United States rarities saw exceptionally strong bidding activity with numerous record prices achieved in Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Rarities Night session, held on Wednesday, August 16, 2023.
Broadcast live from Griffin Studios, the firm’s state-of-the-art auction facility in Costa Mesa, California, gold coins performed with particular brilliance throughout the session, which realized more than $11 million USD. The 229 high-end American rarities drew fierce bidding from active participants worldwide, with online and phone bidders battling to acquire these numismatic treasures. All prices listed include the 20% buyer’s fee.
Taking top position and shattering the previous record for the issue was lot 5157, the freshly discovered and now finest known 1870-CC $10, graded PCGS AU-58 and approved by CAC. After intense bidding from numerous phone bidders, this historic piece realized $1,080,000.
Other impressive gold coins brought incredibly strong prices, including lot 5113, an 1879 Flowing Hair $4 Stella, graded Proof-67* Cameo by NGC and tied for finest seen by that grading service. This superb example of the perennially popular issue brought a healthy $312,000, attesting to its desirability and outstanding eye appeal.
A trove of classic early “old tenor” half eagles saw extremely active bidding as demonstrated by lot 5125, a near-Gem grade 1815, the second finest known of just a half dozen examples traced to privately held collections, which brought $720,000. Once a part of the Garrett Collection, when this MS-64 PCGS example crossed the block it set a record for that grade and, befitting its status as second-finest known, achieved the second highest price ever recorded for this great rarity.
Half eagles continued to shine as lot 5126, an 1819 $5 BD-1 variety graded PCGS MS-64 CAC, realized a record price of $384,000, surpassing prices achieved even by higher graded examples.
Immediately following, lot 5127 offered another early “old tenor” half eagle, an extraordinary Gem 1830 Large D, graded PCGS MS-66 CAC. Tied for highest graded and the sole finest approved at CAC, this extraordinary Gem realized $420,000, surpassing the $305,500 record price achieved by the MS-66 example offered in the May 2016 Pogue Part IV sale.
But it wasn’t just gold coins that attracted huge prices. Bidding was intense when two newly confirmed and certified Proof Capped Bust coins crossed the block.
Lot 5027, an 1821 B-5 quarter graded Proof-64 by PCGS, exceeded a quarter million dollars at $252,000. Lot 5034, the sole Proof 1828 half dollar from any die marriage, graded PCGS Proof-58, realized $192,000, confirming this offering as an astoundingly rare opportunity for the advanced Bust Half nut.
A Fine-15 1792 half disme, graded by PCGS and approved by CAC, shattered the price records for this highly popular collector grade when lot 5023 brought $120,000!
Among modern rarities, a PCGS MS-63+ RD example of the 1969-S Doubled Die cent, approved by CAC, realized a very healthy $72,000 as lot 5016.
Besides these higlights from the Rarities Night session, view all results from the Stack’s Bowers Galleries August 2023 Global Showcase Auction at StacksBowers.com. For information about consigning to an upcoming sale contact the firm at 800-458-4646 or by email at [email protected].