By CoinWeek Staff Reports….
David Lawrence Rare Coins is a numismatic firm that has offered online coin auctions for many years. Their weekly auctions feature a good mix of modern and classic U.S. coins in circulated and uncirculated grades, so a nice selection of lots is available for a wide array of coin collectors on nearly any budget.
One thing that distinguishes David Lawrence rare coin auctions from many others is the absence of a buyer’s premium, an expense that coin buyers usually have to pay when bidding on coins online.
Many of the lots that hit the auction block on May 17, 2015 were rather interesting for one reason or another. Here’s a look at five of the highlights from that auction:
#1 – Wells Fargo Hoard 1908 No Motto Saint-Gaudens $20 Gold Double Eagle, NGC MS 68 for $15,750.00
This piece is simply a stunner. Its nearly incredible MS 68 grade, amazing surface quality, and historic provenance make it a great coin for any history buff to own. For those unaware, the Wells Fargo Hoard coins came to market in the early 1990s, when about 10,000 high-grade 1908 No Motto double eagles surfaced. They had been deposited at a Nevada Wells Fargo bank in 1917 as a World War I debt payment and remained untouched for decades. Interestingly, Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) originally graded all of the coins from this hoard, and 101 made the MS 68 cut, with 10 grading (yes) higher at MS 69.
#2 – 1830 Capped Bust $2.50 Gold Quarter Eagle, PCGS AU 58 for $20,500
Early U.S. gold coins are rare in virtually any grade, but here is an example of a nearly uncirculated representative of the challenging Capped Bust quarter eagle series. Considering that the 1830 mintage stood at just 4,540 and only a fraction of those survive in any grade, it’s not hard to see why this, or any Capped Bust quarter eagle (all had similarly low mintages), would make a fine addition to any gold coin collector’s repertoire. For the record, there are only 100-120 or so known survivors, and PCGS reports 13 having been certified at this grade threshold.
#3 – 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent, PCGS MS 65 Red, CAC designated for $5,625.00
The 1909-S VDB is the holy grail of Lincoln cents, and there are plenty of coin collectors who would love to own a piece like this gem-quality, red 1909-S VDB. While 1909-S VDB cents may not be necessarily rare (at least in comparison to coins like the 1830 Capped Bust $2.50 listed above), they are nevertheless highly desirable coins and among the most popular 20th-century pieces. It’s also the lowest-mintage, regular-issue Lincoln cent out there, helping to give this legendary coin some noteworthy bragging rights.
#4 – 1879 Three-Cent Nickel, NGC VF 35, CAC designated for $135.00
While coins like the Lincoln cent and Saint-Gaudens double eagles (both listed above) enjoy plenty of time in the numismatic spotlight, it seems that odd-type denominations don’t get their fair share of attention. And that’s a shame, because they represent an interesting and colorful era of United States coinage and are really much scarcer than some might give them credit for. Such is the case with this 1879 Three-Cent Nickel, a piece that saw a small original mintage of just 41,200 and survives in smaller numbers today.
#5 – 1875-S 20-Cent Piece, PCGS MS 65, CAC designated for $3,375.00
Speaking of odd-type denominations, here is a stellar 20-Cent coin that’s perfect for those higher-end collections. The 1875-S 20 Cent coin is the most common date among this coin’s very short run, and is certainly the go-to coin for type collectors (especially those wishing to assemble Seated Liberty, odd-type, or 19th-century type sets). However, most coin collectors going after this type tend to pursue circulated pieces, especially those in the Good to Fine range; relatively few will happen upon an MS 65 specimen like this one.
Even if you didn’t have the opportunity to bid on any of the coins listed above, there’s a slew of other great pieces up for bid in the next David Lawrence auction, which starts on Sunday, May 24. Here are five highlights to keep an eye on:
#1 – 1937-D 3-Legged Nickel, PCGS MS 64
The 1937-D 3-Legged Buffalo nickel is one of the more popular 20th-century coin varieties. PCGS reports that they have certified 174 examples in this grade, with four in MS 64+ and none grading higher than MS 66–meaning this specimen is one of the finer representatives on the market. While a coin collector doesn’t necessarily “need” a 1937-D 3-Legged Buffalo nickel to complete a regular-issue set (just like a 1955 doubled die Lincoln cent is similarly not required for to “complete” a collection of that series), it’s safe to say that many Buffalo nickel aficionados would feel rather incomplete without a 3-Legged in his or her collection. An MS 64 specimen would fulfill that need beautifully.
#2 – 1801 Draped Bust Dime PCGS Very Good 8, CAC designated
Draped Bust coins are iconic representatives of early American coin design, and that allure is one reason coin connoisseurs enjoy owning a choice, circulated example of a piece such as this 1801 dime. PCGS reports only 71 total graded 1801 dimes, with handfuls at each of the circulated grade points. While there are certainly more 1801 dimes out there than those that PCGS have handled, it’s also safe to say that this coin, and certainly all Draped Bust coins, are scarce. As most surviving Draped Bust coinage exhibits some form of damage or cleaning, coins like this original 1801 dime are diamonds in the rough.
#3 – 1863 Seated Liberty Quarter NCG Proof 62, CAC designated
This Civil War-era Seated Liberty quarter is a cut above most others in terms of quality and eye appeal. With 460 proof quarters minted in 1863 (though far fewer surviving today), this specimen, with its brilliant surfaces, is a rare example of pristine mid-19th-century proof coinage. Civil War buffs would equally appreciate this coin’s vintage, which dates to the year of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the Battle of Gettysburg.
#4 – 1881-CC Morgan Dollar GSA Hoard, NGC 64, CAC designated
1881-CC Morgan dollars aren’t the scarcest of the Carson City cartwheels, but this piece is interesting for another reason: it’s a GSA Hoard silver dollar. One of thousands of high-grade Carson City silver dollars sold to the public throughout the 1970s from mint-sewn bags rediscovered in government vaults and basements, this 1881-CC dollar represents an exciting era for coin collectors. About half of the original mintage of 1881-CC dollars were found in the hoard. Yet, despite the flood of “new” Carson City silver dollars into the coin market during the 1970s, CC-mint dollars remain relatively scarce and desirable today.
#5 – 1936 Delaware Tercentenary Half Dollar, PCGS MS 66, CAC designated
This gem uncirculated half dollar was just one of 19 different commemorative halves struck by the United States Mint in 1936, a year many numismatists consider the peak of classic commemorative coin production in the U.S. This particular coin, commemorating the 300th anniversary of the settlement of what became the nation’s first state, depicts the oldest Protestant Church in the United States still used for worship. Holy Trinity Church (also called “Old Swedes Church”) is located near downtown Wilmington, Delaware, and open to visitors.
What coins do you need for your collection? As you can see, every coin has a story. So, even if you aren’t currently out to bid on any of the pieces listed above, hopefully you’ve been inspired to buy some new and interesting acquisitions for your coin collection soon. Happy collecting, everyone!