The 1885 has been recognized for more than a century as the coin to have, the key to the set of Liberty nickels. Only about 1.4 million pieces were struck and examples were set aside shortly after this tiny mintage became known; although by the time the general public was aware of it most coins of this date had been in circulation for some time.
Most certified 1885 nickels are in low grades, with more coins certified in About Good-3 than in any other grade. The median certified grade for the date is Fine-12. Mint State pieces follow a bell curve pattern with MS64 at the top. Only six examples have been graded MS67 by PCGS, with a mere two joining them at the grade at NGC, one of which bears the star designation. None have been certified finer.
Our October 17-19 Dallas Signature Auction features a PCGS-graded Superb Gem example of this key date. Struck from a late state of the dies with several die cracks visible, most notably on the obverse, this is an untoned, satiny example that is fully struck throughout. Eye appeal is high on this coin, which should see interest from date collectors seeking the finest example for their cabinet.
* * *
In Other News – Changes to Bidding
Heritage Auctions has announced a change to its bidding practices that will allow more bidders to pursue items in online auctions.
Effective immediately, the increments in which collectors can bid in Internet absentee bidding will be cut in half. The change will not affect live bidding (including HA.com/Live), in order to save live bidders time by keeping the bidding in live sessions moving at a brisk pace.
“This change will benefit both buyers and sellers,” Heritage Auctions Co-Founder Jim Halperin said. “Cutting in half the size of bid increments will increase the confidence and aggressiveness of buyers who are unsure about increasing a bid, and it benefits the sellers by making more clients more likely to leave a proxy bid on a wider array of available lots.”
The change is significant for Heritage Auctions, as approximately 60% of Heritage Auctions’ 2018 sales were conducted online. With more than 40 categories of art, jewelry, collectibles, and other valuable objects, Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s leading collectibles auctioneer.