It's nearly June, which means that Heritage is preparing for its Long Beach auction, June 4-8. This year, Heritage will be offering two rare early gold coins that are expected to be highlights of the auction.
The first is an 1808 quarter eagle, which has a minuscule mintage of only 2,710 coins. When you look at how many other coins were made that year, the US Mint's priorities clearly lay elsewhere in 1808. While the Mint produced 400,000 half cents, more than 1 million large cents, nearly 1.4 million half dollars, and about 55,000 half eagles, only 2,710 quarter eagles were struck.
This is a one-year type, as the design changed shortly thereafter. Graded MS-61 by NGC, this survivor from a small mintage managed to be saved in especially nice condition and never entered circulation. Similar coins have sold for over $100,000 in the past.
The next is an original 1823 $5 gold piece. The 1823 Capped Head Left $5 is graded PCGS MS-63+ and has been verified by CAC. Only 14,485 half eagles were struck in 1823, the smallest production total since 1815. Less than 100 coins are believed to be known in all grades today.
PCGS and NGC have certified only 62 coins combined, and even that number is likely inflated by resubmissions, according to Heritage. A similar coin (graded just -63, without the "plus" or CAC attributes) sold recently for just under $50,000, so this will be a special piece for an early gold enthusiast to acquire.
For more information about the Long Beach Auction, visit www.ha.com.