Newman II Powers to $23.3 Million

Posted on 11/28/2013

NGC Icons Shatter Records! Finest 1796 Quarter Soars to $1,527,500!!-Newman Still A Scholar At 102!

History was certainly made at the Eric P. Newman Part II sale. For those of you that attended, it was an event for the ages. A total of $23.3 million was realized at the Heritage Auctions sale in the Big Apple on November 15-16. It is probably not much of a surprise that 46 lots easily exceeded six figures and accounted for almost 60% of the sale's proceeds. Yet this was a balanced venue as collectors from all budget price points were able to enjoy and purchase some of the wonderful coins hand-selected from author, researcher and consummate numismatist, Mr. Newman.

According to Mark Feld, well-known Senior Numismatist at Heritage, there was no fear in having the Newman sale a no reserve event: “Although some sellers are hesitant to offer their coins in auction without reserve, lots which are offered at no reserve tend to attract more bidder interest and higher bids.” This was obviously the case, as bidding was strong and even chaotic at times.

Per Feld, “It looks like twenty different coins brought in excess of $250,000. Multi-millionaires fought for some coins, while other coins went to individuals who wanted to own something from the Newman collection, even if it meant paying very large premiums to win them. There really was virtually something for everyone.”

Not surprisingly, as groups, the Bust Dollars and Bust Quarters garnered a large percentage of the highest bids, and some of the Proof No Motto Quarters closed at astounding prices.

Mark then relayed to me, “For what it’s worth, these were two of my favorite coins in the sale":

  • 1807 Draped Bust Quarter NGC MS 66 (realized $411,250)
  • 1834 Capped Bust Quarter NGC PF 66 Ultra Cameo (realized $235,000)

Of course, the numismatic marketplace has carefully calculated prices to which the collector may refer, based on supply, demand, documented trading history and popularity, etc. That covers most coins, and then there is a secondary level for coins that offer a strong pedigree, a story, extreme rarity and exceptional eye appeal. Additionally, there is yet another level above that when something is truly special. The third level of price consideration seemed to be at work for many of those that purchased examples from the Newman Collection Part II; the coins are just that special! The buyers are now proud custodians who are entrusted with a true bit of numismatic history from a numismatist that we will probably never see the likes of again.

The lion’s shares of the coins from Newman Part II are without peers. Painstakingly assembled by Mr. Newman from the early-to-mid-20th century, the original expenditure for this particular portion of Eric’s collection was around $7,500, truly mind-boggling!

Leading the way was a truly phenomenal coin that featured just what this market has been driven by over the last decade or longer: desirability, rarity, superb pedigree, finest known status and beauty. The inaugural United States Quarter Dollar:

  • 1796 B-2 Draped Bust Quarter Dollar NGC MS 67
    The Finest Certified 1796 Quarter $1,527,500 - a world record price for a quarter

Some of the tremendous prices realized for the entirely NGC-graded Newman II include the following:

  • 1795 Draped Bust Set Left Dollar NGC MS 66 $910,625
  • 1799 7x6 Stars Draped Bust Dollar NGC MS 67 $822,500
  • 1803 Large 3 Draped Bust Dollar NGC MS 65 $705,000
  • 1795 3 Leaves Flowing Hair Dollar NGC MS 65 $646,250
  • 1796 16 Stars Draped Bust Half Dollar NGC MS 63 $470,000
  • 1818 Capped Bust Quarter NGC PF 67 $381,875
  • 1840-O No Drapery Liberty Seated Quarter NGC MS 67 $329,000
  • 1841 No Drapery Liberty Seated Dime NGC PF 67 $305,500

Mr. Newman is certainly a treasure to our beloved hobby of numismatics. His vast library, work ethic and lifelong passion play testament and homage to this quintessential numismatist who is still an active scholar at 102 years of age.

A note for budding collectors: take time to learn about numismatics. The passion and the quest for knowledge should always be forefront for any collector. Knowledge of numismatics, as with most subjects, is really the key.

Next up on the coin circuit is The Money Show of The Southwest, in Houston, Texas, from December 5-7, at the spacious George R. Brown Convention Center. The host auction by Heritage (December 5-8) will feature an impressive array of desirable NGC numismatic properties, including a pair of extremely rare 1864 “L” on the ribbon Indian Cents. These are perhaps the quintessential rarities of the series and with an acknowledged mintage of slightly more than 20 coins, the opportunity to acquire one is noteworthy. The pair that will be coming up in the Lone Star State includes an impeccably toned NGC PF 64 Brown as well as a fiery and eye-appealing NGC PF 64 RB. Also, a visually stunning 1915 Barber Half Dollar is sure to cause quite the commotion as a phenomenal NGC PF 68, the finest known of this popular last-year issue comes up for bid. This Barber also boasts the second lowest mintage in the proof format within the series. Be sure to take a look at this one, as this ultra-gem is endowed with a veritable rhapsody of color intermingled over deeply mirrored surfaces!

Other NGC highlights in the Lone Star State:

  • 1839-O Capped Bust Half Dollar NGC MS 65
  • 1798 Draped Bust Dollar Small Eagle 15 Stars NGC MS 60
  • 1872-CC Liberty Seated Dollar NGC MS 61
  • 1803 Star Draped Bust Eagle Extra NGC MS 62
  • 1904 Liberty Eagle NGC PF 65
  • 1907 High Relief Saint-Gaudens $20 NGC MS 65

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.

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