Heritage CSNS US Coin Auction Realizes $23.9+ Million

by Heritage Auctions on May 8, 2011 · 0 comments

Proof 1870 $20 brings $345,000 to lead $30+ million Heritage Numismatic Auctions at Central States (CSNS). Rare U.S. Coins bring $23.9 million while rare U.S. Currency realizes $6.2 million.

Proof 1870 Type Two $20

This proof 1870 $20 brought $345,000 at the Heritage CSNS Platinum Night US Coin Auction. Like all dates in the Type Two series of proofs, the 1870 also had an impressively low mintage. Only 35 pieces were struck, but distribution seems to have remained low. Breen estimates that 10-20 pieces exist today; however, when one subtracts the number of institutionally held examples of this date; the actual number available to private collectors appears to number only four or five specimens.

A stunning 1870 Type Two $20, PR65 Ultra Cameo NGC, CAC — one of only four or five specimens confirmed in collector’s hands — brought $345,000 as the top lot in Heritage Auctions’ $23.9+ million April 27-30 CSNS Signature® & Platinum Night U.S. Coin Auction, held in conjunction with the annual Central States Numismatic Society Convention in Rosemont, IL.

"Rare gold was the dominant theme of Platinum Night at CSNS," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. "Fully nine of the top 10 lots were gold rarities and, overall, prices took a jump across the board last week. We saw sell-through rates by value in all four of our Rosemont, IL auctions in the near-to-mid 90s, percentage-wise. Needless to say we’re thrilled with the results of all the auctions, as are our consignors."

Heritage’s CSNS Auction was the principal event in more than two weeks of important numismatic auctions for the company, which realized a total of nearly $40 million altogether with the $9.6+ million Rosemont, IL Signature® World & Ancient Coins Auction, held April 14-18, in conjunction with the Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF) and the $6.194+ million May 2 Rosemont, IL CSNS Signature® Currency Auction.

1873 Liberty $20 Double Eagle

This 1873 Liberty $20 realized $230,000 at the Heritage CSNS Platinum Night US Coin Auction. The 1873 proof double eagle may be rarer than previously thought. In 1980 David Akers suggested that not more than 10 proofs survive. More recently, Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth placed the number of survivors at 10 to 12 coins. The mintage was a mere 25 pieces, and we have only traced eight distinctly different specimens, although a couple of others may still exist.

A pair of impressive proof double eagles — a gorgeous 1873 Liberty $20 Closed 3 Date Logotype PR65 Ultra Cameo NGC and an extraordinary 1860 $20 PR64 Cameo — tied in their respective efforts to take the second spot in the auction, both finishing the evening at $230,000 amidst spirited bidding, while a remarkably well-preserved 1879 $4 Flowing Hair, Judd-1635, Pollock-1833, R.3, PR65 Cameo NGC, brought $195,500 to go to a new home in an advanced collection.

1879 $4 Flowing Hair

This 1879 $4 Flowing Hair Judd-1635, Pollock-1833, R.3, PR65 Cameo NGC, realized $195,500 at the Heritage CSNS Platinum Night US Coin Auction. The wonderfully preserved surfaces of this unusual experimental coin radiate bright yellow-gold color with deeply mirrored fields and sharply contrasting mint frost over the devices. Extremely light die striations traverse the face of Liberty, as always.

Another 1879 $4 Flowing Hair, Judd-1635, Pollock-1833, R.3, this one in PR64 PCGS CAC, was close in final price to its PR65 cousin, finishing the auction at $184,000.

"The $4 gold patterns, or ‘Stellas,’ are among our most popular lots whenever they come up in a Heritage auction," said Rohan. "Collectors are fascinated by the idea that the United States almost struck a $4 coin, going so far as to create patterns to show around the halls of Congress. The Stellas are scarce and the demand for them is high. It’s the perfect recipe for competitive bidding."

An 1860 Liberty $10 PR64 Deep Cameo PCGS, tied for the finest known, after making its way to auction from The Slotkin Family Trust Collection, realized $161,000.

1860 $10 Liberty Eagle

This 1860 Liberty Eagle realized $161,500 at the Heritage CSNS Platinum Night US Coin Auction. The general numismatic consensus is a total population of 10 or fewer proof 1860 Liberty eagles in all grades. Known pieces include two specimens in the Smithsonian Institution and one in the American Numismatic Society, reducing the available population to just over half a dozen coins. In his 1980 auction analysis of the eagles, David Akers wrote that 'no more than 10 or 11 can be accounted for today.'

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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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