Heritage First Week January Auctions Top $62 Million

by Heritage Auctions on January 13, 2011 · 0 comments

Heritage ‘First Week’ January Auctions topped $62 million, including the $7.74+ million FUN Currency auction, the $46 million + Fun U.S. Coin auction, and the $9.28 million NYINC World & Ancient Coin auction.

1907 Rolled Edge Eagle

This Frank A. Leach Specimen of the 1907 Rolled Edge eagle, Satin PR 67 NGC, realized $2.185 million.

Collectors at Heritage’s $46 million+ Tampa, FL FUN U.S. Coin auction, Jan. 5-9, kept their focus on rare gold over the course of the four days – especially during the Thursday, Jan. 6 Platinum Night offerings – a sector led by the $2.185 million sale of the Frank A. Leach Specimen of the 1907 Rolled Edge eagle, Satin PR 67 NGC, from The Colonel George M. Monroe Collection. All prices include 15% Buyer’s Premium.

The $46 million total of the auction was the lion’s share of Heritage’s $62+ million January numismatic auctions, combined with the $7.74+ million U.S. Currency Auction, also at FUN, and the $9.28 million Heritage World & Ancient Coin auction, Jan. 3 in New York.

More than 6,700 collectors vied for the 6,701 lots in the U.S. Coin auction’s Signature® and Platinum Night sessions, translating into almost 1900 successful bidders, or a 95% sell-through rate by both value and lot total.

"Very solid results, across the board," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. "Rare and singular gold, both of which were in abundance in this auction, continue to dictate pace and price of the market. We put together a superb auction and collectors responded with exuberance."

The 1907 Rolled Edge eagle, PR67, the Frank A. Leach Specimen, which descended in the family of the former Mint Director’s second wife, proved itself when it sold for $2.185 million to applause in the packed auction room. The example was one of five gold coins in the auction that once belonged to Leach, and it quickly established itself as a monumental coin ranking among the most important individual specimens in 20th century American numismatics.

"It’s hard to say, unequivocally, that this coin is a pattern," said Rohan, "but the price would seem to indicate that several top collectors in the world believe it is. This is only the ninth U.S. coin ever to sell for more than $2 million at public auction."

While the 1907 Rolled Edge eagle created the most buzz in the auction, many other pieces of rare gold not-so-quietly racked up dozens of bids and millions of dollars.

1909-O Indian Half Eagle

The O'Neal specimen of the 1909-O Indian half eagle, the only Indian Head gold coin ever minted in New Orleans, has a provenance from J.C. Mitchelson to John H. Clapp, Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., Dr. Thaine B. Price, and James O'Neal. The Clapp notebook recording acquisitions of coins in that collection indicates that Mitchelson sold the coin to Clapp in June 1909. That means that Mitchelson almost certainly ordered the coin directly from the Mint. We know that the 1909-O half eagles were coined in February or March 1909, and the present piece may have been among the first coins minted.

The $690,000 final price realized for a 1909-O half eagle MS66 PCGS, part of The Jim O’Neal Collection of $5 Indians and the finest collectible 1909-O Indian half eagle known, created a stir with the top collectors, while The Las Vegas Collection, Part Two contributed an 1854-O double eagle AU55 PCGS, one of the finest known examples of this challenging New Orleans double eagle issue, which soared amidst fierce competition to finish at $460,000.

The famous 1795 S-79 Reeded Edge cent, Fine Details NGC, the Newcomb-Hines-Sheldon Specimen, was the top non-gold coin in the auction, realizing $431,250.

1795 S-79 Reeded Edge cent

1795 S-79 Reeded Edge cent

Last publicly offered in 1977, it is one of just eight known examples and is among the most coveted coins in American numismatic collecting circles.

"While recent years have seen a relative flurry of 1795 S-79 cents, with four showing up at auction since 2008," said Rohan, "prior to that, one of these had shown up at auction only 21 times in the last 146 years, or once every seven years, making this a rare opportunity indeed."

An incredible 1887 Liberty double eagle, PR67+ Cameo NGC, the finest certified example of the issue and one of the finest proof Liberty double eagles regardless of date, rounded out the top five offerings in the Platinum Night auction.

1887 Liberty double eagle

1887 Liberty double eagle

An impressive $402,500 final price sent the coin, part of The Henry Miller Collection, home with an advanced collector.

Further highlights include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • 1864 double eagle, PR65 Ultra Cameo NGC: Perhaps fewer than 10 proofs of this ultra rare gold denomination are available. Realized: $359,375.
  • 1795 Small Eagle half eagle MS65 Prooflike NGC. Breen-6414, BD-6, R.5: An amazing Gem Prooflike coin among the early Mint’s most interesting products. Realized: $345,000.
  • 1804 quarter MS65 NGC. B-1, R.3. Ex: Colonel Green: The single finest certified 1804 Bust quarter. Realized : $325,000.
  • 1795 13 Leaves eagle MS64 NGC. Breen-6830, Taraszka-1, BD-1, High R.3: A monumentally important coin in both aesthetic and historic terms. Realized: $322,000.

About Heritage Auctions

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.

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