The final tally of the Heritage Long Beach U.S. and world coin auction came in at an eye-opening $26.78 million, one of the stronger totals for a Long Beach sale recently. The sale was anchored by the stand alone Twelve Oaks collection, an assemblage of over 2,500 coins that brought in more than $8.5 million. Remarkably, the owner of the Twelve Oaks collection is the same person (or persons) who owned the Highland collection which was auctioned by Stacks Bowers last year. The sheer number of coins between these two collections is staggering, and the Twelve Oaks results, were yet another reminder of the desirability of fresh coins to the market.

There were two six figure gold coins in the collection: a 1795 Capped Bust Right half eagle, with the small eagle reverse, graded MS62 by NGC which sold for $141,000, and an 1859-O double eagle, NGC AU58 at $105,750. Amazingly, the last time this exact 1859-O $20 crossed the auction block in 2002 it sold for $26,450 in the same third party holder. This is also the first time any 1859-O $20 has broken through the six figure barrier. Two coins had come close in 2008 at $97,750. The gold coinage overall powered this collection, with many coins in the $15,000 to $50,000 range. The Twelve Oaks collection was replete with early, low mintage dates mostly in XF to MS62 grades – the type of coins of which there is never enough to satisfy demand. Indeed, only two silver coins cracked the top 100 of the top lots by price realized. A few other results that jumped out to us include: an 1880-CC eagle, graded MS60 by NGC, selling for $42,300; a PCGS gem 1911 Saint-Gaudens at $37,600; and an 1877 gold dollar graded PR65 by NGC at $32,900. The top lots of the non-Twelve Oaks portion of the Heritage Long Beach auction was dominated by the Boka collection of 1794 cents.

The top nine lots were from this specialized collection, led by the Starred Reverse in PCGS VF35 at $258,500. The other six figure cent was the Sheldon- 18b Head of 1793 graded PCGS AU58+ at $176,250. All told the 54 large cents brought $1,851,510. This is a great story to share with your non-collector friends; the fact that a collection of copper coins worth less than one dollar in face value can be worth nearly $2 million.

MARKET UPDATE
Pricing updates this week reflect these most recent auction results. Overall the market is firm, with virtually all coins selling solidly within the Greysheet/Bluesheet spread. There are exceptions of course, and those prices can be found in this issue. Buffalo nickels, Walking Liberty halves, and Morgan dollars all show updates.