Heritage Auctions’ 2018 Chicago numismatic events top $38M

This 1836 Classic Head Quarter Eagle sold for $396,000. Heritage Auctions image

DALLAS – Hobby-changing discoveries of World and U.S. coins paced Heritage Auctions’ late April Chicago Coin Expo and Central States Numismatic Society auctions to $38,150,247, registering a 99 percent sell-through rate by value and lot for U.S. coins.


“It’s no exaggeration this season’s auction offered some of the most important discoveries and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to own some of the rarest coins known to exist,” said Greg Rohan, president of Heritage Auctions. “As expected, the hobby didn’t ignore the opportunities and we saw spirited bidding across every numismatic collecting category.”

With offerings spanning United States, World and Ancient coins, and World and U.S. currency, the April 26 through May 2 auctions delivered six-figure sale prices across every category.

The selection of U.S. Coins included an 1836 Classic Head Quarter Eagle – a rare proof specimen carrying the most illustrious pedigree of all of the estimated seven examples known – that sold for $396,000.

The extraordinary 1915-S Panama-Pacific round $50 gold piece sparked lively bidding, which pushed the auction price to $336,000. One of the most memorable lots in the sale was an 1854-S Quarter Eagle, VF35 PCGS, which sold for $264,000, a branch mint gold rarity being one of only 12 specimens left of its kind.

An 1883 Liberty Double Eagle, PR64 Deep Cameo, one of 26 examples certified from the small proof-only mintage of 92 pieces, closed at $204,000, and a matte proof 1911 $10 Indian, PR67 PCGS Secure, CAC, one of only 95 examples struck, proved irresistible to bidders as it sold for $192,000, a signal that demand for matte proofs of the iconic Saint-Gaudens gold shows no signs of cooling any time soon.

Additional top prices for U.S. Coins include:

—$180,000 for a 1796/5 Capped Bust Right Half Eagle, MS62 PCGS Secure. CAC., the earliest gold overdate with provenance to the Eliasberg collection.

—$168,000 for a 1797 O-102 Draped Bust Half Dollar, AU55+, PCGS Secure., the second finest recorded in numismatist Jon Amato’s exhaustive census of the 3,918 coins produced.
—$144,000 for a 1796 Quarter Draped Bust, MS62 PCGS Secure, a proof-like example of the 6,146 struck.

Recently discovered in Maryland, a 1666 3 Speciedaler of Frederik III of Norway, sold for $432,000 to claim top-lot honors among more than 4,000 World and Ancient coin offerings. Until this example surfaced, this date was presumed unique in this denomination, the only known specimen purchased in 1831 and forming part of the Royal Collection in the National Museum of Copenhagen.

A Golden Jubilee 11-Piece Proof Set, NGC, issued in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s 50 years on the throne, sold for $156,000. The set is an extraordinary offering, unmatched in previous auction records.

Currency collectors zeroed in on true “number one notes” (those with the unique and highly collectible Serial No. 1) offered among the more than 5,000 lots of U.S. and World Currency auctioned during CSNS.

A Serial Number 1 $20 1891 Treasury Note PCGS Very Fine 35 sold for $114,000, and a Serial Number 1 1891 $5 Treasury Note PCGS New 62, courtesy autographed by John Burke, Treasurer of the United States appointed in 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson, sold for $102,000.

A spectacular, fully colored $500 1922 Gold Certificate PCGS About New 53 displaying simply delightful eye appeal, sold for $90,000.