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Most complete large cent set in auction

A large cent collection called the most complete ever formed publicly or privately by date and die variety will be put on the auction block Sept. 6 in Beverly Hills, Calif., by Ira and Larry Goldberg and McCawley-Grellman.

The collection was assembled over 35 years by Dan Holmes.

According to the firms, the set is missing just two pieces, a unique the 1793 NC-5, which is in the ANS museum, and a unique 1851 N-42.

The Sept. 6 event will be the first in a series of four sales running through 2011 and feature dates running from 1793 to 1814.

The auction catalog for the first sale is organized by Sheldon number and begins with the 1793 Chain AMERI cent. It is graded AU-58 by the Professional Coin Grading Service and the catalog estimate is $100,000.

All 302 die varieties described and numbered by Dr. William Sheldon in Penny Whimsy are featured.

The auction also will include 52 of the 53 known die varieties called “noncollectible” by Sheldon because they were considered to be so rare they were virtually unobtainable. These are organized by NC numbers.

Seven of these are unique to the Holmes collection and by special agreement with the American Numismatic Society, the unique 1793 NC-5 is included in the catalog and available for inspection during lot viewing, but will not for sale in the auction.

A top  rarity in the sale is Sheldon-79, the finest known 1795 cent with a reeded edge, which grades PCGS VG-10. Estimate is $250,000.

The same figure is attached to S-189, a 1799 graded MS-62 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

An estimate of $150,000 is given to a Sheldon-2, a 1793 Chain AMERICA cent graded MS-63 by PCGS.

The same estimate is placed on Sheldon-3, a 1793 Chain AMERICA cent graded PCGS MS-63 Brown and a number of others, including the unique 1793 Strawberry Leaf Wreath cent, NC-2, graded PCGS Fair-2 and a Sheldon-5 1793 Wreath cent that grades PCGS MS-65 Brown.

A $100,000 estimate is attached to S-59, a 1794 large cent graded PCGS MS-66 Red and Brown.

An 1804, S-266C graded MS-63 Brown, is estimated at $100,000 as the highest graded cent with that date and represents a year made famous in numismatic lore by the silver dollars.

Other Sheldon varieties from 1804 are lower priced, reflecting lower grades. Also included is an 1804 Restrike in MS-60 that carries an estimate of $1,500.

The sale will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Beverly Hills at 1 p.m.

For more information, contact Goldberg Auctions at 350 S. Beverly Drive, Suite 350. Beverly Hills., CA 90212. A catalog can be obtained by phoning (800) 978-2646.

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