Superior Galleries, of Beverly Hills, Calif., will conduct an auction in Orlando Jan. 2-3, just before the Florida United Numismatists convention begins. There are a large number of consignors, and no one collection dominates the sale. U.S. coins from every series will come on the block, plus some pre-federal items.
There will be offered two large 1776 Continental Congress coin-patterns struck in tin alloy, usually said to be pewter. These are widely believed to be patterns for silver dollars, though this point has never been proven. Scholars Eric Newman and Walter Breen agreed that the Continental Congress expected a loan of silver bullion from France and somehow commissioned Elisha Gallaudet to make dies to be later used for coins of some sort.
Pictured at right is one of two 1776 Continental Congress coin-patterns that will be included in the Superior sale in Orlando.
Both of these patterns were certified by Professional Coin Grading Service. The first, with the engraver?s initials boldly evident, is graded MS-64. The PCGS holder pedigrees it to the collection of Jerry Buss, who once owned both an 1804 dollar and a 1913 Liberty Head nickel.
The second 1776 pattern, graded AU-58, is of the variety where Currency is misspelled, with just one ?r.? It is from the collection of Arthur and Isabel Rashmajian.
One of several small collections to be auctioned is the Dr. John R. Wesley collection of proof Trade dollars, 1873-1883, which have very colorful toning. All are certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. and range in grade from Proof-63 to -66.
Among many coins from the Kryfko collection is an 1893-S Morgan, PCGS certified Good-6. Since prices for mint state examples range from $90,000 to $900,000, there is much collector demand for pleasing, problem-free, circulated ?93-S Morgans.
As of Dec. 16, 2006, more than two weeks before the auction, an 1801 $10 gold coin, NGC MS-64, already had an Internet bid of $50,000. Only one 1801 eagle has been graded higher by NGC. Though PCGS and NGC together have graded more than 50 as MS-64, the Dannreuther-Garrett listing of gold auctions records, 1994-2004, lists only four PCGS MS-64 1801 $10 gold coins and two MS-64s by NGC. There could be fewer than 50 MS-64s in reality if some of the same coins were resubmitted over and over again, in hopes of MS-65 grades.
Another highlight is a 1915 $20 gold coin, NGC certified Proof-66. The proof mintage of 50 is low for the series. Further, the NGC census suggests that the 1915 is much rarer in grades of Proof-66 and higher than other dates from 1911 onward. There are five 1915 $20 coins graded Proof-66 by NGC and only one graded higher. The listing of five 66s probably represents only two or three different coins, due to resubmissions.
Also in the sale is a perennial collector favorite, an octagonal $50 gold coin. The cataloger lists it as an 1852 .887 THOUS., of the first type, before the U.S. Assay office in California was re-organized during that year. It is PCGS graded AU-55, and the current bid, on Dec. 16, was already $28,000, according to the Superior Web site, www.sgbh.com.
The lot viewing schedule, in Beverly Hills and Orlando, along with other information, is available at the Web site.