Distributed on behalf of Heritage Auctions
DALLAS, Texas (February 3, 2020) – Heritage Auctions announced Monday, Feb. 3, that its numismatic Signature Auction sales in the first part of January totaled a combined $68,811,129 from auctions held during the Florida United Numismatic Convention and the New York International Numismatic Convention conventions.
Sales spanned U.S. Coins, U.S. Currency, World Paper Money, and World & Ancient Coins and were only offered as part of official FUN & NYINC Convention auctions. The sale total does not include January’s weekly auctions, month-long auctions, or private numismatic sales.
“We were especially pleased about the house and world records achieved across U.S. and World coins,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. “These two events are among the largest of the year and we’re delighted to deliver powerhouse results to our clients.”
The world’s largest numismatic auctioneer garnered $41,777,374 in U.S. coins sales, led by a $2,160,000 bid for a 1927-D Double Eagle,MS65+ PCGS CAC - the rarest regular-issue of a 20th-century American coin. One of likely seven examples publicly available, this sale marks the first time in five years that Heritage has offered a 1927-D double eagle, and set a new public auction record for this Denver mega-rarity.
An exquisite specimen of an 1855 G$1 PR66★ Ultra Cameo NGC, the finest of only seven confirmed examples, realized $336,000. The coin displays smooth, mirrored looking-glass fields and thick frost on the devices, with superlative black-on-gold contrast.
Additional U.S. Coin highlights offered during the Florida United Numismatic Convention (FUN) include:
- A 1927-S Saint-Gaudens $20 MS66+ PCGS. CAC, an elusive branch mint issue and the second-finest certified at PCGS, ended at $312,000. The coin’s rarity only enhanced its sale price. The large mintage of 3.1 million pieces was almost totally destroyed after the Gold Recall of 1933. Only a small number of examples surfaced in European holdings in the 1950s.
- Among the finest known of this one-year type, a 1796 No Stars Quarter Eagle, MS63 NGC, sold for $300,000. The 1796 No Stars quarter eagle shares a reputation with its later sibling, the 1808 quarter eagle, as among the most significant and rarest gold type coins of any denomination due to low mintages.
- A 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar, VF35 PCGS, garnered 45 bids before it sold for $288,000. The key piece offered as part of The Watermark Collection.
U.S. Currency Draws a Combined $9,992,733
Top lot currency honors during the FUN auction were claimed by a $228,000 winning bid for the finer of two known 1863 $100 Compound Interest Treasury Notes. This PMG, Very Fine, 30 EPQ note’s colorful bronze overprint is bright and completely intact, the red overprint vivid and the note displays an eye appeal that is absolutely mesmerizing. Several special collections and a hoard of notes from the notorious gangster Baby Face Nelson lead $9,992,733 in total sales of U.S. Currency.
An extremely rare, 1882 $5 Brown Back, PMG Choice Extremely Fine, sold for $144,000. The standout note featured Serial No. 1 – unique for both the bank and the rare location of The First National Bank in Guernsey, Wyoming. Few notes generated more buzz among collectors than this newly discovered note. The fascinating tale behind the note proved irresistible among collectors: The First National Bank of Guernsey was the shortest-lived note-issuing national bank in Wyoming, lasting less than 13 months between its organization in April of 1900 and the closing of its doors forever on May 1, 1901. During its short tenure, a minuscule 400 sheets of $5 Brown Backs and 362 sheets of $10 and $20 Brown Backs were printed, with none reported to date until this serial No. 1 note was discovered.
Additional highlights among the sale of U.S. Currency include:
- From the Gilmore Sem Collection, Part II, a unique Minnesota $5 Black Charter Note, PMG, Choice Fine 15, sold for $108,000. It was the highlight of a wonderful selection of Minnesota nationals offered during FUN, and is considered one of the greatest notes from Minnesota to ever cross the auction block.
- A dazzling, 1880 $100 Silver Certificate, PMG Very Fine 30, ended at $60,000. One of just two dozen known to exist, the auction offered collectors a rare opportunity to own a bank note of which one quarter of the known examples currently reside in museum or other institutional holdings.
- A newly discovered collection tied to a 1930s crime spree and money laundering effort by gangster Baby Face Nelson, recently discovered in Texas, sold for a combined $19,200. The collection was offered along with a cash hoard tied to Hyman S. Lebman, a gunsmith from San Antonio known to launder money for Nelson. The most expensive lot in the Lebman collection was a 1928 $50 Dallas Federal Reserve Replacement Note, which sold for $10,200.