Top realization in Stack?s auction of the Dr. Tory Prestera collection and other properties June 20-21 in conjunction with the MidAmerica Coin Expo in Rosemont, Ill., was $149,500 for a 1796 half dollar.
This 15-star variety of the Draped Bust half, classified as Overton 101, was graded AU-53 by Professional Coin Grading Service.
?The Draped Bust, Small Eagle type half dollar is one of the most difficult type coins to obtain, arguably the most difficult silver type coin ? but not as rare as the 1796 No Stars quarter eagle or the 1808 quarter eagle,? Stack?s catalogers wrote. ?The present example is one of the finest circulated examples known behind a tiny group of half a dozen or so of this variety which now qualify as Mint State.?
Stack?s two-session MidAmerica sale featured in session one Colonials through half dollars, commemoratives, U.S. medals, Hawaiian, proof sets and miscellaneous lots. This session realized $1,768,734.50.
Session two, which comprised American Bank Note Co. archive material, silver dollars, patterns, Territorial and California fractional gold and federal gold dollars through double eagles, realized $3,479,241.05.
Overall sale total was $5,247,975.55. All prices reported here include the firm?s buyer fees.
Two pieces in the sale sold for $138,000. First was a 1794 silver dollar, Bolender 1, graded Fine-15 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.
The other to bring this price was a proof gold $20 of 1898, graded NGC Proof-66 Ultra Cameo.
A George Washington Roman Head ?cent? piece dated 1792, typically claimed by the token field and those who collect Washingtonia, classified Baker 19, was next at $120,750. It was graded PCGS Proof-64 RB, one of four pieces graded by PCGS. Two have higher grades from PCGS but this is the only one given the Red Brown designation by that grading service. These pieces were struck in England during Washington?s presidency. Catalogers said only 12-15 pieces are known today, including those held by museums.
At $109,250 was a 1795 gold $10, Taraszka 5, graded NGC MS-61.
A no stars 1796 gold $2.50, Bass-Dannreuther 2, came in at $103,500. It was graded PCGS AU-53. ?The 1796 No Stars quarter eagle is one of the rarest type coins in American numismatics. The mintage of 963 pieces saw high attrition despite many being saved as the first of their kind,? Stack?s catalogers wrote.
A restrike 1838 Gobrecht dollar pattern, Judd 84, called Very Choice Brilliant Proof-64 by the firm, went for $92,000.
$80,500 was realized by three items: an 1884 Classic Head gold $2.50 in PCGS MS-65, a 1797 gold $10, NGC MS-62, and also an 1895-S gold $10 in PCGS MS-66.
Three gold proofs brought $74,750: a 1901 gold $5 graded NGC Proof-67 * Cameo, a 1908 gold $10 in PCGS Proof-66 and a 1910 gold $10 in PCGS Proof-65.
Finally, an 1849 ?no L? gold dollar in NGC MS-68 * sold for $69,000. The open wreath, no L gold dollars were the first examples of the gold dollar struck.
For more information, contact Stack?s, 123 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019; (800) 566-2580; or P.O. Box 1804, Wolfeboro, NH 03894; telephone (866) 811-1804.
Lots from this sale are still on view in the Auction Archives section of the firm?s Web site, www.stacks.com.