A year highlighted by the $103.5 million realized for Russian newspaper editor Dmitry Muratov’s Nobel Peace Prize medal, FUN Auctions that exceeded $74 million and the sale of some of the finest numismatic private collections ever assembled cemented Heritage Auctions’ status as the world’s premier numismatic auctioneer.
The largest auction house founded in the United States had another record-setting year for numismatic auctions in 2022:
- U.S. Coins: $310,059,195
- World & Ancient Coins: $100,574,337
- U.S. Currency: $37,623,883
- World Currency: $16,205,390
The four departments amassed $464,462,805 in combined sales — a total that jumps to $567,962,805 when the Nobel Peace Prize is added. Heritage waived its entire commission on the Nobel Prize, and therefore did not include the $103.5 million in its 2022 numismatic total, or in its annual total sales of more than $1.45 billion.
"It was a memorable year for the numismatic marketplaces and Heritage is honored to once again, be the most popular auction platform for the largest and most savvy connoisseurs and dealers," says Todd Imhof, Executive Vice President at Heritage Auctions. "Our team is proud of the incredible prices we delivered for our consignors and are even more excited for the year ahead as we increase our marketing around the world and introduce even more tools that will benefit the collecting community."
The proceeds from the June sale of Muratov’s Nobel Peace Prize — the $103.5 million marked the most ever paid for any numismatic item – were donated to support UNICEF’s humanitarian response to the war in Ukraine and affected regions. Through the efforts of Heritage’s Amsterdam office and other team members, UNICEF received payment in full the day after the auction.
"This has been a historic, headline-making year for Heritage, and I could not be more thankful for our ever-growing, increasingly younger base of client-collectors nor prouder of our thoughtful, diligent team of specialists," Heritage Auctions CEO and co-founder Steve Ivy said. "We’re certainly delighted every time we set a record or exceed consignors’ expectations, and it remains a thrill to connect collectors with their passions, but this year we were also able to give back in ways once unimaginable. Heritage remains the world’s leading coin and currency auction house, but our expeditious evolution into the world’s leading collectibles auctioneer is something we do not take for granted."
The Nobel Peace prize garnered headlines around the globe, but was far from the only numismatic highlight of 2022 at Heritage Auctions.
By the time the hammer fell for the final time at Heritage Auctions’ FUN auctions in January 2022, the numbers told the story: seven lots produced seven-figure results, records fell, tying the record for the most seven-figure lots ever in a Heritage auction. The three events amassed $74,275,280 in total sales; the US Coins Signature® Auction brought $65,422,650, the Currency Signature® Auction $6,995,178 and the World Paper Money Signature® Auction $1,857,462.
Leading the US Coins event was a 1795 Nine Leaves Ten Dollar, BD-3, R.6, MS63+ PCGS. CAC, the rarest and most popular of all the Capped Bust Right, Small Eagle tens, which soared to $3,360,000, crushing the previous world record by more than $2.3 million.
In the same auction, a Justh & Hunter Gold Ingot, the largest S.S. Central America ingot ever offered at auction, sparked 55 bids before finishing at $2.16 million.
Days later, a Victoria gold Proof "Una and the Lion" 5 Pounds 1839 PR64 Deep Cameo PCGS reached $528,000 to lead Heritage’s record-setting NYINC World Coins auctions, which totaled $17,312,686.
One of the most celebrated numismatic collections ever assembled grabbed a share of the spotlight at Heritage’s Central States US Coins Signature® Auction in May, when The Bob R. Simpson Collection, Part VIII crossed the block. Highlights included an 1863 Liberty Double Eagle, PR65+ Cameo that soared to $1.02 million and a 1915 S-Less Pan-Pac Half in Gold, PR64 that reached $750,000.
The Central States Auction also produced some of the year’s top currency highlights – among them one of just two Fr. 1218e $1,000 Golds in private hands, which closed at $492,000. Featuring a portrait of Alexander Hamilton, who served as the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, this example is one of just five — only two of which are available to collectors.
The Simpson Collection continued to yield record results in August, when Part IX of his assemblage led Heritage’s US Coins Signature® Auction to $67,901,923 in total sales — making it the highest-grossing ANA-partner rare coins auction ever held. That total, combined with the $17,847,520 sold at Heritage’s World & Ancient Coins Platinum Session and Signature® Auction, brings the total for the weekend to $85,749,443.
Leading the event was an exceedingly rare 1927-D Double Eagle MS66 PCGS that soared to a record $4.44 million, shattering the previous record for the 1927-D Double Eagle of $2.16 million at Heritage’s FUN US Coins Signature Auction in January 2020.
Chinese coins and currency took center stage in July, when Heritage’s HKINF World & Ancient Coins Platinum Session and Signature® Auction and HKINF World Paper Money Signature® Auction combined to reach $14,033,439. The top lot was a People’s Republic gold Proof "Completion of Lunar Cycle" 2000 Yuan (Kilo) 1992 PR69 Ultra Cameo NGC, struck in commemoration of the completion of one full lunar cycle since the start of the lunar series, that sold for $576,000.
It was one of three lots in the auction that topped a half million dollars, joined by a Republic Yuan Shih-kai silver Pattern Dollar Year 3 (1914) MS64 NGC that ended at $564,000 and a Kuang-hsü Dollar ND (1908) MS67 PCGS reached $528,000.
A month later, a Japanese coin set another record when the world’s finest certified example of the Meiji gold Pattern 10 Yen Year 3 (1870) MS66 NGC sold for $564,000 to lead Heritage Auctions’ World & Ancient Coins Platinum Session and Signature® Auction to $17,847,520.
A magnificent collection of U.S. gold coins and related patterns crossed the block at Heritage Auctions in September, when the Harry W. Bass Jr. Core Collection Part I US Coins Signature® Auction — Long Beach reached $20,459,645. The event was another held at Heritage for the benefit of others. Proceeds from the auction 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.
The headliner was an 1821 Capped Head Left Five, PR65 Cameo rode 76 bids to $4,620,000, annihilating the previous record of $198,000.
"Being awarded the auction rights for nearly every one of the mega-collections that came to market in 2022 was thrilling and a testament to the superior level of professionalism and effective promotion we provide," Imhof said. "I would be remiss if we didn’t express our humble gratitude to the trustees who chose to entrust their collections to Heritage Auctions, and to the dealer community who have chosen to work with our team."
In October, one of just two known examples of a hand-signed, triple signature 1882 $100 gold certificate lived up to its billing when it sold for $750,000 — the highest realization of the year for a U.S. banknote from any auction firm – to lead Heritage Auctions’ Long Beach Expo US Currency Signature® Auction – Long Beach to $10,682,198. The only privately-owned example of this exceptional banknote — the other is in a much lower grade and was transferred in 1978 from the Treasury Department to the Smithsonian Institution — this Fr. 1202 $100 1882 Gold Certificate PMG Very Fine 30 from The Allan J. Goldman Collection finished atop a list of 10 lots that drew six-figure results.
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, Amsterdam, Brussels and Hong Kong.
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