By Cori Sedwick Downing – Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC ……
While Spanish colonial and shipwreck coins make up much of our November Sedwick Treasure Auction , a number of other collecting areas are well represented. We’ve already taken a look at paper money, so let’s turn to U.S. rarities coming up for auction.
As the highest denomination struck by the famous Carson City Mint, their double eagles were never struck in great numbers. Mintages barely topped 100,000 between 1874 and 1876. By the time this 1890-CC double eagle was struck, the mint had only three years left before closing in 1893. Still, the fact that 91,209 were minted in 1890 is impressive and makes this example an in-demand yet affordable piece for the Carson City type set collector.
This 1844-D half eagle was struck in the better years of the Dahlonega Mint, where mintages of the half eagle approached 100,000 coins from 1843 to 1845. In 1844, 88,982 Dahlonega half eagles were made, making it, like the above lot, attractive yet affordable for the Dahlonega type collector or for someone who just wants to own one. The typical bag marks and scratches are noted in the fields, with wear evident yet not enough to knock it down to Very Fine as the coin still has a full Liberty headband.
Some rarities take the form of gorgeous, high-grade examples, such as this 1914 quarter eagle. NGC (Numismatic guaranty Corporation) certified it as MS-63, putting it ahead of many others in uncirculated grades. Only light bagmarks are noted in the fields with some planchet adjustment lines in the headdress and light toning throughout.
This AU-55 1846 Seated Liberty dollar is perfect for a U.S. type set collector. Only light even wear is visible on the high points. The fields and some areas of the design are darkly toned with lighter toning around the stars, dress folds, and eagle’s wings. Overall, a nice, lightly circulated example with a well-centered strike.
This set represents two important events to U.S. coin collectors: the beginning of the Civil War in 1861 and the sinking of SS Republic in 1865.
Upon the election of Abraham Lincoln on Nov. 6, 1860, Southern states began to secede, with Louisiana seceding Jan. 26, 1861 before joining the Confederate States of America on March 21, 1861. It was during that time the New Orleans Mint continued striking Seated Liberty half dollars under all three governments: U.S., State of Louisiana, and Confederate. Through die diagnostics, all three issues can be identified, while in this set, the U.S. issue is denoted with an 1860-O half dollar. The 1861-O Confederate issued half dollar in the set, noted for the die crack on the obverse above Liberty’s face, shares the same obverse die as the four known Confederate half dollars bearing the words “Confederate States of America” above the eagle on the reverse.
Furthermore, all three coins were recovered from SS Republic, a ship that sank with many U.S. coins onboard, both silver and gold, on Oct. 25, 1865. Since the wreck’s discovery in 2003, some U.S., State of Louisiana, and Confederate issued Seated Liberty half dollars have been found and packaged into attractive sets like this, where coin collectors, Civil War historians and shipwreck researchers can appreciate these historical coins.
This is a beautiful 1909-S cent, a rare, key and final date to the long-lived (1859-1909) Indian Head cent series. Certified by NGC as AU-58 Brown, this piece has lovely chocolate brown toning throughout with choice wood-grain toning on the obverse and only light wear on the high parts of the design.
For more U.S. coins appearing in our November auction, visit the Session Four page here, up for sale on Sunday, Nov. 13 and the Session Five (internet-only) page here, hammering on Monday, November 14.