NGC Vintage US Rarities Show Strength in Heritage ANA Sale

Posted on 8/10/2017

Bronze 1943 cent is the auction's leader, selling for $282,000

Vintage US coins certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) led the way in Heritage Auctions’ recent sale at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money this month in Denver.

1943 bronze cent
Click image to enlarge.
1851 “887” Reeded Edge Augustus Humbert Gold $50
Click image to enlarge.

The top two coins in the auction were both recently submitted to NGC for certification. One was a 1943 bronze cent graded NGC MS 62 BN that sold for $282,000.

This newly discovered specimen is considered a numismatic treasure because it is one of only a handful of 1943 cents erroneously struck in bronze. All cents from that year were supposed to be struck in zinc-coated steel to conserve copper during World War II. Pedigreed to Albert Michael Pratt, a former US Mint employee, it is the second-finest 1943 bronze cent certified by NGC.

That coin was closely followed by an 1851 “887” Reeded Edge Augustus Humbert Gold $50, graded NGC MS 63, that realized $235,000. This large-sized gold coin was struck during the height of the California Gold Rush by Augustus Humbert, assayer at the United States Assay Office in San Francisco. Only a small number of these interesting pieces were struck in the short time before the US Assay Office was replaced by the San Francisco Mint in 1854.

Other top NGC-graded US coins in this auction included a trio that attained $164,500 apiece:

  • An 1895 Liberty Head $20, graded NGC PF 66 Ultra Cameo. Only 51 of these proofs were struck and even fewer are believed to still exist. The NGC Census contains 10 of these, with this coin ranking as the finest.
  • A 1900 Liberty Head $20, graded NGC PF 66+ Ultra Cameo. A mere 124 of these proofs were struck, with 31 examples reported in the NGC Census. This is the highest-graded Ultra Cameo in the NGC Census and among the highest of all designations.
  • A 1915-S Panama-Pacific Round $50, graded NGC MS 65. Celebrating the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, only a few hundred of these impressive, high-denomination coins were struck. They feature an image of the Roman goddess Minerva by renowned sculptor Robert Aitken.

“This auction demonstrated the resurgent strength of the vintage US coin market, with two coins recently graded by NGC leading the way,” said NGC Chairman Mark Salzberg. “We are excited to be at the forefront of these positive developments for the vintage US coin market.”

The auction results can be viewed at

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.