Bowers and Merena’s August 2010 Boston Rarities Auction Realizes $9.3 Million


1794 Silver Dollar

Bowers and Merena Auctions, one of the world’s preeminent auctioneers for rare coins and currency, realized an impressive $9.3 million at its Boston Rarities Sale on Aug. 7. The sale, conducted in two sessions with 1,750 lots, featured the rare condition census #4 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar, certified MS-64 by NGC, that sold for $1.2 million.

The prominent attraction at the Boston Rarities Sale was lot 1005, the historic and extremely rare Virgil Brand-F.C.C. Boyd-Cardinal Specimen of the 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar. Bidding opened at $750,000 and escalated due to intense competition between floor bidders then ended with the winning bid placed by a telephone bidder. The piece sold for a remarkable $1,207,500 — the highest price ever paid at auction for a 1794 Silver Dollar.

"We are extremely pleased about the results of the Boston Rarities Sale which saw spirited bidding in all areas of U.S. coinage," said Greg Roberts, CEO of Bowers and Merena Auctions.

"We had tremendous bidder interest with an outpour of praise about our catalog and offering, long lines that formed outside the lot viewing room, and most importantly, active participation in the auction room.

The market as a whole is very ‘quality conscious’ these day, and Bowers and Merena was proud to offer an impressive array of coins that enticed fierce competition between bidders."

Along with the 1794 Silver Dollar, the Boston Rarities Sale included several prominent collections including the Ostheimer Specimen of the 1870-S Seated Liberty Silver Dollar, Platinum Star PCGS Registry Set of Two-Cent Pieces and Fontaine Collection.

The Ostheimer Specimen of the 1870-S Seated Liberty Silver Dollar, the fourth-finest of only nine coins in existence, realized $632,500.  With record prices for many of the pieces, The Platinum Star PCGS Registry Set of Two-Cent Pieces featured coin was an 1873 Two-Cent Piece, closed 3, proof-67 red in a PCGS secure holder that realized $52,900.

Rare 19th century U.S. gold coinage also performed well at the Boston Rarities Sale. Many of these offerings were pedigreed to the Horseshoe Collection. Highlights of this collection include lot 1543 and lot 1828. Lot 1543, an elusive proof-only 1863 Quarter Eagle in NGC/CAC Proof-63 Cameo, changed hands for $54,625. Lot 1828, a very rare 1858-O Liberty Double Eagle with a unique MS-61 PL grade from NGC went to the winning bidder for $57,500.

The Fontaine Collection, which had opening bids totaling $82,000, brought more than three times that amount with final prices realized of more than $265,000. All 25 coins in this collection were PCGS certified in first-generation holders and CAC approved. The star of the collection was lot 1430, the Eliasberg Specimen of the 1850 Gold Dollar, sold for $54,625 in PCGS/CAC MS-67.

Additional highlights of the Bowers and Merena August 2010 Boston Rarities Sale include:

  • Lot 247, 1873 Two-Cent Piece, Closed 3, Proof-67 Red (PCGS), Secure Holder, realized $52,900, From the Platinum Star PCGS Registry Set of Two-Cent Pieces
  • Lot 647, 1922 Grant Memorial Commemorative Half Dollar, Star, MS-67 (PCGS), CAC, Secure Holder, realized $43,125
  • Lot 1001, 1794 Liberty Cap Half Cent, C-9, MS-65 Brown (NGC), realized $103,500, From the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation (CCEF)
  • Lot 1002, 1794 Liberty Cap Cent, S-29, MS-65 Brown (NGC), realized $43,700, From the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation (CCEF)
  • Lot 1003, 1794 Flowing Hair Half Dime, LM-3, MS-67 (NGC), realized $132,250, From the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation (CCEF)
  • Lot 1004, 1794 Flowing Hair Half Dollar, O-105, MS-62 (NGC), realized $189,750, From the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation (CCEF)
  • Lot 1304, 1899 Morgan Silver Dollar, Proof-68 (PCGS), CAC, realized $48,875
  • Lot 1416, 1853 United States Assay Office of Gold $20, K-18, MS-64 (PCGS), CAC, OGH–First Generation, realized $40,250, From the Fontaine Collection
  • Lot 1636, 1879 Flowing Hair Four-Dollar Gold Stella, Judd-1635, Proof-66 Cameo (NGC), realized $166,750
  • Lot 1645, 1812 Capped Bust Left Half Eagle, BD-1, MS-65 (PCGS), Secure Holder, realized $97,750
  • Lot 1796, 1910-D Indian Eagle, MS-67 (PCGS), CAC, realized $86,250
  • Lot 1812, 1851-O Liberty Double Eagle, MS-62 (PCGS), CAC, realized $48,875, From the Horseshoe Collection
  • Lot 1854, 1879-O Liberty Double Eagle, AU-53 (PCGS), realized $43,125, From the Horseshoe Collection

For a complete list of prices realized for Bowers and Merena August 2010 Boston Rarities Sale, visit the firm’s Web site at or call toll-free at 800-458-4646.

Bowers and Merena hosts its next auction at the Baltimore Coin and Currency show in November which will feature U.S. coins and paper money, as well as world and ancient coins and paper money.

About Bowers and Merena Auctions

Bowers and Merena AuctionsBowers and Merena Auctions was founded in 1983 and has grown to become one of the world’s preeminent numismatic auctioneers with more than half a billion dollars in rare coin and currency sales. They continue their service as Official Auctioneer of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expos three times every year.

Bowers and Merena has handled four of the five most valuable United States coin collections ever sold, including the Louis E. Eliasberg Sr. Collection, the Harry W. Bass Jr. Collection, the Garrett Collection for The Johns Hopkins University and the Norweb Collection. In 2008, Bowers and Merena Auctions acquired Ponterio & Associates, Inc., which now serves as Bowers and Merena’s auction division for world and ancient coins and currency. Bowers and Merena Rare Coin Galleries offers direct buying and selling of exceptional quality gold and silver rare coins.

For more information about Bowers and Merena and Ponterio & Associates, or to consign to an upcoming auction, call 800-458-4646. For media inquiries, ask for Senior Numismatist Steve Deeds or Executive Vice President Rick Ponterio. Complete prices realized for all past auctions are available at

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