By CoinWeek Staff Reports….
David Lawrence Rare Coins, a numismatic firm based out of Virginia Beach, Virginia, has been offering online coin auctions for years. Providing weekly auctions that offer a variety of classic and modern United States coins, as well as occasional foreign and bullion coins, this coin dealer has something for all kinds of collectors on a bevy of budgets.
And one reason David Lawrence rare coin auctions stand apart from other online coin auctions is because they don’t impose a buyer’s premium, the extra expense that coin bidders often pay when buying coins in an online auction.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights from the David Lawrence rare coin auction on May 31, 2015:
#1 – 1901 NGC Proof-66 Ultra Cameo Morgan Dollar (NGC Star) – $38,501.00
What do you get when you mix the allure of a high-end proof coin with the popularity of the Morgan silver dollar? You get this brilliant gem. Only 813 Morgan dollars were struck as proofs in 1901, and while collectors can obtain decent examples in Proof-62 or 63 for less than $3,500, relatively few Morgan dollars of any date ever cross the block grading as well as this piece does. While it cost the bidder nearly $40,000, this Morgan dollar’s sheer brilliance and crisp cameo devices help the coin stand in a league of its own.
#2 – 1916-D Mercury Dime PCGS Good-4 – $725.00
Solid, circulated 20th-century key date coins are always popular. The 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent and 1916 Standing Liberty quarter come to mind. So, too, do pieces like this Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS) graded Good-4 1916-D Mercury dime, as was offered on the David Lawrence rare coin auction. Considering that the market value for a solid Good-4 Mercury dime is between $750 and $800, it seems like $725 isn’t bad at all for a PCGS (read: “conservatively”) graded 1916-D Mercury dime.
#3 – 1937 Proof Set, All Coins Individually Graded Proof-64 to Proof-66 by NGC and CAC Designated – $3,800.00
It’s pretty much common knowledge in the coin collecting world that any pre-1955 flat pack United States proof set will either have to be assembled piece-by-piece or will come as a group of coins inside an aftermarket (probably Capital Plastics) coin holder. This grouping of 1937 proof coins, however, has been graded by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and offers the buyer a nice collection of five gem proofs, all of which have Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC) designations indicating superior eye appeal for their respective grades. The 1937 Lincoln cent grades Proof-64 Red/Brown; the other coins, from Buffalo nickel to Walking Liberty half dollar, grade Proof-67, Proof-66, Proof-65 and Proof-65, respectively.
#4 – 1908 No Motto Well Fargo Nevada Gold Hoard Saint-Gaudens $20 Gold Coin, NGC MS-65 – $1,760.00
This Saint-Gaudens $20 gold coin was sold to the highest bidder without reserve and still managed to bring in a respectable $1,760.00–not surprising given its MS-65 grade. Part of the story behind this coin is that it was one of about 10,000 1908-dated No Motto Saint-Gaudens $20 gold coins that were found in a Nevada Wells Fargo bank. The coins were part of a World War I debt payment and were untouched since 1917, which is one reason why more than 1,100 of these pieces graded MS-67 or above in the mid 1990s after they were discovered.
#5 – 1785 Vermont Copper Coin (VERMONTS) NGC Good-4 Brown – $450.00
How about a popular, NGC-graded copper Colonial coin for under $500? These copper coins were minted as currency for Vermont from 1785 until its admission into the Union as a state in 1791. A Latin inscription on the coin reading “VERMONTS. RES. PUBLICA.” translates to The Republic (or Commonwealth) of Vermont. Generally speaking, all early American coinage is considered scarce, though among old coppers, this piece is actually regarded as relatively common. Still, any early coins make great additions to a collector’s cabinet, and this Vermont fits the bill as a choice representative of pre-federal coinage.
If you didn’t have the opportunity to bid on any of those coins during the previous David Lawrence rare coin auction, there are 300 coins crossing the block in the next sale, which ends on June 7. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from that auction:
#1 – 1857 Braided Hair Large Cent PCGS XF 45 CAC Designated
Here’s a nice, chocolate brown large cent from the last year of the Braided Hair series. A little more than 333,000 large cents were made in 1857, which is an interesting year for U.S. numismatics. Not only did production of the large cent cease in 1857, but it was replaced that year by the small cent, which measures 8.5 millimeters smaller in diameter than the last U.S. large cents. Numismatists will also note that 1857 marked the end of the half cent denomination. While some coin collectors still assemble large cent sets by date, it’s safe to say most potential bidders would likely be seeking this piece as an addition to a high-end type set.
#2 – 1885 Liberty Nickel PCGS MS-66
The 1885 Liberty nickel is an interesting coin, as it serves as the key date for its series. While the 1885 nickel was struck to the tune of 1,476,490 pieces, relatively few have survived, meaning even well worn specimens grading Good-4 or Fine-12 still cost hundreds of dollars. Higher-grade specimens are quite scarce and start costing more than $1,000 once the grade hits the Very Fine-20 threshold. According to PCGS, just 25 specimens grade MS-66, with 2 grading MS-66+ and three grading MS-67, with none higher.
#3 – 1915-D Barber Half Dollar NGC MS-65+
The Barber half dollar is a popular collector series that many numismatists find challenging enough to complete in a grade of solid Good-4, let alone the higher grades. That’s due to the fact that these coins saw heavy circulation in their day and few were saved. In fact, Barber half dollars of any date that grade Fine-12 or better are conditionally scarce. Few Barber half dollars grade MS-65, as this 1915-D does. For the record, NGC reports just 54 1915-D Barber half dollars have attained the MS-65 grade. As a side note, the 1915-D Barber half dollar also represents the last year of this series.
#4 – 1981-S Type II Susan B. Anthony Dollar PCGS DCAM Proof-69
While Susan B. Anthony dollars were largely disregarded during their late 1970s and early 1980s “heyday”, these coins have been increasingly embraced by numismatists. The 1981-S Type II is the scarcer of the two types of proof SBAs from that year and features a more clearly defined “S” mintmark than its 1981-S Type I counterpart. While PCGS reports that a healthy population of more than 3,300 Type II Susan B. Anthony dollars from 1981 grade MS-69 DCAM, these high-end Susan B. Anthony dollars nevertheless enjoy a strong following among modern coin collectors.
#5 – 1807 Liberty Cap $5 Half Eagle NGC AU-55 Bust Facing Right
With NGC reporting 33 specimens of the 1807 Liberty Cap, right-facing bust half eagle gold coin grading AU-55, this piece is among a small number of lightly circulated specimens of its kind. Early gold coins are scarce in general, even in the lower grades, and mintages of early gold coins were low to begin with. 1807 Liberty Cap half eagle gold coins were minted in a small quantity of 32,488 pieces; the vast majority of these coins were melted, leaving behind a small supply for today’s numismatic market.
Are you looking to add any coins to your collection soon? Maybe you’ll enjoy spending the “dog days of summer” enjoying the air conditioning at your local coin dealer or perusing the inventories of your favorite online coin dealers from the comfort of your home. Whether or not you bid on any of the coins listed above, hopefully you’ll find yourself making some new and interesting acquisitions for your collection soon. Happy collecting, everyone!