In an auction to be talked about for years to come, 15 coins early American coins were sold for over $400,000 with three breaking the $1 million dollar mark.
Called the biggest coin auction in history with an estimate of ultimately bringing in over $200 million, Stack’s Bowers Galleries in association with Sotheby’s held the first of seven rounds of the D. Brent Pogue Collection auction May 19 at Sotheby’s in New York City, N.Y.
Total sales in the first round topped $25 million.
Featuring 128 lots of early American half dimes, dimes, quarters, half dollars and half eagles, most coins graded Mint State and many were among some of the finest known. All coins were graded by PCGS. Each lot had a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium attached.
Some coins in the auction held pedigrees attached to famous numismatists like Louis Eliasberg and Col. E.H.R. Green.
The star of the sale was the last lot of the show: an MS-65 1808 Capped Bust Left quarter eagle which sold for $2,350,000. The coin is the finest known and has a pedigree that can be traced back to 1890 as well as once being owned by Col. E.H.R. Green.
The auction started off with the sale of an MS-64 1792 half disme. Estimated to bring in around $250,000 to $350,000, the little half disme blew past that mark and was purchased for $440,625.
A few lots later saw a MS-67+ 1796 half dime go for $411,250. This particular dime is the finest known half dime of the 1790s and is the LIKERTY variety, due to a broken B in the word LIBERTY on the obverse.
Dimes had a strong showing in the auction with the priciest example an AU-58 1804 14 star Draped Bust dime selling for $329,000.
The first lot for the quarters saw the first million dollar coin of the night. An MS-66 1796 Draped Bust quarter collected $1,527,500, easily surpassing a pre-sale estimate of $750,000 to $1,000,000 for the lot.
An impressive variety, the 1827/3/2 proof Capped Bust quarter, hammered in at $705,000. Graded Proof-66+ Cameo, the quarter is also the finest known and pedigreed to the Garrett family collection.
Half dollars then stole the show with 16 of the 21 offered bringing in six figures. The first sale for the denomination was Lot 1095 with an MS-64 1794 Flowing Hair half dollar, the finest known, purchased for $763,750.
Other half dollar lots included an MS-64 1795 half dollar once owned by famed collector Louis Eliasberg that sold for $199,750, a specimen SP-63 1796 15 stars Draped Bust half dollar bringing in $587,500 and a MS-66 1796 15 stars half dollar graded as the finest known purchased for $822,500.
The next $1 million coin was a 1797 half dollar graded MS-66 and the finest certified. The coin reached $1,527,500 by the time the bidding ended.
Several lots of half dollars from the 1800s were then sold before the auction moved into early American gold half eagles.
The first lot was a 1796 no stars quarter eagle graded MS-62 that went for $822,500. It was then followed by the sale of an MS-62 1796 quarter eagle with stars. Once part of Col. E.H.R. Green’s collection, the stars example pulled in $440,625.
The next big lot was a MS-65 1798 Capped Bust Right quarter eagle. The coin soared past its presale estimate of $200,000 to $325,000 to sell for $763,750.
The second to last offering of the night was an MS-65 1807 Capped Bust Right quarter eagle. Finest known for the year out of a mintage of just 6,812 coins, a buyer was able to purchase it for $587,500.
The second part of the Pogue collection sale will take place in New York City on Sept. 30. It will feature silver dollars from 1794 and 1795, as well as a large selection of gold eagle coinage. You can bet collectors are already anticipating the next edition of an impressive auction.