Pair of 1794 Dollars Lead Heritage’s May 2008 Long Beach Auction

by Heritage Auctions on May 8, 2008 · 0 comments

Dallas, TX. A pair of 1794 silver dollars and three Continental dollars are among the rarities included in the catalog for the Official Auction of the May 2008 Long Beach Coin Expo. The auction, being held in California May 28-30, is now posted by Heritage Auction Galleries on their website.

Heritage Long Beach Auction Coins

Signature catalogs for the auctions of both U.S. and World Coins & Ancients have been posted.


“The strong market is continuing to bring great rarities onto the Heritage auction block,” commented Heritage President Greg Rohan, “including the Col. Steven Ellsworth Collection of U.S. Half Cents, Part Three of the Liberty Collection of U.S. Colonial Coins, and the Silbermünzen Collection.

Among the other rarities included are: an 1891-O Quarter dollar Specimen MS65 NGC; 1796 15 Stars Half Dollar, O-101, AU55 NGC; 1800 Dotted Date $1, B-14, BB-194, R.3 MS66 NGC; 1808 $2.50 MS61 NGC, Breen-6125, BD-1, R.4; 1907 $10 Wire Rim, Periods, MS67 NGC, Judd-1901 (formerly J-1774); an 1855 $50 Wass Molitor, MS61 NGC. CAC. K-9, R.5; and a (1797) New York Theatre Penny Token, D&H-Middlesex-167, Rulau-E-NY-892, PR64 Brown PCGS. This auction contains a wide range of material!”


“In addition to the Ellsworth and Liberty Collections,” continued Rohan, “Long Beach contains rarities from Part Three of the Mario Eller Collection, the Northwest Collection, Part One of the Estate of Robert R. Rollins Collection, Part One of the Estate of Francis A. Sullivan, Jr., Part Two of the Leroy Van Allen Collection, and Part Two of the Yoder Family Collection.

Altogether, more than 650 consignors are participating in our May Long Beach auctions. With a wide range of rarities from Colonials through double eagles, this will be an incredible event!”


Highlights from Heritage’s Long Beach Signature Auction

Lot 334: 1891-O 25C Specimen MS65 NGC.

One of only two pieces known since it was first recognized in 1941 when it appeared in Mehl’s Dunham Sale. Ex: William Forrester Dunham (B. Max Mehl FPL, 6/1941); Gene Edwards; 1980 ANA Sale (Steve Ivy, 8/1980), lot 2024; Jascha Heifetz Collection (Superior, 10/1989), lot 3652. From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 493: 1796 15 Stars Half Dollar, O-101, AU55 NGC.

The Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollar, bearing the dates 1796 or 1797, ranks among the lowest mintage of U.S. type coins, with only 3,918 pieces.

Lot 799: 1794 Dollar VG10 PCGS.

Of the mere 1,758 pieces struck, approximately 125 individual examples have been traced today, making this first dollar an essential rarity. Ex: John N. Brooks Collection (United States Coin Co., 12/1914), lot 17. From The Northwest Collection.

Lot 800: 1794 Dollar VF30 PCGS.

Struck on the initial day of the production of silver coinage, October 15, 1794, this rarity is a historic relic of America’s earliest attempt to produce large size silver coinage that would compare favorably in weight to the widely circulated Spanish (Carolus) dollars.

Ex: George C. Slawson (Stack’s, 4/1970), lot 840; 1991 ANA (Bowers and Merena, 8/1991), lot 436.

Lot 874: 1800 $1 Dotted Date, B-14, BB-194, R.3 MS66 NGC.

The famous Dotted Date dollar has been listed in the IGuide Book Q for a number of years, and this is the finest known survivor.

Lot 2201: (1797) New York Theatre Penny Token, D&H-Middlesex-167, Rulau-E-NY-892, PR64 Brown PCGS.

The obverse shows THE THEATRE AT NEW YORK (Park Theater), which opened in New York City on Monday, January 29, 1798 with a performance of ‘As You Like It.’ The token is one of the nicest of the British Conder series. Ex: 2007 Milwaukee Signature Auction (Heritage, 8/2007), lot 1523, which realized $32,200.

Lot 2956: 1808 $2.50 MS61 NGC, Breen-6125, BD-1, R.4.

Struck in just this one year, only 2,710 pieces were minted and of that number it has been estimated that fewer than 40 pieces exist today in all grades. Ex: Dr. Robert W. Dingle Collection (Heritage, 6/2001), lot 8829.

Lot 3461: 1907 $10 Wire Rim, Periods, MS67 NGC, Judd-1901, formerly J-1774.

The Periods variants of the 1907 Saint-Gaudens eagle hold an interesting place in American numismatics, as either patterns or regular issues. Only three have been certified finer.

Lot 3799: 1855 $50 Wass Molitor, MS61 NGC. CAC. K-9, R.5.

These large $50 “slugs” are simply some of the most impressive artifacts to have survived California’s exciting Gold Rush era.

Lot 180: 1916-D dime, MS65 Full Bands PCGS.

At 264,000 pieces struck, the 1916-D has less than a quarter of the original mintage of its nearest rival, the 1921-D dime. From the Tremont Collection.

Lot 295: 1818 quarter dollar MS66 PCGS. B-3, R.2. Breen Die State II.

A magnificent Premium Gem with gorgeous cherry-red, lime-green and canary-gold toning, it is highly probable that this is the finest 1818 Browning-3 in a PCGS holder, as only one coin of this date has been certified finer. From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 306: 1820 quarter dollar PR64 NGC. B-1.

A beautiful Choice proof with lovely golden-brown, jade-green, honey-gold, and lilac-gray toning. Ex: Auction ’89 (Superior, 7/1989), lot 566, From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 307: 1828 quarter dollar PR64 PCGS. B-4.

The Narrow Date variety has less space between the 82, relative to B-1 through B-3.

Ex: Thomas S. Chalkley Collection (Superior, 10/1990), lot 2564, which realized $41,800. From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 308: 1833 quarter dollar PR65 PCGS. B-1. Period after 25 C.

An outstanding specimen of this formidable rarity, as the portrait, eagle, and right-side stars have a needle-sharp strike. Ex: Auction ’86 (Superior, 7/1986), lot 1091; Thomas S. Chalkley Collection (Superior, 10/1990), lot 2568, which realized $70,400. From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 321: 1866-S quarter dollar MS66 PCGS. Briggs 1-A.

This is the finest certified example, of only 28,000 pieces struck; housed in a first generation holder, it apparently has not appeared at auction since it was encapsulated, and twenty years after it was first graded, it remains the single finest certified example. From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 539: 1825 half dollar VF20 ANACS O-118 Third Known

An extremely rare variety, this is only the third known example, and one of only three R.8 varieties within the entire Capped Bust half series.

Lot 495: 1797 half dollar Fine Details, O-102, Low R.6, NCS.

The 1797 Overton 102 variety is the rarest of the four Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollar die marriages. Ex: Stirling Silliphant Collection (Heritage 1988 ANA Sale, 7/1988), lot 679; Mid-American 1989 FUN Sale (1/1989), lot 462. From The Yoder Family Collection, Part Two.

Lot 651: 1839 No Drapery half dollar, MS64 NGC. WB-101.

The 1839 No Drapery half is popular both with type collectors (as a one-year subtype in the series) and Seated coinage enthusiasts (as a first year of issue among Seated Liberty halves). Ex: Chalkley (Superior, 1/1990), lot 3565. From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 667: 1854-O half dollar Arrows MS66 NGC.

The Arrows, No Rays, No Motto type was struck just two years, 1854 and 1855, and mintages at New Orleans were plentiful for both dates. Only three certified finer. Ex: Foxfire.

Lot 718: 1841 half dollar, PR64 NGC.

The 1841 half dollar in proof format is an extreme rarity; NGC and PCGS combined have certified a mere seven examples, and only one has been certified finer. Ex: The Boys Town Sale (Superior Galleries, 5/1990), lot 3803. From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 719: 1845 half dollar, PR64 NGC.

The 1845 proof half dollar is one of the more significant rarities in American numismatics; a sparse four coins have been certified by NGC and PCGS combined. Ex: Stack’s (3/1965), lot 447; Superior Galleries (10/1990), lot 3662. Possibly earlier from the World’s Greatest Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 4/1945), lot 273. From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 720: 1846 half dollar Medium Date, PR63 PCGS.

While mintage figures for the 1846 proof half dollar were not reported, it is likely that no more than a dozen have survived to the present day. Ex: The Thomas S. Chalkley Collection (Superior Galleries, 1/1990), lot 3574. From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 743:  1892-O Micro O half dollar MS65 NGC.

This legendary rarity was known as early as 1893, when Augustus G. Heaton mentioned it in his landmark treatise, Mint Marks. He wrote, “there is one rare variety of this piece [the 1892-O half] with an exceedingly small o, hardly larger than a period.” Ex: Moreira Sale (Superior, 1/1989), lot 4524; Jascha Heifetz Collection (Superior, 10/1989), lot 3770. From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 771:  1915-S Barber half dollar MS67 PCGS.

A remarkable Superb Gem that has spent approximately one-fifth of its existence housed in the same old green label PCGS holder; its preservation is virtually unimprovable. Ex: Thomas S. Chalkley Collection (Superior, 10/1990), lot 3712. From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 801: 1795 Flowing Hair, Two Leaves dollar, B-3, BB-11, R.5, AU50 NGC. CAC.

A “Silver Plugged” example created in 1795, as a thin silver sliver was added to the blank planchet to increase its weight — by punching a hole in the planchet and inserting the sliver, which extended slightly past the planchet surface.

Lot 883: 1803 dollar, B-5, BB-252, MS63 NGC.

The obverse die is known only in this single die combination and is only found perfect, while the reverse was used for several different varieties beginning in 1801. Technically, the reverse die was first used in 1802, followed in combination with an 1801 dated obverse, then for these 1803 dollars.

Lot 937: 1871-CC dollar AU58 NGC.

Another of the Carson City Mint’s rare silver coins, the entire mintage of 1,376 1871-CC dollars (a figure more suited to 18th century American gold than 19th century silver) was struck in August of that year. Only four known finer.

Lot 942: 1846 Seated dollar PR65 PCGS. Breen-5436.

The proof-only blundered date variety, which Breen describes as “date first entered much too low and oblique, then largely effaced and corrected; parts of upper halves of 846 show in lower halves of final position of date.”  From The Silbermünzen Collection.

Lot 1059: 1922 No D Strong Reverse cent, MS64 Red and Brown NGC.

An amazing example of the popular 1922 No D cent with the strong reverse; only examples like the present piece, from the Strong Reverse die pair, also known as Die Pair 2, are the true No D cents.

Lot 1647: 1796 half cent, With Pole, AU55 PCGS. C-2, B-2, High R.4. EAC 45.

The 1796 half cent is the classic rarity of the denomination; from a mintage of just 1,390 coins, perhaps 10% exist today. Ex: Julian Leidman; Jim McGuigan; Benson Collection Sale (Goldberg Coins, 2/2002), lot 32; Stuart Levine (2/2002). From The Colonel Steven Ellsworth Collection of U.S. Half Cents.

Lot 1792:  1803 Large Date, Small Fraction cent, S-264, B-24, High R.4. NCS.

S-264 is the sole 1803 die marriage that pairs a Large Date obverse with a Small Fraction reverse. EAC 20.

Lot 1818:  (1615-16) Sommer Islands Sixpence, Large Portholes, Breen-3. NCS. AU Details. Breen-3.

It has been a number of years since any example of any denomination of early Bermuda silver has reached the Heritage auction block, and the present piece is the first Sommer Islands sixpence we have offered – it is that rare! From The Liberty Collection of American Colonial Coinage, Part Three.

Lot 1819: 1652 Willow Tree Sixpence, Noe 1-A, Fine Details NCS.

This is the #5 specimen (of ten known examples) on the 1943 Noe plate of Willow Tree sixpences, attributed as the property of a “Mid-West Coin Firm.” Today, still only fourteen pieces are known. Ex: FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 700. From The Liberty Collection of American Colonial Coinage, Part Three.

Lot 1820: 1652 Willow Tree Shilling, Noe 3-E, Fine Details, NCS.

After the NE coinage was struck in 1652, the Willow Tree shillings began to be produced the same year, and the earlier varieties of Willow Tree shillings show how unfamiliar the coiner was with the rocker press. Ex: Stearns Collection (Mayflower Coin Auctions, 12/66), lot 9; Hain Family Collection (Stack’s, 1/02), lot 11; Jones Beach Collection (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 704. From The Liberty Collection of American Colonial Coinage, Part Three.

Lot 1822: 1652 Pine Tree Sixpence, Noe-33, MS63 PCGS.

The obverse has pellets flanking the tree trunk, much like the Noe-1 shilling, and suggests that these pieces may have been made at about the same time. Only one example of this variety has been certified finer. Ex: David Proskey (11/28/1903); F.C.C. Boyd; John J. Ford, Jr. (Stack’s, 10/2005), lot 136 Q; I FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 711. From The Liberty Collection of American Colonial Coinage, Part Three.

Lot 1824: 1652 Pine Tree Shilling, Large Planchet, Noe-4, MS64 PCGS.

The first N in ENGLAND is reversed, a die engraver’s blunder seen during many periods in many countries. Ex: F.C.C. Boyd Collection; John J. Ford, Jr. Collection Part XII, Stack’s (10/ Q20 I05), lot 84; Milwaukee ANA Signature, (Heritage, 8/2007), lot 1511. From The Liberty Collection of American Colonial Coinage, Part Three.

Lot 1826: (1659) Lord Baltimore Fourpence, Large Bust and Shield. MS62 NGC.

This is the single finest certified Fourpence of Lord Baltimore, and is ex: Wayte Raymond Plate. From The Liberty Collection of American Colonial Coinage, Part Three.

Lot 1861: 1737 Higley Copper, CONNECTICVT, Freidus 1.2-A, Breen-238, VF25 PCGS.

The CONNECTICVT is the first Higley variety, struck before presumed local complaints compelled the change in the obverse legend, from THE VALVE OF THREE PENCE to VALVE ME AS YOU PLEASE. Ex: F.C.C. Boyd; John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, Part II (Stack’s, 5/2004), lot 268; San Francisco ANA (Heritage, 7/2005), lot 10078; Troy Wiseman Collection, Part Two (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 726. From The Liberty Collection of American Colonial Coinage, Part Three.

Lot 1944: 1787 Excelsior Copper, New York Arms, Eagle on Globe Left, Eagle Reverse Eagle Left, AU55 PCGS.

The eagle on the globe faces left, while the large eagle on the reverse gazes right; students of Early American numismatists can promptly name many similarities that the Excelsior coppers share with the legendary Brasher doubloons. This is the single finest certified by PCGS (3/08), and none have been certified by NGC. Ex: Benson Collection Part II (Ira and Larry Goldberg, 2/02), lot 12; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 736; From The Liberty Collection of American Colonial Coinage, Part Three.

Lot 2047: 1792 Roman Head Cent, Baker-19 PR61 Brown PCGS.

The notoriety of the famously rare Roman Head cent was enhanced by Breen’s description of its history in his Encyclopedia. Only two have been certified finer. From The Liberty Collection of American Colonial Coinage, Part Three.

Lot 2070: 1799 Gold Funeral Urn Medal, Baker-166, AU55 NGC.

George Washington was a favorite subject of medalists over the years, and a wide series of death medals were produced; the Funeral Urn medals were part of a series of gold, silver, and tin medals produced by Newburyport, Massachusetts engraver Jacob Perkins.

Ex: F.C.C. Boyd Estate; John J. Ford, Jr. (Stack’s, 5/2004), lot 170; Columbus Central States Signature (Heritage, 4/06), lot 198; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/08), lot 2649. From The Liberty Collection of American Colonial Coinage, Part Three.

Lot 2106: 1739 Broad Axe Higley Copper, Freidus 3.2-D, Breen-244, VF20 PCGS.

Crosby, Pl. VIII, 26.

There is an unintelligible undercoin below the weakened 1739 date. Ex: Stack’s Henry Da Costa Gomez Collection, Part Two, 6/2004; lot 4004.

Lot 2138: 1776 Continental Dollar, CURENCY, Rare Early Die State, Pewter, MS62 PCGS. Newman 1-C, Hodder-1.A2, Breen-1089, R.3.

The same die pair was used to strike all Continental Dollars that contain the blundered legend CURENCY, but Eric Newman assigned two additional reverse varieties for the two recut reverses.

Lot 2139: 1776 Continental Dollar, CURRENCY, Pewter, Newman 2-C, MS62 PCGS. Crosby Pl. VIII, 16, Newman 2-C, Breen-1092, R.3.

Struck from perfect dies, without the rust often seen for this die marriage within the rings for Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Hampshire. The second obverse die for the series, which corrects the CURENCY misspelling.

Lot 2140: 1776 Continental Dollar, CURRENCY, EG FECIT, Pewter, AU53 NGC. Crosby Pl. VIII, Newman 3-D, Breen-1095, R.3.

The Continental dollars may have been intended to retire circulating Continental paper currency, or have served as a pattern for a planned issuance of silver dollars. What is nearly certain is that Elisha Gallaudet is the EG who engraved at least one set of dies–hence the EG FECIT on this variety.

Lot 2270: 1868 Indian cent, MS66 Red PCGS.

The 1868 Indian cent reminds us that sometimes mintage figures can completely obfuscate the truth regarding current rarity; this is one of the three finest certified at PCGS. From The Estate of Robert R. Rollins Collection, Part One.

Lot 2345: 1859 cent PR67 NGC.

This is one of the three finest certified of an important one-year type coin, with a reported mintage of just 800 pieces. From The Estate of Robert R. Rollins Collection, Part One.

Lot 2422: 1878 Eight Tailfeathers dollar, VAM-9, MS64 Deep Mirror Prooflike ANACS.

This incredible example of “The First Morgan Dollar Die Pair” is quite probably the finest known survivor of the very first set of dies used to strike Morgan dollars, at 3:17 PM on March 11, 1878. From The Leroy Van Allen Collection, Part Two.

Lot 2514: 1884-S Morgan dollar, MS63 PCGS.

The 1884-S is the first truly elusive S-mint Morgan dollar one encounters in the series from 1878-S forward.

Lot 2723: 1880 Morgan dollar, PR68 Cameo PCGS. Ex: JFS Collection.

In 1880, all of the Philadelphia Mint silver dollars featured the Slanted Arrow Feather reverse, also called Type of 1879; total production of proofs was 1,355 coins.

Lot 2842: Signed & Dated Christmas 1854 Gold, Quartz, and Wood Cane Presented ‘By His Friends’ to San Francisco Mint Superintendent Lewis Birdsall.

This is a phenomenally historic memento of the earliest days of the San Francisco Mint. We simply cannot imagine another memento–outside of museum collections–of the first year of the San Francisco Mint that offers more charisma and historical importance than this piece.

Lot 3171: 1795 Small Eagle half eagle, BD-3, AU58 NGC.

This scarce variety is the most available of the 1795 Small Eagle half eagles; all other die pairings are rare in an absolute sense.

Lot 3175:  1802/1 half eagle, AU53 NGC. Breen-6440, BD-3, High R.7.

Clearly the rarest of all known 1802/1 half eagle varieties, with about five examples known today.

Lot 3215: 1842-C half eagle, Small Date, AU55 NGC. Variety 4-C, Die State I.

This issue is the rarest Charlotte half eagle, and is also the second rarest Charlotte coin behind the 1849-C Open Wreath gold dollar rarity. Four coins are listed on Winter’s most recent Condition Census.

Lot 3216: 1842-C Small Date half eagle, AU58 PCGS. Variety 4-C, the only known dies. Die State II.

The two die states of this variety are easily distinguished by the presence or absence of a rim break at the top of the obverse, over star 7.

Lot 3266: 1861 half eagle MS65 Star NGC.

Despite its reputation as an available type coin, the 1861 half eagle is surprisingly elusive in better Mint State grades.

Lot 3292: 1878-CC half eagle, AU58 NGC.

The Carson City Mint was preoccupied in 1878 with striking Morgan Dollars (2.2 million coins), and not with half eagles (9,054 pieces); This coin is tied for the second finest certified.

Lot 3324: 1904 Liberty half eagle, PR67 Cameo NGC.

This is the finest 1904 proof Liberty half eagle that we have offered in any of our auctions, the previous best being a PR66 Cameo piece. Only one coin has certified finer.

Lot 3354: 1796 eagle XF40 PCGS, Breen-6832, Taraszka-6, BD-1, R.4.

The only known die pair for coinage of 1796, with total production for the year of 4,146 pieces (with the majority of these dated 1795).

Lot 3456: 1889 eagle PR64 PCGS.

The 1889 eagle had a production of only 45 pieces, a number that is somewhat on the low side even for the late 1880s and early 1890s. Ex: Bass II (Bowers and Merena, 10/1999), lot 1621.

Lot 3457: 1895 eagle PR65 Ultra Cameo NGC.

This stunning Gem has exceptional aesthetic appeal, and should prove to be a delightful addition to the connoisseur’s collection. Both sides have impressively deep mirrors around highly lustrous and brilliant yellow devices. Only two certified finer.

Lot 3458: 1899 eagle, PR68 Star Ultra Cameo NGC.

There is and should be no doubt that this piece is the finest existing 1899 proof eagle.

Lot 3503: 1915 eagle, MS66 Star NGC.

The 1915 $10 enjoyed a high survival rate was quite high, but at the Gem level the 1915 become a condition rarity.

Lot 3579: 1861-S double eagle, MS62 PCGS.

Subsequent to the small production run of Paquet Reverse double eagles, the regular reverse die was used to strike 768,000 coins at the San Francisco Mint in 1861. Only one coin has been certified finer.

Lot 3622: 1871-CC double eagle AU50 NGC.

The 1871-CC is generally considered the second rarest Carson City $20, in overall rarity and condition rarity.

Lot 3629: 1872-CC double eagle, MS60 NGC.

The 1872-CC is scarce in all grades, and extremely rare in uncirculated grades.

Lot 3763: 1916-S double eagle, MS67 NGC.

The 1916-S is rare as an MS67; none have been certified finer.

Lot 3779: 1927-S double eagle, MS62 NGC.

Of the more than 3.1 million pieces recorded by the San Francisco Mint for the 1927-S $20, only 168 Mint State pieces have been certified in all grades at NGC and PCGS combined.

Lot 3785: (1837-42) C. Bechtler half eagle, 134G, With Star, MS63 NGC. K-20, R.4.

This variety is plentiful and widely available in better grades, making it a favorite of both type and specialty collectors.

Lot 3786: 1860 Clark, Gruber & Co. eagle, MS62 PCGS. K-3, R.5.

A remarkable Mint State example with few peers among PCGS certified examples.

Lot 3847: Silver Die Trial of 1864 Liberty Round 50 Cent, BG-1016a, MS62 NGC, R.8

This is one of perhaps two Mint State pieces known; this is NOT the BG-1016A, which has the same obverse as BG-1016, but a BG-1016a, the lowercase “a” signifying a regular BG-1016 but struck in silver.


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).

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