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Goldberg’s Auction Closes a Record-Breaking January for Rare Coin Industry

By Jim Bisognani for NGC ……

Pre-Long Beach Sales Tally Nearly $28 Million, Big Apple Hosts Major Sales After Long Beach

Not within my memory has a year bolted out of the gate with such numismatic strength, vigor and excitement. We are just one month into the year and major auctions have already reeled in over $150 million in sales—a handful of rarities have already broken the million dollar barrier!

The numismatic arena has been amazing for its staying power, really, since the turn of the millennium. The coin market, specifically the certified coin market, has perhaps never been as active as it is now.

Goldberg auctions set stage for strong 2014.

Obviously, the strong demand targeting certified rare coins has been a substantial part of the acceleration here. As record prices continue to draw headlines, it is important to reiterate that certification, independent third-party grading by NGC, has been an integral factor in the continued growth and acceptance of numismatics for both the new wave of coin collectors, as well as for the old guard veteran hobbyists.

I remember it very well, and it doesn’t seem that long ago; collectors and dealers were always at odds with each other, exacerbated over the differences in terminology and grading standards as it varied, sometimes greatly, from dealer to dealer. While most numismatists had been uneasy and weary of change, they all knew that a universal standard of some type must be adopted, and now certification is universally embraced. For collectors and investors of today, the protection, convenience, portability and accountability of NGC-certified coins will ensure continued enjoyment and education for future generations of collectors.

Perhaps it was inevitable that the coin market was ready for another surge, but this sustained market is nothing short of spectacular. Regardless, we all have witnessed the bold new path that our hobby has taken over the last quarter-century plus. It has been, and continues to be, quite the ride.

Ending the month of January with a resounding salvo, the Goldberg’s prestigious sale of the fabulous Missouri Cabinet of Half Cents reeled in a record-breaking $18.3 million on January 26 in their packed and explosive venue in Los Angeles. This followed up with the venerable firm’s always-popular Pre-Long Beach sale, which captured a powerful $9.7 million!

Below is a roster of NGC highlights from the Goldberg’s Pre-Long Beach sale:

  • 1797 Plain Edge, Reverse of 1796 Draped Bust Large Cent NGC AU 55 BN $36,425
  • 1798 Draped Bust Large Cent NGC MS 61 BN $24,675
  • 1820 Capped Bust Dime NGC MS 67 $38,775
  • 1835 Capped Bust Dime NGC PF 66 $45,825
  • 1815 Capped Bust Quarter NGC MS 65 $22,325
  • 1890 Liberty Seated Quarter NGC PF 69 Cameo $30,550
  • 1803 Small 3 Draped Bust Half Dollar NGC MS 61 $27,025
  • 1857 Liberty Seated Half Dollar NGC PF 67 $38,775
  • 1874 Trade Dollar NGC PF 67 Cameo $29,375
  • 1856 Upright 5 Type III Gold Dollar NGC MS 66 $30,550
  • 1796 No Stars Draped Bust Quarter Eagle NGC AU 55 $135,125
  • 1859 Three Dollar Princess NGC PF 65 Ultra Cameo $58,750
  • 1814 Capped Bust Half Eagle NGC MS 61 $24,675
  • 1796 Draped Bust Eagle NGC AU 58 $91,063
  • 1907 Wire Rim Saint-Gaudens High Relief $20 NGC PF 67 $129,250

As February rolls in, despite Punxsutawney Phil‘s prognostication of at least six more weeks of winter, there has been no shadow cast over the numismatic arena as we view a continuation of the familiar scene of the never-ending battle as dealers, investors, and collectors scurry to secure coins for inventory, registry sets, as well as personal trophies for the hobbyists.

As we go to press, in what is still the deep freeze of the northeast, Heritage is offering nearly 5,000 lots for bidders consideration in their Signature sale in New York City running February 3-5. With the first session in the books, the sale generated nearly $3 million alone. Stack’s Bowers will also be presiding over their Americana Sale in the Big Apple from February 5-6, at the firm’s 110 W. 57th St. offices. I will review both of these sales in detail in my next installment.

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Jim Bisognani
Jim Bisognani
Jim Bisognani has written extensively on US coin market trends and values and was the market analyst and writer for a major pricing guide for many years. He currently resides in Southern California and frequently attends major coin shows and auctions.

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