Nearly complete and insured for more than $2 million, the U.S. type coin set put together by Dr. Allan Mandelstamm has few peers.
Superior Galleries Inc. will offer up the collection, which includes a 1792 half disme rarity, in its February 2006 Beverly Hills Elite auction, to be held Feb. 5-7 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
?He had a sharp eye,? said Silvano DiGenova, CEO of Superior Galleries. ?Dr. Mandelstamm was an economics professor at Virginia Tech. He?s very bright and meticulous. Being a college professor in that area, he was fastidious about how he picked coins.?
DiGenova should know. Superior had worked with Mandelstamm since the 1980s to acquire pieces he needed for the collection.
?Nearly all the slots are filled,? said DiGenova. ?There?s a 1796 quarter that?s missing. We tried to sell him one over the years, but we could never quite find one that fit.?
One notable piece included in the set is a 1792 half disme, graded AU-50 by Professional Coin Grading Service.
?It?s a well-struck coin with a nice, even color,? said DiGenova. ?I?m not sure I?ve seen one better.?
Other items of note include a pewter 1776 Continental dollar (Currency, Eg Fecit variety) in PCGS MS-63 condition, a complete gold and silver Panama-Pacific set, and a complete gold and silver type set that includes an MS-67 Lafayette dollar.
The Lafayette grade was assigned by the cataloger.
?It has beautiful sea-green toning,? said DiGenova. ?It?s among the best Lafayette dollars I?ve ever seen.?
Another highlight is an 1879 $4 gold Stella, graded Proof-64 Cameo by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.
Two gold proof sets are also expected to attract heavy interest: one is a 1911 set and the other is an 1899 set called gem. The 1911 set has a mintage of exactly 100, according to DiGenova, while the 1899 set has a mintage of fewer than 100. Both are complete.
Assembled over a 19-year period, the collection was put together with assistance from Superior Galleries private client service group leader Mike Bonham.
The Mandelstamm Collection will be available for previewing by appointment at Superior Galleries? Beverly Hills show room, or on public view before the February auction.