Quality and eye-appeal were the name of the game for Legend Rare Coin’s 34th Regency Auction held Sept. 26 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nev., in conjunction with the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) Members Only Show. Bidders vied for rare U.S. coins via phone, computer and in-person, and in doing so set a sale record for the Lincroft, N.J., firm.
Taking top honors was Lot 165, a Gem MS-65+ 1926-S Buffalo nickel graded by PCGS and endorsed by Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC), realizing $246,750, a record for any PCGS-graded example of the date. Described by Legend as a “trophy coin,” it is tied for finest graded by PCGS, according to the auction description.
“Even though the overall market seems somewhat sluggish, our sale was very healthy,” said Julie Abrams, LRCA president. “Trends that we have seen over the last year or so are consistent, and we think that the market for ‘average’ coins has finally found its bottom. Nickels seemed to draw the most attention as a denomination.
“The Meridian Collection of proof Liberty nickels saw some of the most active bidding in the entire sale,” said Abrams. “The results proved that high quality and eye-appealing coins, even if they are not Top Pop, will still bring very strong results.”
A standout from The Meridian Collection was Lot 125, an 1892 proof Liberty nickel graded PR-67+ CAM by PCGS/CAC. Estimated to bring $7,250 to $8,000, it realized $18,213.
“Exciting coins created exciting results,” said Laura Sperber, the firm’s founder. “There were a number of record-shattering prices realized, which when added to the 92 record-breakers that we had in the first half of 2019, will bring the total to well in excess of 100 new all-time world record prices realized in auction by the firm this year.”
Other coins highlighting the sale include:
Lot 5: 1856 Flying Eagle cent. PCGS PR-66 CAC. Realized $70,500.
Lot 107: 1876 Shield nickel. PCGS PR-67 DCAM. Realized: $17,625.
Lot 150: 1896 Liberty Head “V” nickel. PCGS PR-67+ CAC. Realized: $15,275.
Lot 180: 1936 proof Buffalo nickel. PCGS PR-68+. Realized: $39,950.
Lot 236: 1899-S Barber quarter. PCGS MS-67 CAC. Realized $9,694.
Lot 255: 1950-D Washington quarter. PCGS MS-67+ CAC. Realized: $7,638.
Lot 271: 1845 Seated Liberty half dollar. PCGS MS-64+. Realized: $16,450.
Lot 282: 1883 proof Seated Liberty half dollar. PCGS PR-66 CAM CAC. Realized: $9,694.
Lot 303: 1940 Walking Liberty half dollar. PCGS MS-68+ CAC. Realized: $29,375.
Lot 311: 1949-S Franklin half dollar. PCGS MS-67+ FBL CAC. Realized: $18,213.
Lot 399: 1885-S Morgan dollar. PCGS MS-66+ CAC. Realized $19,975.
Lot 407: 1889-CC Morgan dollar. PCGS MS-63+ PL CAC. Realized: $99,875.
Lot 422: 1897 Morgan dollar. PCGS MS-67+ CAC. Realized: $24,675.
Lot 434: 1904-O Morgan dollar. PCGS MS-67 CAC. Realized $15,275.
Lot 450: 1926-S Peace dollar. PCGS MS-66+ CAC. Realized: $41,125.
Lot 451: 1927 Peace dollar. PCGS MS-66. Realized $30,550.
Lot 463: 1893 Liberty Head quarter eagle. PCGS MS-67+ CAC. Realized $27,025.
Lot 468: 1883 Liberty Head quarter eagle. PCGS PR-66+ DCAM CAC. Realized: $52,875.
Lot 498: 1892-S Liberty Head double eagle. PCGS MS-65. Realized: $19,388.
“What we can tell from these results is the Set Registry program is bringing more and more people to bid in auction for top-grade specimens, especially in popular 20th-century series,” said Greg Cohen, senior numismatist of Legend Rare Coin Auctions. “Top grade proof Liberty nickels, Top Pop Mint State 20th century coins, especially Franklin half dollars, have over performed. Just look at the 1939-D dime in MS-69 FB CAC and the 1963 Franklin half in MS-66+ FBL!”
The 1939-D Mercury dime, Lot 215, commanded $42,300, and the 1963 Franklin half dollar, Lot 324, brought $85,188.
“While activity prior to the sale showed that bidding activity would be strong, it is very interesting how big a surge of bidding took place during the sale, and there were many lots that saw protracted bidding wars break out between phone and floor bidders or several online bidders going up against each other,” said Matt Bell, executive VP of LRCA. “Overall, we had a very successful auction and we are pleased with the results!”
All prices listed here include the firm’s 17.5 percent buyer’s premium. For a full list of results, visit www.legendauctions.com.
LRCA’s next sale is a special Regency Event, called Exclusively Legend, that will feature the properties of five of Legend Numismatics’ longtime customers. It will be held Oct. 24 at the New Orleans PCGS Members Only Show.
For more information about upcoming auctions, or to consign, contact Julie Abrams, president, at email@example.com; Greg Cohen, senior numismatist, at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Jessica Berkman, consignment director, at email@example.com.