Two 1796 $2.50 gold pieces, one with stars, one without, each passed the $1 million mark in Heritage?s U.S. coin auction held in conjunction with the Florida United Numismatists convention.
Both quarter eagles were offered in the Platinum Night session, a sale session that by itself garnered $36 million of Heritage?s $50 million in U.S. coin auction sales at FUN.
Top lot was a no stars 1796 $2.50, classified as Breen 1, Breen 6113, Bass 3002, and graded MS-65 by Professional Coin Grading Service. It sold for $1,725,000 to an Internet bidder.
?We are simply thrilled,? commented Heritage president Greg Rohan.
?This coin, the single finest graded at PCGS, was simply the finest of the first quarter eagles. Its pedigree included Lorin Parmelee, Brock, the University of Pennsylvania, Philip H. Ward Jr., Lelan Rogers, Numisma 95, and A Gentleman?s Collection.?
The second-place 1796 $2.50, with stars, Bass 3003, was certified MS-65 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., with a Collectors Acceptance Corp. confirmation. It realized $1,006,250 from a floor bidder, and its pedigree includes Byron Reed, the Durham Western Heritage Museum, John Whitney Walter and the Jimmy Hayes Collection.
Third-place finisher was a 1792 fusion alloy cent pattern, Judd 2, Pollock 2, that sold for $603,750.
It was followed by a 1792 half disme, Judd 7, Pollock 7, from the Madison Collection in PCGS MS-63 that brought $503,125.
A group of early quarters took top dollar. An 1850 proof quarter in NGC Proof-68 realized $460,000 from an HA.com bidder. The piece was from the Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Two. An 1805 quarter in NGC MS-66 went for $402,500, and an 1841 quarter in NGC Proof-66 hit $345,000, both won by floor bidders.
Some additional gold highlights included a 1933 Saint-Gaudens $10 in PCGS MS-65 that finished at $552,000, and two 1795 small eagle $5s in PCGS MS-64 that each realized $373,750. A 1907 rolled edge Saint-Gaudens $10 reached $460,000, graded PCGS MS-67.
An 1855 Type 2 proof gold dollar in PCGS Proof-66 Deep Cameo, also realized $373,750 from an HA.com bidder. An 1848 ?CAL.? $2.50, NGC MS-68 Star, went for $345,000.
A two-leaves 1795 silver dollar in NGC MS-65 topped out at $431,250, selling via the Heritage Live online auction mechanism.
In addition to its U.S. coin sale at FUN, Heritage held a paper money auction that realized another $10 million. That and post-auction sales were expected to add about $2 million to the overall event, for a combined FUN total projected by the firm to reach about $62 million.
?More than 16,000 lots were offered by Heritage at FUN,? Rohan said. ?More than 1,000 consignors participated, suggesting that this will be the largest auction of 2008. More than 7,000 bidders participated as well.?
A separate Signature auction of ancient and world coins held in New York City just prior to the FUN show realized $4.3 million.