California Gold Rush-era relics from the shipwreck of the S.S. Central America were among the top sellers in Heritage's Jan. 29-Feb. 3 Long Beach Signature Auction, held in conjunction with the Long Beach Coin & Collectibles Expo.
Altogether, prices topped $11 million, with after-auction sales continuing through Feb. 6.
Of the six top lots, five were gold ingots found in the S.S. Central America shipwreck, highlighted by the very large size 174.04-ounce Harris, Marchand & Co. gold ingot.
This is the sole ingot from the firm's Marysville office recovered in the shipwreck, and it is distinctive enough to warrant a significant writeup in Q. David Bowers' A California Gold Rush History. It sold for $528,000.
Additional gold ingots in this auction included a Kellogg & Humbert 97.19-ounce, which brought $204,000; a Blake & Co. 19.30-ounce, $156,000; a Blake & Co. small-sized 14.31-ounce, $144,000; and a Justh & Hunter 50.50-ounce, $121,333.
A pair of Panama-Pacific $50 gold commemoratives, each graded MS64, further represented California highlights, having been minted in San Francisco and commemorating the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
The rarer round piece brought a sale price of $114,000, while the iconic octagonal coin sold for $81,000.
Bringing the highest price for coins was the ever-popular 1879 Flowing Hair Stella, this one graded PRF64 Deep Cameo by the Professional Coin Grading Service.
Technically a pattern, this piece has been enthusiastically collected as a regular issue since its manufacture, most likely due to its odd denomination. It exchanged hands for $210,000.
Additional highlights included:
• 1795 $5 Small Eagle, MS61 PCGS CAC BD-3, which brought $84,000
• 1799 $10 Large Obverse Stars, MS63 NGC CAC, BD-10, $75,001
• 1901 $10, PR66 Ultra Cameo NGC CAC, $75,000
• 1792 Washington Getz Pattern Cent, Small Eagle, Copper MS61 Brown PCGS Gold Shield, $72,000
• 1864 G$1, MS69 NGC, $72,000
• 1839 50C No Drapery, PR62 NGC, $54,000
• 1881 $20, AU55 PCGS Gold Shield, $54,000
• 1937-D 5C Three-Legged, MS66 PCGS Gold Shield, FS-901, $48,000
All prices realized reported here include a 20% buyer's premium.
Details on Heritage’s next Signature auction of U.S. coins can be found online at coins.HA.com.
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