Heritage Offering Harry W. Bass Jr. Collection Part I on Sept. 29


After more than a half a century away from the public eye, one of the finest collections of U.S. gold coins and related patterns finally will be made available during Heritage Auctions’ Harry W. Bass Jr. Core Collection Part I US Coins Signature® Auction — Long Beach Sept. 29.

1804 $10 Plain 4, BD-2, JD-1, High R.7, PR63 PCGS
1804 $10 Plain 4, BD-2, JD-1, High R.7, PR63 PCGS

Heritage was announced July 13 as the auction destination for this magnificent assemblage, one of the most revered and valuable collections in numismatic history. The collection boasts an estimated value of more than $60 million, and proceeds from its sale will benefit the dozens of Dallas-based nonprofits supported by the Harry W. Bass Jr. Foundation with a particular emphasis on early childhood education and literacy in Dallas.

1860 $20 PR65+ Cameo PCGS. CAC. JD-1, Low R.7
1860 $20 PR65+ Cameo PCGS. CAC. JD-1, Low R.7

The collection, which the late Dallas oilman and philanthropist Harry W. Bass Jr. began assembling in the 1960s, has been on display at the American Numismatic Association’s Edward C. Rochette Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colo., since October 2000. Earlier this year, the foundation’s trustees voted to sell the collection, which contains some 450 U.S. gold coins dating to the late 1700s, to increase its annual giving, from $2 million to at least $5 million each year, depending on the results of the auction.

"Much of this collection was assembled more than half a century ago," says Todd Imhof, Executive Vice President at Heritage Auctions, "and for years was thought to be out of the reach of the collecting community. "When the Bass Foundation announced it would be deaccessioning it to increase philanthropic efforts in our corporate hometown of Dallas, we felt compelled on a personal level to present an auction proposal that the Bass Foundation’s trustees would find very enticing and professional.  Needless to say, we are thrilled to be awarded the honor of handling the sale of these fabulous coins."

The Bass Foundation’s board of trustees hired Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) co-founder and numismatics expert John Dannreuther to manage the collection’s sale, including selecting an auction house and third-party graders.

1795 $5 Large Eagle, BD-14, High R.6, AU58 PCGS. CAC
1795 $5 Large Eagle, BD-14, High R.6, AU58 PCGS. CAC

Many of the coins in the collection can be traced to the celebrated auction of Louis E. Eliasberg Sr.’s gold coin collection in 1982.

1880 $4 Coiled Hair Four Dollar, Judd-1662, Pollock-1862, R.8, PR65 PCGS
1880 $4 Coiled Hair Four Dollar, Judd-1662, Pollock-1862, R.8, PR65 PCGS

The auction will include more than 100 lots from the Bass Collection, a list that includes:

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

Lot viewing for the Core Collection, Part I will be September 27 to 29 in Long Beach, and by appointment at Heritage Auctions’ Dallas headquarters.

Images and information about all lots in this auction can be found at HA.com/1353.

About Heritage Auctions

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Brussels, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

Heritage also enjoys the highest Online traffic and dollar volume of any auction house on earth (source: SimilarWeb and Hiscox Report). The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has more than 1,500,000 registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of five million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.

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but if you took any of these coins down to the local grocery store to try to buy stuff with, even though (most) are legal tender, you probably would not be able to spend it and very likely would have the cops called out on you for suspected counterfeiting.

I remember not all that long ago I had some difficulty spending a dollar coin at a drive-thru (“how much is this worth?” the clerk asked – I replied “it says one dollar right there” – they eventually called a manager over to approve it)


I received a similar response when I tried to pay with a half dollar. The cashier didn’t believe it was legitimate.


Cross the border to Canada and they don’t use bills anymore, they use the Loonie ($1).


Does there need to be one and two Euro bills? We’re the only country in North America which still uses paper money. Canada and Mexico use polymer bills.