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Category: Stacks

Goldberg Coins and Stack’s To Conduct Joint Auction in September 2009

On September 7th 2009, Stack’s Rare Coins of New York City will join Ira and Larry Goldberg Coins and Collectibles in auctioning an incredible old-time collection of Hawaiian coins, medals, and currency, certainly to be the most outstanding offering in our generation. The two firms will present and publicize this remarkable offering, and staff from both companies will conduct the auction at the Crowne Plaza in Beverly Hills, California.

It is not the first time the Goldberg’s and Stack’s have conducted a joint auction. “We worked with Stack’s for the Apostrophe Sales from 1979 through 1990, as well as the Charles Kramer Collection Sale in 1988. All were highly successful sales,” says Larry Goldberg. Christine Karstedt, president of Stack’s, commented “This is one of the most significant specialty sales to be held in American numismatics. The depth and breadth of the offering will provide opportunities for the most advanced specialist as well as to those with a beginning interest.”

The consignor spent many years assembling 50 examples of each coin, where possible, including even the key 1928 commemorative Hawaiian half dollar. He also assembled over 350 Hawaiian notes, comprising large and small size, and obsolete.

There are numerous Hawaiian Proofs in silver, and several of each in copper, most of which are very rare and some of which are incredibly so. In total, there are close to 1000 Hawaiian items in this collection. Some of them have not appeared on the market for many years, creating multiple once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for bidders. Q. David Bowers will introduce as well as catalogue the collection, working with staff experts, which will be presented in a single catalogue, available through both auction firms. The collection will be listed on both companies’ websites for live bidding, and will be listed on I-Collector.com as well.

The Goldbergs and Stack’s look forward to once again working together to auction this fine Hawaii collection.

More information, including online catalogues, will be found on www.goldbergcoins.com and www.stacks.com. The collection will be on display at the ANA Convention in Los Angeles. The collection itself will be on exhibit in New York City and in Beverly Hills at times to be announced. A fine printed catalogue may also be ordered from either firm in the upcoming months.

Stacks Schaumburg Sale June 25th, 2009

The Schaumburg Sale, presented by Stack’s as the official auctioneer of the Mid-America Coin Expo showcases many interesting items as well as the traditional offering of U.S. coinage. The auction starts June 25, 2009 in the Nirvana Room of the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Part I of the Michael K. Ringo Collection of Latin-American Circulating Counterfeit Coinage appears early on, and offers coins from two workhorse genres: the gold coins of the Spanish dominions and their two reales counterparts. Many of these coins are exceedingly rare, and some are simply unique. Highlights here will undoubtedly include the gold alloy 1740 Lima-style contemporary imitation 8 Escudos, and the important 1807 Colombia 8 Escudos counterfeit that was struck over a U.S. Classic Head large cent. Among the selection of two reales counterfeits and imitations is the Quasimodo Head example, so called for its fascinatingly ugly portrait. This specimen is the only one known to Kleeberg, and should sell for a strong sum, so bid accordingly!

Among U.S. coinage, half cents proffer an impressive double struck 1795 C-4 example in the enticing grade of EF-40 BN (PCGS). U.S. cents boast an exceptional 1855 Proof, an N-10, Rarity-5 coin graded Proof-64 RB (PCGS) (CAC), which is immediately followed by a near gem example of the key 1856 Flying Eagle in Proof-64 (PCGS). U.S. minor coinage continues with several nice Proof nickel three cents and a fabulous 1924 Buffalo nickel graded MS-67* by NGC.

One of the most significant pieces offered for sale here is the 1792 half disme. Once part of the Jung Collection, this example of the formidably rare issue is certified as AU-58 by PCGS. Richly toned with a fully complete strike, this coin represents an important opportunity to own one of the most sought-after early coins struck by the United States. It is believed that only 1,500 of these coins were produced in 1792, so examples of these are rare no matter what condition they are in; the present example is all the more attractive for its excellent state of preservation. (more…)

Gold Rarities Soar in Atlanta!

On May 14-15, Stack’s presented The Eldorado Sale in Atlanta, a rightly-termed event that was laden with significant gold rarities. Buttressing this impressive offering was a wealth of more common gold issues, a full complement of U.S. coinage that covered copper and silver issues, as well as medals, tokens, and currency. Prices were strong, particularly so in the gold section (whether it was gold rarities or more mainstream items), a testament to the security gold offers in times of uncertainty. The Eldorado sale proved that even during tough times, collectors are still willing to pay top dollar for rare coins!

Appropriately, Session One began on Thursday evening with U.S. gold issues and boasted an 1856-D gold dollar in AU-53 (PCGS), a coin that was formerly part of the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, and one that sold for $10,350. Quarter eagles provided a solid base of coins as well, with particular emphasis on Dahlonega mint issues. An 1842-D, a rarity in its own right but especially so given its lofty grade of MS-61 (NGC) and one of the five finest coins of that date seen by NGC, brought $46,000. A few lots later appeared the 1853-D, an exciting MS-63 (NGC) example tied for the finest graded by NGC that sold for $37,375.

Half eagles provided bidders with many excellent opportunities, and clients seized ones like the 1803/2 Capped Bust $5. The coin, graded MS-63 by ANACS, and was sharply struck with lovely reflective fields and frosted devices; the bidding climbed to $20,700 before the lot closed. Other treats included an incredible 1855 in MS-64 (PCGS) (CAC), one of the four finest seen by PCGS, that made its way to $17,250 before the hammer fell. Ten dollar gold coins offered a nice spread and finished off with a mini-hoard of 1926 Indian $10’s, most of which were in the Gem category.

Double eagles came to the fore, offering over 150 lots that included selections from the Palm Beach Collection and also tendered the two highest realizations of the entire sale. The first of these was a recently discovered specimen of the extremely rare 1854-O. Certified as VF-30 by PCGS and awarded a green CAC sticker, this coin is one of maybe 25 to 35 survivors and represents a significant accomplishment for the advanced collector; this tremendous rarity sold for a hefty price of $195,500.

The second highest realization also appeared in this section in the form of the gorgeous gem 1924-D graded MS-65 (PCGS). Likely one of the very finest surviving pieces, it took $57,500 to secure this coin. Sandwiched in between these two highlights were other important opportunities-the 1891 AU-55 (PCGS) example was one of them; this classic rarity was knocked down for $35,650 after active bidding. Among Saint-Gaudens double eagles, two examples of the MCMVII (1907) High Relief design stood out. The first was the Flat Rim variety in MS-64 (NGC) that sold for $25,588 and the second was the Wire Rim variety graded MS-63 (PCGS) that brought $21,275. Rounding out the section of $20 gold pieces was an impressive 1929 example graded MS-64 by PCGS that realized $35,650. (more…)

The Firth of Clyde Collection of Scottish Coins

Stack’s April 22-23, 2009 Rosemont, Illinois Sale

Stack’s is proud to present the Firth of Clyde Collection of Scottish Coins for public auction on April 23, 2009 in Rosemont, Illinois. This extensive collection provides a fascinating cross section of Scottish history that spans the 13th through the 18th centuries, with a nicely balanced selection of both gold and silver issues.

Firth of Clyde Collection of Scottish CoinsThe 15th and 16th century coinage offered here provides a particularly exciting opportunity, with some of the most historic and beautiful pieces of the collection hailing from this time period. To describe this collection as merely significant is to vastly understate its importance—the Firth of Clyde Collection represents a unique opportunity to acquire high quality examples from the rarest series in the Scottish numismatic legacy.

This collection is studded with formidable rarities from every significant time period, beginning with William I, “the Lion,” and his reign from 1165 to 1214. Laden with early issues from the 13th and 14th centuries, the offering includes a scarce Halfpenny of John Baliol, an important historical figure whose demise helped to inspire the famous William Wallace.

This Halfpenny, choice for the series, is a rare variety within this scarce type and features a solid portrait. Issues of Robert III, the son of Robert II who founded the Stuart dynasty that would retain a solid hold on power until the death of Anne in 1714, feature a pair of historic Gold Lions. The first is an attractive About Very Fine example from the heavy coinage period, and the second, a lovely example from the light coinage period, is also in About Very Fine condition. (more…)

Unique Ancient Coin Die Tiberius, 14-37 A.D.

Ancient Coin DieWhile browsing the upcoming Stacks  Saint Ludovico and Firth of Clyde Collections  auction catalog set to commence on April 22-23rd at the Doubletree Hotel Chicago in Rosemont , Ill., we cam across a most unusual and unique item we wanted to highlight on CoinLink.

Occasionally numismatic items appear that few have ever seen, and actual production dies are one of these, however a die used to strike ancient coins is an even rarer item.

Below is some background on  unique example of an ancient coin die used to strike  a Tribute Penny – Denarius of the mint of Lugdunum, and perhaps the first known evidence of early coin brockage.

We hope you find this as interesting as we have.

The Stacks Catelog states the following:

Side view of ancient coin die“A Unique Die for a Tribute Penny – Denarius of the mint of Lugdunum. An official die with the obverse of a denarius stuck on the top. Laureate head r.; TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS. 161.16 grams. Height: 36.8mm, circumference: 31.4mm at its widest.

In Catalogue des Monnaies de l’Empire Romain, Tiberius- Nero (Paris, 1988), Jean-Baptiste Giard listed 12 known dies, 11 of which having been found in the Lugdunum (Lyon) area (an area of 200km).

Four were found in 1863 at Paray-le-Monial (Saone-et-Loire) and are now in museums. Six were unearthed in Auxerre (Yonne) in 1799, four of which are now at he Cabinet des Médailles de la BnF; the other two reside at the Musee monétaire de la Monnaie de Paris. And one was found at Vertault (Côte d’or).

This die come from an old collection in Poule-les-Echarmaux (Rhône), which is in the same area. (more…)

Stack’s Sells Millions in Baltimore!

Last week, Stack’s concluded its three-day sale of the Entlich, White Oak, Gross, and St. Andre Collections in Baltimore. This extensive, almost 4,000 lot sale took place over March 23-25, and touched on many aspects of the numismatic field. From coins and medals to tokens, paper money, and printing plates, this sale generated significant realizations in each and every category.

Stacks March 2009 Baltimore SaleSession One covered U.S. coinage from Colonial and Early American issues up through half dollars, as well as commemoratives and error coins. A nice run of early Massachusetts silver coins led the way, with a lovely 1652 Oak Tree shilling in an AU-55 (PCGS) (CAC) holder getting the ball rolling at $12,650. Some one hundred lots later found bidders vying for a wonderful 1787 Massachusetts Horned Eagle cent graded MS-64 BN, which eventually clocked in at an impressive $17,250.

United States minor coinage boasted many important rarities, such as the Gem Matte Proof 1909 V.D.B. cent, certified as Proof-65 RB by NGC, which climbed to a stunning $25,300 before its closing. A marvelous selection of Buffalo nickels was highlighted by the nearly Uncirculated 1916 Doubled Die Obverse example. This rarity, a true prize for the nickel specialist, was graded AU-55 by PCGS and was eventually awarded to a lucky phone bidder for $51,750. Other Buffalo nickels were “hot tickets” to the extreme—action all over the place! Quarter dollars were another important section of this sale, and claimed one of the highest realizations of the entire auction. The gorgeous 1927-S, graded an astounding MS-66 FH by PCGS and tied for the finest graded, sold for an incredible $149,500 when all was said and done. For this and many other items, the record books will have to be rewritten! (more…)

Stack’s The Entlich, White Oak, Gross, St. Andre, and York Collections, Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore is the location for another landmark Stack’s auction, beginning on Monday, March 23, 2009 at 1:00pm. This auction sale spans an incredible nearly 4,000 lots, covering coins, medals, tokens, plates, and paper money along the way. Well over one hundred consignors participated in this heavily laden sale, and between them, their items cover all of the major numismatic categories. To begin with the headline collections, the Bob Entlich Collection features a wide-ranging group of Colonial and U.S. coins as well as a nice assortment of paper money. The White Oak Collection, a superb and high quality gathering of New York City, Borough, and Upstate obsolete notes, private and municipal scrip, and fiscal paper, provides a fascinating panorama of banking and financial history of New York City after the Revolutionary War.

The Richard Gross Collection is another major feature of this auction sale, and provides a healthy, well-rounded offering of U.S. coins, medals, Washington pieces, and so-called dollars. Other highlights include the St. Andre Collection of U.S. double eagles, a fairly comprehensive set of Liberty Head and Saint-Gaudens types. The set includes examples of the rare 1860-O, 1861-O, 1866-S No Motto, 1870-CC, and 1920-S, among other issues. The York Collection, featured in a separate catalogue, boasts a very nearly complete set of Continental Currency. This collection contains many condition rarities and notes that are the finest graded or tied for finest graded by third-party services.

View the current On-line Catalog here

Strawberry Leaf 1793 Cent Sells for $862,500: An Auction Record for a Copper Coin

by Greg Reynolds for CoinLink

On Monday, Jan. 5, 2009, the finest of four known Strawberry Leaf cents was auctioned in Orlando by Stack’s. In 1793, half cents and large cents became the first mass-produced coins of the U.S. Mint. Large cents (pennies) of the 1790s are a little larger than quarters are now, and half cents are greater in diameter than five cent nickel coins are now.

Strawberry Leaf Cent of 1793The Strawberry Leaf Cent of 1793 is a readily apparent variety that tends to be listed in guides as if it is a separate date, and is thus needed for a date-set (as opposed to a variety set) of early large cents. Curiously, during this first year, three design types of cents were minted: Chain Cents, Wreath Cents and Liberty Cap Cents. Strawberry Leaf Cents are Wreath Cents, as a head of Miss Liberty with flowing hair is on the obverse (front of the coin) and a distinct wreath is on the reverse (back of the coin: tail). In general, 1793 Wreath Cents are not particularly rare. More than two thousand exist, of all varieties. Strawberry Leaf 1793 Wreath Cents, however, are obviously different from typical 1793 Wreath Cents.

The main difference is that there is a leaf between the year 1793 and the head of Miss Liberty. Researchers have suggested that this leaf may not truly be of the likeness of a leaf from a Strawberry plant. Regardless of the true nature of the leaf, this coin issue, by tradition, is referred to as the ‘Strawberry Leaf Cent,’ and this name is likely to be used for the foreseeable future.

There are more than three hundred different die varieties of early large cents, which were minted from 1793 to 1814. A die is a metal cylinder with design elements engraved and/or punched into one end. To produce coins, an obverse (front) die and a reverse (tail) die are employed in a mechanical press to impart designs on prepared, blank, round pieces of metal. In the early years of the U.S. Mint, there were often considerable differences among dies. Sometimes, these differences are dramatic. Now, pairs of dies for the same date and type are almost identical. (more…)

Stack’s Discovers New Wood’s Hibernia Obverse

1722 Wood's Hibernia Halfpenny die varietyA small grouping of miscellaneous early U.S. federal and colonial coinage consigned to Stack’s has yielded a heretofore unknown 1722 Wood’s Hibernia Halfpenny die variety. This discovery is only the second such new variety uncovered since the 2007 release of Sydney F. Martin’s landmark reference on the Wood’s Hibernia series entitled The Hibernia Coinage of William Wood (1722-1724). Martin’s research on this series is amazingly extensive, and has opened up a wealth of previously unpublished information to the numismatic community.

This new discovery couples Martin’s C.1 reverse with a previously unlisted obverse. The new obverse (which Martin has given the designation 4.105) most closely resembles obverses 4.1, 4.71, 4.81, and 4.87, however the positioning of the lettering and stops in the legend in relation to key areas of the bust of George I clearly differentiate this new die.

The coin in question is graded Extremely Fine-40 by Stack’s and will be offered in the upcoming January 13-14, 2009 Americana Public Auction Sale. This marvelous auction will contain a number of highly important consignments including The Brian Danforth Collection of Rosa Americana, Wood’s Hibernia, Saint Patrick, and other Colonial Coinages, The John W. Adams Collection of Medallic Distinctions Awarded to North American First Peoples, U.S. Medals from the Western Reserve Historical Society, Selections from the Estate of Michael K. Ringo, A Comprehensive Collection of Connecticut Coppers from a Northeastern Collector, The Don Dorward Collection of U.S. Coins, and The Brejente Collection of U.S. Medals, and The White Oak Collection, to mention only a selection of the top consignors. Also included in this marvelous sale are offerings of early glassware and silver, an important collection of Feuchtwanger’s Hard Times Era Tokens, over 500 lots of additional medals and tokens, as well as many other wonderful consignments of U.S. federal and colonial coinage.

It is also interesting to note that although the consignor of this esteemed coin has been a customer of Stack’s for decades and had a keen affinity for early U.S. federal and colonial coinage (particularly Draped Bust and Flowing Hair Silver Dollars including a 1794 Silver Dollar offered in an earlier Stack’s auction), the Wood’s piece in question is the only such coin of that series contained in his collection. (more…)

December 2008 Coin Galleries Auction Sale By Stack’s

House of Tudor. Henry VIII, 1509-1547. Gold Crown of the Double RoseThe December Coin Galleries auction is an  immensely popular mail and internet bid sale held four times a year by the foreign department of Stack’s. Over 3,000 lots await your perusal, and span every category from ancient, medieval, and world coins, to medals, tokens, orders and decorations, and to U.S. coins and currency. Even some mineral specimens are included! The sale will close on Wednesday, December 17 at 3:00pm, so be sure to place your bids well beforehand.

Ancient coins lead the way with a healthy dose of both Greek and Roman issues. The Theban Stater depicting the infant Herakles is just one of the many rare and high quality coins offered in this section. Other highlights include the splendid Divus Augustus/Caligula dual portrait Denarius in near Extremely Fine condition, and the beautiful Nero as Caesar Aureus that appears several lots later.

Medieval issues follow ancient coins, and offer an impressive array of English issues. Chief among these is the breathtaking Henry VIII and Jane Seymour Gold Double Rose Crown graded MS-63 by NGC. This specimen combines majestic beauty with an exciting sense of history. The Tudor dynasty, so infamously represented by Henry VIII, has as of late become a great source of popular interest; the present coin is a tangible reminder of those turbulent times. Another beautiful example of medieval artistic design is the French Agnel d’or of Philippe V in Extremely Fine condition.

World coins comprise over 500 lots and present exciting opportunities to acquire significant issues. German States coinage offers several handsome Taler Klippes, as well as a very rare 1745 Ducat from Speyer. The English James I Pattern Sovereign in silver in Good Fine is an excellent chance to obtain an extremely rare coin. Other interesting opportunities include a large offering (just shy of 100 lots!) of mostly one ounce Chinese gold pandas. (more…)

New Auction Records Set at Stack’s CoinFest Sale!

The Bunker Hill Bank, Charlestown, Massachusetts. Two Dollars. 1850's-1860's. Proof. About Uncirculated.On November 7, Stamford, Connecticut played host to the second annual CoinFest show, the largest regional coin show in the New York metropolitan area. Stack’s, the official auctioneer of the event, proudly showcased The Haverford Collection. This sale featured two exciting collections of U.S. paper money, along with a nice selection of U.S. coins to complete this well-rounded offering.

Up first was the Haverford Collection, a diverse and high quality group of obsolete proof notes that sent prices soaring to an all-time high. Breaking records at every turn, the sale of the Haverford collection proved that the market for obsolete proof notes, as well as other specialized paper money niches, is more robust than ever. The auction room was a veritable hive of activity, with no opportunity to be missed as this superb collection crossed the block. The handsome $2 proof on the Bunker Hill Bank from Charlestown, MA was one such record-breaker, closing for an impressive $5,462.50. Thirty lots later, the fabulous New York City Mechanics’ Bank $500 proof note set a new record at $9,775.

There were several other record-breaking realizations from the Haverford Collection, like the $5 red color proof on the Franklin Bank of Baltimore, MD that garnered $4,887.50 when the lot finally closed. High denomination proofs were also avidly sought, as evidenced by the $500 proof from the Exchange Bank of Pittsburgh that set the new price level at $4,312.50. (more…)

Unusual Items: Unique “Six Cents” Coin

1859 pattern cent. P-3188.An amazing “six-cents” coin, with the obverse of the 1859 Indian cent impressed on the obverse of an 1857 half dime with some of the star, date, and Liberty details visible beneath the Indian type; the reverse, though somewhat flattened, is of the host 1857 half dime.

Called Unique by Pollock in his reference on the series, and no other example has been rumored to exist since the publication of that volume in the 1990s.

At the uspatterns.com website, site director Saul Teichman is of a different opinion: “Although listed as an obverse die trial in silver for the 1859 Indian head cent struck over a struck 1857 half dime planchet, it is more likely a mint error in which the struck half dime ended up on top of blank cent planchet resulting in the striking seen above [the present coin is pictured at the website]. The half dime’s date can be seen in the field to the left of the Indian’s face under the STA in STATES.”

Indeed, the PCGS holder states “Mint Error.” A known entity that has been around for some time; perhaps Judd considered this a piece to be a “Mint Error,” and thus did not list it in his seminal work the pattern series.

Anyway you slice it, the present specimen is unique. PCGS Population: 1; no others certified in any grade.

Seavey, Parmelee Collection; Superior’s February 1974, Ruby Collection Lot 1988A; Bowers & Merena, April 1986 Lot 2209.

The Coin is being offered at Auction in Stack’s sale of “The Keusch, Snow & Del Zorro Collections” to be held on November 18-19 in Baltimore, MD.

Stack’s, The Official Auctioneer of CoinFest

State of Vermont. February 1781. One Shilling and Three PenceStack’s sale of The Haverford Collection, is an auction event that has been rightly called a “boutique” sale. This sale, sold in conjunction with the CoinFest show in Stamford, Connecticut, may be of modest size, but presents a respectable, high quality spread of numismatic material. Two significant collections of U.S. paper money are joined by a healthy dose of U.S. coinage to form this excellent auction sale; opportunities abound, so be on the lookout for your chance to add something new to your collection!

Obsolete currency, a rapidly growing field of interest in numismatic circles, is up first. The sale’s namesake, the Haverford Collection, leads off the sale and is composed of a wonderful offering of obsolete currency proofs. One such item is an Uncirculated State Phoenix Bank $10 proof note from the 1830s. Printed on India paper and with the appearance of a fabulous gem proof, this note is of an earlier style, but with a later imprint, an interesting anomaly. Another important opportunity presents itself in the form of the very rare State Bank of Washington proof $20 note. With only a few proofs known to exist from this quintessential Washington title, this is an excellent chance to acquire one such note from one of Washington’s oldest banks.

From obsolete currency, we move into the Thomas F.X. O’Mara collection, an impressive gathering of postage and fractional currency-related scrip, mimics and look-alikes, and advertising notes. Notables include an historic John Ridell New Orleans one cent scrip that once graced the John J. Ford, Jr. collection and a rare Lahr’s Exchange House, St. Paul, Minnesota Fourth Issue look-alike 25¢ scrip.

Continental and colonial currency also presents several enticing pieces, including a beautiful May 10, 1775 marbled border $20 note that is graded Extremely Fine and has undergone some expert restoration, and a fantastic June 1765 Faneuil Hall lottery ticket signed by John Hancock in Extremely Fine condition. A rare State of Vermont 1781 One Shilling and Three Pence note is certain to attract attention when it comes up for sale, as it is believed that there are less than 200 of these notes in existence. This particular example is well printed and in superior condition, exhibiting, as do nearly all Vermont state bills, some light conservation.

After these wonderful collections of U.S. paper money, we proudly offer a notable selection of U.S. coins for your bidding pleasure. A stunning 1724 Wood’s Hibernia halfpenny takes center stage, and justifiably so at the impressive MS-65 BN (NGC) level. Appearing not long after is a superb 1863 three cent silver graded an incredible MS-67 by NGC. (more…)

Stack’s Autumn Sale Nets over $2 Million!

Two weeks ago, Stack’s held its annual Autumn Sale, a carefully selected group of coins geared towards both the advanced collector and the budding numismatist. The Autumn Sale took place on September 24, 2008 in New York and proffered an impressive offering of U.S. coins that featured many classic rarities as well as a nice selection of more affordable numismatic properties.

A pleasing assortment of popular and affordable colonial issues paved the way for a sharp 1793 Wreath cent that had the details of an EF-45 or better coin; it brought a strong $19,550, an excellent start to the sale. Minor coinage performed admirably as well, and highlights included a lovely toned 1820 JR-2 dime in MS-65 (NGC). With only seven pieces certified as finer by NGC, this coin was well-suited for inclusion in an advanced early dime or U.S. type set, and surely found an appropriate home after hitting a top bid of $10,350.

Colorfully toned coins continued to prove popular, and when an 1818/5 quarter, an MS-65 (NGC) example that is among the finest graded by that grading service, crossed the block, it sold for an impressive $23,000. Eight lots later, a fabulous Proof 1846 quarter, a sought-after rarity in any grade but especially so at this lofty Proof-65 (NGC) level, took center stage and reigned in $23,000. The rare 1916 Standing Liberty quarter, essential to any serious collector of the series, debuted in Mint State and, while not perfect, still brought $10,925.

Half dollars also showcased several important pieces, like the rare 1874-CC Arrows issue. The specimen here was graded AU-58 by PCGS and was awarded a green CAC sticker. Clearly collectors were of like mind, as it took $23,000 to secure this lot. An MS-63 (PCGS) (CAC) example of the 1921-D Walking Liberty half dollar, one of the most difficult dates to obtain from this series, was another highlight from the half dollar selection and sold for $16,100 when the lot closed. (more…)

Stacks’ Star-Studded 73rd Anniversary Sale October 22nd

Stacks 73rd Anniversary SaleOn October 22, 2008, Stack’s will proudly celebrate its 73rd anniversary in true Stack’s fashion-by offering an absolutely stunning array of U.S. coin rarities for public auction. From colonial coins to double eagles, the 73rd Anniversary sale presents unbeatable rarities at every twist and turn from start to finish.

Of particular note is an extraordinary museum-quality collection of Proof gold coins, featuring the A. Rockford Cummings Collection. The grouping is comprised of coins from every denomination of gold coinage, and contains many ultra high-grade pieces, in addition to many pieces offered in the more affordable middle Proof grades.

This collection represents a highly significant opportunity for the Proof gold specialist or the collector searching to add premium quality coins to an advanced type set.

The 73rd Anniversary sale will begin precisely at 1:30pm in Stacks’ auction gallery at 110 West 57th Street in New York City.

Session One: Colonials through Proof Sets

Session One of this exciting sale begins with Colonial and Early American coins, with several important rarities highlighted. A 1652 Massachusetts Pine Tree shilling graded AU-53 (PCGS) (CAC), and a remarkable 1776 Continental dollar in Pewter graded MS-62 (PCGS) are just two highlights from this section that will surely attract marked attention and spirited bidding. The last hurrah for early American coinage comes in the form of a magnificent 1792 pattern disme in copper graded AU-55 (PCGS) (CAC) and hailing from the Norweb Collection.

U.S. minor coinage serves up some major rarities amid a nice assortment of more affordable, yet still high quality, coins. A lustrous 1795 half cent graded AU-55 BN (PCGS) sets the tone straightaway, and a wonderful Proof-65 (NGC) 1856 Flying Eagle cent follows closely. Buffalo nickel specialists are in for a treat, with a rare 1918/7-D example offered in AU-55 (PCGS) (CAC), as well as a fantastic 1937-D 3-Legged example graded MS-66 by NGC.

A wide range of U.S. half dimes is unquestionably epitomized by a stunning 1797 16 Stars half dime, formerly from the Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection. To find a coin finer than this specimen would be difficult indeed, but to find it in combination with such an illustrious pedigree would be virtually impossible! (more…)

Coin Galleries Sale Takes in Nearly $2 Million!

 RUSSIA. Paul I, 1796-1801.  5 Rubles, 1800Stacks’ most recent auction, a mail and internet bid only sale run by Coin Galleries (the foreign department of the auction powerhouse), represented a veritable melting pot for the numismatic community to dip into. The highly eclectic offering featured over 3,000 lots of coins, medals, tokens, orders and decorations, and paper money and highlighted several specialized collections that catered to a wide spectrum of numismatic interests.

Up first was the Bay State Collection, an interesting and wide-ranging collection of ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine coinage formed primarily in the 1930s and 40s and focusing on historical importance and rarity. The collection as a whole performed solidly, with consistent prices across the board. A superb Ulysses Denarius struck in 82 B.C. secured a total of $3,565 in bids when the lot closed. Immediately following was a healthy section of ancient coins that hailed from several different collections, and showcased a wide array of scarcer issues and several important rarities. Of particular note was a very pleasing Athenian Archaic Tetradrachm (or “Owl,” so called because of the reverse portrait of a standing owl) that saw strong bidding and sold for $18,400. Roman issues also boasted some rarities of their own, with a very rare Denarius of Gnaeus Pompey Junior as Imperator topping out at $8,625.

Following Ancient coins, the sale moved into World coins, where collectors had the chance to delve into two highly specialized collections. The first was one of the largest offerings of Axumite coinage (plus later patterns and Ethiopian medals) that Coin Galleries has ever offered in the past, and the second was a special offering of coins, medals, tokens, and paper money from Denmark and her former possessions, most notably Greenland and the Danish West Indies. An extremely rare, high grade, and complete set of Øresund tokens (probably the finest known of its kind) stole the limelight and garnered $8,050 worth of bids.

World Coins were punctuated by several impressive performances from the English, German, and Polish camps. Included among these was an elegant, well struck James I English Rose-ryal that sold for $13,800, and a lovely Russo-Polish 50 Z?oytch from Tsar Alexander I that was highly sought after and brought a remarkable $12,075. (more…)

Stack’s Autumn Sale Boasts Array of U.S. Rarities

1865 Proof-67 (NGC) 3 Cent SilverOn September 24, 2008, Stack’s will present the Autumn Sale, a diverse offering of U.S. coins that features selections from the Bunting, the M.N. Davis, and the Frank Ford, Jr. collections. Beginning at 1:00 pm in Stack’s own auction gallery at 110 West 57th Street in New York City, the Autumn Sale could be rightly termed a “collector’s sale,” for it offers many exciting rarities that are supported by a broad base of high quality, more mainstream coins.

Colonial and early American coins lead off our sale in the traditional fashion and take us straight into early Federal issues. Notable among these coins is a solid example of a 1793 half cent in VF-20 (PCGS). A well-loved rarity, the 1793 half cent has always been heavily pursued by collectors; the present coin is an excellent example that will fit nicely into any serious half cent collection. Minor coinage continues to impress, with a beautiful 1865 silver 3¢ piece graded Proof-67 by NGC. With only one coin certified as finer by NGC, this example is likely one of the finest known examples on the market today.

U.S. half dimes and dimes offer an admirable selection of coins to choose from, including a 1795 half dime in MS-62 (PCGS), as well as a fabulous 1921-D Mercury dime graded MS-67 FB by NGC. With no coins certified finer by NGC, and no examples certified finer than MS-66 FB by PCGS, this coin represents the utmost in quality and is certainly among the finest survivors of the series. Quarters and half dollars also provide the bidder with good opportunities to acquire major U.S. rarities, as well as the chance to add some more affordable coins to your collection. Highlights here include a richly toned Ex Ashland City 1846 Proof quarter graded Proof-65 (NGC) and a rare 1874-CC Arrows half dollar graded AU-58 (PCGS) (CAC), in addition to the splendid variety of early half dollars offered in between.

Silver dollars will surely be a source of much bidding activity, with an outstanding selection of nice (and affordable!) early dollars offered in the lower grades, punctuated by many high-grade pieces like a 1797 B-1 Draped Bust dollar in AU-55 (PCGS) and a 1799/8 15 Stars Reverse specimen in MS-61 (NGC). Also to note is an exceptional 1803 B-5 dollar graded MS-63 by NGC, a coin that is among the top survivors of both the date and die variety. (more…)

Sale Takes Collectors on a Numismatic Odyssey

View the Stacks Sale Taking Place September 10th

Stack's Coin Galleries SaleCoin collectors are in for an eclectic and fascinating Numismatic odyssey when they turn the pages of the upcoming Coin Galleries September 10th Mail and Internet Bid Sale. Packed inside the hefty catalog of over 3,000 lots of coins, medals, tokens, Orders and Decorations, and paper money is an old-time collection of Ancient Greek and Roman coins; specialized offerings of Axumite and Ethiopian, Danish coins and Danish possessions; an extensive run of Russian coins; a host of Bryan Money; selections from the Michael Ringo Collection and much more.

Billowing the sails of the Ancient section is the Bay State Collection of Greek and Roman coins which was formed largely in the 1930s and 1940s. Among its broad spectrum of Roman Republican and Imperatorial coins is a very rare Oath-taking Denarius of the Marsic Confederation issued during the Social Wars (Lot 205), and an important Caesar Aureus Overstrike (Lot 287).

Greek highlights include a Celtic Gold Stater of the Veneti with its intriguing chariot drawn by a human-headed horse (Lot 501); a magnificent Rhegion Tetradrachm, struck ca. 415/410-387 B.C. (Lot 521); and a finely-styled Archaic Athenian Tetradrachm (Lot 578). Additional Roman Rarities include a Choice “Spanish Homage” Denarius of Gnaeus Pompey Junior as Imperator, struck in Corduba, 46-45 B.C. (Lot 654) and an Asia mint-issue Sestertius of Augustus, struck ca. 25 B.C. which features a superb portrait of the architect of the Roman Empire.

Following the Ancient section is a collection of Coins and Medals of Ethiopia. Here, collectors will joyfully find one of Coin Galleries largest offerings of Axumite coins to date (e.g. Lot 799), a pleasing selection of Menelik II coins, including Patterns and Ethiopian Medals (e.g. Lot 830, Lot 829). (more…)

Landmark Stack’s Sale Nets Over $20 Million!

1804 25C On July 27-28, 2008, Stack’s conducted the sale of the Samuel J. Berngard and the Treasure Coins of the S.S. New York in a crowded auction room in the Pier 5 Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. Everyone present, bidders and consignors alike, agreed that the sale was an unqualified success, with more than $20 million worth of coins, tokens, and other numismatic items crossing the auction block.

Colonial issues got the sale up and running, with a stunning 1776 Continental dollar graded MS-63 by NGC weighing in at $126,500 and setting the bar for the rest of what was sure to be an incredible event. Early federal issues were strongly represented by a lovely selection of half cents and large cents. Highlights included a magnificent 1796 With Pole half cent graded MS-63 BN by PCGS, which realized $253,000, and a spectacular 1793 Chain AMERICA cent in MS-64 BN (NGC) (pedigreed all the way back to 1866!) that sold for a whopping $207,000. Only minutes later, a near-Gem 1793 Wreath cent graded MS-64 BN (PCGS) climbed its way to $149,500 before the hammer fell.

A diverse selection of minor coinage made up the balance of the first session of this spectacular sale. The popular Copper Restrike 1861 CSA cent in Proof-63 BN (PCGS) brought $26,450 and the rare 1914-D Lincoln cent graded MS-65 RB (PCGS) realized $10,350, as did the finest graded 1872 two cents in MS-66 (NGC). An awesome MS-65 (NGC) 1796 dime made waves when it sold for $92,000 after competitive bidding. The quarter dollars boasted several dazzling rarities. A gorgeously toned 1804 MS-64 (PCGS) quarter dollar found its way to $253,000 before finding a new home, an 1855-S Arrows graded MS-64 by PCGS brought $46,000, and a truly exceptional 1903 Proof-68 Ultra Cameo (NGC) sparkled all the way up to $23,000 before bidding ceased. The end of the first session was capped off by a wonderful 1911 gold type set. This four-piece set was graded from Proof-65 to Proof-67 by NGC, and realized an impressive $207,000 when the last paddle was in the air. (more…)

Pre-ANA Auctions Preview, Part III of III: Silver Dollars & Gold Coins

by Greg Reynolds for CoinLink

This is the third part of a series of articles on coins in the auctions that will be conducted before the ANA Convention begins on July 30th in Baltimore.

AU 1795 Bust Dollar offered by StacksThe first issue of U.S. silver dollars in 1794 is very famous. B&M will be offering a PCGS graded Fine-15 1794 dollar. In the Superior sale, there is a 1794 dollar that is authenticated, though not graded, by the PCGS. It may have serious problems, but is still worth a great deal as there probably are fewer than one hundred and fifty 1794 dollars in existence, and many thousands of collectors demand bust dollars.

Stack’s is offering eight 1795 dollars, three of the Flowing Hair type and five of the Draped Bust type. Superior is offering two of the Flowing Hair type and one of the Draped Bust type. B&M is offering one of each. Someone who cannot afford a 1794 dollar may be able to acquire a reasonably priced 1795 dollar in Baltimore.

Though rare die varieties of silver dollars have been ‘in the news’ over the past couple of years, there is not space here for a discussion of die varieties, or even for a description of one. Those who are interested may wish to learn about the Robert Hesselgesser collection of bust dollars by die variety. It is ranked number one in the PCGS registry and images of Hesselgesser’s coins may be studied at the PCGS website. Some of Hesselgesser’s bust dollars will be on display at the Goldbergs’ table at the ANA Convention.

In the B&M pre-ANA auction, there will be offered a rare die variety of a Draped Bust, Small Eagle 1797 dollar. It is PCGS graded AU-50 and among the finest known of its particular variety.

Although none of the pre-ANA auctions are landmark sales of bust dollars, Stack’s is offering a considerable selection of circulated bust dollars and B&M is offering some notable, high-grade bust dollars, including both a 1799 and an 1800 that are each NGC graded MS-63. Additionally, an 1839 Gobrecht dollar that is NGC certified Proof-63 will ‘come on the block.’

A significant number of scarce or rare Liberty Seated dollars will be auctioned before the ANA Convention begins. Liberty Seated silver dollars of 1851 and 1852 are very rare. Indeed, each may be extremely rare. Stack’s will auction two 1851s, one of which is NGC graded MS-61 and three 1852s that are NGC certified Proof-64 Restrike, AU-58 and MS-62, respectively. The 1853 dollar is almost rare, and Superior is auctioning an 1853 dollar that is NGC graded MS-64.

Both Stack’s and B&M are offering several Proof Liberty Seated Dollars. One of those in the B&M sale is an 1859 that is NGC certified Proof-67. For those who wish to spend considerably less money for a Proof 1959, Superior is selling one that is PCGS certified Proof-64. The catalogue image of the Proof 1870 dollar in the B&M sale suggests that it might be an exceptionally attractive coin, though I do not draw conclusions solely from images. (more…)

Choice Mint State 1796 Half Cent in Stacks Sale

1796 Half CentHalf cents of 1796 are true rarities, basic and foundational. Not “condition rarities” that might be elusive (until more are found) in some high grade and common in others. Instead, the half cents of this date are part of the basic structure of American numismatics.

There are two varieties, With Pole, as here offered, and the even rarer Without Pole. The present coin is a marvelous Choice Uncirculated example, MS-63. It might be significant to mention that the Louis E. Eliasberg Collection specimen had a Good-6 obverse and an About Good-3 reverse. We estimate that perhaps 100 or so are known, nearly all of which are in low grades. It is always an occasion when an example crosses the auction block.

Mint reports indicate 115,480 half cents were struck during the calendar year 1796. Current estimates place the mintage of 1796-dated half cents at 1,390 coins. As with most denominations in the early days of our Mint, the calendar year production is not always the same as the production of a given coinage date. Dies were used until they no longer were serviceable regardless of the year for which they were dated. Perhaps the most famous instance of this is an obverse die for a 1795-dated half eagle kept in storage and first used circa 1797. Numismatic scholarship has untangled a lot of such knots. Likely, most of the half cents struck in 1796 were from dies dated 1795. Similar confusion exists for the mintage figure of the 1796 silver dollar, an analysis of which is presented in Dave Bowers’ Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars: A Complete Encyclopedia, 1993.

Half cents of 1796 are mentioned with frequency in the annals of American numismatics. In Hobbies magazine, January and February 1935, veteran dealer Thomas L. Elder told of two examples, described as “Proof” (no Proofs were ever made, but the coins must have been nice!) found by Henry C. Miller, whose name is remembered today for his attribution numbers for 1785-1788 Connecticut copper coins: (more…)

Superb Gem 1879 $4 Stella – In aluminum

1879 pattern $4. J-1640, P-1840. Rarity-7+. Coiled Hair. Proof-67 CAMWhat about rarity? This is the only example ever graded by NGC—in any grade!

What about grade? Consider Proof-67 Cameo!

What about fame? The $4 Stella is one of the most heralded of American rarities, and among the two designs, the Coiled Hair, by George T. Morgan, is the rarer.

All set to cross the auction block in Stacks Baltimore sale is this rarest of the rare pattern, Judd-1640, a glittering Proof in aluminum—a rare format even more elusive that an gold impression.

Here is some background, from Dave Bowers’ Whitman book on type coins (excerpt, adapted):

The $4 Stella

The Stella or $4 gold coin is among the most famous and desired of American rarities. The vast majority were struck in gold, with just a few in other metals. The presently offered aluminum striking provides the opportunity for some historical information:

The $4 piece was the brainchild of Hon. John A. Kasson, who had served as a minister to Austria. In Europe coins of slightly less value than the American $5 piece (the British gold sovereign being but one of many examples) were popular in trade. Kasson thought that an American $4 piece would serve as an international medium of exchange. This stands as one of many such notions that reached pattern coin form, but never resulted in issues made for general circulation. Others include the international $5 of 1868 and Dana Bickford’s impressive $10 of 1874. (more…)

Pre-ANA Auctions Preview, Part II of III: Half Dollars

by Greg Reynolds for CoinLink

Half Dollar Highlights from the Pre-ANA in BaltimoreHalf dollars will be in abundance in Baltimore. A large number of people collect bust halves, and a fair number of half dollar collectors will travel to Baltimore. Many others will have dealers represent them. The pre-ANA auctions will include ample offerings of bust halves, though less than I expected.

The highlight is the second or third finest known 1797 half dollar. Draped Bust, Small Eagle halves were minted only in 1796 and 1797. Both dates are very rare!

Stack’s will be offering the Norweb 1797 half, which is NGC graded MS-66. It is the second finest 1797 half that I have ever seen, and it is a coin that I very much like. It is certainly surpassed by the Lelan Rogers 1797 half, which is (or was) also NGC graded MS-66.

The Norweb 1797 half was last auctioned in March 2004 as part of the Haig Koshkarian type set. Dr. Haig, as he prefers to be called, purchased this coin ‘in person’ at the Norweb III auction in November 1988. This is the same Norweb auction event in which the highest graded 1861 Philadelphia Paquet Double Eagle was sold. This Philadelphia Paquet will be on display at the Monaco table at the ANA Convention.

The Norweb-Koshkarian 1797 half realized $966,000 in 2004, an auction record for any half dollar that still stands. This Norweb-Koshkarian 1797 half is certainly one of the five finest pieces of the entire 1796-97 type. The Rogers-Whitney 1796 half and the Knoxville 1796 half are also high in the condition rankings, for the type.

Flowing Hair halves of 1794 and 1795 are generally less expensive than 1796-97 Draped Bust, Small Eagle halves. Stack’s is offering multiple 1794 and 1795 Flowing Hair halves. In the B&M sale, there is one 1795 half, which is NGC graded AU-53. Superior is selling a 1795 half that is NGC graded AU-58.

Rich Uhrich is a dealer who specializes in die varieties of bust silver coins. His personal collection was auctioned by Stack’s in February. Uhrich concludes that “1794 and 1795 halves are more popular than Draped Bust halves” with either ‘Small Eagle or Heraldic Eagle reverses. “There is just something about the appeal of coins with dates in the 1700s,” Moreover, Uhrich observes that “there are many people trying to complete sets of all the varieties of Flowing Hair halves but are not collecting Draped Bust half varieties.” Also, Uhrich has found that “a lot of collectors who are not ready to spend the money for a 1794 silver dollar demand 1794 half dollars,” which are much less expensive. (more…)

Pre-ANA Auctions Preview, Part I of III: Cents, Nickels, Dimes & Quarters

by Greg Reynolds for CoinLink

Superior, Stack’s and B&M are all conducting auctions in the Baltimore area before the ANA Convention starts on July 30th. A staggering assortment of U.S. coins and other numismatic items will be offered. I will discuss some of the coins that are rare, are interesting in other ways and/or are ‘in the news’ for some particular reason, like multiple examples of a scarce issue being offered in more than one pre-Convention auction.

Proof 1867 Shield Nickel with raysThe key Proof in the Shield Nickel series (1866-1883) is the 1867 ‘With Rays.’ The pre-ANA auctions include three of these.

Not long ago, it was thought that there were fewer than twenty-five Proof 1867 ‘With Rays’ nickels. In recent years, it has become apparent that there are more. An estimated mintage of seventy-five is listed on CoinFacts.com, and the April 2008 PCGS Population report lists a mintage of sixty and indicates that fifty have been certified by the PCGS, a number which certainly includes numerous resubmissions of some of the same coins.

My guess is that the PCGS and the NGC have certified about forty-three DIFFERENT Proof 1867 ‘With Rays’ Shield Nickels. If there are another dozen or so that have never been submitted to the PCGS or the NGC, then the total in existence is probably around fifty-five. So, it is still extremely rare in Proof format and is highly demanded as Shield Nickels are a very popular series.

Superior will auction a Proof 1867 ‘With Rays’ that is PCGS certified Proof-64 with ‘Cameo’ contrast. B&M will offer two, both of which are PCGS graded Pr-64. The first, though, is in a holder with a green label, and was thus certified a while ago. Many, though nowhere near all, of the coins that PCGS graded in the 1990s qualify for higher grades now, since the grade-inflation of 2003 to 2007. Although I have not seen this specific nickel, the catalogue image suggests that it may have really neat, natural russet toning.

Flying Eagle Cents are even more popular than Shield Nickels. The 1856 Flying Eagle Cent is a longtime collector favorite. There are six 1856 Flying Eagle Cents in the pre-ANA auctions.

Almost every coin collecting kid has acquired a few Indian Cents and has dreamed of an 1856 Flying Eagle Cent. I will always remember when I first acquired an 1858 Flying Eagle Cent. I was about eight years old, and this 1858 maybe graded AG-03. I was not much older when I first saw an 1856, a Gem Proof Flying Eagle cent that a local coin dealer showed to me. I was enthralled. (more…)

Norweb 1797 MS-66 Half Dollar to be sold by Stacks

Norweb 1797 O-101a. Rarity-5. 15 Stars. MS-66 (NGC)Certain to be a highlight not only of Stacks Baltimore Auction, but also of American numismatic sales of the entire year, is this fabulous 1797 half dollar in MS-66 (NGC). Not only does that make it a landmark, but the eye appeal is beyond comparison. Few early American silver coins of any denomination can come close to it in beauty.

A truly breathtaking example of the Draped Bust, Small Eagle half dollar designed by the Philadelphia Mint’s early engraver Robert Scot. It was a highlight of the famed Farish Baldenhofer, Norweb and Haig Koshkarian Collections, where it attracted intense and richly deserved bidder interest.

The 1796 and 1797 half dollars are the scarcest regularly issued silver type coins of the United States, their specific mintage is something of a mystery with 3,918 reported struck of both dates combined. Researchers debate the number of survivors, with the Overton-Parsley reference suggesting 100 to 300 of the combined dates still in existence; half dollar specialist Lano Balulescu, 75 to 200; David Lange, about 100 survivors of both dates combined. (See Jon P. Amato, “Surviving 1796-97 Draped Bust Half Dollars and Their Grade Distribution,” John Reich Journal, February 2005.

Norweb 1797 O-101a. Rarity-5. 15 Stars. MS-66 (NGC)High-grade examples of either date are notoriously elusive. An occasional prooflike Mint State 1796 half dollar can be located, but the same cannot be said for 1797. Only a few pieces of Mint State quality are known, with only the former Lelan Rogers coin—a piece that brought over $500,000 at public sale in 1995—in close competition with the coin featured here for “finest known” honors.

The present Norweb specimen was purchased in Stack’s November 1955 sale of the Farish Baldenhofer Collection, where it was described as: “1797. A superb example of this very rare date. The finest striking we have ever seen. We cannot conceive that this specimen could be excelled. The coin was purchased as a Proof, however to conservatively grade it we will call it prooflike surface, definitely one of the first coins to leave the dies. Perfectly centered at deep milling, perfect color. All the requisites that the advanced and critical collector desires. . . a real prize!”

The Koshkarian cataloguer noted the Baldenhofer-Norweb descriptions, adding “in Uncirculated preservation, never mind being prooflike, the 1797 half dollar is virtually unknown. Here is a marvelous exception, a classic coin which will be forever remembered as one of the great legendary rarities of the Norweb Collection.” (more…)

Stack’s Baltimore Auction – A Memorable 1796 No-Stars Quarter Eagle

1796 G$2.50 BD-2, Breen-1. Rarity-4. No Stars. Among all American gold coins one of the most famous is the 1796 quarter eagle without obverse stars. Offered in our sale is an especially high quality, especially memorable coin, MS-62 (PCGS) with outstanding eye appeal. The vast majority of other examples show evidence of circulation.

A list of important citations and articles about the No Stars quarter eagle would fill a small book! The first person to study varieties of this year in detail was J. Colvin Randall, as part of his system of early gold die varieties compiled in the late 1870s. Alas, no example of this work is known to exist, if indeed it was ever published.

However, scattered cross-references to the varieties appear in some auction catalogues of the era. Edgar H. Adams, who in the early 20th century worked with William H. Woodin in the examination of early gold varieties, offered important information in his notebook (now preserved by the American Numismatic Society), including the description of two die varieties for the No Stars obverse (two different reverses, the rarer apparently appearing in the William F. Gable Collection sale in 1914) and one variety of the With-Stars obverse.“The Gold Coinage of 1796,” by R.W. Julian, in the Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, April 1967.

Walter Breen wrote extensively of the 1796 No Stars, including in his Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coinage, 1988. The latest great entry is the study by John Dannreuther, based on the notes of Harry W. Bass, Jr., which is absolutely definitive. The offered coin is variety BD-2. Generation after generation, year after year, any example to appear at auction has furnished the opportunity for enthusiastic prose in a catalogue and excitement at the sale itslef.

It is estimated that just 963 coins were struck from the No Stars obverse. After this coinage, a new die was made with stars, inaugurating a type that was continued through 1807. As to why there were no obverse stars on the 1796, as here offered, it may have been that as stars are on the reverse die, the use of stars on both sides was deemed to be redundant, but later reconsidered.

Among design types of United States coins this is one of the rarest, most treasured issues. The present coin will be a highlight in the finest collection.  LOT 2324 in the upcoming Stacks Sale in Baltimore

American Bank Note Co. Printing Plates for “Obsoletes” in Stack’s Upcoming July Baltimore Auction

ABNCo Bank of Dakota $1, $1, $2, $5Historic printing press plates used in the process of producing multi-subject 19th century “obsolete” paper money for ten different banks will be offered in a public auction conducted on July 27 and 28, 2008 in Baltimore, Maryland by Stack’s (www.Stacks.com) of New York City and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. The unique, intricately engraved plates are from the legendary archives of the American Bank Note Company.

The number of subjects per plate range from two to eight, and the denominations range from five cents to $100. They are consigned to the auction by Archival Collectibles of Far Hills, New Jersey, which acquired the huge American Bank Note Company archives in 2005.

“We recently discovered these particular multi-subject, obsolete bank note plates among the thousands of one-of-kind, engravings in the archives. One plate was still in its original wax-sealed wrappers, apparently unseen for 149 years,” said Steve Blum, president of Archival Collectibles.

“It’s exciting to look at these original pieces of numismatic history that were so skillfully handcrafted more than a century ago.”

The plates and the denominations of the notes in the upcoming Stack’s auction are:

The Uncas Bank in Norwich, Connecticut, $3 and $10;

The Commercial Bank of Kentucky in Paducah, Kentucky, $5, $5, $10 and $20; (more…)

Stack’s Offers the Vincent Collection on July 10

StacksQuality United States coins from Colonials to Patterns will be highlighted in Stack’s July 10, 2008 sale of the Vincent Collection, held at the Schaumburg Renaissance hotel, Schaumburg, Illinois in conjunction with the MidAmerica Coin Expo. Among the 385 lots are such early copper rarities as an 1804 Sheldon 266c Large Cent in Fine-12 (PCGS); Lincoln Cents include the 1914-D in MS-66 BR (NGC) that is tied for the finest graded by NGC.

Silver Half Dimes feature an 1840 No Drapery in MS-67 (NGC, CAC); among popular Mercury Dimes is a 1921 in MS-67 (NGC) that is among the finest extant examples. Sure to attract bidder attention if a Cameo Proof 1910 Barber Quarter in PF-68* Cameo (NGC); Barber Half Dollars are highlighted by the John J. Pittman example of the 1907=-D in MS-68 (CAC, NGC); Liberty Seated Silver Dollars include n 1854 in Proof-64 (NGC).

Morgan Dollar collectors will note an 1880 in Proof-68 CAMEO (NGC) and n 1880-S in MS-69 (NGC) toed for finest certified by that leading service; the second-finest Deep Mirror Prooflike 1893-O appears in MS-64 DMPL (NGC); later dates feature an 1896 in Proof-68* ULTRA CAMEO (NGC). Proof Gold includes an 1899 Quarter Eagle in Proof-65 DCAM (CAC, PCGS. Among outstanding Gold $3 is an 1880 in MS-65 (NGC); early Half Eagles include 1802/1, Bass-Dannreuther 8 in MS-62 (CAC, PCGS); early Eagles are led by a 1798 BD-10 in MS-63 (CAC, PCGS); Saint Gaudens Double Eagles include a Gem 1915 in MS-65 (NGC), tied for finest known.

The Vincent Sale is very well represented by rare and choice American paper from the Colonial era to modern times. A brief, but attractive, selection of Continental Currency and Colonial American notes is followed by a fine selection of United States Obsolete Currency from the outstanding Q. David Bowers Reference Collection. The initial offering of obsolete notes from the Bowers Collection was an important event last October in Atlanta. The great interest in rare, historic and artistic obsolete notes was further flattered in our recent May Minot Sale where several notes broke the five-figure mark, an achievement considered next to impossible less than three decades ago. (more…)