NY Takes On The World as 59th FUN Features Million Dollar Trio
Posted by Jim Bisognani on 1/9/2014
What a hectic start to 2014! While excitement continues to boil over in the numismatic sector, frigid weather is blanketing most of the United States. Mother Nature has certainly done her best to alter travel plans of numismatists and dealers everywhere. As the New Year gets underway, in the somewhat frozen tundra of New York, premier auctions by Heritage Auctions and Stack’s Bowers have been showcasing a superb array of world coins for ardent collectors and dealers to wage battle over on the auction floor. As we go to press, Heritage Auction’s World and Ancient Coin Signature Auction, held at the historic Waldorf Astoria hotel, featured phenomenal NGC-certified world coins which led the way as the sale raked in nearly $15 million! Powerful demand has been noted for Brazil, Great Britain and British Commonwealth countries.
Leading the NGC world cavalcade for Heritage:
- Brazil 1822 R Pedro I 6,400 Reis NGC AU 55 $499,375
- Brazil 1922 Republic 10,000 Reis NGC MS 64 $105,750
- Great Britain 1706 Anne 5 Guineas NGC AU 58 $94,000
- Great Britain 1839 Victoria Gold 5 Pounds NGC PF 63 Ultra Cameo $141,000
- Guatemala 1824 NG 8 Escudos NGC MS 65 $176,250
- Mexico 1609 Mo Felipe III 8 Reales NGC AU 55 $111,625
- Mexico 1667/6 Mo Felipe IV 8 Reales NGC XF 45 $88,125
- Russia 1757 Elizabeth Dassier Rouble NGC MS64 $176,250
Stack’s Bowers, the official auction of the New York International Numismatic Convention, will also be the venue of many world treasures as the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio sale will commence January 10-13 in the Big Apple, also at the Waldorf Astoria. As always, a superb and eclectic grouping of world issues awaits perspective buyers including varied British Commonwealth issues that will vie for robust competition. A strong Brazilian contingent of colonial gold issues bears strong consideration too, featuring a 1726 and a 1727 20,000 Reis graded NGC MS 63 and NGC MS 62, respectively.
Other NGC world highlights at the host NYINC sale include:
- Chile 1788 Charles III 8 Reales NGC MS 62
- Columbia 1754-S Ferdinand VI 8 Escudos Cob NGC XF 45
- German East Africa 1916 15 Rupien NGC MS 63
- Germany 1686-RB Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel NGC MS 64
- Germany (1675-92) Hamburg 10 Ducat NGC VF 25
- Germany 1878-B Prussia 10 Mark NGC UNC details
- Germany Saxony 1657 2 Daler NGC MS 63
- Great Britain 1773 George III Pattern 5 Guineas NGC PF 64
- Great Britain 1768 George III Pattern 2 Guineas NGC PF 63
- Great Britain 1820 George III Pattern 5 Pounds \NGC PF 61 Cameo
- Mexico 1769 MoGO Charles III ½ Grano NGC MS 65 RB
- Mexico 1769 MoGO Charles III Grano NGC MS 65 RB
- Russia 1751 Elizabeth Rouble NGC MS 63
Afterwards, still in the Empire State, the fabulous Newman Collection, Part III, will debut some of the finest world coins. All NGC-certified, the sale will take the stage January 14-16 at Heritage Auction’s Park Avenue office. Eye appealing, seldom-seen rarities are commonplace among the 1,908 lots up for bid. Be sure to take a look at the online Heritage catalog as well as the entire Newman collection on the NGC site.
Superb coins from Great Britain and Europe with an especially fine and seldom seen grouping from Sweden highlight the assembly. Several of my favorite coins include the following roster:
- Canada 1884 Victoria Cent NGC SP 65 RB
- Denmark 1691 Christian V Gold 2 Ducats NGC MS 62
- Great Britain 1847 Raised Edge Lettering Victoria Gothic Crown NGC PF 66
- Hong Kong 1866 Victoria Dollar NGC PF 64
- Russia 1729 Peter II Gold Ducat NGC AU 50
- Sweden 1599 Carl (IX) Daler NGC MS 63
NY has certainly taken on the world to start 2014!
Of course almost the entire herd of numismatic notables will be making an appearance (weather permitting!) at the 59th annual FUN convention in Orlando, FL. The unofficial numismatic rights of the new season will be ushered in January 9-12. Once again being held at the spacious Orange County Convention Center, warmer temperatures will thaw the many that have made the trek to the Sunshine State. With over 600 dealers and 16 seminars this FUN Show certainly represents a superb opportunity to rub elbows with who’s who and to see a fabulous array of numismatic coins for sale as well as icons on display, such as the McDermott/Bebee 1913 Liberty Nickel and The Class III Idler/Bebee specimen 1804 Dollars courtesy of the ANA Roadshow.
Those that are in a lucrative financial position may be fortunate enough to walk away with one of the heralded 1913 Liberty Head Nickels. Perhaps the most famous of the quintet, the Hawaii Five-0/Olsen specimen, graded NGC PF 64, is part of the Heritage FUN Signature auction, which is slated to meet the auctioneer’s gavel as we go to press tonight, January 9. This historic piece—the second finest known—was made even more famous in pop culture by making an appearance in the first Hawaii Five-0 television series. The episode which aired some 40 years ago, December 11, 1973, featured the clandestine numismatic icon as the prime attraction of the episode which was called “The $100,000 Nickel.” I fondly remember the episode as it also featured several other high-profile US coins including a $4 Flowing Hair Stella and a couple of the $50 Pan-Pacs. Amazingly, $100,000 would be an incredible bargain for the coin today! Pre-auction hype and enthusiasm already has the 1913 bid at $3.3 million as I write this!
There are also at least two other NGC-certified rarities which will break the hallowed million dollar plateau. Both gold coins, one is the famous 1787 Brasher Doubloon EB on Wing graded NGC MS 63, which is perhaps the rarest and most coveted of all US coins. A true numismatic treasure designed by patriot gold and silversmith Ephraim Brasher, this coin represents the first pre-Federal American gold coin which was intended for actual circulation. This fantastic coin last appeared for sale back in 1979. Worthy of a record-setting price, the quintessential US gold coin has already garnered a bid in excess of $4.1 million!
Another gold coin commands attention too, as the rarest of the $20 Saint-Gaudens series finds a phenomenal 1927-D graded NGC MS 66 up for admiration and bidding. This golden ultra gem, which certainly ranks in the top echelon of the dozen or so known examples, has already exceeded $1.5 million in pre-auction bidding. This exceptional trio is a part of the Platinum Night festivities on January 9th!
Just how strong is the US rare coin market? Consider this: since 1996 there have been a total of 60 US coins which have eclipsed the million dollar benchmark; 11 of those coins broke the million dollar plateau in 2013 alone! FUN has always been considered a barometer of the numismatic marketplace and this installment should bear witness to elevated excitement and enthusiasm. Not only for the so-called trophy coins, but for the key dates and exceptional type coins from virtually all series. As one well known dealer advised: “I believe collector coins should be watched carefully. By that I mean the better date Barber coins and liberty seated coins. Both of these series represent time-honored rarities that are still somewhat unheralded, in my opinion. My advice to collectors; do not hesitate to buy a few key dates as well as exceptionally graded coins when they come up at current market levels.” Other dealers headed into Florida feel that the time is ripe for expansion in the market and that many coins, especially 19th century type coins have been suppressed and overlooked and are ripe for advances.
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.