CoinWeek Staff Reports….
The numismatic firm of David Lawrence Rare Coins in Virginia Beach, Virginia, has been offering weekly online coin auctions for several years. Each David Lawrence online auction offers a wide array of coins, including but not limited to classic series, modern issues, and foreign coinage. Therefore, coin collectors who browse through the online auction listings can usually find something that suits their numismatic tastes and budgets.
Something that helps make David Lawrence rare coin auctions easier on the budget than most is the absence of a buyer’s premium. With the average auction site, a buyer’s premium may add 8 to 15 percent to the total price on top of the final bid. Cutting out the buyer’s premium helps David Lawrence Rare Coins save you a tidy sum of money compared to other online coin auctions.
Auction #862 Wrap Up
Here are just five of the many interesting coins that crossed the block at the most recent David Lawrence Rare Coins auction, which closed on June 28, 2015:
#1 – Confederate States of America 1861 Half Dollar PCGS AU-58 CSA Restrike – $9,700.00
During a week when Confederate history received a lot of attention in the media, this Confederate States of America half dollar, just a brush shy of uncirculated condition, sold for nearly $10,000. Just four original prototype Confederate half dollars were made (all struck on a hand press) and distributed to various officials, including Confederate President Jefferson Davis and chief coiner Dr. B.F. Taylor.
Taylor later sold the reverse die and his original half dollar to coin dealer Ebenezer Locke Mason, who then sold the two pieces to J.W. Scott. Scott would use the reverse die to create 500 Confederate tokens and 500 “restrikes” of the 1861 Confederate States of America half, overstriking 1861 U.S. Seated Liberty half dollars with the Confederate reverse die. This latter coin is the one that was sold last week through the David Lawrence Rare Coins auction.
#2 – 1996 American Silver Eagle NGC MS-69 – $85.00
While uncirculated, or “bullion,” American Silver Eagles were not intended as collector coins, they have certainly drawn numismatic attention over the years and many people collect uncirculated American Silver Eagles as a series. Of course, every series has to have a key date, and in the case of the bullion versions of the American Silver Eagle, that key date is 1996. Only 3,603,386 pieces were minted, making the 1996 bullion issue the scarcest since the series began in 1986.
#3 – 1798 Draped Bust Large Eagle Silver Dollar ANACS XF-45 Details – $999.00
The Draped Bust silver dollar is one of the most popular early type U.S. coins and also one of the scarcest. By some estimates only three to five percent of the original mintage remains, and that includes pieces like this tooled and cleaned specimen.
Cleaned or uncleaned, Draped Bust dollars are beloved by numismatists and are visually reminiscent of the type’s most famous representative – the 1804 silver dollar, often dubbed “The King of American Coins.” Given the relatively small number of original, uncleaned Draped Bust dollars left today, many coin collectors have no problem buying less-than-perfect early silver dollars.
#4 – 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent, PCGS VF-30 – $750.00
Like the aforementioned 1804 Draped Bust silver dollar, the 1909-S VDB is one of the few relatively scarce coins that both numismatists and non-numismatists know about. This 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent grades VF-30, which is a nice collectible grade for a higher-end Lincoln penny collection but financially within reach for many coin collectors.
In fact, the price of a 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent has come down in recent years, following highs around the centennial celebration of the popular penny series in 2009, when a 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent in the grade of VF-30 would have been trading for closer to $1,200.00.
#5 – 1881 Seated Liberty Quarter, PCGS MS-66+ – $3,650.00
This 1881 Seated Liberty quarter is one of the better business-strike representatives of its issue. Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) population estimates show just four specimens in the MS-66 plus grade, seven in MS-67, and one in MS-68. Across the board, MS-66 Seated Liberty quarters are, quite simply, a rare thing of beauty to those who appreciate the series or 19th-century U.S. silver coinage in general.
Auction #863 Preview
If you didn’t have the opportunity to buy any of the coins listed above, you might be interested in celebrating the nation’s 239th birthday by checking out some of the coins in the next David Lawrence rare coin auction that closes on July 5, 2015:
#1 – 1797 Liberty Cap Half Cent NGC AU-50 Brown Plain Edge
This 1797 Liberty Cap half cent is an ideal piece for coin collectors who enjoy early U.S. coinage. At a grade of AU-50, it is among the few high-grade survivors for its date, as according to the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) just three survive in this grade and only 18 grade higher. The original, chocolate-brown surfaces help make this 1797 half cent especially appealing for early U.S. coin connoisseurs.
#2 – 1872 2-Cent PCGS Red-Brown Proof-66
While we’re on the topic of odd-denomination coins like the half cent, another frequently passed-over type crossing the block in the David Lawrence Rare Coins auction is the 2-Cent coin. This 1872 Red-Brown piece is a high-grading proof specimen with beautiful magenta overtones, providing superb eye appeal. Grade-wise, this coin is one of the better proof representatives of the issue. PCGS estimates that only 21 1872-dated 2-Cent coins grade Red-Brown Proof-66, with just one grading higher. Across the color spectrum, PCGS states 36 grade Proof-66 and two grade higher.
#3 – 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter PCGS MS-64+ Full Head CAC Designation
When it comes to 1916 Standing Liberty quarters, countless coin collectors struggle to find a decent specimen in Good-4 or Very Good-8, let alone one grading MS-64+ with Full Head detailing and designation from the Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC) to boot. Despite a relatively small original mintage of 52,000 pieces, this first-year type issue has relatively ample representation in Mint State grades. PCGS reports a seven MS-64 Full Heads exist for the 1916, with 124 grading higher.
#4 – 1887 Morgan dollar PCGS MS-67
It’s not a Carson City silver dollar–it’s not even a proof-like specimen–but it is one doozy of a business-strike Morgan dollar, with seemingly perfect, blast-white surfaces. Certainly a few contact marks would appear on this coin under 10X magnification, but that doesn’t really matter. In a market that routinely sees heavily nicked, gouged and scratched Morgan silver dollars, pieces like this 1887 Morgan dollar are a pleasant surprise.
#5 – 1907 Saint-Gaudens No Motto $20 PCGS MS-64
This look at the David Lawrence Rare Coins auction highlights wraps up with one of the most beautiful coins ever struck: the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. This 1907 Saint-Gaudens $20 gold coin is a first-year issue, though it’s one of the more common no-motto variety issue with Arabic date numerals. This type was struck in 1907 and early 1908 before the motto “In God We Trust” was added just above the sun disc on the reverse.
With wishes for a safe Independence Day weekend, we hope this list of coins crossing the David Lawrence online block inspires you to go out and buy some “sparkling” new acquisitions for your collection. May the fireworks fly for you and other coin collectors this weekend and throughout the rest of the year.