Proof gold was bid to the top in Heritage Auction Galleries' Nov. 30 sale in Dallas, Texas.
An 1880 Stella, or $4 gold piece pattern, Judd 1657, Pollock 1857, with the Flowing Hair design was top realization of the sale, selling for $287,500. It was graded Proof-65 by Professional Coin Grading Service.
"Estimates of the number known range between 15 and 20 coins, and we believe that this example is one of the five finest of those coins," wrote Heritage catalogers of this Stella. The winning bidder participated via the Internet.
The overall sale realized $8,509,531, marked by strong online bidding.
All prices reported here include 15-percent buyer fees.
A floor bidder bought an 1875 gold $3 proof, graded PCGS Proof-65 Deep Cameo, for $253,000. "It is the finest example certified by PCGS, with only one higher-grade coin certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.," catalogers said.
A couple more proof $3s, one an open 3 1873 graded PCGS Proof-65 Cameo, the other an 1875 in PCGS Proof-64, went for $161,000 and $120,750, respectively, both to floor bidders. An 1876, PCGS Proof-65, went to an online bidder for $100,625, and an 1854, NGC Proof-62, went for $57,500 to a floor bidder.
There were eight 1911-D Indian Head quarter eagles in the sale. The finest of these, PCGS MS-65, went to an Internet bidder for $80,500. Catalogers cited the PCGS population report as of October, which included 14 examples known in MS-65, four graded finer.
A 1924-D Saint-Gaudens double eagle, PCGS MS-65, went to an online bidder for $77,625. PCGS has seen four in MS-65, two finer, catalogers said.
Leaving gold aside for a moment, a silver proof 1880 Trade dollar in NGC Proof-68 Ultra Cameo, the finest certified by that service or PCGS, sold to a Web bidder for $74,750.
Also selling online for $74,750 was a 1909-O gold $5, PCGS MS-63. Catalogers noted an attractive patina and good luster, both unusual for this New Orleans issue. They cited PCGS as having graded 11 examples of this date as MS-63, 13 finer.
A mail bid took the 1776 pewter Continental Dollar, NGC AU-58, the EG FECIT variety, Breen 1095, Newman 3-D, for $43,700. The "EG" stands for engraver Elisha Gallaudet, and fecit is Latin for "made it."
An 1896-S Barber quarter, NGC MS-65, one of the rarities of the series, went for $32,200. Catalogers said this example "is nearly among the finest graded, exceeded only by a single example at each service (an MS-66 at PCGS, and an MS-67 at NGC)."
Twelve bidders vied for a 50-piece 1893-1952 silver commemorative type set, pieces ranging in grade from MS-64 to MS-67. It went online for $29,900.
Additional prices realized are available at www.HA.com, in Heritage's auction archives.
For more information, contact Heritage Auction Galleries, 3500 Maple Ave., 17th Floor, Dallas, TX 75219; telephone (800) 872-6467.