Summer Seminar Scholarships Available for 2023 Annual Event

Summer Seminar Scholarships Available for 2023 Annual Event

The American Numismatic Association (ANA) is accepting scholarship applications for its 2023 Summer Seminar, the hobby’s premier educational event. Recipients will have the opportunity to attend one of two weeklong sessions, to be held June 17-22 and June 24-29 on the Colorado College campus adjacent to ANA headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado. All members – both adults and young numismatists (YNs) – are eligible.

YNs can apply for financial aid through the ANA Young Numismatist Scholarship program, the Martin D. Weiss Memorial Scholarship or the David Lisot Memorial YN Scholarship. Applicants must be full-time students, age 13-17. Adults 18 and older can receive full or partial assistance through the Robert C. Lecce Advanced Scholarship Program. The Charles O. Browne Scholarship is available for applicants, age 15-25, attending the Session 2 “Advanced United States Coin Grading and Problem Coins” class.

Full scholarships for both YNs and adults include room and board for one week, tuition, and airfare, while partial scholarships for all applicants cover tuition only. Recipients will be selected based on need and merit.Scholarship applications are available at money.org (select “Summer Seminar” from the “Events” dropdown menu) and must be postmarked no later than February 14, 2023. For additional information, contact the ANA Seminars Department, phone (719) 482-9848, email seminars@money.org.

The American Numismatic Association is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging the study and collection of coins and related items. The ANA helps its members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of educational and outreach programs as well as its museum, library, publications, and conventions. For more information, call 719-632-2646 or visit money.org.

Posted by News Release in Recent
Unique New Jersey $3 Banknote Surfaces From Fabled S.S. Central America Sunken Treasure

Unique New Jersey $3 Banknote Surfaces From Fabled S.S. Central America Sunken Treasure

Banknotes found in Purser’s safe and recovered treasure shipment boxes will
be offered for the first time in December 3, 2022 auction

A unique $3 denomination note issued by a New Jersey bank is among a small number of banknotes that survived the 1857 sinking of the fabled “Ship of Gold,” the S.S. Central America, and soon will be offered to collectors for the first time. They are among the many highlights of California Gold Rush-era artifacts in an auction to be conducted on December 3, 2022 in Reno, Nevada and online by Holabird Western Americana Collections (www.HolabirdAmericana.com).

The $3 note was issued by the State Bank of Newark, New Jersey, and is the only known example to have been in circulation, apparently used to purchase a ticket on the legendary ship.

Other numismatic items recovered from the legendary ship, including gold treasure shipment boxes, gold miners’ pokes, and bags from the Purser’s safe that contained coins during the ill-fated voyage, are also in the first of two planned auctions of never-before-offered unique artifacts from the ship.

“Some collectors have been waiting for these extraordinary items to come on the market since the legendary, submerged ship was located in 1988 and Life magazine proclaimed it America’s greatest treasure ever found,” said Fred Holabird, President of Holabird Western Americana Collections.

The auction will be conducted at the Reno, Nevada Convention Center and online on Saturday, December 3. A second auction of hundreds of additional one-of-a-kind artifacts retrieved from the famous shipwreck will be offered in February 2023.

“There will be five recovered banknotes in the December auction. They are among 11 ‘broken bank’ notes found in the Purser’s safe that was retrieved from the seabed in 2014 after being submerged for 157 years about 7,200 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean off North Carolina. The other recovered notes will be offered in an auction in February 2023,” explained Holabird.

The five banknotes in the upcoming auction are:

  • Bank of Syracuse, New York, $5, Haxby G12c.
  • Exchange Bank, Bangor, Maine, $5, Haxby G8.
  • North River Bank, New York, $20, Haxby G50c.
  • Peoples Bank $5, Charleston, South Carolina, Haxby G2a.
  • State Bank of Newark, New Jersey, $3.

The notes have been expertly conserved by the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, Maryland.

“Some of the notes undoubtedly were used by passengers to pay for their tickets. The money was accepted perhaps because the Purser did not yet know the banks that issued the paper money had failed,” explained Dwight Manley, Managing Partner of the California Gold Marketing Group which consigned the notes to the auction.

Cargo treasure boxes in the auction include the lid from a Wells Fargo gold shipment box and a treasure shipment box from San Francisco Gold Rush-era bankers Sather & Church. There are also gold miners’ pokes (small satchels or pouches usually made of buckskin) and a cloth bag found in the Purser’s safe with the word “Dimes” written in black ink on it, although records indicated it had held U.S. quarters and half-dollars.

A gold stickpin crafted with a U.S. Type II $1 gold coin of 1854-1856, the Purser’s keys to the treasure storage room and a sampling of nine unconserved pocket change coins gathered from the seafloor around the shipwreck of the SS Central America will also be offered along with nearly 300 lots of recovered exquisite Gold Rush jewelry, vintage 1850s clothing and other unique artifacts from the legendary ship.

Clothing items include the important discovery of the oldest known Gold Rush-era miner’s work pants jeans with a button fly that may have been made by or for Levi Strauss in his early years in business. The pants and early Brooks Brothers undershirts with the company’s famous emblem that will also be in the auction were in the first-class passenger trunk of merchant and Mexican-American War military veteran John Dement of Oregon.

“Seemingly ordinary items from the passengers and crew today give us extraordinary insight into the everyday lives of the people who traveled on the steamship,” said scientist Bob Evans who was on each of the recovery missions.

The tragedy of the S.S. Central America sinking took the lives of 425 of the ship’s 578 passengers and crewmembers, and the loss of the gold cargo was a major factor in the economically devastating financial Panic of 1857 in the United States.

Insurance claims for the loss were paid in the 1850s and the company that discovered and retrieved the treasure starting in 1988 settled with the insurers and their successors in 1992. With court approval, California Gold Marketing Group acquired clear title to all of that remaining treasure in 1999 as well as all the items recovered in 2014.

Holabird Western Americana Collections has prepared an extensive, limited edition 280-page catalog with dozens of previously unpublished illustrations of the S.S. Central America recovery operations, some reproduced in 3-D as shot during the discovery missions with a remote-controlled submersible nicknamed “Nemo.” Copies of the catalog are available while supplies last for $100 each with the price refundable with any purchase from the auction. Auction lots can also be viewed online.

For additional information about the recovered artifacts auctions planned for December 2022 and February 2023 and to obtain a printed catalog, visit Holabird Western Americana Collections of Reno, Nevada at www.HolabirdAmericana.com, call 775-851-1859, or email info@holabirdamericana.com.

Posted by News Release in Auctions, Recent
1792 Washington Cent Headlines Heritage Auction

1792 Washington Cent Headlines Heritage Auction

Rare 1786 Maris New Jersey Copper also featured in November 2 event

A magnificent 1792 Washington President Cent is arguably the top draw in Heritage Auctions’ Estate of Mike Coltrane Collection of U.S. Coins Signature® Auction Nov. 2.

All 86 lots in the event are from the collection of Coltrane, who died in January.

“Mike’s interest in numismatics mirrors his career in banking, and is reflected in this extraordinary collection,” says Jim Halperin, Co-Founder of Heritage Auctions. “His interests ranged from Federal coppers to Territorial gold issues, all represented in this auction. It even includes a specialized collection of historic North Carolinian bank letters and deposit records, many of which are related to the Charlotte Mint and gold bullion receipts. Every lot in this auction merits the attention normally afforded to trophy pieces.”

The 1792 Washington President Cent, XF40, CAC is one of the most memorable and important Colonials that one was a part of the collection of Eric P. Newman. Featuring the “T” below Washington’s shoulder, this is a singular piece that holds considerable historical significance. There are two major types of the Washington President cents distinguished by their reverses, featuring either the eagle and 13 stars that appear on this example or the General of the American Armies. Many subscribe to the traditional viewpoint that these pieces are closely related to the 1791 Large Eagle and Small Eagle cents.

A 1786 Maris 18-M New Jersey Copper is being offered publicly for just the third time in the last century. Featuring the famous “Bridle” crack connecting the tips of the horse’s nose and trunk is only slightly visible on this early die state, it is the single finest New Jersey copper, this piece is the only MS66 NGC coin with none finer (8/22).

1788 New Jersey Copper, MS63 Brown is the finest known Maris 50-f and the only Mint State Head Left Copper. So immaculate are the fields that the Garrett cataloger described the piece as “Prooflike Uncirculated,” a bold statement for any Confederation-era copper. This coin, then owned by Albany numismatist John G. Mills, was sold by the Chapman brothers with the rest of his collection in 1904. The Mills sale was the first auction in which Robert Garrett, son of T. Harrison Garrett and brother of John Work Garrett, participated. While this coin is recorded as having been bought at the auction by the Chapmans themselves for $38, a handwritten note in their bid book states, “Sold Garrett $45,” indicating that it was sold directly to Robert Garrett after the sale and not to James Ellsworth. From Robert, the collection passed to his brother John Work Garrett, and thence to Johns Hopkins University, remaining there until the 1980 Bowers & Ruddy sale.

A beautiful, octagonal 1852 Assay Office Fifty Dollar, AU55+, CAC is a prime example of the Augustus Humbert United States Assay Office fifties that are icons of American coinage. They originally were introduced in 1851, and various iterations of the octagonal design were manufactured through 1852. The K-13 variety is struck in .887 fine gold and features UNITED STATES ASSAY OFFICE OF GOLD SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA around the obverse border.

The 1788 Miller 9-E Connecticut Copper, MS63 Brown offered in this auction is likely the finest known of this die pairing. The only piece that comes close is the heavily flawed Ford coin that appeared as part of the Robert Martin Collection, and is graded MS61 Brown NGC. Like most examples, the offered coin is imperfectly centered.

Another Washington cent in the auction is a virtually flawless 1792 Getz Pattern Cent, AU53 that is No. 17 in George Fuld’s Condition Census of the copper Getz patterns. This coin from the Donald G. Partrick Collection is the largest diameter and second-heaviest example of any recorded Getz pattern in copper or silver. Heritage Auctions experts know of 83 distinctively different Getz patterns; the offered example is the only one with coin-turn die alignment.

A 1797 C-1, B-1 Half Cent, MS65★ Brown, CAC is immediately identifiable by the misplaced “1” that is too close to the bust. This piece is arguably the finest surviving example from these dies and it is visually finer than the Missouri Cabinet coin that was struck over a Talbot, Allum & Lee token and described as possibly the finest known. 

Lot viewing is available in Dallas by appointment through Nov. 2.

Images and information about all lots in this auction can be found at HA.com/1350.

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.

Posted by News Release in Auctions, Recent
Former PCGS President Brings Certification Expertise to New Market

Former PCGS President Brings Certification Expertise to New Market

Brett Charville educates new collectors on how rare coin and trading card certification now assists video game hobby

A former President of Professional Coin Grading Service, Brett Charville, has launched an informative website, www.StandardGaming.com, to educate collectors about how third-party certification concepts for coins and trading cards are helping the increasing popularity of video game collecting.

“The market for certified collectibles took off in 1986 when PCGS launched its rare coins authentication and grading service. Today, there is a grading service out there for virtually all fungible collectibles that are small enough to be encased in plastic. One of the most exciting and fastest-growing collectible areas getting the certification treatment are rare video games,” said Charville, founder of Columbus, Ohio-based Standard Gaming.

“It’s such a new collectible field that it lacks many key pieces of collectible infrastructure that we take for granted in hobbies like rare coins and sports cards. There’s less pricing data, sparse information on varieties, and few reputable places to buy and sell video games,” he explained.

Charville, who served as PCGS President from 2019 to 2021, points out that several numismatic-related companies are actively getting involved with certification and grading of video games.

“Certification company Video Game Authority (VGA) has been grading games for over a decade. WATA, the video game grading service that started in 2018 now is a division of Collectors Holdings, the parent company of PCGS and PSA. Additionally, Certified Collectibles Group (CCG), the parent company of Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC), recently launched CGC Video Game Grading,” he said.

The goals of StandardGaming.com are to provide simple-to-understand educational guides and content for collectors entering the graded video game market as well as offer fairly priced, entry-level games available for immediate purchase.

For additional information, visit www.StandardGaming.com.

Posted by News Release in Recent
CAC Announces Switch to Grading Service

CAC Announces Switch to Grading Service

Certified Acceptance Corporation is a Far Hills, New Jersey third-party coin certification company started in 2007 by coin dealer John Albanese. The firm evaluates certain numismatic U.S. coins already certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation or Professional Coin Grading Service. Coins that CAC deems high-end for their grades receive green stickers and coins that are under graded and would receive at least a green sticker in the next highest grade are bestowed gold stickers.

CAC founder John Albanese recently announced that the company will switch to a grading service starting early next year. Current CAC members received the following official letter announcing the switch.

There have been many rumors swirling about the possibility of CAC becoming a traditional grading service and I believe it is time to address them. Technically speaking, the transaction has not been completed yet. However, I am extremely confident that the transaction will close by the end of 2022. If everything goes according to plan, we anticipate a “soft opening” in the first quarter of 2023. The new company, CAC Grading, will have the same logo and will be located in a 29,000 square ft. facility in Virginia Beach.

We will keep our Bedminster, NJ office for stickering and customer service. Your CAC member number will remain the same but there will be a new application and submitter agreement as it will be a different corporation. We will also be adding approximately 100 new partners, many you are familiar with. I will be heavily involved as the president and CEO, signing a 10-year contract and spending at least one week per month in Virginia Beach until our team of 3 world class graders morphs into an interchangeable unit. In addition, I will be available 24/7 for tiebreakers if our team can’t come to a consensus.

We’ve already spent weeks collaborating with our grading team and I’m happy to report that we have slight differences of opinion in less than 2% of the coins. CAC stickering will continue through 2023, but our goal is to drastically reduce demand with a new pricing structure. Our loyal collector members will be entitled to submit 20 coins annually at the current normal tier rate and will only be charged for coins that sticker. After the 20-coin limit, the new rate will apply. Applicants that are currently on our waiting list will qualify for this service, as well.

It is very likely stickering will continue into the year 2033, but we do expect to eventually phase out the stickering service. Ultimately, collector members will determine the longevity of this service.

We will of course introduce a user-friendly registry program featuring two new registries. Our most popular registry will include NGC and PCGS coins, stickered or not, and the new CAC-holdered coins. We realize that there are many coins, especially from 1792-1807, that are virtually impossible to collect exclusively in CAC quality, so this registry has potential for broader inclusion. However, the CAC stickered and holdered coins will score higher than the non-CAC examples. The second registry, “CAC exclusive,” will consist solely of NGC-CAC, PCGS-CAC and CAC encapsulated coins. When you submit to us your coin information, your CAC coins will populate and be showcased on both registries.

In order to keep our backlog under control the new company, CAC grading, will continue our current waiting list policy into the foreseeable future. Our goal is to provide top-notch customer service and turnaround times and I don’t believe this could be accomplished with unfettered growth. We aim to be the most consistent premium grading service, not the largest.

As many of you know, we have suspended our economy tier and it is highly possible this may be permanent with the exception of the 20-coin limit mentioned above. If this creates a hardship, please E-mail me at AlbaneseCoins@aol.com and we will try our best to accommodate.

We understand you may have questions at this time. We are in the process of building a comprehensive FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section regarding the transition, so please follow the link below to submit your questions or refer to the other questions and answers therein. Your questions and answers will help other members find what they need as well.

www.CACcoin.com/forums

We appreciate your support and business through this time of change and are working hard to clear our submission backlog.

Watch the CDN Publishing exclusive interview with John Albanese on CAC grading company launch.

Posted by David Crenshaw in Recent
<strong>Dr. Harvey Richer: Writing the <em>100 Greatest Canadian Coins and Tokens</em></strong>

Dr. Harvey Richer: Writing the 100 Greatest Canadian Coins and Tokens

Dr. Harvey B. Richer’s new Whitman Publishing book, 100 Greatest Canadian Coins and Tokens, premiered this summer at the 2022 convention of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association in Ottawa. It made its United States debut a few weeks later at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Chicago. Now the 160-page hardcover coffee-table volume is available from bookstores and hobby shops and online. Here, Dr. Richer gives an inside look at how he planned and wrote the book.

How does one choose the greatest coins and tokens of any country? A survey of experts? That would unquestionably turn up a huge diversity of results. Nevertheless, this was one route I took to establish Canada’s top 100 coins and tokens. There is a society of active numismatic historians and writers in Canada, the Canadian Numismatic Research Society (CNRS), of which I am a member. Other affiliates who are likely well known to the general collecting community include Paul Berry, past curator of the National Currency Collection of the Bank of Canada; Brian Cornwell, founder of the ICCS grading service, which grades and encapsulates mainly Canadian coins; and James Haxby, author of the bestselling Whitman Guide Book of Canadian Coins and Tokens. This group is not composed of active coin dealers (although there are a few in the society). Their collecting and writing tastes generally run to more eclectic subjects, such as tokens and medals.

Early in the research for 100 Greatest Canadian Coins and Tokens, David Bergeron, the president of the CNRS and current curator of the National Currency Collection of the Bank of Canada, polled the members of the society at my suggestion, asking them to name up to five of their favorite coins and tokens related to Canada. A number of very useful suggestions were proffered by the group, and about half a dozen that I had not originally chosen were included in the final list. In the end, however, the choices were largely mine.

Those well versed in Canadian numismatics may find some of the entries in my anthology a bit odd, such as wampum belts, a U.S. encased postage stamp, a Government of Newfoundland $25 bond, a very common 1938 Newfoundland 1-cent coin, counterstamped Canadian dollars, and a number of high-mintage Canadian commemorative silver dollars. It may be fair to say some of these are not even coins or tokens, and as such do not belong. But each of these selections has a wonderful story to tell related to the development of Canadian coinage, and that is what most interested me in writing this book. Of course, all the high-priced, famous Canadian coins are here, too: the 1911 silver dollar, once called the world’s most expensive coin; the gold $10 and $20 pieces from British Columbia; the 1890-H (the “H” mintmark indicating that it was struck at the Heaton Mint in Birmingham, England) 50-cent coin; the 1893 Round Top 3 10 cents; the 1936 Dot coins; and the unique 2003 gold $1 coin, among others.

Instead of ordering the coins or tokens by some criterion of greatness (for example, recent auction prices or total number of examples known), I chose to produce a more or less chronological ranking. In this way, you can make historical connections between the various entries and follow, in a more continuous and comprehensive manner, the development of Canadian coinage from the earliest examples of wampum—used in trade among the Indigenous population and later with Europeans—all the way to Canadian coinage after Confederation, when Canada had its own mint and was a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. All the physical specifications, auction details, pricing, and rarity information are included for each entry, but the narrative is a historical one.

While the title of my anthology is 100 Greatest Canadian Coins and Tokens, the book contains many more than 100 individual coins and tokens. This is because several coins and tokens have been treated in a single essay both for clarity and to reduce duplication. For example, each of the three 1936 Dot coins clearly deserves its own unique entry, but this would be unduly repetitive. Additionally, only a few examples of major varieties were included (for example, Flat Top and Round Top 1893 10 cents), and less dramatic varieties generally did not find their way into the final compilation.

Ranking the 100 Greatest Canadian Coins and Tokens

No one person should decide on the ranking of anything, let alone something as controversial as the 100 greatest coins or tokens of any country. Collectors have their own favorite areas regarding what appeals to them, from a historical perspective or because of scarcity or availability, while dealers often pursue those coins that they believe can be resold at a profit. These would introduce very different biases into the selection of the greatest coins and tokens, so I decided to let a knowledgeable cross-section of the community do this hard work for me.

I contacted a number of dealers and collectors whom I knew and asked them to contribute to the ranking process. The members of the Canadian Numismatic Research Society—the group mentioned above, of Canadians interested in the history and promotion of Canadian numismatics—were also asked to rank the entries in the book. I sent all these individuals a list of the 100 entries ordered more or less chronologically, as they currently appear in the book. The rules were few and simple:

1. No new additions allowed at this ranking stage.

2. At least 20 entries had to be ranked but, of course, more were preferred.

3. The top 100 Canadian coins and tokens were chosen from a list where a number 1 vote was worth 100 points, a number 2 vote 99 points, and so on. The weighted scores were then tabulated to produce the rank order of the entries.

Not surprisingly, the 1911 pattern silver dollar was ranked the number 1 Canadian coin or token—identical to its ranking in 100 Greatest Modern World Coins (by Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker). In fact, it would have been a surprise if the 1911 pattern dollar had not achieved this exalted position. (At one point it carried the moniker of the “World’s Most Expensive Coin.”) Ranked number 2 are the British Columbia gold coins of 1862, of which only eight are known of both denominations together. Entries 3 and 4 are the 1936 Dot set and the 1921 50-cent coin. Tokens and fiat money of various sorts fared very well, holding down nine spots among the top 20 entries.

I am indebted to the following individuals for providing their ranking choices and sharing their knowledge and experience with the collecting community: Darryl Atchison, David Bergeron, Sandy Campbell, Clément Chapados-Girard, John Deyell, Michael Findlay, Robert Forbes, Michael Joffre, Greg Jones, Robert Kokotailo, Svetolik Kovacevic, Warren Long, Oliver M., George Manz, Andrew McKaig, Barry Renwick, David Rubin, Dale Schaffer, Jared Stapleton, and Rob Turner.

Posted by News Release in Books, Recent
Q. David Bowers on A Guide Book of American Silver Eagles

Q. David Bowers on A Guide Book of American Silver Eagles

Whitman Publishing’s new Guide Book of American Silver Eagles, by Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez, will debut this December, available from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide. Here, Q. David Bowers, the namesake of Whitman’s popular “Bowers Series” of numismatic reference books (of which McMorrow-Hernandez’s work is no. 27), reviews the new volume and shares some thoughts on American Silver Eagles.

As 2022 enters the holiday season, Whitman Publishing is releasing the first edition of the Guide Book of American Silver Eagles—and I say “first edition” because I’m certain many more will follow! The bullion coin series it covers has been with us for more than 35 years, and shows no sign of slowing down.

There’s something to be said for longevity in the hobby of coin collecting. The Bowers Series of reference books—of which this is volume 27—will soon celebrate its 20th anniversary, and I myself have been in numismatics as a hobbyist and a professional for 70 years.

Maybe you’re new to the hobby yourself, and American Silver Eagles are your gateway to the fun and excitement. Or you might be a longtime collector, and these coins are a series you’ve collected for decades, or one you’re just beginning to explore. Whatever your experience level, you have a talented guide in Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez, who shares insight to help you understand and appreciate American Silver Eagles. Read and learn from Josh’s book, and you can build a beautiful and valuable collection of your own.

Josh himself is no newcomer to the hobby. He’s written about coins for many years, as a freelance journalist, a market reporter, and a book author. His enthusiasm for American Silver Eagles is contagious!

In 1986, the year the American Eagle bullion program was launched, Florence M. Schook was president of the American Numismatic Association. My own term as president had just ended. Florence emphasized, as I always have, the importance of knowledge in the hobby, more than just buying and selling, and she dedicated her energy to educating collectors, especially young collectors. She would be pleased to see the growth in the number of coin-related books published since then, certainly in the past 20 years.

American Silver Eagles deserve their own books among the hobby’s literature. They’re popular—any program that sells 600 million or more coins is an unqualified barnburner! And they appeal to a variety of interests. Maybe you’re an investor or speculator, looking to build a reserve of precious metal. American Silver Eagles fill the bill nicely. You could be a hobbyist who collects from pocket change and has never bought a “rare” coin before, and be drawn in by the American Silver Eagle’s attractive designs. If you like challenging and interesting series, American Silver Eagles boast Proof coins of flawless quality, rarities that make the 1909-S V.D.B. cent look common, and many innovative new finishes and formats to collect. And if you’re a history buff, as I am, the American Silver Eagles beckon. They were born in a fascinating numismatic era and they connect to many points of national and international historical interest.

I remember in 1985 I was introduced at a symposium as “one of the leading figures in the coin industry.” This prompted me to reply that I don’t consider myself an industrialist—someone who presides over factories and loading docks and railroad connections. Instead, I consider myself to be a professional numismatist. I might be industrious, but I’m not an industrialist! In the same era of 1985, 1986, 1987, as the American Eagle program was in planning and then got underway, more and more newcomers to coin-collecting were expressing interest in investment and price appreciation. A senior numismatist at my firm, Bowers and Merena Galleries, shared with me typical questions he was hearing from people just entering the hobby: “What kind of profits will I see next year on coins I buy today? What newsletters should I subscribe to if I want to maximize my investment? What coin series is the hottest now? What will be hot tomorrow?”

In the Guide Book of American Silver Eagles, Josh McMorrow-Hernandez explores the almost unique collector/investor energy that these coins enjoy—part of what sells them in the millions. Not only do they capture the eyes and imaginations of hobbyists, but they also appeal to investors and speculators, the “silver bugs” and “stackers” attracted to their precious-metal content. This two-audiences-in-one appeal isn’t entirely unique: There’s another coin series that shares the same high level of popularity among both collectors and investors. That coin is the classic Morgan silver dollar of 1878 to 1921, a personal favorite of mine. Inside his delightful new book, Josh shows us why many collectors and dealers consider the American Silver Eagle to be “the Morgan dollar of today.”

Get ready to immerse yourself in one of the biggest and most important coinage programs of modern times. There’s a lot to learn in the Guide Book of American Silver Eagles, and fun to be had while collecting. Enjoy!

Posted by News Release in Books, Recent
1882 $100 Gold Certificate Brings $750,000

1882 $100 Gold Certificate Brings $750,000

Total from 3 Heritage coin and currency auctions held during Long Beach Expo top $49 million

One of just two known examples of an extraordinary hand-signed, triple signature 1882 $100 gold certificate lived up to its billing – and then some – when it sold for $750,000 to lead Heritage Auctions’ Long Beach Expo US Currency Signature® Auction – Long Beach to $10,682,198 Oct. 5-7.

The event was part of an extraordinary week of Heritage Long Beach Expo auctions. The Harry W. Bass Jr. Core Collection Part I US Coins Signature® Auction reached $20,459,645, then the Long Beach Expo US Currency Signature® Auction – Long Beach brought $10,682,198. Last but not least, the second Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature® Auction finished at $17,875,326 boosting the three events to $49,017,169, setting a new all-time record for any Long Beach Expo numismatic auction total.

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.

“You have to remember, only the first 9,000 that were printed and issued were hand-signed by Thomas C. Acton, who served as the superintendent of the New York Assay Office, Assistant U.S. Treasurer and the founder and president of the Bank of New Amsterdam,” says Dustin Johnston, Vice President of Currency at Heritage Auctions, “and of those, only two are known to have survived – a microscopic survival rate. With the other known survivor secured in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian, this is a remarkable example that immediately assumes a prominent position in its new collection.”

A Fr. 2230-E $10,000 1928 Federal Reserve Note. PMG Choice About Unc 58 soared to $504,000 – exceeding its pre-auction estimate by $104,000. The sole finest-graded 1928 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note represents the ultimate combination of rarity and condition: it is one of just 10 known for the type … and two of those are housed in museum collections. “This note captured the title for most expensive Small Size type note when it last sold,” Johnston says. “On Thursday night, it recaptured the title.”

A Fr. 2231-B $10,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note. PCGS Banknote Choice Unc 64, once a part of the famed $1 million display at Binion’s Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, more than doubled its pre-auction estimate when it climbed to $312,000. This historic banknote, with serial number B00003059A, was part of the renowned display that was composed of 100 Series 1934 $10,000 FRNs on the New York district framed by a large gold-color horseshoe. The open end of the horseshoe was on the bottom and the notes were exhibited in five columns of 20 notes each; the note sold in this auction is one of the nicest examples featured in the display.

Also unique in private hands was a Fr. 1203 $100 1882 Gold Certificate PMG Choice Fine 15, which drew a winning bid of $300,000. All of the major Gold Certificate offerings were from the first issuing period, prior to 1891. Among the most important of these rarities is the Fr. 1203, featuring the Signatures of Blanch Bruce and A.U. Wyman, who served jointly in the Treasury from April 1883 to April 1885. This magnificent note is one of just three known examples; the two others are part of the Federal Reserve Bank Collections in Richmond and New York.

Another high-denomination prize in the event was a Fr. 2220-F $5,000 1928 Federal Reserve Note. PMG Choice Very Fine 35, which rode a surge of more than a dozen bids to $216,000. Track & Price has enumerated just 19 serial numbers for the 1928 Series as compared to 109 for the 1934 Series. The serial number on this note is F00000077A and has been included in the census data for years. The 1928 notes have the “redeemable in gold on demand” obligation clause, while the 1934 notes sport the “redeemable in lawful money” obligation clause.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

A Fr. 2231-G $10,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note. PMG Extremely Fine 40: $192,000

Unique in private hands, a New Orleans, LA – $50 1875 Fr. 444 The Hibernia National Bank Ch. # 2086 PMG Very Fine 30: $174,000

A Fr. 1218f $1,000 1882 Gold Certificate PMG Very Fine 25 from The Allan H. Goldman Collection: $156,000

The finest known Fr. 174 $100 1880 Legal Tender PMG Choice Uncirculated 64: $156,000

A Fr. 1200 $50 1922 Gold Certificate PMG Superb Gem Unc 67 EPQ – the sole finest large-size $50 gold: $102,000

Complete results can be found at HA.com/3589.

Posted by News Release in Auctions, Recent
Updated, Bigger Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars

Updated, Bigger Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars

Whitman Publishing will release the newly expanded and updated seventh edition of A Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars, by Q. David Bowers, for the 2022 holiday season. The 336-page book will be available in December from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide. In the meantime, it can be preordered (including online at www.Whitman.com).

The seventh edition’s coin-by-coin retail values have been updated in a snapshot of today’s rare-coin market, with detailed pricing in 11 circulated and Mint State grades plus 3 levels of Proof. The book includes hundreds of new images, with photographs of every date in the series plus new illustrations in the history chapters and appendices, and galleries of toned silver dollars and error coins. Analysis of certified-coin populations has been updated. The seventh edition includes an updated appendix on counterfeit Morgan dollars, based on the research of Beth Deisher, and a new appendix on the 1921–2021 centennial Morgan dollar coins. The index has been expanded for easy, comprehensive navigation of the book’s contents.

Following the format of the first six editions, the seventh includes a history of America’s silver dollar dating back to the 1790s, and chapters on the Morgan dollar’s design, how dies were made, the minting process, the five mints that struck the coin from 1878 to 1921, and Treasury hoards and other accumulations. For collectors, Bowers gives advice on ways to collect Morgan dollars; grading and the marketplace; and how to cherrypick rare die varieties. The book’s year-by-year catalog is an analysis by date and mintmark of more than 100 coins in the series. Appendices offer a report on the recent discovery of 1964 Morgan dollar dies and hubs in the Philadelphia Mint’s archives; a study of Morgan dollar patterns; a gallery and descriptions of misstruck and error Morgan dollars (including the 1882-CC “Grand Snake”); a study of counterfeit Morgan dollars in today’s market; and information on the 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act.

“No American numismatic library is complete without the latest edition of A Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars,” said Jeff Garrett, senior editor of the Guide Book of United States Coins, in the new edition’s foreword.

The cover of the new seventh edition showcases a nearly perfect 1896-S Morgan silver dollar, graded MS-69. Positioned around it are an iridescent toned Proof of 1894; a cropped view of a 1964 Morgan dollar hub; a rare error coin, struck 25 percent off center; a 1921 “Chapman Proof,” graded PF-67; a Judd-1371 pattern struck in copper; and a 2021 coin marking the 100th anniversary of the historic Morgan dollar’s last coinage.

The Bowers Series, named for Whitman Publishing’s numismatic director, Q. David Bowers, is a popular library of numismatic books, each covering a different segment of the hobby. More than two dozen volumes have been published as of 2022, written by Bowers and other authors including David W. Lange, Rick Snow, Katherine Jaeger, Frank J. Colletti, Roger W. Burdette, Rick Tomaska, and Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez. Together they comprise more than 6,000 pages of history, market data, grading instructions, and other valuable numismatic information. Because Whitman Publishing is the Official Supplier of the American Numismatic Association, ANA members receive 10% off the book when purchasing directly from the publisher. It can also be borrowed for free as a benefit of ANA membership, through the Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library.

Posted by News Release in Books, Recent
Leading First Bass Collection Auction Realizes $20.5 Million

Leading First Bass Collection Auction Realizes $20.5 Million

A magnificent 1821 half eagle rode a burst of furiously competitive bidding all the way to $4.62 million, leading one of the finest collections of U.S. gold coins and related patterns ever assembled to $20,459,645 in Heritage Auctions’ Harry W. Bass Jr. Core Collection Part I US Coins Signature®Auction — Long Beach Sept. 29.

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 Bass Trustees are thrilled with the results and grateful to the Heritage Auctions team for its outstanding execution of this sale” said David Calhoun, executive director of the Harry Bass Foundation. “It was an exciting event that far exceeded our expectation.”

Many lots in the auction set new auction records, including:

The 1821 Capped Head Left Five, PR65 Cameo: $4,620,000 (previous record: $198,000)

An 1854 Gold Dollar, PR65 Deep Cameo: $720,000 (previous record: $68,750)

An 1833 Quarter Eagle, PR63 Cameo: $408,000 (previous record: $50,600)

An 1860-S Three Dollar Gold, MS64: $360,000 (previous record: $37,600)

An 1855-S Three Dollar, MS64: $264,000 (previous record: $64,625)

The event generated perfect sell-through rates of 100% by value and by lots sold. The lineage of many of the coins in this auction can be traced to the heralded auction of Louis E. Eliasberg Sr.’s gold coin collection in 1982.

As a proof, the 1821 Capped Head Left half eagle is prohibitively rare; only two proof examples are known, one of which is included in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.

“This is an extraordinary coin that brought an extraordinary result,” Heritage Auctions Executive Vice President Todd Imhof said. “The fact that the proceeds from this event will benefit dozens of charities in the Dallas community, where Heritage Auctions’ corporate headquarters is located, makes this event exceedingly gratifying.”

The collection has been out of the reach of collectors for more than 50 years, and has been on display at the American Numismatic Association’s Edward C. Rochette Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colo., since October 2000.  The foundation’s trustees voted earlier this year to sell the collection, which includes roughly 450 U.S. gold coins dating back to the late 1700s, as part of a plan to increase its annual giving from $2 million to at least $5 million, depending on the results of this auction.

The 1821 Half Eagle prompted 70 bids before rising to the top of the auction’s results, but it was one of three coins in the auction that cleared more than $1 million.

A 1804 Capped Bust Right Eagle, PR63 – the discovery coin for the issue – closed at $2.28 million. The 1804 Plain 4 eagle was struck for inclusion in the diplomatic presentation proof sets that also included the famous 1804 dollars. Initially collected as a regular proof of 1804, later considered a pattern, and finally recognized as a special striking, produced by the Mint to fulfill a specific government purpose, it is now one of the rarest and most valuable U.S. coins. Only four specimens were struck, just three of which can be positively confirmed today. Even the great institutional collections at the Smithsonian and the American Numismatic Society do not include an example of this fabulous rarity.

The second-finest 1860 Liberty Double Eagle, PR65+ Cameo ended at a record $1.2 million (previous record: $367,188). This exceptional example is one of just 59 proof Liberty double eagles duly recorded in 1860, and one of just seven examples traced today.

Other highlights included, but were not limited to:

A 1795 BD-1 13 Leaves Ten Dollar, MS64: $690,000

An 1848 CAL. Quarter Eagle, MS64: $552,000

A 1798 Two and a Half, MS64 Prooflike: $516,000

Since the 1990s, the Harry W. Bass Jr. Foundation has supported qualified 501(c)(3) organizations throughout Dallas, primarily focusing on youth and education. Among its more than four dozen recipients, the foundation counts Frazier Revitalization in South Dallas, Head Start of Greater DallasBoys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, the Momentous InstituteBachman Lake Together in Northwest Dallas and Readers 2 Leaders in West Dallas. But the foundation also helps feed the hungry through such nonprofits as Crossroads Community Services (which provides nutritional assistance for at-risk children in Dallas County), and it supports Austin Street Center‘s work with Dallas’ unsheltered.

Complete results can be found at HA.com/1353.

The next installment of the Harry W. Bass Jr. Collection will be offered Jan. 4-9 through Heritage Auctions at the FUN US Coins Signature® Auction.

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.

Posted by News Release in Auctions, Recent