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Numismatic Quick Hits: ANA National Money Show Auction and a Note on the Passing of Paul Sims

By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek …..

ANA National Money Show Results & Highlights

Dallas, Texas-based Heritage Auctions forwarded us a report on their auction held February 27-28, and March 2, 2014 at this year’s ANA National Money Show. In total, there were 4,731 lots for sale, 99% of which sold for a take of $15,133,260.

Eight coins brought more than $100,000, including three that brought $200,000 or more. The leader was an NGC-graded MS-65 1826 Capped Head half eagle. This issue is generally scarce; NGC population reports have two examples, including this one, in MS-65. PCGS reports nine total grading events, with two in MS-66. The example sold by Heritage brought 17 bids and realized $235,000.

A genuinely rare and exceptionally preserved 1845 proof quarter eagle (Trompeter Specimen) brought $223,250. It was graded by NGC as a PR-67 Ultra Cameo. Thirteen bids were placed for a coin, of which only three are confirmed to have been minted. The coin has strong black on gold contrast and was discovered in a British collection in the 1970s, according to Heritage’s lot description.

1875An 1875 eagle, graded PCGS AU-50, rounds out the trio of $200,000 coins. It received 19 bids and sold for $211,500. Generally considered the stopper in the Liberty $10 gold series, only 100 examples were struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1875. No known examples survive in Mint State, and PCGS and NGC  combined have only graded four examples in AU, including this one. Heritage last sold this same coin for $51,750 in January 2004.

For token and medal collectors, the auction highlight was the sale of a silver 1781 Libertas Americana Medal. Fewer than 60 were struck in silver and the piece, graded PCGS MS-62, brought $108,687.50. The medal took the vaunted number one position in Whitman’s book, 100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens. The present piece is pleasingly toned with a mixture of browns, golds, purple and blue.

In Memoriam: Wilbur “Paul” Sims (1949-2013)

It’s with great personal sadness that we say goodbye to Wilbur Sims, better known in the business as Paul Sims. Sims was a lifelong coin dealer and operated a catalog dealership in Henrico, Virginia, called Yesterday’s Change. When we first started in this industry, Sims was gracious and hospitable, allowing Charles to visit the shop and discuss the history of coin grading and the business landscape for catalog dealerships in the certified coin era.

Sims had been ill for several years before succumbing to cancer on December 31, 2013. He spent his final weeks preparing his son to take over the  business. Charles last spoke with Paul in early December. During that conversation, Sims rather frankly said of his condition, “In two weeks, maybe three, I’ll be gone. Cancer is eating me alive.”

We’d hoped to have one last chance to talk with him, to document the transition from father to son of one of Virginia’s oldest family-run coin dealerships. Unfortunately, that opportunity never came. Sims is survived by his wife, Charlotte; his son and daughter-in-law, Wilbur M. Sims, III and Tara; and two grandchildren. He was 64 years old.

© 2014 Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker

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Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker
Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker
Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker have been contributing authors on CoinWeek since 2012. They also wrote the monthly "Market Whimsy" column and various feature articles for The Numismatist and the book 100 Greatest Modern World Coins (2020) for Whitman Publishing.

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