California dealer Kevin Lipton calls the 1792 Birch cent and 1792 Eagle-on-Globe copper quarter two of the United States’ top 10 coins.
And now he owns them, at a cost of more than $4.9 million.
“You know, both coins are just incredibly important, fantastic coins,” he said. “They rank right up there with the greatest things I’ve ever owned.”
Lipton was the top bidder for the coins at the Heritage Auctions sale of the Don Patrick Collection of Colonial coins Jan. 8 in Orlando, Fla.
The 1792 Birch cent sold for $2.585 million, which helped propel the one-night session offering more than 350 coins to nearly $26 million.
Total prices realized by Heritage from its FUN auctions and its New York auctions combined came to over $96 million, $81 million of that was at FUN.
The Judd 4 pattern graded MS-65 (Star) Red and Brown by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation with a Certified Acceptance Corporation sticker.
Lipton paid $2,325,500 for the 1792 Eagle-on-Globe copper quarter graded NGC CAC MS-63.
Even though he appreciates them like a collector, Lipton is aware of their potential.
“I bought them because I thought they were great values,” he said.
He expects both to sell for $10 million apiece someday.
He is not the only one who thinks this. He told Numismatic News Jan. 14 that he has already had inquiries about the two pieces.
But he’s not anxious to sell the coins.
“There is a lot of pride in ownership,” he said, but that is not the only consideration in deciding what to do with them.
“I’m either going to keep them for myself or place them with somebody very close,” Lipton said.
He said he would not sell them if they would go away forever.
If they will “stay close” as he put it, he was willing to “sell and make a modest profit,” knowing that they would come back to him to sell again someday.
“This is a pedigree that will endure in perpetuity,” said Jim Halperin, co-founder and co-chairman of Heritage Auctions.
Lipton’s name will forever be associated with the two coins.
Two of four known 1776 Continental dollars struck in silver brought $1,527,500 each in the sale. They are the Newman 1-C NGC XF-40 and the Newman 3-D, EG FECIT Continental dollar in NGC MS-62.
A 1792 disme in copper graded NGC CAC MS-64 Red and Brown brought $1,057,500. It is the finest of three known.
Bringing $998,750 was a 1792 silver disme in NGC AU-58. It is the finest known.
An 1861 original Confederate half dollar NGC PR-30 once owned by President Jefferson Davis fetched $881,250.
For more auction results, visit www.HA.com.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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