The Bob R. Simpson Collection exceeded all expectations when the total amount sold for Part 1 passed $14.6 million, according to a Sept. 21 Heritage Auctions press release. "Numismatic royalty" are the words the auctioneer used to describe legendary collector Bob R. Simpson and his renowned collection of proof coins and ultimate rarities.
“I’m happy to share the collection with so many enthusiasts,” Simpson said. “Heritage did a wonderful job promoting the auction, and the results exceeded every expectation I had.”
The likes of Simpson’s collection have not been seen on the market in years. For example, his 1894-S Barber dime, PCGS-graded PR-66, – one of but nine survivors – captivated the hobby when it sold for $1.5 million.
Simpson, whose collection is ranked by Professional Coin Grading Service as one of the best ever amassed, is deaccessioning selections from that collection through Heritage continuing into August 2021. All lots offered in Part 1 of the Simpson Collection may be viewed here.
His 1796 JR-1 dime, PCGS-graded SP-67, is the best-certified example of this variety. Angling for their chance at this lone specimen, collectors pushed the auction price to $750,000. The fields on this unparalleled first-year, first strike coin are fully proof-like throughout both sides. It is also the earliest die state known, by far, for the 1796 JR-1 dimes.
The highly anticipated 1795 Flowing Hair dollar, B-7, BB-18, MS65+, the finest with Silver Plug and considered the second-finest overall, ended at $630,000.
Simpson’s selection of gold was led by 1808 BD-1 quarter eagle, graded MS-63 by PCGS. The one-year type is the sole second-finest example graded by PCGS, and closed at $576,000.
“We are grateful to Mr. Simpson for selecting Heritage to conduct these auctions,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. “Offering a collection such as this is a highlight of our work and relationships. We are simply thrilled for him.”
A gold 1854 Kellogg & Co. Twenty, the single-finest certified at PCGS at MS-65, served as the centerpiece of his territorial gold collection. Its $336,000 auction price connotes its gem condition, and informed numismatists believe it is the finest circulation-strike Kellogg $20, regardless of date and variety.
Also bringing $336,000, Simpson’s 1918/7-S Standing Liberty quarter, graded MS-64+, is tied for the finest full head coin known. It also has the single most impressive pedigree of any known 1918/7-S.
Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:
- $336,000: The single finest O-Mint gold coin known, the 1899-O Liberty Eagle, graded a stunning MS-68+, with a provenance of being purchased directly from the New Orleans Mint.
- $240,000: The iconic Western gold relic, the 1851 Augustus Humbert fifty dollar, PCGS- graded MS-63, ranks among the finest of its kind.
- $240,000: The stunningly beautiful 1856 Flying Eagle centis the finest ever graded at PCGS. This PR-67+ representative easily earns its grade, speaking to its status as one of the original coins distributed to congressmen and struck "on a regular production press at normal speed," per to Snow. The flashy, proof-like fields and moderately frosted devices are suggestive of an early impression from the dies, while the breast feathers are slightly rounded. Bronze-gold color dominates each side, but there are gorgeous accents of copper-orange, magenta, powder-blue, and mint-green throughout, delivering top-notch eye appeal.
Additional selections of the Bob R. Simpson Collection will be offered by Heritage Auctions throughout 2020 and 2021, with key specimens of his patterns collection being offered for the first time in decades. Full and complete results of the Important Selections from The Bob R. Simpson Collection, Part I are available at HA.com.