This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
>> Subscribe today!
A $9.68 million auction was topped by a 1796 15-star half dollar at the official American Numismatic Association National Money Show Auction conducted March 17-20 by Heritage Auctions in Sacramento, Calif.
The half dollar was graded AU-58 by the Professional Coin Grading Service. It was called a stunning coin.
Prices here include a 15 percent buyer’s fee.
“These are excellent results,” said Greg Rohan, president of Heritage Auctions. “We’re especially pleased with the high sell-through rate, and the overall prices significantly exceeded expectations, bolstered by the fine performances by early American silver and copper, as well as a few key gold pieces that showed the enduring strength of that market.”
The firm said more than 5,200 collectors competed for 5,378 lots in the auction, adding up to the $9.86 total, which translates into a 93.410 percent sell-through rate by dollar value.
There highlights included a famous Colonial rarity, the Breen example 1C Washington Roman Head cent, Proof-64 Brown PCGS, occupied the second spot in the overall tally of the Sacramento auction, bringing $100,625.
“This is an important coin and collectors clearly responded with a price that exceeded the $100,000 mark,” said Rohan. “Given that the exact number of surviving Washington Roman Head cents is unknown, although the total is clearly small, this is a smart buy that will now occupy a prized spot in an advanced collection.”
Three coins tied at $80,500 each in the sale. A 1796 quarter, graded MS-64 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. which is part of the only issue of this denomination bearing the Small Eagle reverse, was the first among equals, while the Eliasberg specimen of the 1806 B-9 Draped Bust quarter, MS-66, the finest known of its type.
The third coin was a Civil War-era 1863 $3 gold piece, Proof-66 Ultra Cameo, similarly the finest of its kind, struck in Philadelphia the same year the Battle of Gettysburg was fought less than 150 miles away.
• A 1915-S Panama-Pacific $50 octagonal PCGS MS-63 realized $74,750.
• A 1796 50C 15 Stars PCGS Fine-15. CAC. O-101, R.5., brought $74,750.
• A 1794 H10C PCGS Secure MS-65, V-1, LM-1, R.6, brought $63,250.
• A 1793 Chain 1C AMERICA PCGS XF-40, S-3, B-4, Low R.3., fetched $63,250.
• A 1862-S $20 NGC MS-63 CAC, settled at $57,500.
For more information, visit the Heritage website at HA.com.