One of the best circulation finds ever, a 1943-S cent struck in the standard copper-based alloy rather than the steel that was supposed to be used that year, sold for $207,000 at the official Long Beach Expo auction conducted Feb. 4-7 by Heritage Auctions.
This result contributed to the overall $8.76 million auction total. All prices here include a 15 percent buyer’s fee.
The cent is a VF-35 as graded by the Professional Coin Grading Service.
The price paid for the 1943-S is just shy of the $218,500 price paid for a Philadelphia 1943 copper cent in Heritage’s January 2010 Florida United Numismatists convention auction, the firm noted.
The Long Beach example is one of just seven known. It is a relatively recent arrival to the numismatic marketplace; it was unknown to David Lange in 1996, when he published his Complete Guide to Lincoln Cents, having been “kept for decades” privately by the owner, Heritage said.
Gold coins also highlighted the Heritage Signature auction.
An 1849-C Open Wreath gold dollar graded XF-45 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. realized $218,500.
According to the catalogers the gold dollar has few equals among all regular issue U.S. gold coins. In fact, there are just five confirmed examples, and the fifth example was long considered only a rumor.
It is one of the great Southern gold rarities, struck at the long-closed branch mint in Charlotte, N.C., and this is only the 13th time that an example has appeared at public auction since 1944.
The piece was the cornerstone of the Longfellow Collection.
An 1875 gold dollar from that collection graded PCGS MS-66 CAC sticker, brought $109,250.
Catalogers noted that except for the double eagle, all of the 1875 gold coin issues were struck in minuscule quantities; all of them are great rarities today. In the case of the gold dollar, the mintage was just 400 business strikes plus 20 proofs.
“We continue to see gold outperform almost every other sector of the rare coin market,” said Greg Rohan, president of Heritage Auction Galleries.
California Gold Rush gold ingots recovered from the S.S. Central America wee among the auction highlights. A 55-ounce Harris Marchand & Co. ingot, serial number 6526 with a stamped value of $995.73, reached a $172,500 final price. A Kellogg & Humbert ingot weighing 48.65 ounces, serial number 947, with a $784.43 face value, brought $103,500 and a 38.76-ounce Kellogg & Humbert gold ingot, mold K&H-02, went for $97,750.
“By certain standards this was indeed a small auction, but we’re thrilled with the prices,” said Rohan.
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