Two unusual and extremely rare Philadelphia Mint proof coins — an 1802-dated "novodel" silver dollar and a 1907 Ultra High Relief, Sans Serif Edge Saint-Gaudens double eagle — are among the highlights of the Heritage Auctions Philadelphia Signature® U.S. Coin auction featuring Platinum Night™, Aug. 2-5.
"We’ve put together a superb auction for Philadelphia," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. "Our Platinum Night™ session includes some of the most exclusive rarities in U.S. coinage, including some offered for the first time in years."
Only four proof 1802 Draped Bust dollars, or "novodels," are known. The finest specimen of this enigmatic issue, graded PR65 Cameo PCGS, CAC, in this auction is arguably the highest-quality and most famous of all.
"The 1802 novodels are far rarer than the famous 1804 dollars," said Rohan. "While the four 1802 novodels have been given identical technical grades by the major certification services, we consider this specimen the finest by a slim margin, which is corroborated by a published condition census."
This 1802 novodel was used to illustrate the variety in Walter Breen’s Proof Encyclopedia and Complete Encyclopedia, landmark works in numismatics. It is long pedigree includes such coin luminaries as Captain John W. Haseltine, Virgil Brand, and F.C.C. Boyd and it’s offered as a Selection From The Aberg Collection.
One of only two confirmed 1907 Ultra High Relief, Sans Serif Edge Saint-Gaudens double eagles, Judd-1907 pattern variety, graded PR58 PCGS Secure.
"The Ultra High Relief double eagle patterns of 1907 are the truest expression of the Saint-Gaudens vision for the denomination," said Rohan. "The Sans Serif or 1906-Style lettering on this piece marks it, along with one other coin, as being one of the earliest Ultra High Relief double eagles produced. This is the finer of just two confirmed Sans Serif examples and the discovery coin as well."
Atop the regular-issue highlights is a 1921 double eagle graded MS65 PCGS, CAC, a famous melt rarity.
Though more than half a million 1921 double eagles were struck, only a few left government possession and all the rest were destroyed during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidency. Only four examples have been graded as MS65 or better by a major grading service, adding condition rarity to this coin’s desirability.
Any proof U.S. gold coin from 1839 is a major rarity and Heritage is honored to have specimens from all three of the year’s gold denominations in this auction. The 1839 proof quarter eagle, one of only four known, is graded PR62 PCGS; the 1839 proof half eagle, one of just two known and pedigreed to the infamous collection of Egypt’s King Farouk, is graded PR61 PCGS and the 1839/8 Type of 1838 eagle, one of just three known with one permanently held by the Smithsonian Institution, is graded PR61 PCGS.
Not a coin itself but inextricably related to them, the "Genesis Letter," a typed letter signed by President Theodore Roosevelt and sent to Secretary of the Treasury Leslie M. Shaw, signals President Roosevelt’s private interest in coinage redesign and names Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who went on to make the eagle and double eagle designs bearing his name. The letter, dated December 27, 1904, is a singular piece of numismatic history.
Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:
1792 Silver Center Cent Pattern, Judd-1, VF30 NGC: A midrange representative of this experimental cent, the first coinage produced on the grounds of the U.S. Mint.
1817/4 Half Dollar, O-102a, XF Details NGC: The rarest Bust half dollar variety listed in the Guide Book of United States Coins, a popular and specialist favorite.
1794 Silver Dollar, B-1, BB-1, AU Details NGC: The 1794 silver dollars were the first struck by the U.S. Mint and are very scarce today.
1920-S Ten Dollar, MS66 PCGS Secure: Of the few 1920-S ten dollar coins released to the public, most experienced wear from circulation, but this Premium Gem is a rare exception.
1887 Twenty Dollar, PR67+ é NGC: The finest certified example of this proof-only issue, mintage 121 pieces.
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 $800 million, and 700,000+ 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.