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B&M auction gets $4 million

A coin with an interesting story topped bidding in Bowers & Merena Auctions’ official Whitman Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention sale that realized a total of $4,225,995.

An 1876-CC 20-cent piece owned since the year of issue by one family brought $207,000 during the three-session auction held June 11-12.

“We are very pleased with the results of the auction,” said Steve Deeds, president of Bowers and Merena.

“We offered some exceptional coin and currency rarities, and presenting the 1876-CC Pick/Jurgensen 20-cent piece to the numismatic community for the first time ever was a memorable and historic highlight that I am very proud of,” Deeds added.

The AU-58 20-cent piece was graded by the Professional Coin Grading Service Its story spans five generations, according to the firm.

It was received in 1876 in circulation in Virginia City, Nev., by John Seagraves Pick.

It was kept in the Pick/Jurgensen family for the last 133 years.

Pick’s son, John William Pick, who was born in Virginia City in 1872, got the coin from his father. He passed it to his daughter, Virginia Pick Jurgensen, who was born in 1904 and survived the San Francisco earthquake when she was just 2 years old; she kept the coin for 47 years until her death in 1993. It then went to her son, Wilfred Pick Jurgensen. When he died at age 74, the 20-cent piece was inherited by his widow, Jean Lorraine Jurgensen, and son, Steven Frederick Jurgensen.

The catalog points out that this 1876-CC 20-cent coin has the lowest grade of any surviving example because it is the only one known to either PCGS or Numismatic Guaranty Corp. in a circulated grade. There are 12-20 known, the cataloger estimated.

The 2,500-lot auction also featured a PCGS MS-64 1915-S round Panama-Pacific gold $50 commemorative. It has a net mintage of just 483 pieces. It realized $80,500.

A bid of $74,750 claimed an octagonal example. This one was graded MS-64 by NGC. It has a mintage of 645.

Another gold highlight was an AU-55 1796 $10, Bust Right, BD-1, HBCC-3174, Taraszka-6, the only known dies, Rarity-4. It was bid to $60,375.

Among the nongold highlights, a 1909 VDB Lincoln cent that graded Proof-65 Brown by NGC fetched $24,150.

An 1853 U.S. Assay Office of Gold $20, K-18, Rarity-2, 900 THOUS, graded NGC MS-64 brought $19,550.

All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s fee.

“I am very excited to announce that with our next Baltimore auction in November, we will present a full day of world coin and currency sessions,” Deeds concluded.

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