There was significant auction activity over the past two weeks, with many thousands of coins sold and over $22 million spent in live auction during a couple weeks. That’s healthy for this time of year.


As usual, Stack’s Bowers held an extensive auction during the Baltimore show, which we previewed in a previous issue. The top lot from part three of the featured Twin Leaf large cent collection was the 1839/6 Modified Head, Newcomb variety 1, certified AU55 by PCGS which sold for $18,800. This is a moderately strong price for this coin, which boasts a long pedigree. The extensive selection of early American colonial coins fared quite well in the Stack’s Bowers sale, proving that enough time has passed from the large offerings of Newman, Partrick, Kendall, etc. that demand is strong. Numerous coins landed in the five figures, including a New Jersey copper, the Maris 24-Q variety, which sold for an eye-popping $82,250; a 1787 Immunis Columbia copper in AU55 for $23,500; and a regulated gold Portuguese 4 escudos at $39,950. Other results from the Rarities Night session include:

• 1883 Indian cent PCGS/CAC MS67+RD: $32,900
• 1916-S Buffalo nickel PCGS MS67: $25,850
• 1919-S Buffalo nickel PCGS MS66: $82,250
• 1924-S Buffalo nickel PCGS MS66+: $105,750
• 1861-D $1 gold PCGS MS60: $76,375

While a certain amount of the high end coins did not meet their reserves, it was clear that many scarce date gold coins are currently sought after by collectors and dealers. The early $10 Liberties performed quite well, the most telling example being the PCGS graded MS60 1852-O. This coin was last sold uncertified in 1996 as part of the Byron Reed collection for $30,800; in the Stack’s sale it brought $111,625. The availability of research and census data no doubt helped achieve this result.


Also not to be overlooked are the results of the Heritage New York Signature sale of U.S. coins, which brought over $12.4 million. Led by the Cherny collection of $20 Saint-Gaudens, the auction was a reassurance of the fact that quality brings strong money in any market. Four of the five top lots were the afore mentioned Saints, with the 1920-S graded PCGS/CAC MS65 standing above all others at $517,000. Second place was the only non-gold coin to crack the top five, the famous 1870-S dollar. This was the Queller example, graded XF40 by NGC and sold for $434,750. The remaining three of the top five were: 1927-S $20 graded PCGS/CAC at $199,750, a PCGS/CAC MS64 1930-S $20 at $146,875, and a PCGS MS66 1932 at $129,250.