By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for CoinWeek …..
Legend Rare Coins will soon be offering an extraordinary array of coins in its upcoming Regency Exclusively Legend Auction, slated for October 24. The event, to be hosted at Harrah’s in New Orleans, promises to be an extravagant affair as Legend Rare Coins auctions typically are and buyers are already gearing up for intense bidding action, with the sale’s 184 lots posted online for pre-bidding.
The auction offers a gorgeous selection of proof and mint state type coins, principally selections of high-end Barber coinage, Morgan dollars, popular pre-1933 gold coinage, and other classic pieces from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
There is also a fine array of modern coinage, including Washington quarters and Franklin half dollars. Let’s take a peek at five of the most exceptional lots up for bids in the Regency Exclusively Legend sale.
Lot 16 – 1893-CC Morgan $1 PCGS MS65
With a presale estimate of $75,000 to $85,000, this outstanding 1893-CC Morgan dollar could realize impressive figures when all bidding is said and done. This high-end gem certified by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) offers everything that even the most discriminating Morgan dollar collector could want; The obverse is swirled with varying shades of olive, maroon, navy, and gold while the reverse features highlights of sky blue and gold on the rim.
It’s important to realize that 1893-CC Morgans are truly rare in MS65. Scarcity isn’t a relative term here, in which there are hundreds or even thousands of MS65s circulating. PCGS has certified only 13 examples of the 1893-CC Morgan in MS65, with just two higher – one graded MS65+ and another at MS66. A white, non-CAC 1893-CC PCGS MS65 specimen snagged $90,000 USD at a 2018 auction. The colorful 1893-CC Morgan in the Exclusively Legend sale could top $100,000 if a few eager buyers who appreciate toning get involved in the bidding action.
Lot 42 – 1827/3 Capped Bust Quarter Original PCGS PR65
This classic rarity is one of just nine originals known and also one of the finest of the Capped Bust overdates. This piece, a product of the B-1 die marriage, involves leftover dies from 1823, the obverse of which itself is an 1822/23 overdate later retooled with the 1827 date. Thus, this coin is really an 1822/3/7 overdate, and the piece offered here has a provenance tracing back to the early post-Civil War era, when it was first offered for sale as part of the Joseph Zanoni Collection in April 1867.
The presale estimate for this nicely toned piece is $400,000 to $425,000. However, this same specimen took $444,000 in a January 2019 event, and it is the finest non-cameo specimen known, with two cameos graded by PCGS as PR65 and PR66+. This ultra-rarity, which has resided in the cabinets of several notable collectors including Virgil Brand and Wayte Raymond, is reportedly making a highly unusual second public auction appearance in the same year because the current owner has decided to move on “to a new project.”
Lot 50 – Original 1895 Proof Set
It’s not often that an original 19th-century proof set comes up for sale, especially a set like this one – hailing from the Young-Dakota Collection and filled with matched gems.
Before coming into the Young-Dakota Collection in 2010, the 1895 proof set had resided in the hands of the same Boston-area coin dealer for 40 years. Legend says this is the first intact 1895 proof set they had ever seen, primarily due to the high value of the key-date 1895 proof Morgan dollar. The set includes an 1895 PCGS/CAC PR65RD Indian cent, 1895 PCGS/CAC PR66 Liberty Head nickel, 1895 PCGS/CAC PR67 Barber dime, 1895 PCGS/CAC PR66 Barber quarter, PCGS/CAC PR66 Barber half dollar, and 1895 PCGS/CAC PR67+ Morgan dollar, with all the silver coins exhibiting similar olive, teal, blue, and purple hues.
“Breaking up this possible once-in-a-lifetime set would be a crime,” claims the Legend lot description. The mintage of the silver coins in the proof set is just 880 pieces, and clearly there aren’t many other intact sets – if any at all. The 1895 PR67+ Morgan dollar is the highest-graded example of a non-cameo proof, with a pop of just one. Of course, as this particular 1895 dollar is unique in grade and reportedly has never been sold individually, there are no auction records just for this one piece, but PCGS estimates its value at $145,000 – about 80% of the entire set’s presale estimate of $170,000 to $180,000.
Lot 139 – 1956 Type 2 Franklin Half Dollar PCGS PR69CAM
The Franklin half dollar is one of the most widely collected modern series, in part because the series is not overwhelmingly challenging with just 35 regular-issue pieces and 14 individual proofs, all issued over just 16 production years.
Still, there are many avenues advanced collectors can pursue to turn a basic Franklin half dollar set into a challenging venture and building a competitive registry set is one great way to do just that.
And that takes us to this next Exclusively Legend highlight, a 1956 Type 2 Franklin half dollar certified by PCGS as PR69CAM. It’s not only one of the finest-graded for its issue, but it’s also among the top-grading proof Franklin halves, period. While PCGS has presently graded 74 examples in PR69CAM, this represents just a tiny fraction of all proof 1956 Type 2 Franklin halves.
What’s more, it makes an ideal addition to a top-end registry set, and with a presale estimate of only $450 to $500 an affordable addition at that.
Lot 176 – 1799 Draped Bust $10, Small Stars Obverse PCGS/CAC MS63
It’s difficult to find original uncirculated early gold, yet this 1799 Draped Bust eagle is a true gem. Graded MS63 by PCGS, this classic coin from the prestigious Coronet Collection bears few surface marks, leaving it in a class of its own for an MS63, hence its CAC seal of approval. The coin is well struck, boasts full luster, and a golden yellow color indicative of original surfaces. It has a presale estimate of $70,000 to $80,000.
PCGS has certified only 14 examples at this grade, and CAC has stickered just four at this level, and this is the first MS63 in a PCGS holder with a CAC sticker.
As any student of early gold knows, originality is one of the toughest attributes to find in these pieces, even among higher-end examples. A great many survivors have succumbed to cleaning or other alterations over the decades, leaving a large percentage of extant pieces with unnatural, brassy yellow surfaces. PCGS estimates more than 100 examples of the 1799 Small Star $10 exist in uncirculated grades, though just two are known in Gem grades. So, pieces such as this original, CAC-approved MS63 are truly among the upper tier of survivors.