This remarkable sale from Morphy Auctions, featuring the Shirley & Elmer Pierce Collection, included an outstanding selection of half cents as well as bank notes and ephemera from Lancaster, Pennsylvania area financial institutions
By Morphy Auctions….
Morphy’s October 31 Premier Coin Auction was all treats and no tricks for the hundreds of numismatists participating in the sale. This event featured 828 lots of the world’s most collectible and important local, national, and international currencies – including gold coins and silver dollars – with all denominations and key and semi-key dates represented. When the final hammer fell on this 100% sell-through event, 90 lots realized $1,000 or above, nine lots realized $2,500 or above, and five lots registered over $5,000.
This auction offered lucky collectors an outstanding selection of more than 50 penny and half cent coin buying opportunities. A 1796 United States Liberty Cap half cent, in very good condition, realized $6,500. The right-facing version of this currency was only minted from 1794 through 1797 and is extraordinarily rare. And one collector took a shine to a 1909-S VDB graded wheat cent that realized $2,500. This highly sought-after coin in mint condition features the initials of Victor David Brenner, the designer of the Lincoln cent, and was minted in San Francisco.
Silver dollars were another sterling category in this auction, with more than two dozen examples on offer. A 1796 Small Eagle silver dollar in fine plus condition soared to $9,000. This coin, minted from only from 1795 to 1803, was made from 89.2% silver instead of the traditional 90% due to a silver shortage at the time. And an 1893-S Morgan silver dollar in very good condition realized $4,000, far from small change! Its mark from the San Francisco Mint makes this example much more desirable than similar examples struck in Philadelphia, Carson City, or New Orleans.
Collectors also took a shine to over 100 lots of gold coins featured in this sale. An 1878 United States $3.00 cased gold coin medalled to realize $2,500. This coin was minted from 1854 to 1889 and features Liberty dressed as an Indian princess as part of its unusual design. And a 1799 United States $10 Liberty gold coin found its freedom at $9,000. This extremely fine example was designed by Robert Scot, the first Chief Engraver of the United States Mint.
Cut sheets and bank notes were also high currency contenders in this auction. A 1917 United States Elliot-Burke uncirculated $1 note cut sheet more doubled its high estimate to realize $2,000. A handsomely illustrated, 1875 $10 Ephrata, Pennsylvania charter realized $2,250, while a 1902 Gap, Pennsylvania charter with a distinctive red seal realized $2,750. Both of these Lancaster-area bank notes were initially issued at $10, making them very good investments indeed.
According to Dr. John Morphy, coin expert and lead cataloger for this sale, “It was extraordinary to see such strength across every currency category represented in this auction. 98% of the items were from the Shirley and Elmer Pierce collection, which was expertly curated over almost seven decades. The Pierce family attended the sale and was delighted not only with the financial results, but the outpouring of interest in Elmer’s legacy in the coin-collecting community. Elmer had a particularly good eye for Pennsylvania-area currencies. These also attracted the interest of many local numismatists, who bid enthusiastically for the best examples.”
For more information on Morphy Auctions, please visit www.MorphyAuctions.com.