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Goldberg Auction Coins 'Fresh'

The firm of Ira and Larry Goldberg have a blockbuster sale planned for Feb. 11-14, prior to the Long Beach Expo.

The firm of Ira and Larry Goldberg have a blockbuster sale planned for Feb. 11-14, prior to the Long Beach Expo.

Ira Goldberg said that this ?sale is full of fresh material.? This term refers to coins that have not been on the market in a long time. To be ?fresh,? a coin cannot have been bought, or sold, or even offered for sale, in many years.

Dealer consignments are often of ?stale? material. Goldberg emphasized that ?there are not a lot of dealer consignments? in this sale. Most all of the rare coins ?are from private sources.?

Dr. Robert Hesselgesser, a collector of a wide variety of coins, has consigned a large number of duplicates relating to his current pursuits. It is interesting that he continues to collect Bust dollars, not just by die variety, but also by die state. Last May, the Goldbergs auctioned Hesselgesser?s fantastic collection of Russian coins.

Among the many coins that come from Hesselgesser is a 1795 Flowing Hair silver dollar graded AU-58 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. It is of the Bolender 5 die variety.

An explanation of die varieties of bust dollars requires a book. M.H. Bolender was a leading specialist in early silver dollars. His book on die varieties first appeared in 1950. It was later updated and enhanced by a famous variety collector, Jules Reiver, who died not long ago.

A variety identification system developed in the 1990s by Q. David Bowers and Mark Borckardt (?BB? numbers) is also widely used.

For this Hesselgesser 1795, Bolender 5, BB-27, the Goldbergs? estimate is $25,000-$30,000. For three leaves 1795 dollars, Numismatic News? Coin Market prices an AU-50 at $19,500 and an MS-60 at $46,500. Amazingly, this is one of 17 1795 Flowing Hair dollars in the sale, six of which were consigned by Hesselgesser. Many die varieties are included.

Other Bust dollars include a 1798 small eagle, B-2, BB-81, NGC AU-50, again from Hesselgesser, and an 1802, B-6, BB-241, NGC MS-63, from an anonymous consignor.

NGC has certified only seven Deep Mirror Prooflike 1893-CC Morgan dollars. The Goldbergs will be offering the finest of the seven, NGC MS-65 DMPL. There are no NGC-graded MS-64s in the DMPL category. PCGS has also certified seven DMPL 1893-CC Morgans, the highest being two MS-64s. The News? Coin Market values this piece at $85,000, slightly above the estimate provided by the Goldbergs.


Another flashy, appealing coin in the sale is a Type 2 gold dollar, the so- called ?Indian Princess? type. These were minted only briefly in 1854 and 1855. The 1855-D is the rarest date of the type. In this sale, there is one of three that NGC has graded MS-64, with none certified at a higher grade. Likewise, the current PCGS population report lists one MS-64 with none higher. I wonder if the other three MS-64s, if there are three others, are finer or even equal to this one?


I spent a couple of minutes looking at it, and I was impressed. It has a very sharp strike for a Dahlonega Mint coin. Indeed, the detail is amazing for a Type 2 gold dollar from any branch mint. It has rich, vibrant luster. There are no seriously distracting marks.

The Floyd Starr 1827 $5 gold coin will draw a lot of attention. It is NGC graded MS-66. NGC has graded 13 of this date, and this is the only one that has graded higher than 64 and four have been so graded. These four MS-64s are probably not all different coins. Further, NGC has graded three -63s. PCGS has also graded just 13 1827 $5 gold coins, with the highest being one MS-65. There are two PCGS MS-64s. This 1827 $5 coin could very well be the finest known of a very rare date. Even gem-quality coins of the whole (1813-1829) type are very rare.

There are a handful of very early gold coins in this sale. Among $2.50 gold coins, there will be offered an 1802/1, NGC MS-63, and two 1807s, PCGS MS-62 and NGC MS-61. 1796/5 $5 gold coins are rare in all grades, and a NGC MS-62 example will come on the block.

1870-CC $10 gold coins also are rare in all grades. The NGC AU-50 example in this sale is not quite in the condition census, but neither PCGS nor NGC has certified a Mint State example. Numismatic News? Coin Market values an AU-50 at $42,000 and a possibly non-existent MS-60 at $90,000.

This sale is very strong in half dollars. While no one half dollar is worth a fortune, there are many Bust and Seated Liberty halves that are rare and of very high quality, either in absolute terms or very choice for their respective grades.

A 1797 half, NGC VF-30, is especially choice for its grade. I examined it at the Florida United Numismatists convention. It has very pleasing, mild, creamy gray, natural toning and no annoying marks or any significant imperfections. It is well struck for the type. A 1797 half is very rare as a date and as a Draped Bust, small eagle type coin.

The coins mentioned above are highlights and samples from a sale of hundreds of items.

Ira Goldberg pointed out that the ?Chiro Mint State Flying Eagle and Indian cents is one of the nicest original groups of these to come on the market in a long time.? There is also a wide range of coins in all other denominations.

Plus, medals and paper money will be offered.

Coins will be auctioned at the Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills hotel from Feb. 11-13. Paper money and miscellaneous items will be sold through the Goldberg offices on Feb. 14.