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Gold ingots recovered from the SS Central America shipwreck took center stage as Heritage’s annual FUN auctions at the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) convention in Fort Lauderdale took place January 4-9. All told, the US coin auction raised in excess of $42 million for its consignors, with World Currency adding over $1.2 million, and US Currency, continuing through January 10, expected to total over $7 million. Over the same weekend, in New York, Heritage’s auction of World and Ancient coins totaled in excess of $15 million, raising the expected grand total for the weekend to over $66 million. All prices include a 17.5% Buyer’s Premium.

FUN Auction - Justh & Hunter Gold Ingot. 327.97 Ounces. Image courtesy Heritage Auctions

The high-dollar lot in this auction was a massive 327.97 ounce gold ingot from The Arizona Treasure Collection, issued by Justh & Hunter. Categorized, unsurprisingly, as “extremely large size”, this is the second largest Justh & Hunter bar attributed to the firm’s Marysville office. When cast, the gold had a value of $6,162.78; it brought a price of $564,000 in our FUN auction. Another Justh & Hunter ingot, this one from the San Francisco office and weighing 179.50 ounces, sold for $376,000. Four other gold ingots ranging in size from 34.94 ounces to 152.96 ounces sold for prices in excess of $100,000.

Another relic of the California Gold Rush – in fact, also technically an ingot – is the 1851 Humbert Octagonal $50 dollar coin. The Humbert-US Assay Office was a provisional mint, but its issuances were not considered coins – although for all purposes they were treated as coins. Whether coin or ingot, the octagonal 50-dollar slugs made at the beginning of the Gold Rush are highly collectible, none more so than the PCGS-graded MS63 example we offered in this auction. This is the finest example certified at PCGS, with but one piece surpassing it at NGC. It sold for $352,500.

1792 Half Dismes are highly sought-after regardless of grade, and our FUN auction offered one of the finest. Graded MS66 by PCGS, this piece is surpassed in grade by only two examples at the major grading services. It hammered at $93,500. The 1884 Trade Dollar is a classic rarity with only 10 pieces extant. An example graded Proof-63 by PCGS and pedigreed to the Norweb Collection sold for $423,000.

As usual when FUN auctions are involved, there was no end to the list of highlights. Just a few of them were:

The final part of our January coin offerings is the World Coins Signature Internet Auction, open for bidding now and with live sessions scheduled for January 17-18. Our next Signature offering of US coins is scheduled for Long Beach, February 15-20. Bidding will open soon at www.HA.com/coins!
 


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