1838-O Branch Mint Proof Reeded Edge Half and Husak Large Cents Lead “Incredible” $25 Million Heritage Long Beach Signature Auction

by Heritage Auctions on February 20, 2008 · 0 comments

Dallas, TX. Bidding described as “astronomical,” “incredible,” “feverish,” and “stunning” greeted the long awaited Large Cent Collection of Walter Husak at Heritage’s Official Auction of the February 14-16, 2008 Long Beach Coin Expo.

1838-O 50C PR63 Branch Mint PCGS. CAC. JR-1, R.7.

Prices Realized from the Husak consignment exceeded $10.7 million, and another $4.6 million from the Southwest Collection, with these two incredible consignments (out of 220 consignors) accounting for half of the proceeds.

After adding proceeds from the Token and Medal session, the Final Session Auction and all Post Auction Buys, the total prices realized are expected to exceed $25 million. Images, descriptions, and prices realized are currently posted at Heritage’s HA.com website.


“In some ways, our Long Beach auction proceeded as expected,” commented Heritage President Greg Rohan. “We expected the PR63 1838-O half dollar, one of the classic American rarities, to be the most expensive item sold – little did we know that 2 Large Cents would tie it at $632,500 each.

Lot 600: 1838-O 50C PR63 Branch Mint PCGS. CAC. JR-1, R.7.

We also expected prices for the Husak Collection of Early U.S. Large Cents to be high – very high – but we, and most bidders in the room and those bidding through Heritage Live, were simply shocked at most of the prices realized. The greatest collection of early Large Cents ever formed (including virtually every Sheldon number in the 1793 to 1814 series), realized the greatest prices ever for these marvelous coins – with many coins realizing multiples of previous records. Husak spent years searching for Condition Census examples, and many of coins were the finest known, as well as having exceptional pedigrees. They deserved these amazing prices.” 

“The Southwest Collection,” continued Rohan, “was also expected to attract wide attention, with its emphasis on gem-quality rarities with eye-appeal. Here again many prices were simply amazing. The Southwest Collection was meticulously assembled by a connoisseur of cultural artifacts of many types who sought to procure the best; again, the search for quality was rewarded by the marketplace.” 


Highlights from Heritage’s Feb. 2008 Long Beach

Lot 11: 1797 Half Dime 16 Stars, MS64 NGC, V-4, LM-2, R.4. CAC.
It is conjectured that the 16 star half dimes were issued in anticipation of Tennessee being admitted to the Union as the 16th state. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $38,813

Lot 23: 1837 Small Date (Flat Top 1), No Stars Half Dime MS68 NGC, V.6
The finest graded at NGC, this is an absolutely splendid example of an 1837 No Stars half dime. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $19,55

Lot 83: 1827 Dime, MS67 PL NGC, JR-12
The finest-graded of any 1827 dime, this wonderful example of the JR-12 variety clearly shows the joining of the final A in AMERICA and the adjacent arrowhead. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $34,500

Lot 88: 1831 Dime, MS67 NGC, JR-3. CAC.
An amazing Superb Gem with sharp design features, frosty silver luster, and faint traces of champagne toning, and probably the finest known of the variety. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $37,375

Lot 232: 1916-D Dime, MS65 Full Bands NGC
This amazing Gem is frosty and sharply struck with elegant luster and light, lovely aquamarine and silver-tan shadings, with full separation of the bands. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $40,250

Lot 341: 1806/5 B-1 Overdate Quarter, B-1, R.3. MS64 PCGS. CAC.
The 1806/5 overdate quarter is one of the prominent, “naked eye” overdates that are so popular with collectors today. Ex: Randall Collection; Garrett Collection; Johns Hopkins University. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $69,000

Lot 357: 1853 Arrows and Rays Quarter, MS67 NGC.
The Act of February 21, 1853, reduced the weight of silver coins to a figure that would eliminate bullion dealers’ profits and thus discourage further melting, which required an identifying mark to distinguish them from earlier mintages: arrows at each side of the date, with rays behind the eagle. None certified finer. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $80,500

Lot 394: 1896-S Quarter, MS65 PCGS. CAC.
The 1896-S, despite a mintage over four times that of the 1913-S, is far more elusive than the later issue in Mint State grades. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $64,975

Lot 412: 1901-S Quarter MS65 NGC
The key date of the quarter series, Barber specialist David Lawrence  referred to this issue as “the king of all Barber coinage.” This is among the finest known. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $103,500

Lot 452: 1913-S Quarter, MS66 PCGS. CAC.
The 1913-S is third behind the 1896-S and 1901-S Barber quarters for rarity within the series, with these dates forming the “Big Three” of the Barber quarter series. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $43,125

Lot 477: 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter, MS66 Full Head NGC.
The fourth edition of Standing Liberty Quarters opines that less than 3% of the minuscule mintage of 52,000 pieces comes with a Full Head, and this is among the finest known. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $34,500

Lot 526: 1795 Half Dollar, 2 Leaves, Blundered Die O-113a. MS64 NGC.
The obverse die is immediately recognized by the heavy die chip between the 5 and final star, and the blundered reverse die by the engraving error with the A in STATES punched over the E. This specimen, Ex: Eliasberg, is probably the finest known. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $126,500

Lot 528: 1796 15 Stars Half Dollar, O-101, R.5. MS63 NGC.
The appearance of any Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollar at auction is cause for excitement, which escalates with a Mint State coin. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $373,750

Lot 834: 1795 Flowing Hair $1, B-2, BB-20, Two Leaves Variety. MS64 NGC.
The Flowing Hair, Small Eagle design was the first struck silver coinage after the opening of First Philadelphia Mint in 1793, used on half dimes, half dollars, and silver dollars dated 1794 and 1795. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $149,500

Lot 1039: 1915-S Panama-Pacific $50 Round, MS65 NGC. CAC.
Although legislation to authorize the Panama-Pacific International Exposition commemoratives was well-known to Treasury officials in the months leading up to January 1915, the Mint did not formally commission artists until after the passage of legislation, which occurred on the 13th of that month. From The Southwest Collection. Price Realized: $126,500

Lot 1043: 1915-S Panama-Pacific $50 Round, MS64 NGC.
An impressive coin from a net mintage of just 483 pieces. From The John Stimson, Sr. Collection, Part Two.
Price Realized: $80,500

Lot 1044: 1915-S Panama-Pacific $50 Octagonal, MS63 NGC.
Robert Aitken, who received the commission for the fifty dollar round and octagonal Panama-Pacific commemoratives, had a distinct impact on the diameter of the pieces he designed. From The John Stimson, Sr. Collection, Part Two.
Price Realized: $74,750

Lot 1046: 1915-S Panama-Pacific $50 Octagonal, MS65 PCGS. CAC.
A truly splendid example of this classic American commemorative coin, and one that deserves the attention and commands the respect of any serious numismatist. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $121,325

Lot 1427: 1895-O $1, MS63 PCGS
1895 is perhaps the most legendary year in the entire Morgan dollar series, and the low mintage 1895-O and 1895-S are key issues that raise eyebrows in all Mint State grades. From The Jimmy G. PCGS Registry Collection of Morgan Dollars with Varieties.
Price Realized: $57,500

Lot 1533: 1882 $1, PR68 Cameo NGC.
With its powerful strike, remarkable preservation, and distinct contrast, this outstanding PR68 Cameo Morgan dollar is one of the most desirable exemplars for its issue. None certified finer. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $29,900

Lot 1588: 2000-P Sacagawea $1, “Cheerios” MS67 PCGS.
The 2000 promotion that put new cents and Sacagawea dollars in boxes of Cheerios cereal was a newsworthy coin awareness campaign, but when eagle-eyed collectors discovered that the dies used to strike the 5,500 dollars differed from those used to coin the rest of the production run, they became instant rarities. This example comes with its original packaging.
Price Realized: $11,500

Lot 2330: 1854 Type Two Gold Dollar, MS68 NGC.
The Small Head Type Two gold dollar, struck for only three years, is a notoriously scarce type, and none have been certified finer than this beauty. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $149,500 

Lot 2365: 1847-C $2.50, MS64 NGC.  Variety 8-F
This is one of the finest known Charlotte quarter eagles of any date.
Price Realized: $23,000

Lot 2385: 1877 $2.50 PR66 Cameo NGC
Among the low-mintage proof quarter eagles of the 1870s, the coins of 1877 are perhaps the most famous. Ex: Byron Reed, this Gem is From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $40,250

Lot 2386: 1883 $2.50, PR66 Ultra Cameo NGC.
The 1883 proof quarter eagle issue has a mintage of 82 specimens, a tiny figure by today’s standards, and this extraordinary Gem is among the top three survivors.
Price Realized: $32,775

Lot 2387: 1895 $2.50, PR66 Cameo NGC. CAC.
This coin’s most impressive qualities include intense depths of watery reflectivity in the fields, especially on the obverse where there is almost no milkiness or cloudiness apparent. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $29,900

Lot 2401: 1908 $2.50, PR67 NGC
A virtually perfect proof with even color and a razor-sharp strike.
Price Realized: $34,500

Lot 2408: 1854-D $3 AU58 NGC
Following the authorization of the three dollar gold piece, a trio of Mints (Philadelphia, Dahlonega, and New Orleans), struck the denomination in 1854; the Georgia facility struck only 1,120 examples, which are the most sought-after of the three dollar gold issues.
Price Realized: $54,625

Lot 2412: 1854-O $3, AU58 PCGS
The current coin is sure to garner the attention of experienced numismatists, as the eye appeal and technical aspects seem to beckon to a higher grade.
Price Realized: $34,500

Lot 2445: 1879 $4 Flowing Hair, Judd-1635, Pollock-1833, R.3, PR65 NGC.
This is a beautiful Gem proof example of the immensely popular four-dollar “goloid” pattern, more popularly known as the “stella,” one of the few pattern designs in our country’s history that have proven interesting enough and important enough to be collected alongside regular issue coinage. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $201,250

Lot 2453: 1804 ‘Small 8’ $5, MS63 NGC. Breen-6443, BD-1, High R.4.
The 1 in the date has a blunt top, and the 8 is normal (formerly called the Small 8, but Bass and Dannreuther say it is the correct size).
Price Realized: $40,250

Lot 2457: 1806 $5, Round Top 6, 7×6 Stars, MS64, NGC. Breen-6448, BD-6
This variety is attributed by the knobbed 6 that touches the lower bust, 7 stars left and 6 right on the obverse, and the noticeably small A’s in AMERICA. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $71,875

Lot 2460: 1807 $5 Bust Left MS64 PCGS. Breen-6453, BD-8, R.2.
This die pairing is easily distinguished by the lone 1807 Capped Bust Left obverse combined with a reverse where the tip of the feather points to the tip of the flag of the 5.
Price Realized: $46,000

Lot 2463: 1810 $5 Large Date, Large 5 MS64 NGC. Breen-6459, BD-4, R.2.
Four different die marriages were struck dated 1810 and included all combinations of Large and Small Date, and Large and Small 5 in the denomination.
Price Realized: $36,800

Lot 2464: 1810 $5 Large Date, Large 5, MS65 NGC. Breen-6459, BD-4, R.2.
Over  its entire six-year run, fewer than 400,000 Capped Bust Left pieces were struck, and most were exported overseas and promptly melted for bullion. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $92,000

Lot 2481: 1837 $5 MS66 NGC. Large Date, Large 5, Breen-6512, McCloskey 2-B, R.3.
One of only three die marriages known for this date, the Large Date obverse is best identified by its Block 8 style (the Small Date variety has a Script 8). From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $94,875

Lot 2536: 1857-O $5, MS63 PCGS. 
Ex: Ashland City, this is the Finest Known by two points.
Price Realized: $50,025

Lot 2541: 1859-C $5 MS63 NGC.
Variety 27-M is the only known die pair for the 1859-C half eagle.
Price Realized: $29,900

Lot 2579: 1860 $5, PR66 Cameo NGC.
Despite a stated mintage of 62 proofs, the 1860 five dollar gold is far more elusive in proof format than that figure might suggest. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $109,250

Lot 2591: 1909-O $5, MS62 PCGS
The 1909-O half eagle is the premier star in the series, the only New Orleans gold coin to feature the attractive and popular Indian Head design, and a key-date issue with only 34,200 minted.
Price Realized: $46,000

Lot 2605: 1908 $5, PR66 NGC
Collectors in 1908 received a double surprise when they ordered proof gold coins from the Mint: revolutionary new designs on the quarter eagle and half eagle, and all the coins were struck with a new matte finish rather than the traditional brilliant finish. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $41,689

Lot 2606: 1910 $5 PR67 NGC
The special nature of Roman Finish gold is not generally appreciated by collectors, especially after the 1908 transition from brilliant finish to the matte finish. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $63,250

Lot 2646: 1903 $10, PR65 NGC. CAC.
The present specimen is the first proof 1903 eagle Heritage has offered at auction since May 2004. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $37,375

Lot 2664: 1908 $10 Motto PR66 NGC
The matte proofing process had been used in England and France for several years prior its use on regular coinage in the United States. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $54,625

Lot 2680: 1860-O $20 AU58 Prooflike NGC
This amazing double eagle is the second finest certified 1860-O double eagle.
Price Realized: $80,500

Lot 2682: 1861-O $20 AU53 NGC
A stunning representative of the final New Orleans coinage prior to its Civil War closure; according to one researcher, the strong date issues (with the crack) are the coins produced by the Confederacy.
Price Realized: $48,875

Lot 2690: 1866-S $20 Motto MS61 NGC
An amazing double eagle that really should be nonexistent in Mint State grades.
Price Realized: $23,000

Lot 2784: 1907 $20 High Relief, Flat Rim MS66 PCGS
In his award-winning book Renaissance of American Coinage, 1905-1908, Roger Burdette gives praise to the unsung heroes of the Mint who made coins such as the High Relief possible!
Price Realized: $115,000

Lot 2788: 1907 $20 Arabic Numerals MS67 PCGS
By June 20, 1907, Saint-Gaudens and Roosevelt had agreed that the double eagle should be struck in low relief and with the date in European digits.
Price Realized: $46,000

Lot 2843: 1908 $20 Motto PR66 NGC.
The coarse-grained matte finish shows the usual rich khaki-green color. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $66,125

Lot 2926: 1776 Continental Dollar, CURENCY, Pewter, MS63 NGC. CAC. Breen-1089, Newman 1-C, Hodder 1-A.3, R.3.
Directly below the sundial are the words MIND YOUR BUSINESS, a Benjamin Franklinesque admonition that echoes Franklin’s actual involvement with the Continental dollars. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $103,500

Lot 3002: 1793 Chain Cent, AMERICA, XF45 PCGS. CAC. S-3, B-3, R.3.
The obverse is easily identified by the straight bust line, and the large R in LIBERTY, while the reverse is the only die with AMERICA spelled out in its entirety. From The Southwest Collection.
Price Realized: $69,000

Lot 2014: 1793 1C Liberty Cap. AU55 PCGS. S-13, B-20, Low R.4.   Bland AU50; tied for CC-2. Noyes AU50; tied for CC-2. Photo #20425. Our EAC Grade AU50. From the Husak Collection.
Price Realized: $632,500

Lot 2050: 1794 1C Starred Reverse. AU50 PCGS. S-48, B-38, R.5. Bland XF40; CC-1. Noyes XF40; CC-1. Photo #21666. Our EAC Grade XF40. From the Husak Collection.
Price Realized: $632,500

Lot 2069: 1794 1C Head of ’95. MS67 Red and Brown PCGS. S-67, B-59, R.3.  Bland MS68; CC-1. Noyes MS67; CC-1. Photo #21315. Our EAC Grade MS65. From the Husak Collection.
Price Realized: $488,750

Lot 2002: 1793 Chain 1C AMERICA MS62 Brown PCGS. S-3, B-4, Low R.3.   Bland AU55; tied for CC-3. Noyes AU50; CC-5. Photo #32066. Our EAC Grade AU50. From the Husak Collection.
Price Realized: $253,000

Lot 2019: 1794 1C Head of ’93. MS63 Brown PCGS. S-18b, B-2b, R.4.   Bland AU55; tied for CC-4. Noyes AU55; CC-4. Photo #20098. Our EAC Grade AU55. From the Husak Collection.
Price Realized: $253,000

Lot 2073: St. Oswald 1794 S-71 Cent, Head of ’95. MS65 Red and Brown PCGS. S-71, B-63, R.2.  Bland MS68; CC-1. Noyes MS67; CC-1. Photo #20519. Our EAC Grade MS65. From the Husak Collection.
Price Realized: $253,000

To discuss consigning coins or currency to an upcoming auction, please call the Heritage Consignor Hotlines at 800-872-6467 ext. 1000 (Coins); or ext. 1001 (Currency).

For more information about Heritage’s auctions, and a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit www.HA.com

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