World’s Preeminent Rare Coin Auction House Makes History with Sale of the Unique ‘1873-CC No Arrows’ Dime from Carson City Mint to Anonymous Bidder at Annual ANA Auction
Leading international rare coin auction house Stack’s Bowers Galleries conducted one of the most highly-anticipated events in numismatic auction history on August 9, 2012, with a record-setting numismatic collection, the Battle Born Collection of Carson City Mint Coinage. The highlight of the night was the coveted ‘1873-CC No Arrows Liberty Seated’ dime, which sold for a record $1.84 million USD – the most expensive dime ever sold at auction. Attended by nearly 250 enthusiasts, collectors, investors and dealers and resulting in nearly $10 million in total sales, the auction of the Battle Born Collection took place as part of the Stack’s Bowers Galleries ‘Rarities Night Auction’ at the American Numismatic Association (ANA) World’s Fair of Money held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
The Unique 1873-CC No Arrows Liberty Seated dime, graded MS-65 by PCGS and pedigreed to the famous Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, is the only example known to exist; it is the “holy grail” among collectors of the extremely popular Carson City Mint. It is now the most expensive circulation strike federal silver coin sold at auction, the most expensive Liberty Seated coin sold at auction, and the most expensive Carson City Mint coin ever sold at auction. “Most coins from the Carson City Mint were used solely for commerce,” says Chris Napolitano, president of Stack’s Bowers Galleries. “The mint existed from 1870-1893, and at that time most people were just trying to survive. Coin collecting was a hobby ill-suited to those forging a new West.” Today, coins from the Carson City Mint are highly valued and widely collected due to their rarity and historical significance. Most Carson City Mint coinage issues were originally produced in very limited numbers, and the surviving coins form an indelible link to the romance and history of the American West. As a unique rarity, the 1873-CC No Arrows dime is of even further importance, and its presence in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries 2012 Philadelphia ANA Auction created additional excitement.
Rusty Goe, chief architect of the Battle Born Collection over the last 11 years, purchased the unique 1873-CC No Arrows dime in 2004 for $891,250 from a Bowers and Merena auction. He later sold it into the Battle Born Collection, thus completing the collection. “The sale of the Battle Born Collection is the most significant event in the history of Carson City Mint coin collecting,” commented Goe. “It sets a new standard of excellence in numismatics, and pays homage to the history, legacy and lore of the famed Carson City Mint. The Battle Born Collection appeals to not only Carson City Mint collectors, in fact, but gold coin enthusiasts, specialists in silver coins such as Liberty Seated and Morgan silver dollars, and more generalized collectors with an appreciation for the history of the coinage of the Old West.” The Battle Born Collection is one of just two complete sets of Carson City Mint coinage ever assembled, and it is the only one ever to be sold intact in one auction. All 111 regular issue Carson City Mint coins were sold as part of the Battle Born Collection, including the legendary and unique 1873-CC No Arrows Liberty Seated dime.
The Battle Born Collection was sold ‘without reserve,’ meaning all 111 coins were sold to the highest bidders. “The sale of this dime was incredibly exciting,” says Napolitano. “People from all around the world participated in the Rarities Night auction, in person, over the phone, and online through the Internet. There were a few bidders continuing their bids after the million-dollar mark, which kept everyone in the room on the edge of their seats. To be a part of this history making occasion of selling the most expensive dime ever sold at auction is nothing short of extraordinary!” The Battle Born Collection, in particular, certainly saw spirited bidding, as the coins in this collection are so rare and desirable that their inclusion in this year’s ANA World’s Fair of Money Auction represented a once-in-a-lifetime bidding opportunity for many Carson City Mint, silver dollar, and gold coin enthusiasts.
Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ official 2012 Philadelphia ANA Auction started on August 4 and ran through August 10. The live auction featured more than 5,500 lots of U.S. coins and paper money, in addition to the approximately 1,300 lots of world paper money and coins presented by Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio.
Stack’s Bowers Galleries is currently accepting consignments for the Official Auction of the November 2012 Whitman Coin and Collectibles Baltimore Expo and the January 2013 Americana Sale. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is also the Official Auctioneer of the August 2013 ANA World’s Fair of Money that will take place in Chicago, and we are currently accepting consignments for that event, as well.
About Stack’s Bowers Galleries
Stack’s Bowers Galleries, a division of Fortune 500 Company Spectrum Group International Inc., was launched in January 2011, combining the extraordinary histories of Stack’s, the oldest rare coin auction and retail company in America, with Bowers and Merena Auctions, one of the world’s pre-eminent auctioneers of rare coins and paper money. The two companies unite to share a combined legacy that spans more than 100 years, and includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable collections to ever cross an auction block – the John. J. Ford, Jr. and Louis E. Eliasberg collections, the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, and the Norweb Collection, to name just a few. Topping off this amazing numismatic history is the inclusion of the world record for the highest price ever realized at auction for a rare coin, the legendary 1933 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle which realized an astounding $7.59 million (sold in partnership with Sotheby’s). The company is headquartered in Irvine, California, with offices in New York, New Hampshire and Hong Kong. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is the Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic conventions, including the ANA World’s Fair of Money pre-show and convention auctions, and the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Expos in Baltimore, three times yearly, and Philadelphia.
$550,000 at the Eliasberg sale in May 1996. Same coin. You do the math. Just under triple value in 16 years. Decent returns at the top end of the coin market, eh?