A newly discovered 1854-S half eagle took center stage, selling for $2.16 million as Heritage’s August 14-19 coin and currency ANA auctions at the Philadelphia World’s Fair of Money raised over $40 million for their consignors. All prices include a 20% Buyer’s Premium.
Initially believed to be a fake, this fourth existing 1854-S $5 gold piece, graded XF45 by NGC, is one of just 268 struck by the San Francisco Mint in 1854, an extraordinarily low mintage for a U.S. gold coin produced during the California Gold Rush. Of the three remaining 1854-S $5 Liberty half eagle gold coins, one is sequestered in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, forever out of reach of collectors. One remains in a private Texas collection and no one has seen the third coin since armed robbers stole it from the wealthy duPont family in 1967.
A one-of-a-kind 1792 gold coin believed by its previous owner to have once been a cherished memento of U.S. President George Washington sold for $1,740,000 in the same auction. This is the first time the 1792 $10 Washington President gold eagle pattern coin appeared at public auction since 1890; 100 percent of the net proceeds will benefit charitable causes.
Since 1792, the coin has been owned by just eight elite numismatists, who traded it privately for 128 years. Prominent collector and author Eric P. Newman acquired the coin in 1942, and until this ANA auctions , it has not changed hands since. This coin is graded XF45★ by NGC.
All told, the ANA auctions of US coins realized in excess of $27.2 million, with numerous additional highlights including but not limited to the following:
- 1794 $1 B-1, BB-1, AU58 NGC. CAC
- 1796 1/2 C With Pole, C-2, B-2, MS66+ Red and Brown PCGS Secure. CAC
- 1838 50C Reeded Edge PR66+ PCGS. CAC
- 1879 $1 Schoolgirl Dollar, Judd-1608, Pollock-1804, Low R.7, PR66 Deep Cameo PCGS. CAC
- 1907 $10 Wire Rim MS67+ NGC. CAC
- 1852-O $20 MS65 NGC
- 1871-CC 10C F-101, MS65 PCGS Secure
- 1864 $10 PR65 Deep Cameo PCGS Secure
- 1879 $4 Flowing Hair, Judd-1635, Pollock-1833, R.3, PR66 PCGS Secure…
The legendary “First Dollar of the New World,” an 8 reales piece struck in Mexico City by the Spanish in 1538, sold for $528,000 at the ANA auctions, August 17, as a part of Heritage’s $9.6 million Platinum Night auction of world coins.
The first dollar-sized coin struck in the Americas, it was minted under the joint Spanish reign of Charles I and his mother, Joanna. At an NGC-assigned grade of AU50, the 8 Reales auctioned is the finest of three known specimens, which made world history when salvaged in the 1990s from the northern Caribbean shipwreck of the “Golden Fleece.”
“No major museum holds one of these three coins in its collections,” said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Heritage Auctions Executive Vice President of International Numismatics, “and that’s why auctions such as this are an extraordinary opportunity to own one of the world’s historically most important coins.”
The ANA auctions featured a number of outstanding results for ancient coins, particularly for Roman gold issues such as:
- Diadumenian, as Caesar (AD 217-218). AV aureus. NGC (photo-certificate) Choice AU ★ 5/5 – 4/5, Fine Style
- Sextus Pompey, as Imperator (44-36 BC). AV aureus NGC (photo-certificate) Choice AU ★ 5/5 – 4/5, Fine Style
- Macrinus (AD 217-218). AV aureus NGC (photo-certificate) Choice AU ★ 5/5 – 5/5, Fine Style
- Postumus (Gallo-Roman Emperor, AD 260-269). AV aureus NGC (photo-certificate) MS 5/5 – 3/5
- Marcus Junius Brutus, Assassin of Caesar and Imperator (44-42 BC). AV aureus NGC (photo-certificate) Choice AU ★ 5/5 – 4/5
Some of the additional highlights from among world coin offerings included:
- Great Britain: Victoria gold Proof ‘Una and the Lion’ 5 Pounds 1839 PR61+ Ultra Cameo NGC
- Great Britain: Victoria 16-Piece Certified Gold, Silver and Copper Proof set 1853 NGC
- France: “Republic” gold Off-Metal Trial 5 Francs L’An 10 (1801-02)-A MS62 NGC
- France: Louis XV gold Specimen Pattern Ecu au bandeau 1740-A SP61 PCGS
Auction offerings of US Currency and World Paper Money raised $2 million and $1.3 million overall. Highlights of these auctions included:
- Fr. 2221-G $5,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note. PMG Choice Uncirculated 64.
- Fr. 1078b $100 1914 Red Seal Federal Reserve Note PMG Superb Gem Unc 67 EPQ.
- Fr. 1179 $20 1905 Gold Certificate PMG Superb Gem Unc 67 EPQ.
- Fr. 2221-G $5,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note. PCGS Choice About New 58PPQ.
- Zanzibar Zanzibar Government 20 Rupees 1.1.1908 Pick 4cts Color Trial Specimen.
Heritage’s next auctions, covering US and World coins and currency, are open for bidding now at www.HA.com!
About the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society
Items being sold are from the extensive collection of Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (a Missouri not-for-profit corporation) and have been assembled over a period of 90 years. Proceeds of the sale of all items will be used exclusively for supplementing the Society’s museum operations and scholarly numismatic research efforts and for the benefit of other not-for-profit institutions selected by Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society for public purposes.