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Rare dollar coins lead ANA auction

A rare 1854 Type II gold dollar highlights the Bowers and Merena official American Numismatic Association auction in Portland, Ore., this month.
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A rare 1854 Type II gold dollar highlights the Bowers and Merena official American Numismatic Association auction in Portland, Ore., this month.


The auction will take place at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, and begins with lot viewing Wednesday, March 11, to Friday, March 13, followed by the two-session auction on Thursday, March 12, at 6 p.m. PST and Friday, March 13, at 6 p.m. PST.

The top lot in Bowers and Merena’s Official Auction of the ANA National Money Show is lot 1455, the Pittman Specimen of the Proof 1854 Type II gold dollar graded Proof-64 Deep Cameo by PCGS.

“This is one of the most rare and important proof gold offerings of all time from Bowers and Merena Auctions,” said Steve Deeds, president. “The collector who purchases this lot will be joining a highly select group of numismatists.”

A rarity in the U.S. gold coin series with just four specimens known to exist, two of the coins are in museum collections, so only two specimens are available for private ownership.

“Only a handful of collectors have ever had the opportunity to own a proof 1854 Type II gold dollar, and some notably absent from the list of previous owners of these coins are numismatic luminaries such as Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., Floyd T. Starr, Ed Trompeter and Harry W. Bass, Jr.,” Deeds said. “This is a very special coin and quite a pleasure to present it at our first official ANA auction of the year.”

A complement to the 1854 is lot 1458, an 1855 Type II gold dollar, graded MS-67 by PCGS. The coin offered in this lot – an example of the Philadelphia Mint’s 1855-dated delivery – ranks high in the Condition Census for not just the issue, but the type as a whole. It is tied with three other 1855s and two 1854s for highest-graded honors among Type II gold dollars that have been submitted to PCGS.

“This is a first-rate condition rarity, and a breathtakingly beautiful coin,” said Deeds. “This piece would serve as a highlight in the finest numismatic cabinet, and to have both of these incredible gold dollars in the same auction is really unprecedented.”


Additional auction highlights include lot 15, a complete, high-grade 1883 proof set, Indian cent through Liberty quarter eagle, PCGS and NGC-certified. The set includes a Proof 1883 quarter eagle in PCGS Proof-65 Cameo with a population of only 3/0. Also impressive is lot 1813, an extraordinary gem 1892 double eagle graded MS-66 by NGC and bearing the CAC designation.

The auction, which will include approximately 1,700 lots, also features important offerings in U.S. Mint errors and private and territorial gold coins, said Jeff Ambio, numismatic consultant for Bowers and Merena.

The Portland auction is the first of two Bowers and Merena official American Numismatic Association auctions for 2009.
All lots and images can be viewed online at, and printed catalogs are available upon request by calling (800) 458-4646. Pre-bids and online bids are now being accepted.