More than $33.6 million in rare coins and currency changed hands during the Central States auctions, which were moved from Chicago to Heritage Auctions’ headquarters in Dallas, Texas, April 23-26 due to the cancellation of the Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS) Convention.
“Considering the worldwide coronavirus crisis, participation was stellar, with more than 6,800 people participating in the auction online,” said Jim Halperin, co-founder of Heritage Auctions. “We watched top specimens receive numerous bids and there was exceptional interest in Colonial coins. The auction was 97 percent sold, by both number of lots and by dollar value.”
U.S. coins saw the bulk of the action in these sales, with more than $20.23 million in winning bids.
Taking top lot was a historic 1858 proof Liberty eagle gold coin, graded PR-64 Ultra Cameo by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). Experts agree no more than four to six 1858 proof Liberty eagles were produced, according to Heritage. The coin is one of only four examples that have been reliably reported, with the other three included in institutional collections at the Smithsonian Institution, the American Numismatic Society, and the Connecticut State Library, according to the auction firm. This sole collectible example of this issue sold for $480,000.
Another U.S. coin highlight was a 1933 gold eagle, graded MS-65 by NGC. Considered a world-class rarity, it brought $360,000 after attracting 45 bids.
A Gold Rush rarity, an 1848 CAL. quarter eagle graded MS-68 by NGC is the finest example known of this historic issue. It hammered at $300,000.
An Ultra Cameo specimen of an 1855 gold dollar, graded PR-66 by NGC, sold for $282,000, resting among the finest of seven traced proofs, according to Heritage.
The CSNS World Coin auction brought close to twice pre-sale estimates, with a final total of more than $6.6 million. Gold rarities from Great Britain dominated the results, with a 1644 triple unite of Charles I leading the way at $360,000. This coin, graded MS-62+ by NGC, is one of the finest extant examples of England’s largest hammered gold coin produced in the early stages of the English Civil War of 1642-1649. Highly sought after in any grade, it represents the single example with the second-highest grade by NGC or Professional Coin Grading Service and combines preservation with medallic skill and fascinating numismatic history.
The U.S. Currency auction was dominated by two high-denomination issues: a rare Series 1934 $5,000 from the Philadelphia district, graded About Uncirculated 55 by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG), and a Series 1934 $10,000 from the Boston district, bearing the same grade. These notes brought $138,000 and $132,000, respectively, leading the event’s currency auctions to an overall total of close to $4.8 million.
World paper money offerings brought close to $2 million, led by a Specimen 20 Rupees note, Pick 4cts1, from Zanzibar, graded Choice Uncirculated 64 by PMG, which sold for $72,000.
Complete Central States auction results are available at www.ha.com.