Heritage has just begun cataloging the coins consigned to their ANA auction, so I took some time and picked through the early listings to find some interesting and unusual items. These are coins in which I have an academic interest from a cataloging standpoint. Some are rare types, many are grade rarities, and a few are coins I just never see for sale.
Everyone admires the Central American Republic sun and mountains design and we see elements of the image used in various forms and on multiple coins throughout the Americas. In August, Heritage has the pleasure of offering for sale the finest known example of a Central American Republic sun and mountains 8 Reales in their ANA auction.
This C.A.R. 1837 NG BA 8 Reales is stunning and NGC graded it MS66 star. Though not certified by NGC as prooflike, by all measures and appearance, I think it comes extremely close to deserving that designation as well.
Even though you will find this type from time to time in mint state, you will never see another up to this coins standards. Interested parties should be prepared to fight for this coin and I find myself very hesitant to gander a guess at what its final price might be.
Two modern looking turn of the 19th to 20th century coins in the Heritage ANA auction are quite entertaining in the sense that at a glance the average coin enthusiast might not think too much of them. They have a modern appearance, they are nice looking proof quality coins, but you might not give them a second look, unless you know of their very limited mintages.
The Colombian 50 centavos of 1892 is a generally common type coin, however, a handful of proof strikes were made. The Standard Catalog of World Coins notes “3 Known” and that came from a reliable source. Thinking back I can’t remember seeing any other example for sale over the last 20 or so years. Only this piece, an ex. Whittier Collection coin which sold through Heritage in 2006 for $4,600.
It will be interesting to see how much attention it gains at the ANA auction this year. In all fairness, I would think this coin should be worth at least double that 2006 price or maybe more in this wild pandemic market.
The El Salvador Cristobal Colon Peso featuring a bust of Christopher Columbus was struck at the Philadelphia and San Francisco mints. It’s a popular design and a fairly common silver crown type which many people have in their collections.
The example illustrated here is a 1914 proof strike of the KM115.2 variety, sporting the wide right shoulder, which NGC has graded PR64. I don’t think there is any mintage record of these limited proof strikes being done, but a fair estimate of 20 pieces has been published in the SCWC for years.
The mottled toning on this coin is very attractive and gives it great eye appeal. But these are only add-ons, since the rarity of the 1914 proof strike alone will bring this coin serious attention at the Heritage ANA sale.
The star of the Heritage ANA auction Mexican coin listings so far is a stunning Philip V 8 Reales Royal of 1715 Mo J. The coin is graded MS62 by NGC, but more importantly may be one of only a few known examples.
Heritage notes, “Calicó recording only one example of this "large rosettes" variety known in his book La Onza as of 2004 (from different dies), while the date itself was entirely missing from Norweb, Gerber, Karon, Millennia, and Bowers and Ruddy's 1977 sale of the 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet.”
The catalog listing goes to say, “Interestingly, a different specimen is now plated in the 2019 edition of Numismática Española, with a distinctive flan flaw on the reverse. As such (this is) quite possibly only the third known example.”
Continuing with Mexican coinage, on a smaller scale but equally interesting is the presentation of the finest certified Matte proof Caballito Peso. This 1909 silver masterpiece is one of the most iconic of crown designs and on the want list for many collectors. A pattern issue, the raised lettered edge Matte proof essai catalogs as KM-Pn183 in the Standard Catalog of World Coins and is one of several Caballito patterns.
The Caballito Peso is the first commemorative type in Mexican coinage and as such went through a number of pattern strikes before moving on to the traditional KM 453 circulation strike. As one might expect, about half of the dozen or so patterns come up for sale with some regularity, however, the others are rarely seen. This example is one of just a few known pieces of the Pn183 and it heralds from the John S. Davenport Collection last sold by Ponterio & Associates in 2003.
The KM142 designation of Peru 8 Reales is broken into fourteen varieties running from 1825 through 1857. Almost all of the dates in the KM142 series are nearly impossible to find in mint state. Only four of about 33 dates in the series are ever seen above XF.
The first variety in the series offers the smallest standing liberty, with a very small head which rarely gets fully struck up. In fact, most of the KM142 varieties are never seen with much of any details on liberty’s face. It’s an unfortunate trademark of these mostly Lima mint struck 8 Reales.
The Heritage ANA auction will offer what could be the finest example of the first date in the series, an 1825 LIMA JM graded NGC MS63, with a fully struck head. It’s a lovely coin and a joy to behold if you like Peruvian coinage.
A deeper look through the earliest Heritage ANA World coin offerings revealed several outstanding Spanish coins. While there was plenty of very nice Spanish gold in the Heritage ANA auction, my eyes fell most powerfully on a pair of Isabel II silver crowns and a great early 19th century 8 Reales of Ferdinand VII.
The 8 Reales is a KM477 with dates from 1812-1813 and various mint master initials. This 1813/2 M IJ is not recorded by the SCWC, but has been known in Spain for a while, with Jesus Vico auctioning this particular piece in 2012.
It is a difficult type to find in mint state, so at NGC MS66, this example is a real standout coin which should stir some serious interest. This coin’s historical value rests in having been produced in the final year of active French intervention in Spain, one year before Ferdinand’s royal return to his country after the defeat of Napoleon.
Each of the Isabel II crowns are 1850 20 Reales, but different types. One is a KM593.2 and the other is a KM592.1, but both are unlisted proof strikes, making them a focal point for me. Spain’s coinage in this era is notoriously difficult to find in mint state, so seeing a PR63 and PR65 respectively is fantastic treat.
Lots of collectors choose to venture into Latin American areas because several countries have very limited numbers of types and that makes completing a collection easier. Uruguay is one such country.
The structure of reference catalogs always has an effect on collecting too. The 100 year breaks in the Standard Catalog of World Coins series has channeled collectors towards specializing in a single century of a specific country. In this respect 19th century Uruguay presents an appealing path.
You will seldom see high grade examples of 19th century Uruguayan coinage. Many are copper or bronze and were well used for long periods in circulation. The silver too is scarce in mint state, but you can find them sometimes.
In the Heritage ANA auction there is a silver crown of the popular Siege of Montevideo Peso, KM5, which will blow your mind. It is by far the finest certified example of this classic 1844 release, graded MS67 by NGC. A gem like this will draw much attention and create some very competitive bidding in the wide ANA forum.
So that’s a brief sampling of some of the fabulous coins you will find at the Heritage ANA World Coin Auction. As more coins are cataloged the auction list online should expand greatly. To keep up with this and other Heritage auctions visit their website at www.coins.ha.com. and keep checking back right up until you hit the road to Chicago for the 2021 ANA World’s Fair of Money.