The first major – and arguably the most important – numismatic event of the year is now complete, and Heritage Auctions has a near $42 million U.S. Coins auction to show for it. Conducted in conjunction with the Florida United Numismatists convention, Heritage’s Jan. 8-12 FUN Signature U.S. Coins Auction was led by an example of the classic rarity 1927-D double eagle gold coin.
The 1927-D double eagle is the key to the Saint-Gaudens double eagle series (excluding the uncollectible 1933). Heritage calls it the rarest regular issue 20th century American coin, with only about a dozen examples believed to exist. This example, from The Rollo Fox Collection of $20 Saint-Gaudens Gold, was graded MS-65+ by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). It sold for $2,160,000.
The firm last sold a 1927-D double eagle five years ago, the previous appearance during a March 2014 sale of the Donald E. Bently Collection. The piece, graded MS-63 PCGS, crossed the auction block at $1,292,500.
A proof 1855 Type Two gold dollar graded PR-66* by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) is the finest of a mere seven confirmed examples. Heritage described the example as follows: “The coin displays smooth, mirrored looking-glass fields and thick frost on the devices, with superlative black-on-gold contrast. A couple of tiny planchet flakes are seen on the reverse in the upper left field, and a bit of strike weakness shows on the 8 in the date – a diagnostic of genuine proofs. Yet the viewer is left with the unmistakable impression of great beauty, rarity and desirability.”
This early proof rarity is pedigreed to the John Jay Pittman collection and was offered in the FUN sale as a part of The Kodiak Collection, crossing the block at $336,000.
The 1796 No Stars quarter eagle is among the most significant gold U.S. type coins of any denomination, under heavy demand from both type collectors and quarter eagle specialists. At an NGC-assigned grade of MS-63, the example from The Warshaw Family Collection is surpassed numerically only by a single coin at each of the major grading services, according to Heritage. It brought $300,000 when the hammer fell.
Among the other highlights of the sale are:
• 1927-S $20 MS-66+ PCGS. CAC. Sold for: $312,000
• 1794 $1 B-1, BB-1, R.4, VF-35 PCGS. Sold for: $288,000
• 1925-S $20 MS-65 PCGS. CAC. Sold for: $288,000
• 1879 $4 Flowing Hair, Judd-1635, Pollock-1833, JD-1, R.3, PR-67 Cameo PCGS. Sold for: $276,000
• 1930-S $20 MS-66 PCGS. Sold for: $264,000
• 1907 $20 High Relief, Flat Rim, MS-67 PCGS. CAC. Sold for: $258,000
• 1872-CC $10 MS-62 NGC. Variety 1-B. Sold for: $240,000
All prices include buyer’s premiums. For complete sale results, visit www.ha.com.