Dallas, TX – The Official Auction of the February 2009 Long Beach Expo has been posted by Heritage Auction Galleries on its HA.com Web site. Some 6500 lots from 280 consignors are included in the auction presented by Heritage Auction Galleries. The auction will take place Feb. 5-8, 2009.
"This Long Beach auction is especially rich in gold rarities," said Heritage President Greg Rohan. "Exceptional coins can be found in all series, but our anchors have contributed so many Registry level rarities that this will be an incredible event. The Grand Lake Collection is incredibly rich pre-Civil War gold coins, especially in quarter eagles and the coins of Dahlonega and Charlotte.
The four-generation Pasadena Collection started with a box of coins passed down from the owner of a coal town general store in Pennsylvania. Part One of the Ed Lepordo Collection features a complete type set (1793–to-date), impressive Large cents, and other series from two dozen NGC Registry sets.
We have also included additional selections from The Jack Lee Estate Collection. Heritage has been involved in building many great collections, and we are honored when so many coins come back to us for auction."
Bidders can participate by mail, fax, email, Interactive Internet, HERITAGE Live!, by agent, by telephone, or in person in Long Beach. The exclusive HERITAGE Live! bidding system allows bidders around the world to directly participate in the floor bidding via the Internet. "I also encourage bidders to view our Video Lot Descriptions at HA.com." concluded Rohan.
Among the exciting items being offered in Long Beach are:
Lot 3020: 1861-S $20 Paquet AU58 NGC, among the most favored and storied coins in U.S. numismatics;
Lot 1515: 1794 $1 Fine 12 PCGS. B-1, BB-1, R.4, among the most desirable of all U.S. coinage issues, with about 125 survivors known. From The Grand Lake Collection.
Lot 2685: 1824 $5 MS63 PCGS. Breen-6482, BD-1, High R.5. Meltings took a heavy toll on these coins when their bullion content exceeded their face value; fewer than 20 coins exist today.
Lot 2293: 1826 Erie Canal Completion medal, HK-1000, R.6. MS64 Uncertified. Silver, 44.4 mm., 29.9 gm. Issued under the authority of the Common Council of the City of New York, this lot also includes the printed Memoir book and an original issue case.
Additional Long Beach highlights:
This is one of the two finest specimens of this important date, and is a breathtaking proof Indian cent regardless of date.
The 1915-S Lincoln cent is the last of the “semikey” S-mint early Lincolns with low mintages, spanning the 1911-S through 1915-S period. None certified finer. From The Jack Lee Estate Collection.
The cent is PR66 Brown; nickel PR65; dime PR66; quarter PR66; half dollar PR66; although none of the three silver pieces is given the Cameo designation, all have remarkable contrast beneath their toning.
In the 1850s, the vast quantities of gold flowing from the gilded lands of California forced down the price of gold, and thus increased silver’s value, as reckoned in gold dollars or paper currency. In MS64, this piece is one of four so graded at PCGS, and there is one finer (12/08).
One of the 20th century’s most popular American rarities, only eight MS67 examples are documented at NGC and PCGS combined (four at each service), and none grading finer.
The 1918/7 -S Standing Liberty quarter is one of the most sought-after coinage issues of the 20th century, and is also one of the acknowledged keys to this popular series. Only 2 have been certified finer.
Both the early and late states of the O-101 die pairing are classified as R.4, but this misses the point of just how in-demand are the 1794 half dollars as a first-year type. The recorded mintage of 23,464 half dollars required eleven die varieties.
The date is prominently double punched. This piece is second in the known Condition Census for the variety, behind only the near-unbelievable Lord St. Oswald example. Ex: Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection.
This specimen displays the faint diagnostic die crack from the rim through star 2 to Liberty’s curl, and the reverse exhibits some of the incipient cracks that eventually led to the shattering of that die.
This is one of the rare monogamous die pairings in the early dollar series, in that both dies of this coin are found in no other die marriages. This piece appears to top the known Condition Census for the variety by a wide margin.
The 1889-CC is among the rarest and most desired Carson City dollars, with a small original mintage and the melting of an estimated 250,000 examples over the years. Only one prooflike has been certified finer.
This remarkable specimen is one of just two 1894 Morgan dollars certified as MS64 Deep Mirror Prooflike (one each at PCGS and NGC); none are graded any higher at either company.
The 1895-O enjoys demand in all grades from Good 4 to the highest Mint State grades, where it is a legendary rarity in the series.
The Pan-Pac fifty dollar gold coins are the largest-denomination coins and the most impressive, from a sheer size standpoint, of the various gold and silver issues that constitute the “classic era” U.S. commemoratives of the 1892-1954 era.
Among the earliest innovations of the U.S. Mint was the dual use of reverse dies (lacking any denomination) for both silver dimes and gold quarter eagles from 1797 to 1807. This is possibly the only Mint State example of the variety known. Ex: The Ed Price Collection.
On this overdate variety, the stars are arranged seven left, six right. Among the Draped Bust quarter eagles, only the 1796 No Stars with extended arrows (BD-1), the 1804 13 Star Reverse (BD-1), and the single 1797 variety are more elusive. Only one certified finer.
The 1807 Capped Bust Right quarter eagle boasts a tiny mintage of only 6,812 pieces, which is still the largest mintage of the design type by a wide margin; perhaps 250-350 specimens survive today in all grades. Only two certified finer.
Only 7,880 quarter eagles were struck in Charlotte in 1838. Some were saved as a first year of issue of the Classic Head design. Only two pieces certified finer. From The Grand Lake Collection.
With a mintage of 18,140 coins, the 1839-C is in demand from type collectors, and the nicest examples command considerable premiums. Only one certified finer. From The Grand Lake Collection.
This is the so-called “overdate” variety, although its status as an overdate has now been discredited; defective punches are now blamed. This is the plate coin used in Winter’s 1998 reference. From The Grand Lake Collection.
The first coins produced at the newly established New Orleans Mint were minted in 1838. Two varieties of the 1839-O quarter eagles are known, and they are distinguished by a closely spaced fraction or a widely spaced fraction (as on this example). None have been certified finer.
The 1845-D quarter eagle in all Mint State grades is even more elusive than the 1844-D. Only one has been certified finer, and this example has bright luster exuding from yellow-gold surfaces. From The Grand Lake Collection.
The 1847-C quarter eagle has a generous mintage at 23,226 coins, and they are better-produced than the typical C-mint issue. Mint State examples are nonetheless rare, and none have been certified finer. From The Grand Lake Collection.
This is the Plate coin in the Winter second edition, where it was called “by far the finest known example.” None certified finer at NGC. From The Grand Lake Collection.
Despite massive gold production in the 1890s (Colorado and Alaska), the quarter eagle denomination saw extremely limited domestic circulation, and foreign exchange preferred the double eagle; in 1899, only 150 proofs were struck, and only 8 have been certified finer.
The 1911-D Indian quarter eagle is the key to a series with just 15 distinct Guide Book issues; this issue is the reason so many collections begun are never finished. The combined certified population shows just five numerically finer examples, 2 at NGC and 3 by PCGS.
The 1854-D is the only three dollar gold piece struck at the Dahlonega Mint, with a minuscule mintage of only 1,120 pieces. One pair of dies was sufficient to accomplish the entire coinage of this issue. Only 9 certified finer. From The Grand Lake Collection.
Thick, swirling luster and gorgeous color are the hallmarks of this incredible Superb Gem; the mint frost also shows deep, original reddish patina with occasional dashes of lilac interspersed. None have been certified finer.
The mintage of the 1878 three dollar gold piece is, at least in part, related to the Specie Resumption Act of January 1875. The mintage of 82,304 $3s was the highest total since the denomination started in 1854, but none have been certified finer.
The obverse of this variant is shared with two other Bass-Dannreuther varieties, namely BD-2 and BD-3, on which it saw earlier use. Bass-Dannreuther estimate that 60 to 75 specimens of this variety exist.
The half eagles of 1798 are known in several different die varieties used to produce the estimated mintage of nearly 25,000 coins. The Heraldic Eagle fives are found in seven different Bass-Dannreuther varieties.
All 1802 half eagles are overdates, from two obverse dies prepared but unused in 1801 (when the substantial mintage of eagles took precedence); both dies were overdated and used in 1802. Only 1 certified finer.
Only one die pair was produced for the 1809 half eagles, and the obverse is apparently overdated from 1808 (the underdate might be a repunched 9). From a mintage of 33,875 coins, the 1809 overdate is actually the rarest individual date of the Capped Bust design. None certified finer.
The great coin melts were a byproduct of the flood of Mexican and Peruvian silver on the world market, which lowered silver prices and increased the value of gold, resulting in widespread hoarding and melting of older gold coins. Only 9 certified finer (12/08).
Broad Mill half eagles are perhaps one of the most under-researched U.S. coins. Small variances in diameter mark the varieties; this coin is noticeably wider than the Narrow Mill variant. This is the finest of nine certified pieces.
The 1929 half eagle is decidedly scarce, especially in circulated grades, and is the rarest and the last issue in the Indian Head Half Eagle series; almost all known specimens are AU or uncirculated. Only seven coins were graded finer. From The Grand Lake Collection.
Although the BD-5 die marriage was known for decades, nobody seemed to notice the extra star embedded in the reverse’s rightmost cloud until Harry W. Bass, Jr.’s 1966 discovery. Why the die sinker placed the star within the cloud will never be known.
The extraneous star, located on the top surface of the cloud below the F in OF, is substantially smaller than any other star on either the obverse or reverse. Since the clouds quickly wear as one of the higher design elements, the extra star can only be seen on high grade pieces.
The “extra star” that defines this variety is actually a stray star in the cloud under F in OF. NGC documents only five 1803 Extra Star tens at the MS61 level with 20 coins grading finer (9/08).
Between commerce and meltings, few of the 571,500 minted 1847-O eagles have survived in Mint State. PCGS has certified a mere nine uncs, with the finest being three sharing the MS64 slot. Ex: Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection; From The Grand Lake Collection.
The 1857-S double eagles recovered from the wreck of the S.S. Central America are well known, but just as important are the handful of recovered coins in lesser denominations. One of only two so graded, this is one of the best-preserved 1857-S tens available today.
The S.S. Republic, a ship of many names (S.S. Tennessee, C.S.S. Tennessee, U.S.S. Tennessee, U.S.S. Mobile) had a long, rich history in the dozen years between its launch and its demise.
In 1860, against the backdrop of swiftly deteriorating national unity, the New Orleans Mint’s issue amounted to just 6,600 pieces. In better grades, it proves elusive, and is near impossible to find in Mint State.
The 1871-CC is the second rarest double eagle struck at the Carson City Mint, with a total extant population of about 200 coins; few high grade examples have survived from an original mintage of perhaps 14,687 pieces. Only six certified finer. Ex: Dr. Barry Southerland Collection.
A diminutive 2,325 twenty dollar gold pieces dated 1879 were struck, the second lowest mintage of all O-mint double eagle issues; the number of survivors is opined at 100 or so in all grades. Only seven certified finer. From The Grand Lake Collection.
When released in 1907, the Saint-Gaudens High Relief double eagles were a welcomed departure from the mundane circulating coinage of the preceding decades; many were saved as souvenirs, but just 20 grade finer.
Only NGC recognizes the validity of the proof High Reliefs, and has certified 238 proofs in all grades, including six Flat Rim coins, 121 Wire Rim coins, and 111 others rim unspecified.
Produced to the extent of 12,367 coins, the MCMVII High Relief issue was minted in both a Mint State format that required “three to five blows” from the Mint’s presses–and the controversial proof format that NGC recognizes and PCGS does not.
The 1908-S Saint-Gaudens twenty had a minuscule production of 22,000 pieces. PCGS has certified only 14 finer examples.
The mintage figure of 558,000 is irrelevant, the likely result of meltings after the great Gold Recall of 1933. Perhaps only a few thousand actually reached circulation, and maybe only 40 to 50 specimens in all grades survive.
America’s second mass melting of the 20th century, stemming from Roosevelt’s gold recall, decimated America’s gold coinage: melted were 67,856,029 gold $20s – 39% of all the double eagles ever produced. Only 11 survivors have been certified finer. From The Calvin Collection.
Only 100-150 pieces of the 1931-D twenty are believed known; only one mark on each side keeps this magnificent piece from the Gem category. Only 19 certified finer.
While the 1851 Humbert 887 THOUS pieces are found in both Lettered Edge (date on edge) and Reeded Edge formats, all of the 1852-dated 887 THOUS Humbert fifty dollar pieces are of the Reeded Edge subtype.
Any Mint State Mormon Territorial gold piece is significant, regardless of date or denomination; fewer than 30 uncs exist from the six different issues minted between 1849 and 1860. NGC has certified only three MS61 examples, with none grading finer at either service.
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Heritage Auction Galleries is the world’s third largest auction house, and by far the largest auctioneer of rare collectibles, with annual sales over $700 million, and 400,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage’s 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 www.HA.com.