By CoinWeek …..
Legend Rare Coin Auctions (LRCA) is offering up 178 lots of high-eye-appeal coins for bid in their June Premier Sale. Bidding ends on Thursday, June 15 at about 10PM EST. This is a Soft Close auction, where bidding is extended by another two minutes if a bid is placed on the lot in the last two minutes.
In contrast to the firm’s Regency auctions, Premier Sales offer collectors the opportunity to pick up desirable coins at affordable price points.
CoinWeek’s editors have studied the offerings and present the following lots you need to know.
Lots 3-41: Mint State and Proof Indian Head Cents (from the South West Cents Collection)
The Flying Eagle cent has its following, but the three-year type is no match for the enduring design of James Longacre’s Indian Head cent. The cent that preceded the Lincoln Type was first struck in 1859 and bowed out 50 years later.
It’s hard to contemplate but important to impress upon today’s collector just how many significant events took place as this coin type was carried around in the pockets of Americans. When the first coins came off the press at the Philadelphia Mint, Pennsylvania Democrat James Buchanan was president.
William Howard Taft was President when the last one was struck.
In between the administrations of these two men, America fought two major wars, welcomed 12 states into the Union, purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire, annexed Hawaii, Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. We also lost three Presidents by way of the assassin’s bullet, one of them being the great Abraham Lincoln.
The 38 lots on offer from Legend do not complete the set but do present a range of near gem, gem or better Indian cents, many designated as Red Brown and/or CAC approved.
Some of our favorites:
Lot 36 is the elusive 1864 L on Ribbon variety in PCGS MS66RB. James Longacre’s initial was added to a ribbon in the Indian’s headdress midway through the production year. Scarcer than the type without the initial, the “L on Ribbon” variety has a long enduring and well-deserved following.
The example offered by LRCA is the current plate coin for the issue and variety under the RB tab at PCGS CoinFacts. One really should closely scrutinize that image alongside the images provided by the auctioneer to get a good sense of the coin. A flicker of eggplant penetrates only the highest points in relief over the coin’s cognac and fire orange surfaces. The underlying planchet has a “woody”, granulated surface. To date, PCGS has certified eight examples at MS66RB with one in MS66+RB. Six make the cut in MS66RD. The current Red plate coin mirrors the Red Brown in terms of maroon speckling, but the intensity of the red must have allowed the graders to overlook this “deficiency”. With a price spread of $30,000 USD, one can forgo just a bit of “brightness” to take home a true gem example with character.
The Proof Specialist will want to check out Lot 40, an 1862 in PR66+ CAC. 550 Proof examples were distributed in this year; a paltry handful have graded out higher. Legend’s cataloger calls the coin a “near miss Cameo piece”, and it’s true. Judging by the photo published by the auctioneer and the PCGS TrueView, this example appears to have sufficient frost on the devices to warrant the designation (we’ve seen Jefferson nickels and Franklin half dollars with less). But alas, PCGS opted to be stingy with this piece. A buyer is going to have to decide for themselves whether the coin warrants another trip to Newport Beach. The going rate for a PR66+CAM is approximately $7,000.
For collectors dabbling in the series for the first time, lots 33-34 offer the chance to pick up multiple dates in bundled lots.
Lot 70: 1932-D Washington Quarter PCGS MS64+ CAC
The price of MS64+ 1932-D Washington quarters has dropped precipitously over the course of the past three years. It was not unusual to see an example in this grade of the important 20th-century key date bring $3,000 to $4,000 at auction. Stack’s Bowers even hammered $13,512.50 for a toned example from the Highland Collection at the March 2015 National Money Show in Portland, Oregon. That coin sold in an NGC holder and has since crossed over to a PCGS MS65. By all accounts, a MS65 example with decent eye appeal will run you about $6,500 these days. Such are the ebbs and flows of the coin market.
Instead of focusing on “what was”, a clear-eyed look at “what is” is in order. At current pricing levels, a PQ gem or near gem 1932-D is probably a coin with potential given that we are in a market just now recovering from a two year slide in prices.
The example that LRCA is offering gets the added benefit for being mostly brilliant. A hint of pink wafts over the frosty surfaces, but this coin is high end for the grade and CAC-certified. PQ “rainbow toning” for this issue is unheard of and most examples have a dull or greasy appearance. This example looks like it might have been plucked out of an original roll and then sent in for grading.
Current bid sits at $2,300. Expect the coin to reach the pre-sale estimate of $2,750 to $3,000. Someone serious about building a high-end set would do well to compare this coin to others in the same grade range.
Lots 73-83: A Pleasing Selection of Capped Bust Half Dollars in AU or Better
Collectors of Overton varieties may wish to look over the 11-lot offering of AU and better Bust half dollars. The barely circulated pieces have honest wear and are a hair’s breadth away from Mint State.
Lot 76 is the 1811/10 Punctuated Date variety. The variety is notable for the dot that appears between the 18 and 11 at the date. The remnants of a zero is also faintly visible underneath the final digit. This example provides ample opportunity for study and reflection. The lateness of the coin’s die state draws out the digits and stars towards the rim, a starburst of orange and red follows suit, highlighting the metal flow lines.
An example in this grade was offered by Legend Morphy in 2015 in the Regency XIII Sale, where it brought $1,938. That example was of an earlier die state, but featured a less than pleasing khaki gold surfaces.
There’s absolutely no doubt about Lot 79, an 1818 in PCGS MS64. This is the most attractive Capped Bust half by far in this sale. In the rattler days, PCGS graded this piece MS62. The coin brought considerable interest at Heritage’s 2016 ANA Auction, where it brought $4,700.
Clearly, PCGS was too conservative with that decades-old assessment. Eye appeal, strike, and surface preservation put this example in the near gem category. As graded now at MS64, the coin is a Condition-Census example of the O-111 variety. Specialists will note that the coin is fully lustrous with and coated with attractive mauve toning that reveals flecks of rainbow coloration that encircle the devices. Current bid is $3,700.
Also worthy of your attention:
Lot 90-109: Franklin Half Dollars
Lot 114-148: Morgan Dollars (Highlights: Lots 117 (Gem DMPL), 119, 129 (Monster Toner), & 147
Lot 178: Unopened Box of five GSA 1884-CC Dollars
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Legend Rare Coin Auctions (LRCA), based in Lincroft, NJ, is a boutique-style rare coin auction firm.
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