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High Desert coins to debut at ANA

The veil will be lifted when highlights of what is now the all-time finest U.S. type set ever assembled of coins dated 1792-1964 will be publicly displayed for the first time at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Chicago.

Known as the High Desert Collection, the multi-million dollar complete set consists of 137 coins, and 30 of them will be exhibited at the Professional Coin Grading Service booth from Aug. 16 until about noon on Aug. 20.

The collection has been annually ranked as the number one current 1792-1964 U.S. type set since PCGS first started issuing awards a decade ago. With the inclusion of several recently acquired gem-quality coins, the set now has also become the all-time finest ever assembled with a higher rating than even the fabled Eliasberg set.

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“Some of these coins were once part of the legendary collection assembled a half century ago by Baltimore banker Louis E. Eliasberg, but the extraordinary High Desert Collection now surpasses even the superb Eliasberg type set in overall grade,” said Don Willis, PCGS president.

“The 30 coins in the exhibit include 19 of the finest known examples of their date and type. In addition to six coins pedigreed to Eliasberg, the PCGS High Desert Collection display will showcase two remarkable coins from the John Jay Pittman Collection and one from the famous Harry Bass Collection,” said BJ Searls, PCGS Set Registry manager.

Plans for the debut display were coordinated with New York rare coin dealer Scott A. Travers, who assembled the High Desert Collection. He has worked with the owner of the collection since 1999, when its formation began.

Among the highlights of the display will be these coins:

•1793 Liberty Cap cent, beaded border, graded PCGS Secure Plus MS-64BN
•1796 Draped Bust dime, small eagle, PCGS Secure Plus MS-66
•1797 Draped Bust half dollar, small eagle, PCGS Secure Plus MS-62
•1820 Capped Bust $5, small bust, large size curl base “2,” large letters, PCGS Secure Plus MS-65
•1833 Capped Bust $5, small bust, small size, small date, PCGS Secure Plus MS-64
•1869 Liberty $20 “TWENTY D,” PCGS Secure Plus PR-64+DC
•1902-S Liberty $5 with motto, PCGS Secure Plus MS-69
•1902-S Liberty $10 with motto, PCGS Secure Plus MS-68+
•1902-S Liberty $20 “TWENTY DOLLARS,” PCGS Secure Plus MS-67+
•1908 Indian $10 with motto, PCGS Secure Plus MS-68+

“Those last four coins are my favorites of all the business-strike gold coins I have ever seen or handled in my career,” said Travers. “The magical rainbow color of the 1908 Indian eagle is without peer, and the perfection quality of the 1902-S half eagle will forever be remembered by one who looks at it. I cannot imagine encountering a more perfect coin of this type in my lifetime.”

For more about PCGS, visit www.pcgs.com.

The World’s Fair of Money is set for Aug. 16-20 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. For more details, visit www.worldsfairofmoney.com.

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