Universe, Inc. CAC is a trademark of Certified Acceptance Corporation.