An extraordinary 1793 S-4 Chain Cent, MS65 Brown PCGS — a coin whose origins can be traced back to the very earliest days of America’s first mint — brought $1.38 million, and a crush of national and international media attention, as one of the top two lots in Heritage Auctions’ $55.8+ million Jan. 4-6 Orlando, FL U.S. Coins & Platinum Night FUN Signature® Auction, part of Heritage’s $64+ million combined FUN Coin and Currency events. All prices include 15% Buyer’s Premium.
"This amazing 1793 Chain cent, the Cleneay-Atwater-Eliasberg Specimen and the plate coin in Walter Breen’s Encyclopedia of Early United States Cents 1793-1814," said Jim Halperin, Co-Founder of Heritage Auctions, "is a sensational coin in every sense. It’s got the whole package: history, rarity and beauty. Top collectors obviously realized that and went after it accordingly. It’s now the centerpiece of a very advanced collection."
More than 7,000 bidders vied for the 9,420 coins on the block in the U.S. Coin auction, translating into a 90.7% sell-through rate by total value. The US Currency section realized approximately $8.5 million with a 93.7% sell-through by value. World Coins brought in another $9+ million at the New York International Convention, lifting Heritage’s New Year’s Week’s total to well above $74 million.
"We’re thrilled to see these numbers and equally thrilled to see more and more collectors coming to take advantage of the distinguished coins that continue to show up in our auctions," said Halperin. "Gold still commands the court, with the best pre-1840 examples continuing to draw the most interest."
While the 1793 Chain Cent garnered the majority of the post-auction attention, an 1829 BD-1 Large Date Half Eagle, PR64 PCGS Secure CAC, from the Harvey B. Jacobsen Collection, went relatively quietly about its business in becoming the second million dollar coin of the auction, equaling the $1.38 million total of the other coin of that distinction.
"This important 1829 Large Date $5 is known as The Garrett Specimen and is the only certified proof of its type," said Halperin. "It would be important in any event, but this distinction as the only proof, which both PCGS and CAC agree upon, confer even great importance on it."
Platinum Night highlights continued with a legendary 1828/7 $5 MS64 NGC CAC, Ex: Byron Reed/Suros, the finest of five or six examples known, drew spirited bidding on its way to a $632,500 final price realized and a 1920-S $20 MS66 PCGS Secure CAC, a premium gem 1920-S Saint Gaudens of extraordinary rarity and quality, and tied for finest certified, which brought $575,000.
Dr. Steven Duckor’s 52-piece $20 Saint Gaudens collection realized $5.68 million, an average of nearly $110,000 per coin, with 33 of them setting or tying price records for date/grade.
Further highlights include, but are not limited to:
1776 $1 Continental Dollar, CURRENCY, Pewter, EG FECIT MS67 NGC: The Finest Known Continental Dollar, and one of America’s greatest coins. Realized: $546,250.
1829 $5 Small Date MS61 PCGS CAC: Ex: Harry Bass. A classic gold rarity with prooflike surfaces, a celebrated rarity in the American gold series since the early days of the hobby. Realized: $431,250.
1933 $10 MS64+ PCGS Secure: One of only 30-35 pieces believed known. Realized: $402,500.
1828 $5 MS64 PCGS CAC: Second finest known. Realized: $402,500.
1926-D $20 MS66+ PCGS Secure CAC: Ex: Duckor/Morse. The Finest Known of the issue. Realized: $402,500.
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+ 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.