"Excitement" was the buzzword at the annual ANA World’s Fair of Money held last week in Rosemont, Illinois, a familiar and popular venue for collectors and dealers alike.
Adding to the excitement of this annual summer event were two official auction sales of U.S. coins held by Stack’s Bowers Galleries. The company’s ever-popular Rarities Night session was held August 13 and was a resounding success. Its 306 premium lots realized over $6.45 million, with fierce bidding activity throughout the entire session. The second of the two sales comprised two sessions and along with the U.S. currency auction and world coins and currency auction, realized over $14 million.
A prominent highlight of the Rarities Night session was lot 10028, a spectacular PCGS-certified Mint State-66 RD 1807/6 large cent, Sheldon-273, representing the single finest RD example certified by PCGS of any year in the Draped Bust design type, 1796-1807. This impressive early copper opened with great fanfare and the bidding skyrocketed from there, with the final price of $470,000 setting the pace for the rest of the sale. All told, the coppers in the sale showed remarkable prices and strong bidding activity.
Silver coins offered many standout performances, including lot 10108, an extremely rare PCGS-certified Branch Mint Specimen-62 1839-O Reeded Edge half dollar, one of only four Specimen strikes of the date currently traced. After fierce floor and Internet bidding activity the 1839-O half dollar hammered home at $105,750. Lot 10075 proved to be a highlight among silver issues. This beautiful PCGS-certified Proof-65 1828 quarter with a pedigree chain that includes such names as Parmelee, Cleneay, and Clarke, sold at the final hammer price of $99,875. Morgan dollar aficionados were out in force for the Morgans in the sale, including lot 10153, an MS-63 1884-S certified by PCGS that realized $82,250. Silver coins in every denomination brought outstanding prices across the board.
Among the numerous gold highlights of the evening was lot 10269, a Branch Mint Specimen-61 1853-O double eagle certified by NGC that made its first-ever auction appearance. When the dust settled the coin had hammered for $352,500. Among half eagles, lot 10236, a 1797 Small Eagle, 15 Stars, Wide Date variety in a PCGS AU-58 holder made a strong showing. Called Rarity-7, or extremely rare, this lovely half eagle sold after strong bidding for $235,000. Lot 10245, an 1812 Capped Bust left half eagle realized an impressive $105,750. Lot 10297 was an 1852 United States Assay Office of Gold $50 slug, an ever-popular territorial gold issue. Housed in a PCGS MS-62 holder, the .900 THOUS die variety hammered at $141,000.
Across the board, from colonial issues through to late 20th century coins, the Stack’s Bowers Galleries ANA World’s Fair of Money sales results were positive, showing a newly active market that is ready to leave the summer doldrums behind. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is leading the charge with auction sales and Internet presence. The complete prices realized for the sales will be posted on their website, StacksBowers.com.