Heritage records 23 individual lots for at least $250,000, in $192 million 2016 U.S. Coin auction sales
U.S. Coins was once again Heritage Auctions’ highest-earning department in 2016. The $192 million in auction totals last year eclipsed all other numismatic auction houses combined. According to the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG), Heritage held a strong 56 percent market share in U.S. Coins. 2016 saw significant activity in online auctions, with Heritage’s Tuesday and Sunday Internet Auctions garnering $14.2 million USD.
The numismatic highlight of the year was undoubtedly the January sale of the fabled, famed and elusive 1894-S Barber Dime. Just 24 were struck, with fewer than 10 thought to survive to this day. It is a classic American rarity that has eluded collectors for generations. Graded PR66, it is the finest PCGS specimen recorded. Sixteen bidders vied for the coin before it hammered at $1,997,500 – making it the highest price for any US Coin sold at auction in 2016.
Ten-cent pieces filled Heritage’s top three spots for 2016 sales. A pair of early American Dismes follows the Barber Dime on the sales chart. The finest of three known Judd-9 1792 P10C Silver Dismes was offered for public sale for only the second time in two centuries. The coin was graded AU50 by PCGS and sold for $998,750. A 1792 Judd-10 Copper Disme, also the finest known of its type, gave collectors the opportunity to purchase two of the rarest American patterns in existence – in the same sale. Twelve bidders vied for the PCGS SP64 pattern before it sold for an auction record $705,000.
An 1849-C Open Wreath Dollar was the highest-selling gold issue in 2016. Just 125 are thought to have been struck at the Charlotte Mint, making it one of the rarest gold issues in the history of Unite States coinage. Graded MS62 by PCGS, it is the only uncirculated example graded. The coin sold for $528,750, an auction record for the type.
Two 1792 cents made national headlines in August at Heritage’s ANA Signature Auction in Anaheim, California. A 1792 Silver Center Cent, believed to be the first coin produced inside the first U.S. Mint, was on offer for the first time in the United States. An even scarcer 1792 Birch Cent, the finer of two known pieces, was in high demand as well. The two coins sold for a combined $869,500, a staggering 43 million times their face value.
One of the most melted American gold issues brought over $500,000 in November. A 1920-S Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, graded MS65 by PCGS with sharp details and deep luster, attracted offers from a baker’s dozen bidders. It was unquestionably worth every penny of its $517,000 hammer price. Another scarce, high-grade gold issue passed the half-million-dollar mark in 2016: an 1804 Quarter Eagle 13 Stars Reverse AU55 PCGS was one of the highlights of January’s FUN sale. The piece is the second-finest known and sold for $505,250.
Heritage sold more than 65 coins for over $100,000, 23 of which sold for $250,000 or more. With strong sales already recorded over the first few weeks of the year, 2017 is sure to be another market-leading year for Heritage.
Other auction highlights include, but are not limited to:
- 1870-S Seated Dollar, XF40 NGC: One of nine confirmed examples – realized $423,000
- 1856-O Liberty Double Eagle, AU55 PCGS: Fourth-finest of 23 known – realized $364,250
- 1792 Judd-2 Alloy Cent Pattern, VF35 PCGS: One of nine thought to survive – realized $352,500
- 1880 Flowing Hair Stella, PR65 NGC: One of 15 struck – realized $352,500
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