Heritage posts $806+ million 2011 total sales, its best year to date; World Coins posts $39.5 million total; Record totals realized in Comics, Jewelry, Music & Entertainment, Decorative Arts and more

DALLAS, TX – U.S. Coins continued to be the backbone of Heritage Auctions in 2011, as the category registered an impressive $196 million auction total, including Weekly US Coin Internet-only auctions, which realized $22 million – a new record for the subset and an 80% increase over 2010 – and Gallery US Coin auctions, which accounted for $5,340,889, another record total for the subset and a 70% increase over 2010.

Heritage’s World Coins category continued to prove itself a juggernaut, with a record total of $39.45 million – an increase of 60% over its 2010 record performance – while the Vintage Comics and Comic Art bore direct witness to the evolution of the category into a true investment quality asset, posting north of $26 million, a 13% improvement over 2010, which had already set the record for any auction house.

“World Coins and Comics are emblematic of Heritage’s continued growth,” said Rohan, “among the several categories that continue to perform well for us. Collectors and investors alike, from some non-traditional corners, are all taking a close look at these categories.”

The year 2011, in general, proved to be a great one for Heritage Auctions (HA.com), as the company posted a gross total of more than $806 million, a number that represents the company’s best performance ever.

“The bottom line is that service and value will always sell, and Heritage specializes in the very best of both,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. “Collectors respond to that. They know us and they know we understand them. The result has been a decade of tremendous growth.”

Heritage Jewelry Auctions continued to see an explosion in sales, ringing up a record $17.4+ million in all (more than double the category’s 2010 record total), Heritage Vintage Sports Collectibles vaulted itself fully double its 2010 total to finish the year at more than $16 million, making it the #1 sports auction house in the U.S.

Fine Wine made its debut at Heritage in 2011 and quickly proved to be a profitable force to be reckoned with as it brought in nearly $11.4 million in total prices realized. Heritage’s continued dominance in Illustration Art was re-asserted by an $11.1 million total, the category’s second best year.

Heritage made the decision in 2010 to spin off its musical instrument auctions from its Music & Entertainment auctions to create a brand new category, which proved to be a smart decision, as collectors lined up for a variety of stringed and other instruments to give the category a $10.5 million debut. The decision also proved a good one for Heritage Music & Entertainment auctions, which, even without Guitars in its total, realized $8.6 million all told, the best year the category’s seen and more than double what it saw in 2010.

One of the year’s most significant changes at Heritage was the acquiring of the assets of Greg Martin Auctions of San Francisco, creating a separate Arms & Armor category for Heritage for the first time. With $9+ million realized in just three auctions, Arms & Armor proved itself a category to watch.

Decorative Arts & Silver also posted its best year ever, with $7.43 million sold at auction, the category’s best year yet by almost double, while Heritage Movie Posters auctions posted an in impressive $6.2+ million total, including $1.8 million in Weekly Internet auctions, a new record for the Web-only offerings and a 15% increase over 2010’s record total. The amount pushed the category lifetime total for Heritage Movie Posters past the $50 million mark since it started in November 2001.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $800 million, and 700,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.


  1. […] Coins and competing alternatives Following up on the last post, I have included a few examples of alternative forms of art (and yes, some but not all coins can be considered art) that those with money or "big money" who are not coin collectors may prefer. The first link is to the 2004 Forbes sale of Faberge Imperial Easter Eggs held by Sotheby's which I mentioned once before. The sale was canceled but the pre-sale estimate for the entire collection ranged from $80 million to $120 million. Presumably the centerpiece of the collection, the Coronation Easter Egg had an estimate of $18MM to $24MM. I do not know what these are worth now, but I do not believe that any coin should sell for more and I do not believe that any coin non-collector who is aware of both is going to pay more either. Forbes' Faberge Eggs – Forbes.com For those who do not have $24MM, the image below is a late 19th century Viennese porcelain and gilt center table sold by Heritage last year. At just over $4,000, I think it is a better value than any coin in this price range. It certainly looks much better and actually has some practical use. If I owned a home where it would "fit" (which I do not), this is the type of alternative art that I would want to acquire. A ROYAL VIENNA-STYLE PORCELAIN AND GILT WOOD CENTER TABLE . | Lot #66150 | Heritage Auctions The last link below is to a British Boer War artifact presumably made to commemorate the end of the war. Not sure it would be of interest in South Africa (I presume not), but it certainly is unique and at about $3500, also competitive versus most coins in this price range. Copeland Spode Queen Victoria Porcelain Commemorative Boer | Lot #36185 | Heritage Auctions The fact of the matter is that there are many other collectible fields that compete for both money and attention. The link below is to an article summarizing Heritage's 2011 results. IN 2011, the world coin category had prices realized of about $39MM while comic books and comic related art totaled about $26MM. World coins was (and is) growing faster, but I include it to show that even a category such as this one (which most reading this post may not even be aware of as a collectible field) is also substantial. The main advantage that coins have over most other fields is their liquidity and portability. If someone ever needs to transfer their wealth in an emergency, it will be easier to move it than master paintings or antique furniture. However, under these circumstances, i would still expect it to lose substantial value, probably just less than most or all other areas. The main disadvantage coins have is that they lack the same appeal, for a variety of reasons. Rare U.S. Coins post $196 million total at Heritage Auctions in 2011 | CoinWeek […]