The Rev. Dr. James Gore King McClure Collection certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) achieved strong prices in virtually all categories when it was sold at Heritage Auctions’ June 8-13 Long Beach sale. Assembled from the 1860s to the 1930s, the Rev. Dr. McClure Collection was kept intact from 1932 until its recent sale.
Considered to be one of the finest “time capsule collections” ever offered, the McClure collection gave numismatists a unique look at the interests of a collector of a bygone era. The opportunity to acquire an example from such a historic collection clearly excited bidders, who in many instances paid prices that dramatically exceeded NGC Price Guide values.
The top lot in the sale was an 1895-O Morgan Dollar graded NGC MS 65+ that achieved US$258,500. Another 1895 Dollar, an NGC PF 64 representative of the rare Proof-only 1895 issue, sold for $65,277.
The 1921-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar in NGC MS 66 was particularly significant as well. Tied with one other for the finest example graded by NGC, it sold for $188,000, a record price for this key date issue.
A second Walking Liberty Half Dollar, a conditionally rare 1920-S in NGC MS 65+, was also a highlight. It realized $42,300, doubling the NGC Price Guide value.
The 1822 25 over 50 Capped Bust Quarter graded NGC AU Details, Improperly Cleaned, was notable because the $35,250 price it realized topped the NGC Price Guide value for a problem-free NGC AU 50 example. Another impressive quarter was the 1926-D in NGC MS 65 Full Head that sold for $49,350, a record price for the grade and five times the NGC Price Guide value.
“The NGC-certified McClure Collection has demonstrated the depth and resilience of the US vintage coin market in spite of recent softness,” says NGC Chairman Mark Salzberg. “Collectors and dealers are willing to pay significant sums when rare, high-grade and interesting NGC-certified coins are offered for sale.”
There were also a wide range of exceptional performers in the $10,000 to $25,000 range. One noteworthy example was the 1923-D Peace Dollar in NGC MS 66 that realized $15,275, triple the NGC Price Guide value. Another Peace Dollar, an NGC MS 65 representative of the 1924-S, sold for $12,925, more than 3.5 times the NGC Price Guide value.
Smaller denominations similarly attracted the attention of bidders. An 1877 20-cent piece in NGC PF 65 sold for $21,150, more than double the NGC Price Guide value and a new record price for the grade. Also worthy of mention is the 1923-S Mercury Dime in NGC MS 65 Full Bands that more than doubled the NGC Price Guide value with a price realized of $12,337.50.
Besides regular issue US coins, the McClure Collection featured many tokens and medals including more than 200 Civil War Tokens that may have been saved contemporaneously by the Rev. Dr. McClure during the war. Two of these Civil War tokens featured the famous USS Monitor.
The first, attributed as Fuld-241A/417Aa and graded NGC MS 64 BN, realized $8,812.50. The other, attributed as Fuld-241A/417Ab and graded NGC MS 62, sold for $5,170. These are the two highest prices ever paid for Civil War Patriotic Tokens at Heritage Auctions.
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