Heritage Takes in $464 Million from 2022 Numismatic Auctions

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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.

Dmitry Muratov 2021 Nobel Peace Prize
Dmitry Muratov 2021 Nobel Peace Prize

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.

1795 Capped Bust Right Eagle, MS63+
1795 Capped Bust Right Eagle, MS63+

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.

Justh & Hunter Gold Ingot
Justh & Hunter Gold Ingot

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.

Victoria gold Proof Una and the Lion 5 Pounds 1839 PR64
Victoria gold Proof Una and the Lion 5 Pounds 1839 PR64

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.

1863 Liberty Double Eagle PR65+ Cameo
1863 Liberty Double Eagle PR65+ Cameo
1915 S-Less Pan-Pac Half in Gold, PR64
1915 S-Less Pan-Pac Half in Gold, PR64

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.

Fr. 1218e $1,000 1882 Gold Certificate PMG Very Fine 30
Fr. 1218e $1,000 1882 Gold Certificate PMG Very Fine 30

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.

1927-D Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, MS66
1927-D Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, MS66

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.

People's Republic gold proof Completion Lunar Cycle 2000 Yuan 1992 PR69 Ultra Cameo NGC
People’s Republic gold proof Completion Lunar Cycle 2000 Yuan 1992 PR69 Ultra Cameo NGC

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.

Republic Yuan Shih-kai silver Pattern Dollar Year 3 1914 MS64 NGC
Republic Yuan Shih-kai silver Pattern Dollar Year 3 1914 MS64 NGC

Kuang-hsü Dollar ND (1908) MS67 PCGS
Kuang-hsü Dollar ND (1908) MS67 PCGS

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.

Meiji gold Pattern 10 Yen Year 3 (1870) MS66 NGC
Meiji gold Pattern 10 Yen Year 3 (1870) MS66 NGC

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.

1821 Capped Head Left Five, PR65 Cameo
1821 Capped Head Left Five, PR65 Cameo

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.

Fr. 1202 $100 1882 Gold Certificate PMG Very Fine 30
Fr. 1202 $100 1882 Gold Certificate PMG Very Fine 30

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.

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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Kaiser Wilhelm

Just about the only coins, other than the usually quoted example of the one of a kind 1933 Gold Double Eagle, not making an appearance in this extravagantly illustrious lineup are quite possibly Judas’ Thirty Pieces of Silver. Beginning with the incredibly lucrative charity sale of the Nobel Peace Prize Medal this list goes on to consist of coins of such an extraordinarily rare and particularly stellar nature as to easily go past boggling the mind.

Last edited 11 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Major D

Kaiser, I know you’ve expressed a desire to have some of these old designs brought back. Perhaps the US Semiquincentennial in 2026 offers an opportunity for the Mint to do that. I understand that the US Mint is considering designs for the obverse and/or reverse of all circulating denominations for 2026.

Kaiser Wilhelm

That is some really excellent and extraordinarily welcome news, Major D, and by the way, thanks for remembering that I had voiced that sentiment. It would be simply amazing to see the Mint bring back some more of its classic coin masterpieces and possibly even slightly re-imagine and/or refurbish them the way the American Silver Eagle just recently was. Perhaps it’s not too much to hope that a momentous occasion such as the US Semiquincentennial would provide not only the proper incentive but also the perfect opportunity for that.

Antonio

The Semiquincentennial Program. In 2026, the Mint will redesign our coinage in recognition of the 250th anniversary of our nation’s founding. Look for exciting new designs on circulating coins celebrating this momentous occasion. This is from the Mint website. Then beginning in 2027, the American Youth Sports Program will feature on five different quarters annually until the beginning of the next decade (2030).

Major D

Thanks for that Antonio. Sorry, Keiser- sounds like by “new designs” it means no “old designs”. It’s too bad the Mint is doing yet another rotating design on the quarter. I was hoping they’d give it a rest or move it to another denomination. It’s hard to image there are more than 15 youth sports to profile….. However, I am hoping that the Mint will do a 100-year anniversary design for the Washington quarter in 2032 (and I’m hoping I’m around to see it!)

Kaiser Wilhelm

We’ve both seen enough of life, Major D, to know and hopefully to accept that “it is what it is”, so it would possibly behoove us to just go with the flow and let the Mint do whatever it is going to do. Of course I would much prefer a move to another denomination within the Mint’s seemingly interminable rotating themes motif, most desirably so the sadly neglected Half Dollar Coin, but that particular wish and a few bucks will likely get us a cup of coffee.

Last edited 10 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Major D

yes, indeed. sorry for my typo Kaiser.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Not to worry, Lt. Colonel D: it can happen to anyone.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Well, Antonio, while this puts the kibosh on my dreams of re-imagined classics it does give me a lot to look forward to in the way of entirely new coins; that should hardly be cause for disappointment on my or anyone else’s part!
By the way, since I’ll be 80 in 2027 I suppose it’s only fitting that the next series of quarters that will make its debut that year will be for youth sports!

Antonio

Since only the dime has seen no design change since it was introduced in 1946 (the penny has seen a new reverse (twice) and the nickel a new obverse, the quarter (obverse and reverse) only the half dollar is the same since 1964, as well, and the dollars are yearly changes, like the quarters now, and I’m getting dizzy thinking about it. We need new designs like coins in Europe. They look more contemporary and ours could use a nice update in designs. Hopefully the Mint doesn’t drop the ball or incorporate a design that looks good in concept but… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

Thanks for that thorough review of the Mint’s modern coinage pattern history; much appreciated, Antonio.
At the risk of promoting heresy, but would the world in fact end if the United States ceased and desisted from its seemingly interminable habit of putting only politicians on its circulating coinage?

Major D

There was a time when the president was actually largely revered and rose to the statesman and/or commander-in-chief level above mere politics. The president featured coins and when they were introduced: the Lincoln cent (1909), Washington quarter (1932), Jefferson nickel (1938), Roosevelt dime (1946), Kennedy half-dollar (1964), and Eisenhower dollar (1971). The Roosevelt and Kennedy coins were introduced the year following after their deaths; Eisenhower’s was 2 years after. The Kennedy half dollar replaced the Franklin one (a non-president). There was no dollar coin for 36 years (from 1936 to 1970). In 1979, the Eisenhower dollar was replaced by the… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

Okay, I see what you’re saying, Major D, and now I remember that this change has already been taking place for quite a while. Perhaps what I was more specifically referring to was the basic circulating coinage which is still chock full of old rich white men.

Major D

The nickel also had two new reverses in 2004 and 2005.

Antonio

If my math is right, it’ll be 20 sports, as the years are ’27, ’28, ”29 and ’30. Then the sky’s the limit after 2030. Who knows, there may only be collector coins by then and governments will faze out currency since electronic currency/transactions will be the mode of payment by then, it’s inevitable.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Okay then, I’m ordering my Whitman ATM Receipt Album now.

Antonio

Semiquincentennial Commemorative Coin Act
This bill directs the Department of the Treasury to mint and issue $25.00 gold coins, $2.50 silver coins, 25 cent clad coins, and proof silver $2.50 coins in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the establishment of the United States.

Major D

Antonio, I can find nothing regarding this act (HR 4429 and S 2384) ever becoming law. It seems to have died in the last Congress (117th). So, the Semiquincentennial Commemorative Coin Act would have to get reintroduced this Congress, pass both the House and Senate, and then get signed by the President.

However, there are two other acts that became laws directing the US Mint to make coins for the semiquincentennial: The US Semiquincentennial Commission Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-196) and the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020 (Public Law 116-330).

Antonio

It may turn out we only get a commemorative quarter and nothing more. Maybe postage stamps but that’s a different collector group.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Well then, Antonio and Major D, it’s beginning to look like we are just possibly getting ever closer to receiving no more than a great big numismatic nothing to commemorate the U.S. Semiquincentennial. What a shame.

Rich

Sir Kaiser, at least the Greatest Generation Commemorative Coin Act was signed into law last year to commemorate the greatest generation of Americans ever!

Major D

After no commemorative coins in 2023, we’ll get two in 2024: National WW II Memorial and Harriet Tubman Bicentennial. These coin acts have routinely been co-sponsored by both a Dem and a Rep in both the House and Senate. The Rep sponsors of these two bills are no longer in Congress. Perhaps there will be no commemoratives in 2025 or 2026? (aside from what has already been passed and signed into law for the semiquincentennial).

Last edited 9 days ago by Major D
Kaiser Wilhelm

More good news, and this time from the always reliable Major D. It turns out that no commemoratives this year may not be such a bad thing at that after the flood of them we’ve experienced the last few years, especially now that we know we have two very special ones to look forward to in 2024. As far as 2025 and 2026, those are a relatively long way off and a lot could happen between now and then. In the words of the immortal Jim Morrison, “take it easy…take it as it comes.” I’m on board with that.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Thank you, Good Sir Rich, for shining a light on something more positive and uplifting whenever things begin to look a bit too bleak.