Legend Rare Coin Auction Preview by Charles Morgan for CoinWeek …..
Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ (LRCA) Regency Auction 43 will be held on February 25 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The sale contains 344 hand-selected lots of certified US coins in all denominations, including multiple condition-census and CAC-certified examples. With lot pre-sale estimate values ranging from a few hundred dollars to more than $100,000, there are coins for collectors of all budgets.
So in a catalog with more than two dozen coins that made my shortlist, I present the following five lots that I think you need to pay special attention to if you are actively collecting these series.
Lot 3: 1806 Draped Bust Half Cent in PCGS MS63 RB CAC
This attractive example of the 1806, Large 6, Stems to Wreath (Cohen-4) variety features an oversized and repunched 6 that touches the drapery covering Liberty’s bust. This feature, plus the stems extending from the wreath on the reverse are diagnostic for the variety. A hoard of Mint State examples, many retaining various degrees of original mint red, were supposedly disposed of by the Chapman brothers around 1906. If that popular story is true, then it’s amazing to think that any quantity of these pieces has survived for nearly a century without suffering significant damage due to the elements.
We say almost a century because it has been posited that the 1806 Cohen-4 variety was actually struck in 1807, using 1806-dated dies. The reported mintage for the year 1806 is 356,000, with almost equal deliveries in September and December. It is posited that many if not all of this issue may have been struck in early 1807.
The PCGS population of this issue in this state is 32 with seven finer, only one of which earned the PCGS RD designation (MS64+). Legend’s $4,500 to $5,000 estimate seems conservative for a coin that survives in such a rare state of copper preservation.
Lot 31: 1995 Lincoln Cent – Doubled Die Obverse – PCGS MS68+ RD CAC
Modern Lincoln cent Set Registry participants may want to take a close look and make a strong bid for this nearly perfect 1995 Doubled Die Obverse variety, graded MS68+RD by PCGS and CAC-approved.
At present, 15 examples comprise PCGS’ population census in this elevated plus grade, with just 16 graded finer. None finer has obtained the CAC green bean. From a cost perspective, the MS68+RD is a strong value, costing 1/5th of the going rate for the nominally better MS69.
The 1995 Doubled Die Obverse is one of the few collectible Memorial Cent-era DDOs that feature naked eye visible doubling, which can be best seen on LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST (most apparent to our eyes on the B and R of LIBERTY and the entire word GOD).
Estimate: $850 – $1,000.
Lot 277: 1934-S Peace Dollar – PCGS MS66+ CAC
One of the finest 1934-S Peace dollars extant, this nearly superb Gem example (misses that designation by half a point) is fully original, mostly brilliant with just a hint of rose-colored tint in isolated non-focal areas.
The 1934-S is the undisputed key to the series. It is the only truly scarce mintmarked issue in the series and in Mint State it is prohibitively rare. Paradoxically, several of the surviving examples in grades MS66 and above are among the most beautiful in the series. With seven strong examples at grade plus a one or two that we have personally viewed at the MS66 level that have been graded some time ago, we wonder how long MS66+ will remain the top pop grade for the issue.
Legend estimates the hammer for this piece will fall between $75,000 and $80,000. This is in line with what a similarly graded example sold at Legend’s December 2019 sale.
Lot 51: 1882 Shield Nickel in PCGS MS67+ CAC
When is the last time you saw a Shield nickel get called out as an auction highlight? For us, it’s been a while.
This example jumped out at us for its impeccable state of preservation and soft, yet intense iridescent toning. The current large plate coin at PCGS.com, this example is struck from a die marriage that includes a failing reverse die. A bold die crack runs from the dentiles at five o’clock through the bottom of TS in STATES before terminating. It is joined by a fainter die crack that runs up through the bottom of CEN. Similar die cracks span almost the entire length of the legend at the top of the design. The obverse has its share of cracks as well.
Die cracks or no, this coin is completely hammered with full detail and should be the coin that fits the Shield nickel slot for an upper-end type set being put together by the discerning collector.
A June 2018 auction saw an example in this grade sell for $26,400. Legend estimates this piece will bring between $24,000 and $28,000.
Lot 292: 1908 Indian Quarter Eagle in PCGS PR67 CAC
Collectors of the period were not on board the United States Mint’s decision to strike matte Proofs in conjunction with the release of several new designs that marked President Theodore Roosevelt’s “Pet Crime” coming to fruition. This implicit bias against these Proofs was short-sighted, in our opinion, as matte and Roman finish Proofs of the early 20th century are among the most beautiful Proof coins ever issued by the United States.
This example, graded PR67, and CAC-approved is a celebration of Bela Lyon Pratt’s fantastic Indian chief design, struck in the incuse Egyptian relief. The typical Mint State scruffiness that exists in the unprotected fields on the reverse is completely absent on this hand-struck and carefully conserved piece.
Legend estimates this example will bring between $55,000 and $65,000.
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