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Exact guess earns collector top prize

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Pennsylvania numismatist Dale Kershner’s guess of $103,500 was exactly what the price realized was for a rare Fr. 2221-B $5,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note auctioned as part of Heritage’s official auctions of the 2010 Boston American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money.

“For his serious powers of prognostication, Mr. Kershner won a $1,000 auction credit as the grand prize of a contest held by Heritage in conjunction with our Boston ANA events,” said David Mayfield, vice president of auctions at Heritage.

With total prices realized of $46 million, there is no question that hosting the official auction of the 2010 Boston World’s Fair of Money was serious business for Heritage, but the firm says it is also serious about adding in an element of fun, mixed with numismatic skill and luck, to reward the collectors who come to the auctions.

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ANA members with registered e-mails were contacted with the following challenge: “Each of Heritage’s Official Boston ANA Auction catalogs contained lots that, due to their extreme rarity and quality, defied estimates of value.”

“Even with facts for more than 2 million lots in our Auction Archives at HA.com,” said Mayfield, “skill, art and luck all needed to come together to win.”

Heritage specialists picked one lot from each of three ANA auctions:

• A 1916-D Mercury dime, graded MS-67 Full Bands by PCGS, CAC, of the Joshua II Collection from the U.S. Coins catalog
• A South Africa 1928 George V Specimen sixpence, SP-63 NGC, reeded edge, struck in .925 silver from the World and Ancient Coins catalog
• A rare Fr. 2221-B $5,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note, PCGS, Very Choice New 64PPQ from the Currency catalog

Kershner guessed precisely the $103,500 price that would be realized for the FRN. Heritage reports that there were 11 other guesses within $5,000, plus or minus, of the actual selling price of the note.

Currency is not Kershner’s primary collecting area, so he laughingly attributed his victory to “careful consideration, measured reflection and luck.”

“While Heritage didn’t announce a second or third prize, we decided to give $200 auction credits to the next two nearest guesses,” said Mayfield. “They were so close it was uncanny.”

Steven Presmyk guessed $155,000 on the South African discovery sixpence against a price realized of $155,250. There were only three other guesses within $5,000 of the actual price.

Presmyk attributed his auction success – and this guess – to Heritage’s Auction Archives.

Scott Martin guessed $195,750 on the 1916-D Mercury Dime against a price realized of $195,500. He was one of 12 entries within $5,000, plus or minus, of the actual price. Martin runs the largest general auction house in Iowa but said this is the first 1916-D Mercury Dime in MS-67 FB that has ever come into his possession.

In addition to these winners, all of the collectors who participated each won the choice of a free electronic download or printed copy of Heritage’s book, The Collectors Handbook.

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