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Patterns, gold top bids at FUN

A $50 pattern realized $575,000 at Heritage Auction Galleries Florida United Numismatists convention sale held Jan. 5-11 in Orlando, Fla.

The 1877 piece, Judd-1549, Pollock-1722, was graded Proof-67 Brown by the Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

Overall, the coin auction realized over $52 million, while a companion paper money sale brought in $6 million.

Another pattern, an 1880 $4 gold piece of the Coiled Hair type, Judd-1660, Pollock-1860 and graded Proof-62 by NGC, also realized $575,000. The catalog noted that population rosters account for nine different examples of the 1880 Coiled Hair $4 from perhaps 20 minted.

Bringing $531,875 was an 1889-CC Morgan silver dollar graded MS-68 by the Professional Coin Grading Service.

A  rare 1933 Saint-Gaudens Indian Head $10 gold piece graded PCGS MS-65 brought $488,750. The catalog noted that the Philadelphia Mint opened in 1933 with a delivery of 312,500 eagles in January and February, but only a few – perhaps 30 to 40 pieces – were legally released through regular channels at that time.

Two coins shared a final price of $460,000.

The first was an 1815 $5 gold piece graded MS-64 by NGC. It is cataloged as Breen-6469, BD-1. The catalog noted a mintage of 635 pieces and stated the 1815 was rare from its date of issue.
The second piece realizing $460,000 was an 1892-S Morgan silver dollar called MS-67 by PCGS.

Another rarity from the Saint-Gaudens Indian Head $10 series, a 1920-S graded MS-66 by PCGS, brought $431,250. The catalog notes that in this grade there is just one coin and only one other coin grades better than this.

An NGC Proof-64 pattern 1915 Panama-Pacific half dollar, Judd-1960, formerly Judd-1793, Pollock-2031, found a buyer at $345,000. The cataloger noted, “One of only two known specimens; struck in gold as the regular silver-issue, but lacking the normal S mintmark. These extremely rare patterns were clearly clandestine strikes, produced at the Philadelphia Mint before mintmark punches were applied to the working dies. They were possibly created for Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo (a coin collector)!”

A PCGS MS-66 1913-S gold $10 fetched $299,000. The catalog said only 66,000 pieces were produced and most circulated (most are known today in VF to choice AU condition). Further, PCGS and NGC have graded three MS-65 specimens, one premium gem, and two superb gems.

“FUN 2009 was simply amazing,” said Heritage President Greg Rohan, “and we are pleased that 2009 is off to such a strong start.”

Ongoing online results will add to overall totals. Visit the firm’s Web site at www.HA.com for more information.

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