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Category: NGC

NGC Certifies Historic Cache of Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles

These coins were part of a family’s possessions during World War II exile and remained together for more than 65 years.

NGC has certified a very interesting group of Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles that have remained in the possession of a family since prior to World War II. When purchased in Europe last month, their unusual history was revealed to the buyer. During the turbulent period prior to World War II, these coins were a trove meant to sustain a family through the worst possible situation.

Just subsequent to the Nazi invasion of this family’s home country in 1940, each of these coins was sewn into the lining of a leather coat. With great risk, they were spirited out to a safe-haven neutral country, where they have been kept ever since.

According to the gold buyer, who relayed the history of these coins to NGC, the family in possession of the coins elected to sell them this year because gold had risen to record price levels. The group of 200 coins has been encapsulated with the pedigree WWII EXILE HOARD.

While other US gold coins come from caches with similar histories, several features contribute to the significance of this group. When they arrived at NGC, many of the coins still had bits of leather still adhering to the coins’ rims.

At the submitter’s request, professionals at Numismatic Conservation Services expertly removed the leather so that the coins would be eligible for certification. Their unconventional storage imparted a number of the coins with a delicate reddish patina that was left untouched during conservation.

Another unusual feature is the uniformly high grade of these coins. Each graded from MS 63 to MS 67, with seven coins achieving this highest grade and a greater number grading each MS 66 and MS 66+. All are dated 1924 and 1925, with over three-quarters being from the latter date.

NGC Launches New Coin Price Guide Powered by NumisMedia

Powerful resource includes over five years of historical data and dynamic charting tools.

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) has released a new online price guide, the NGC Coin Price Guide, powered by NumisMedia.

The price guide is now available to all NGC website visitors for free at www.NGCcoin.com. It includes five years of accurate coin pricing data for nearly all US coins, and collectors can analyze coin prices using dynamic graphing tools and ranking filters. Many of these features are entirely new to the numismatic marketplace.

For example, the performance of up to five different coins can be viewed on a single graph. Innovative trend spotting tools allow users to rank coin performance based on criteria they supply to gain unique insight into the value of collectable US coins.

The rare coin values shown in the NGC Coin Price Guide are independently compiled and edited by NumisMedia based on real, documented market transactions.

Since 2005, NumisMedia has served as the official price guide of NGC and the NGC Collectors Society. NumisMedia is the industry’s most accurate, impartial report of US coin values. The online guide constitutes the most comprehensive pricing available for US coins, including prices for the full range of AU and MS grades, as well as prices for a broad number of modern issues.

“Tools this powerful simply were not available to coin collectors before today,” comments Mark Salzberg, NGC chairman. “Since the price guide is free, we’re offering everyone complete access to the most advanced way to assess rare coin valuation trends. NGC is providing the ultimate means for collectors to make better purchasing decisions and build better collections.”

The NGC Coin Price Guide launched November 30, 2010. The price guide is part of a suite of collecting resources available on NGC’s Web site, including a US coin encyclopedia, US coin variety attribution guide, and US coin grading guide. Earlier this year, NGC launched a comprehensive coin collection management portal. Like the price guide, it is a free resource available to the numismatic community.

Rare Slabs Can Carry Big Premiums!

By Steve Roach- First published in the December 6, 2010, issue of Coin World

Some collectors wouldn’t agree with the statement, “buy the coin, not the slab,” because to them, the slab is just as important as the coin.

In particular, some collectors have acquired a taste for Numismatic Guaranty Corp. “black” holders.

NGC was formed in 1987 and these holders were used for the first several months of operation, roughly from September through November 1987.

They are similar in shape to today’s NGC slabs, but differ in that the insert securing the coin is black, and the white insert with the coin’s identifying information is on the side that displays the reverse, where the coin seems upside down.

The obverse in black holders is displayed on the side with the NGC stamped logo, which for current holders is on the back of the slab.

Few of these holders remain today. Estimates on the number of surviving black holders range from 35 to 200, and they are collected as novel relics of the early days of third-party coin grading.

Occasionally they turn up and trade at auction.

At a Nov. 14 eBay auction, a New Jersey seller offered a 1924 Saint-Gaudens gold $20 double eagle in an NGC Mint State 62 “black” slab. (Pictured, image courtesy of Danielle’s, on eBay as onionsavenged)

It sold for an astonishing $3,805. In comparison, one major dealer is selling current-holder NGC MS-62 double eagles for $1,600 and MS-66 coins for $2,850.

While grading was perhaps more conservative back in the early days of NGC, and the seller said the coin “looks like a MS64,” the huge premium must be attributed more to the holder than to the coin.

Nine bidders competed for the coin, with the underbidder dropping out at $3,755. The seller set the starting bid at $2,750 – a price nearly comparable to a current holder NGC MS-66 piece.

While the black holders were flattering to brilliant silver coins or lustrous Mint State gold coins, the holders did little to flatter dark coins and copper, and the holder was retired at the end of 1987.

There is even a 420-page book on slabs by Michael Schmidt, Third Party Grading/Certification Services, that covers more than 80 companies that produced slabs and 200 varieties of normal production slabs.

NGC at the Beijing International Coin Expo

The premier numismatic event was well attended and provided an opportunity for Chinese dealers and collectors to learn more about NGC and submit coins for certification.

Among the most important annual coin shows held in China, the Beijing International Coin Expo provides an ideal opportunity to look at the previous year’s coinage and look ahead to the next year. It is an event focused on modern coinage, with mints from Asia and around the world showcasing their coinage. NGC was present with its Guangzhou-based submission center, both accepting coins and providing information about certification. Additionally, NGC hosted an educational numismatic seminar conducted during the show.

The Expo, jointly hosted by China Gold Coin Corporation, the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation, and the China Numismatic Museum, was held on November 7 to 10, 2010, in the China World Trade Center. Nearly 250 exhibitors from 27 countries were present at the 15th annual Expo. This event is very popular with the public. On opening day, large bustling crowds made it difficult to maneuver down the aisles. As in previous years, a special-edition commemorative coin was issued in celebration of the event. Owing to its popularity, the opportunity to purchase this coin is awarded in a lottery.

The Chinese coin market itself is extremely vibrant, with many scarce modern commemorative issues trading at record price levels. Collectors identify strongly with commemorative issues from the past 30 years that celebrate Chinese cultural heritage. In particular, large-format coins that are five ounces and larger are highly coveted, as many have small mintages. The NGC Oversize Holder is especially popular for these coins because of the inherent challenges of storing and transporting large coins.

It is also evident that certification is gaining a greater foothold in the Chinese market, as NGC-certified coins could be seen throughout the exposition area. During the official auction of the Expo, nearly a dozen of the 110 lots were NGC-certified. Once again this year, NGC was the only certification company represented in the auction.

NGC also hosted an educational symposium to discuss certification with prominent members of the Chinese numismatic community. A detailed discussion of the grading process and grading terminology was followed by an open question-and-answer session. “Certification is attractive to collectors in China for three major reasons: first, collectors appreciate the protection it affords against counterfeits, which are of concern even in the Chinese modern coin market; second, collectors value the standardization of grade, which makes it easier for them to identify superior condition coins; and, third, collectors love NGC’s holder, which provides incredible long-term protection for their coins,” said Scott Schechter, NGC vice president, sales & marketing, who presented at the symposium.

Unusual Items: NGC Black Slab

On Nov 14th, a rarely seen and unusual item sold on eBay, but what made this sale interesting was not the coin being sold, but rather the holder it was in.

The coin was a 1924 Saint graded MS-62.  and it sold for $3805.oo with 9 bidders, over twice what one might expect given this is a common date Saint in an unremarkable grade. The 100% premium was for the slab, a First generation BLACK NGC Holder.

The eBay sellers description offered the following comments on the holder…..

“When NGC first started operations in late 1987, they used this black holder with a white grading insert.

The first generation black NGC slabs didn’t always carry the big premiums that they do now.

The main problem was, while Gold coins and untarnished Silver coins looked amazing, copper coins (especially brown oxidized ones) and other dark, circulated Silver coins proved hard to see with the black filling.  Thus, for the second generation NGC holders, the filling was changed to white and has remained that way to this day with NGC.

Following marketing advice at the time in 1987, the coin was inserted right-side-up the coin is upside-down reverse!  This was also corrected in the subsequent generations on NGC slabs so the coin would be right-side-up when the grading insert is viewed right-side-up.

The black holder was only used by NGC for a month or so (September-November 1987).  Grading was quite conservative in those days when compared to grading today.  As such, the black holders that surfaced in later years were cracked and the coin resubmitted in pursuit of a higher grade which is why they subsequently became so rare!”

FREE Online Coin Collection Manager Now Available at NGC Collectors Society

NGC Collectors Society has unveiled its newest website feature today – a comprehensive Collection Manager. This new tool allows collectors to organize and track their entire coin collections online in a secure password-protected environment. It is completely free to use, and requires only a free NGC Collectors Society account for access.

Watch “Features at a Glance” video to learn more

The goal of the NGC Collectors Society is to enable collectors to build better collections by providing the tools, community and resources that they need. Through feedback received from members, new features are planned and developed. The addition of the Collection Manager is the most significant enhancement to the Collectors Society toolkit since the initial launch of the NGC Registry in 2002. Since that time, over 500,000 coins have been registered in nearly 60,000 individual NGC Registry Sets.

The Collection Manager relies on an easy-to-use and intuitive interface that allows collectors to maintain records of all the coins in their collections – including US, world and ancient coins, as well as certified and raw coins. In addition to keeping track of coins they currently own, collectors can store information about coins that they want to buy and coins they have already sold or traded. Current market values are automatically displayed for all US coins tracked in the Collection Manager. Accurate market information is supplied by leading, independent price guide NumisMedia.

One of the unique features of the Collection Manager is that it is seamlessly integrated with the NGC Registry, the most-advanced and largest online showcase of coin collections. As of today’s launch, coins included in NGC Registry Competitive Sets and Custom Sets (formerly called Signature Sets) are pre-loaded into the Collection Manager and are already available for private recordkeeping. A new feature is that, in addition to public Registry Sets, collectors can create private Customs Sets that are visible only to them. These private sets allow collectors to group coins to keep their collection organized, and unlike public sets, they can contain raw coins and coins graded by any company. As in the past, only NGC and PCGS certified coins can be displayed publicly in the NGC Registry.

Security and privacy of Collectors Society members is a high priority. Information tracked in the Collection Manager is visible only to the owner of a particular coin when logged-in to the Collectors Society and coins are never displayed publicly unless they are added to a Registry Set that is publicly visible. Purchase and sale records are always kept private and cannot be publicly displayed. To maintain collectors’ privacy, the owner of a set is only identified by a Public Name, a pseudonym supplied by the user. (more…)

Heritage adds CAC Population Data to Rare Coin Auction Archives

A very quick way to measure a coin’s rarity is to look at how many coins of a particular date have been graded by the major grading services. Three figures are key as a rule of thumb in determining rarity:

  • The population of a coin in a particular grade, which shows how difficult the coin might be to replace exactly
  • The population of a coin in all higher grades, which shows how difficult a coin might be to upgrade
  • The population of a coin in all grades, which shows how difficult a coin might be to find at all.

The first two figures above are often written in shorthand. For example, a coin with a population of 100/4 has 100 known in the same grade and four known in higher grades. A coin with a population of 1/0 is the finest known to the grading service that certified it.

One of the features that has long been available on the Heritage Web site listings and archives HA.com/Coins are population reports. PCGS and NGC keep track of every coin they grade, and Heritage is generous enough to post this information, in condensed form, on the web page for every US coin.

Now, Heritage has added the CAC population data to it’s population listings.

As an example, the table you see here covers an 1911-D $20 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle, graded MS65 (in this case by NGC). Under the header “Population”, you can see that the PCGS Population Report shows 1731 1911-D $20 Saints with an MS65 grade, NGC Census figures show 1831 similar coins and CAC has stickered 130.
(more…)

Coin Grading: NGC Certifies Rare S-79 1795 Reeded Edge Liberty Cap Cent

Among early United States cents one of the rarest and most mysterious is Dr. William H. Sheldon’s variety number 79 having a reeded edge, an example of which has just been certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.

Only eight pieces are confirmed to exist, and this one has been off the market for some 30 years. Its last public appearance was in a 1977 auction by the now-defunct Numismatic and Antiquarian Service Corporation of America (NASCA). NGC has graded and encapsulated this remarkable coin as having Fine Details with corrosion.

Aside from its rarity, S-79 is an intriguing variety on several counts. It possesses a reeded edge, the only large cent of any type to have such an edge device. Its obverse is unique to this die marriage, though it is similar in most respects to those of other 1795 cents. Where things really get odd, however, is that this cent variety was coined using a reverse die shared only with several varieties of 1796-dated cents. It was thus almost certainly coined well into that year and possibly as late as 1797. The U. S. Mint is known to have employed dies of earlier dates for as long as they remained serviceable, and this appears to be the case with S-79.

The reason for applying a reeded edge is entirely undocumented. This edge device evidently was used well after the December 1795 order reducing the weight of cents in response to the rising price of copper. The thinner planchets that resulted from this weight reduction precluded usage of the lettered edge device common to some 1793 cents, all those dated 1794 and the early issues dated 1795, which is why most 1795 cents and all 1796 cents have plain edges.

The only comparable instance of an unusual edge device occurs with the two die marriages of 1797-dated cents having “gripped” edges. These show a series of shallow cuts on their edges that were imparted by the edge milling machine. Perhaps they were contemporary with the extremely rare reeded edge cents dated 1795, as the U. S. Mint experimented to find a suitable replacement for edge lettering. Again, no documentation is known which would verify this theory.

The rare S-79 just certified by NGC is a previously-known specimen, though it has not been seen in the marketplace since its last recorded sale in 1977. It appears in fourth place in the condition censuses published by both William C. Noyes (United States Large Cents 1793-1814) and Walter Breen (Walter Breen’s Encyclopedia of Early United States Cents 1793-1814, edited by Mark R. Borckardt).

Though the variety was evidently known to collectors as early as 1862, this particular specimen was discovered by famed dealer Henry Chapman and included in his auction of June 1916, where it brought the grand sum of $1.75! It later passed through the collections of several legendary numismatists, including Howard R. Newcomb, Henry C. Hines and Dr. Sheldon himself.

The coin was submitted to NGC by Silvertowne of Winchester, Indiana. Owner David Hendrickson is delighted to be able to handle this great rarity. “It’s such a wonderful experience to come across a coin which has remained extremely rare despite a century and a half of searching by collectors,” Hendrickson said. “We at Silvertowne are proud to become a part of this cent’s distinguished pedigree.”
(more…)

Phenomenal Simpson Collection of United States Pattern Coins Helps NGC Launch Plus Designation

Many of the coins from this superb collection have received NGC’s new Plus Designation.

Followers of the numismatic scene have already learned of the fabulous Simpson Collection of United States pattern coins, but one remarkable numismatist is a connoisseur of other series, as well. He possesses superb holdings of nearly all United States coin series spanning the period from the 1830s to the 1930s, most of which have been graded and certified by NGC.

Many Simpson Collection coins have received the new Plus () Designation from NGC. Launched on May 25, 2010, the is used to identify coins at the high end of their assigned grade, approaching the quality requirements for the next grade. This new NGC service offering is heralded with the placement of the important Simpson Collection coins on the NGC Registry. Now updated to accommodate graded coins, the NGC Registry is the go-to place to find the rarest and most beautiful coins from around the world. The addition of the Simpson Collection sets only confirms this trend, and users of the NGC Registry will be able to view these remarkable coins for themselves in glorious color.

Texan Bob Simpson is the ultimate numismatic connoisseur, desiring only those coins that meet his exacting standards. He knows what he wants, and nothing less will do. Facilitating his efforts is his longtime numismatic consultant, Laura Sperber of Legend Numismatics. The old saying, “Know your coins or know your dealer” is particularly apt, as Mr. Simpson knows both, and this relationship has paid off with an epic collection of coins that compares favorably with the great named collections of the past.

Mr. Simpson’s premier passion is United States pattern and trial coins, and his collection of these is unparalleled. Comprising most of the entries found in Dr. J. Hewitt Judd’s standard reference work, United States Pattern Coins, now in its 10th edition, the Simpson Collection is the greatest assemblage of such coins since Judd’s own collection was dispersed some 50 years ago.

Among its amazing highlights is a complete set of the highly coveted stellas, or four-dollar pieces, complete in all types, dates and metals. While perhaps less known to most collectors, his array of early US Mint patterns is of the greatest historic value and rarity. These coins include 1792-dated pieces such as the silver-center cent (J-1), the even more rare example of this coin without a silver center (J-2), the most popular of early federal patterns — the HALF DISME (J-7) and the exceedingly rare DISME in all three varieties (J-9,-10,-11).

Also included are both uniface impressions of Joseph Wright’s famed quarter dollar pattern (J-A1792-1,-2). These coins are seldom offered for sale, as their owners are typically devoted numismatists who cherish their immense historical importance. Such a figure is Bob Simpson. (more…)

NGC Launches Plus Designation on Coin Grades

Beginning today,Tuesday, May 25, 2010, all eligible coins submitted to NGC for grading will be reviewed for the Plus Designation (+). NGC assigns a to coins at the high end of their assigned grade, approaching the quality requirements for the next grade. In addition to their superior technical merit, coins receiving a must have above-average eye appeal.

NGC assigns the + only to United States coins issued from 1792 to 1964, and the is available in combination with all grades from XF45 to MS68, inclusive. Coins submitted to NGC under applicable grading tiers including Economy, EarlyBird, Gold Rush, Specialty Gold, Express and WalkThrough tiers are automatically examined for + during grading, and there is no additional fee or special service request.

All coins submitted for on-site grading at tradeshows and other events are also considered for + at time of grading. The first on-site event where NGC will evaluate all coins during grading for the Plus Designation is the Long Beach Coin & Collectibles Expo, where on-site grading will be offered June 2 through June 4, 2010.

Coins already certified by NGC must be submitted for regrade using one of the above mentioned grading tiers to be evaluated for + . Crossover submissions at applicable grading tier levels are also reviewed for + during grading. More detailed information concerning submission requirements and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on NGC’s website at www.ngccoin.com/plus.

“We have been overwhelmed by the flood of support and enthusiasm for the launch of the NGC plus designation. For a number of years, collectors and dealers have wanted NGC to recognize premium quality-grade coins because our unique capabilities allow us to distinguish these differences with accuracy and consistency – providing credibility and consumer confidence to this segment of the market,” comments Mark Salzberg, NGC chairman and grading finalizer. (more…)

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) Certifies 20 Millionth Coin

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), the most-preferred certification and grading company in numismatics, announced today it has reached an unprecedented industry milestone – 20 million coins graded. NGC is the first coin grading company to arrive at this historic number and it underscores NGC’s position as the industry leader and guardian of numismatic interests around the world.

Mark Salzberg, Chairman of NGC, is excited about the 20 million mark but says the company is more thrilled about what the milestone represents. “We would not be here without the support and trust of the numismatic community,” said Salzberg. “We are so grateful to the collectors and dealers who have entrusted their passions and livelihoods with us.”

NGC has played a major role in the rapidly expanding coin industry from the perspective of both collectors and dealers. As an objective third-party coin grading source, NGC has been instrumental in establishing standards for authenticity and condition that contribute to consistent, accurate methods of valuation. This has added a level of confidence and protection to the industry and added liquidity to the collectible coin market. According to Salzberg, the absence of subjective opinion is a key component in the global growth of the coin collecting industry.

Despite a challenging economy, the company’s growth is evident. NGC has received coin submission from 43 different countries. Submissions span 2,600 years in history, including ancient coins from as early as 600 B.C.

NGC certified the single most valuable graded coin ever sold, the finest known USA 1804 $10 gold coin. (pictured above)

Within just the last year, NGC certified the South Africa 1898 Single 9 Pond, the China 1910 Yunnan Dollar, the Russia 1755 Pattern 20 Roubles and the Ecuador 1862 Quito GJ 50 Francos, each among the most important and valuable African, Asian, European and South American coins, respectively.

In addition, auctions of certified coins around the world continue to achieve results at or above expectation, even as other auction genres suffer.

“While 20 million graded coins is a huge accomplishment and we celebrate it, we really are focused on the future,” said Salzberg. “We look forward to continuing to push the industry envelope to develop and implement innovations that benefit not only our loyal customers, but the hobby as a whole.”

For more information on NGC and the benefits of coin grading, visit www.NGCcoin.com

NGC Launches New Metallurgic Analysis Service for Coins

NGC is introducing a new service line to perform metal composition testing at the submitter’s request. Metallurgic analysis is available for pattern, essay, trial and mint error coins, as well as tokens and medals. The cost of this service is $75 in addition to the NGC grading fee. Coins already certified and encapsulated by NGC can be re-submitted to NGC for metal testing and re-encapsulation for the flat fee of $75.

NGC performs composite surface scans of coins using x-ray fluorescence. While the tests are entirely non-invasive, they do allow NGC to peer beneath surface plating and any contaminants. Methods used by NGC are so gentle, however, that they can even be performed on coins that are still encapsulated. After testing, the results of analysis will appear on the NGC certification label along with the weight of the tested coin. NGC lists the three most abundant non-trace metals present on the coin’s surface.

Metallurgic analysis is performed at NGC’s facility by trained technicians. The turnaround time required for this service is approximately three-days in addition to the standard turnaround time for the accompanying service request. After certification is completed, tested coins are encapsulated in the Scratch-Resistant EdgeView® holder.

“NGC has used metal composition analysis for authentication purposes routinely, but we always believed that there was also a role for it to play in more precise attribution. Certainly this service will be a boon to collectors of pattern coins,” comments Rick Montgomery, NGC President.

NGC CEO, Steve Eichenbaum states that, “This service launch was really predicated on the availability of highly advanced and new technology. At NGC, we take innovation very seriously, and we continue to implement new services whenever we believe that they will meet the needs of collectors and numismatic professionals.”

While the next version of the NGC submission form, coming this summer, will include this service option, NGC is accepting coins for metallurgic analysis immediately. To submit coins for this service, prominently write “METAL COMPOSITION TEST” on the submission form, and include the additional $75 per coin service charge in the fee calculation at the bottom of the form. Coins to be tested should be listed on a separate submission form from coins not being tested. You can always request that multiple submission forms be shipped backed to you together.

Any questions about submission procedures or this new offering can be directed to NGC customer service at service@ngccoin.com or by phone toll-free at 1-800-NGC-COIN (642-2646).

Legendary 1898 Single 9 Pond South African Coin Certified by NGC

“King of South African Coins”, the unique and historic 1898 Single 9 Pond, sells for a record multi-million rand price and is certified by NGC.

The sale of South Africa’s rarest and most celebrated coin, the 1898 Single 9 Pond, has been concluded for an unprecedented multi-million rand figure. [Editor: $1.00 USD = 7.51133 ZAR]

The sale, like the prior two sales of the same coin, was facilitated by Mr. Walter Fivaz. The buyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, is thrilled to own such an impressive and important part of South Africa’s heritage. The Single 9 has justifiably been dubbed the “King of South African Coins” and is among the most valuable rare coins in the world.

Upon completion of the purchase, the coin was promptly sent to NGC for certification. NGC was selected because of their consistency in grading, their extensive South African numismatic knowledge and the prestige offered by NGC certification. The coin graded MS 63 PL by NGC. The grade of MS 63 identifies it as a choice uncirculated example. Many coins of such illustrious provenance have been mishandled, and fortunately this coin has retained its original surface quality. Additionally, the fields of the coin are mirror-like, indicating that it was struck from freshly polished dies. Accordingly, it has been designated PL, for proof-like, which is assigned to coins that possess some of the special attributes that are often seen on presentation coinage.

“We are very proud to certify such an important and historic coin. Seldom does a coin play so significant a role in cultural history and for many years this coin has been considered the most coveted of all coins struck on the African continent,” commented Ken Krah, NGC vice president, who heads NGC’s world coin grading department.

The details surrounding the creation of the Single 9 Pond form one of the most compelling stories in numismatics. The Single 9 was the first one pound gold coin produced during the Anglo-Boer War between South African and the British Empire in 1899. At that time, the government of the South African Republic sought legitimacy in the eyes of the international community. One of the best ways of doing this was to manufacture their own coins and currency. Since they did not have a facility to produce dies for coinage in South Africa, the government contracted with a mint in Germany to create dies for 1899 coinage. En route from Germany to the Transvaal, the shipment of dies was intercepted and seized by the British. (more…)

Highest Certified 1901-S Barber Quarter Breaks Coin Auction Records and Becomes the Star of a Coin Convention

by Greg Reynolds for CoinLink

On March 4, in Baltimore, B&M auctioned a 1901 San Francisco Mint quarter dollar, which was then PCGS certified “MS-68,” for $327,750, an auction record for a Barber quarter and for any business strike Barber coin. John Brush, acting on behalf of DLRC, was the successful bidder. While bidding, he was talking to John Feigenbaum, the President of DLRC, on the phone.

On March 25, this quarter was featured at the PCGS announcement of the SecurePlusTM program in Fort Worth, and had been regraded “MS-68+.” On March 26, Bill Shamhart negotiated with Feigenbaum to buy this quarter. During the following week, it was CAC approved, and Shamhart placed it in a private collection. Other than the Olsen-Hawn 1913 Liberty Nickel that sold during the FUN Platinum Night event, this is the most ‘talked about’ coin in 2010, so far.

I. This 1901-S sells at Auction and then Privately

Early in 2010, this 1901-S quarter remained in an NGC holder, with an MS-68 grade, and was submitted by B&M to PCGS for consideration as a ‘crossover.’ It did, in fact, ‘cross,’ meaning here that the PCGS also graded it as MS-68.

John Feigenbaum explains that, soon after this 1901-S was auctioned on March 4, the “PCGS was looking for a trophy coin to display during their announcement; so they contacted me to inquire if I would be willing to put this coin in their new holder. I was happy to oblige.” Technically, there is a new SecureShield insert in the same type of holder. This quarter became the first coin to be PCGS graded “MS-68+,” under the new system that allows for ‘+’ grades. On March 25, David Hall included this coin in his presentation, in Fort Worth, at the formal announcement of the SecurePlusTM program.

When PCGS officials contacted Feigenbaum about arranging for this coin to be a showpiece, “there was no discussion of the ‘+’ designation,” Feigenbaum reports, “that was a complete surprise. Frankly, I didn’t even know it was an option.”

On Friday, March 26, at the ANA Convention in Fort Worth, Bill Shamhart, [www.numismaticamericana.com] a New Jersey dealer and CAC consultant, arranged for one of his clients to purchase this 1901-S quarter from Feigenbaum, subject to verification of its grade by the CAC. During the following week, the CAC placed a sticker on the holder, and this quarter thus traded again. The CAC approved the MS-68 grade; the CAC will not accept or reject ‘plus’ grades. Shamhart’s client is a “lifelong collector” who desires American coins of “amazing quality.”

At auction on March 4, the firm of David Lawrence (DLRC) acquired this 1901-S quarter for inventory largely because the firm has specialized in Barber Coinage for more than a quarter century. Barber coins were minted from 1892 to 1916. John Feigenbaum’s deceased father, David Lawrence Feigenbaum, founded DLRC in 1979. David authored three books on Barber coinage, one book on each denomination, dimes, quarters and half dollars. In the late 1990s, father and son co-authored a fourth book that focused on Mint State and Proof Barber coins that were certified by the PCGS and the NGC. DLRC sells Proof, Mint State, AU and circulated Barber coins. (more…)

World Coins – Unique 1928 South Africa 6 Pence Graded by NGC

Certified by NGC is this recently discovered South Africa 6 Pence dated 1928. It is the only known example bearing this date.

The coin was first spotted in an English country auction where it was cataloged with an unusual notation: the coin’s date was not listed in the standard series reference. It was purchased by a dealer who had a strong suspicion about the its origin.

Although he had no doubt about the coin’s authenticity, he sent it first to South Africa, where a number of experts examined the coin, all declaring it genuine. The coin itself, as a unique discovery piece, created a sensation among collectors of South African coins, who marveled that this discovery took over 80 years to occur.

From South Africa, the coin was sent the coin to the United States to be certified and encapsulated by NGC.

The dies for South African coins of this era were manufactured in England and then sent to South Africa for use in coinage production. Mysteriously, six pence dies of this year were not shipped and no pieces dated 1928 were struck in South Africa. Other denominations of coins were produced in that year, however, and it is not certain why the six pence was omitted.

Numismatist believe that the coin was produced in England as a specimen piece.

It has shallow mirrored fields, a crisp strike, as well as squared rims, similar to all South African presentation coinage of this era. It is also struck on a .925 fine silver planchet, while coins struck for circulation in South Africa are only .800 fine. It has a deep amber patina and is remarkably well preserved, evidence that it resided in the possession of a collector since it was struck.

Win a Full Scholarship and Free Airfare to ANA Summer Seminar!

NGC and the ANA offer three numismatists the experience of a lifetime.

NGC has teamed up with the American Numismatic Association (ANA) to bring three motivated individuals to the numismatic educational event of the summer. Winners of the ANA Summer Seminar Registry Contest will receive full tuition and room and board for one session of the ANA Summer Seminar, courtesy of the ANA. Air travel to Colorado Springs, Colorado, will be provided by NGC. The ANA Summer Seminar is a life-changing event that has catapulted the careers of many of the nation’s most successful numismatic collectors, authors and dealers. It has also been instrumental in shaping young numismatic enthusiasts into respected hobby leaders.

To enter, the collector must be an NGC Registry participant. Each contest applicant should send a self-nominating e-mail to SeminarContest@NGCcoin.com by Friday, April 30. The e-mail should include the collector’s public registry name and a brief description (fewer than 500 words) of how attending Summer Seminar could contribute to his or her experience as a collector. Winners will be selected by the NGC Registry Awards judging panel, based on a combination of Registry Sets and the e-mail provided, on Wednesday, May 5.

“No collectors are more passionate about the hobby than those who participate in the NGC Registry,” said Scott Schechter, vice president of marketing and sales at NGC. “This contest is a phenomenal way to recognize and encourage them. Summer Seminar is the single best learning environment in numismatics, and we are thrilled to work with the ANA to make it available to three collectors who otherwise may not have been able to attend.”

Susan McMillan, ANA education project manager, commented, “We think Summer Seminar is the best education in numismatics. Period. We are very excited to be able to offer NGC Registry members the opportunity to attend this year’s Summer Seminar and hope to be able to offer more such scholarships in the future.”

The ANA Summer Seminar, a hobby destination for 42 years, will feature a lineup of classes to suit virtually every collector’s hobby needs. Mini-seminars will cover topics such as ancients, paper money, Morgan dollars, Lincoln cents, shipwreck coins, commemoratives, and medals and tokens. Seminar attendees can learn to grade coins and detect counterfeits. Most importantly, participants will have the opportunity to meet and converse with the hobby’s most distinguished scholars, rising young stars and successful business leaders.

The Summer Seminar, held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, will consist of two sections, the first from June 26 to July 2, 2010, and the second from July 3 to July 9, 2010. The ANA will provide contest winners with their choice of attendance at either section, plus basic accommodations and meals ($1,000 value). NGC will provide round-trip airfare for each winner. Some classes in each section are already sold out and will not be available. Winners can pay for room upgrades if so desired.

To learn more about the ANA and educational opportunities at Summer Seminar, please visit www.money.org

NGC Instructors at ANA Summer Coin Seminar

The ANA Summer Seminar is called “the best education in numismatics.” Take a look at the courses being taught by NGC experts.

Numismatists from NGC will be present in full force at this year’s ANA Summer Seminar. Now celebrating its 42nd year, Summer Seminar features a lineup of classes to suit virtually every collector’s hobby needs. Whether your interest is ancients, paper money, Colonial Americana, Lincoln cents, shipwreck coins, commemoratives, or medals and tokens, there’s a class or mini-seminar for you. Want to start or grow a business, or learn something about security? There’s a class for you. Students can learn to grade coins and detect counterfeits and, most important, hobnob with the hobby’s most distinguished scholars and successful business leaders.

Classes are held in small groups so everyone can actively participate. You’ll learn not only from instructors who are recognized leaders in their fields, but from the collective experiences of fellow students, who range in age from 13 to 90. And rarely do students or instructors attend just one Summer Seminar. They come back time and time again for the education, friendships and camaraderie.

To learn more about summer seminar, visit the information page on the ANA’s Web site, or download the full course catalog [PDF].

The following courses are instructed by professional numismatists from NGC:

Advanced United States Coin Grading and Problem Coins

This course concentrates on the nuances of high-grade, mint-state and proof coins. Students learn how to distinguish original surfaces from mint-state and circulated coins that have been cleaned or altered, and to identify minute imperfections and color variances that can affect a coin’s grade. Students will learn the methods used by experts, as well as their own strengths and weaknesses. Prerequisite: Successful completion of “Intermediate Grading of United States Coins,” or permission from the instructor, is required. Prospective students must complete a questionnaire before enrollment is confirmed. Each grading class is limited to 21 students. (more…)

Counterfeit Detection: Proof 1885 Liberty Nickel

From the NGC Series on Counterfeit Detection

This newly made fake is certainly deceiving some collectors as we’re seeing it appear in recent submissions. Learn how to identify it!

Genuine 1885 – Click To Enlarge Counterfeit 1885 – Click To Enlarge

Recently this unusual fake, believed to be of new manufacture, has appeared in NGC submissions. Although not particularly deceptive, NGC has received a handful of them.

Our best guess as to why: it’s not a coin that anyone really would expect to be counterfeited. It demonstrates that fakes of just about every issue exist and it’s worthwhile to be vigilant when buying uncertified coins or from an unfamiliar source.

There are obvious clues that identify this 1885 nickel as a fake.

First, the devices (design elements) show a pebbled or rough texture that is unlike that seen on any authentic examples. Knowing the texture of a coin’s surface does require a degree of familiarity with authentic examples, but it can also be the easiest telltale of a fake.

Authentic proof Liberty Nickels have crisp design features and smooth or very, very fine grained devices. Large nooks and crannies visible throughout the design are the hallmarks of this copy. Compare an enlargement of the date area with that of a genuine example — the real coin is on top.

The second giveaway that this coin is bad is the shallowness of its design elements. Note how the Liberty’s ear dissolves into the fields. Same with the hair detail above her temple and at top of her neck.

The shape of these elements will be crisp on an authentic specimen and clearly separate from the fields with a sharp delineation. Other elements of the design are similarly not crisp. Look at the stars. On genuine proofs, the intersecting lines will be clear. Here, the first star is especially weak and the others are rounded and amorphous.

Learning to pick out clues like those mentioned above are a great starting point to spotting fakes.

Leading Coin Grading Services PCGS & NGC Announce “Plus” Designation

The plus designation, a notation of premium quality, has been announced by NGC and PCGS. The service will be available from NGC beginning in approximately 60-days and launched formally by PCGS on March 25, 2010.

Denoted by a + symbol appearing after the grade, the plus designation indicates that a coin is of superior quality for the grade and that it approaches the next technical grade level. In numismatics, in addition to plus, several terms are used interchangeably to indicate this including premium quality, PQ, and high-end.

Aspects of the service offered by NGC and PCGS are similar. The plus designation applies only to US coins from select classic series, and it is not currently planned to be applied to modern coinage issues. Additionally, it will be used on eligible coins grading from the XF-range up to MS 68. For coins to be evaluated for the plus designation, submitters will have to opt-in to a plus designation review service in addition to the standard grading tier.

After the service launch, in approximately 60-days, coins with the plus designation will receive a point premium in the NGC Registry and be reported in a forthcoming enhancement of the NGC Census. Additionally, price guides and coin trading networks including the Certified Coin Exchange will be supporting the plus designation.

“The coin marketplace has evolved in the nearly 25 years since NGC and PCGS began certifying coins, and this is a very logical progression. We have always been conscious of the variation within grades. By providing this information on the label in the plus format, it is communicated in a simple and direct way that allows these distinctions to be readily understood,” comments NGC Chairman, Mark Salzberg.

PCGS founder David Hall stated, “The reality of the market place is that coins considered high end for the grade are recognized by sophisticated dealers and collectors and such coins are worth a premium in the marketplace. The term plus has been part of the everyday trading and grading lingo for years. For the market’s two leading grading services to recognize this reality and designate these premium coins as part of their grading services is a huge benefit to all participants in the rare coin market.” (more…)

NGC launches a new free website resource for collectors of certified gold coins from around the world.

NGC’s website now features a value guide for the most popular world gold coins. Included are sovereigns, 20 francs and other frequently-traded world gold coins. Average asking prices for common-date examples are shown in all grades from MS63 to MS67. This chart also details each coin’s intrinsic metal value calculated from current market gold asking price. Gold ask is updated approximately every 20 minutes and the values for graded coins will be updated periodically as current market information is made available. For each set of figures, the last time of update is also displayed.

The World Gold Coins Value Guide is entirely free and can be seen by visiting the following link:

World Gold Coins Value Guide

In addition, NGC’s website also features the most accurate and comprehensive price guide for US coins available, the NumisMedia FMV Price Guide. A free NGC Collectors Society account provides complete access to the NumisMedia Guide.

“This new site feature is part of NGC’s ongoing commitment to provide the most comprehensive and valuable suite of resources to coin collectors. It’s one of a number of great site enhancements coming this year from NGC,” comments Scott Schechter, NGC Vice President, Sales & Marketing, “We hope to improve the accuracy and number of issues covered on the Gold Values Chart, and welcome any user feedback.”

To suggest a revision or an update to the World Gold Coin Value Guide, users can e-mail goldvalues@NGCcoin.com. To explore other numismatic resources available from NGC, visit the NGC Research Home Page.

Counterfeit Detection: KNOW Your Dates

From the NGC series on Counterfeit Detection

Click To Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

A basic lesson will help you always catch fakes, like this 1895-O Morgan Dollar, which could be deceptive to many.

In high school history class, a student asks his teacher, “Do I need to memorize dates for tomorrow’s test?”

The teacher replies, “No dates.”

Encouraged, the young student goes home and studies hard, following the teacher’s instruction. The next day he fails the test. Miserably.

Of course, the teacher had not told the student there would be NO dates on the test, but that he should KNOW dates. For aspiring counterfeit detectors, this instruction should be made even more clear: K-N-O-W dates!

Dates are very important areas to examine because they are unique to a particular coinage issues. The position, size and shape of the date should be the first elements examined when attempting to determine authenticity (unless better diagnostics are known for that coin). Often a misshapen or wayward digit is confirmation that something is amiss.

While this advice might seem to apply primarily to altered date coins, it is just as important for die-struck counterfeits. This 1895-O Morgan Dollar is a die-struck counterfeit recently made in China. It is of the correct weight and metal composition of an authentic coin. It is made from transfer dies and this coin would deceive many collectors.

By looking at the date under magnification, the coin immediately falls apart. Raised blobs of metal can be seen surrounding the 5, most prominently at 5:00 and 7:00. The metal flow is also suspiciously smoother in this area, dissimilar from the texture seen around the other digits. If you knew nothing else about this coin, those markers alone should scream, “not genuine.”

The counterfeiter made transfer dies for this coin by using a model coin from the 1890s, replacing the last digit with a 5. While this reveals the counterfeiter’s methods, it also tells us something else. Coins of every date and mintmark combination can be made in this same fashion. It’s therefore important to remember that this rule always applies: “Know dates!”

Certifying a Family Heirloom: 1805 $5 Gold Coin

Although not a coin collector, Robert McGough owned a coin that was meaningful to him. He had owned it all of his life. As an eight-month-old baby he visited his great-grandmother who was a practical nurse in the employ of an older lady, well into her 90s.

This woman was enamored with the smile and disposition of her caretaker’s great-grandchild. At the end of the visit, she gave to the baby a gold coin that she had been given as a young girl nearly 90 years before.

McGough’s grandmother and the woman who gifted him the coin both passed away when he was quite young. The coin sat tucked away for many years, and was seldom looked at. On those occasions when it was taken out, he remembers being told, “You got that as a baby,” and it was something that he owned his entire life.

Now 66, McGough sought to investigate the coin, as he was curious about its value. The coin was an 1805 five dollar gold piece, and it was not obvious how to determine its value. Just 33,183 were made, and there is a wide range in value depending on condition. But McGough’s primary concern was finding someone he could trust, because he didn’t know any dealers near him in Tennessee and didn’t want to be misled about the value of the coin.

Some Internet searching led him to dealer John Albanese, and a few phone conversations made him comfortable with him and the procedures for shipping the coin to Albanese with proper insurance.

After reviewing the coin, Albanese recommended having it certified so that it could realize its full market value. It was submitted to NGC, where it graded MS 63, putting it in the upper echelons of known examples. McGough could not have been a better steward for it. The coin is an attractive tan gold color and has a perfect original skin. It’s just some light abrasion and a few wispy lines that keep it from higher grade, and it is simply a wonderful choice uncirculated example.

While nothing has been decided, McGough comments that, “Getting the coin certified was a step toward selling the coin. It’s been a very good experience to get this accurate information.”

NGC Coin Grading: Highest-Graded 1872-CC $20 Double Eagle

This wholly original and beautifully struck specimen is one of the finest our graders have ever seen, and is now the highest-graded coin of the issue and the sole example at this level.

NGC graders are fortunate to have seen more coins than anyone, but they always take time to appreciate truly special coins. The unexpected encounter with this 1872-CC $20 is one such example. Wholly original and beautifully struck, it was instantly recognizable as the finest our graders had ever seen. It graded MS 62 , making it both the highest-graded coin of the issue and the sole example at this level.

Carson City Double Eagles are compelling coins. They combine their historical intrigue as coins of the pioneer West with their significant scarcity. The 1872-CC is the third $20 gold piece issue from the Carson City Mint. Since the 1870-CC is a major rarity and the 1871-CC is very elusive in all grades, the 1872-CC is, in contrast, considered to be “available” to collectors. Virtually all of the 26,900 struck likely entered circulation, and certainly fewer than 20 uncirculated examples survive.

Most 1872-CC double eagles show heavy bag marks; those that are spared heavy wear can exhibit a pleasing strike; however this example is particularly sharp and crisp. How this coin survived the rough handling that is typical of the issue is not known. After certification, NGC was informed that this example resided in a private family collection and was purchased in Europe during the 1920s only with a small group of similar era US gold coins.

More information on NGC and the services they offer can be found at the NGC Website

Misdated Presidential Dollar Excites Error Collectors

NGC recently authenticated a 2009 D Zachary Taylor Presidential $1 coin bearing the date 2010 D on its lettered edge.

NGC has certified a Zachary Taylor Presidential $1 coin that bears the date 2010 D. The Zachary Taylor coin was the fourth Presidential dollar released in 2009 and should correctly bear the date 2009, not 2010. This is the first time that the wrong date has been reported on an edge-lettered US dollar.

The date on each Presidential $1 coin appears on its edge and is applied by an edge lettering die after the obverse and reverse are struck with a blank collar. Because edge lettering is an additional and subsequent step, it has been the source of several types of novel mint error coins. Most common among these errors is partial edge lettering, which occurs when a coin gets hung up in the edge lettering machine and part of the edge lettering is not impressed. Another error is missing edge lettering; that error occurs when a coin misses the edge lettering step entirely. A third error type that has been encountered is doubled edge lettering, which is created when a coin passes through the edge lettering machine twice.

While there are many possible explanations for how this incorrect date error may have occurred, its story is seemingly revealed by the coins that accompanied it. This error coin was included in a roll of 2010 D Native American $1 Coins that were purchased using the US Mint’s Direct Ship Program. Since only this lone Zachary Taylor $1 was found in the roll, one can speculate that the same machinery was used to strike 2010 D Native American dollars after completing a run of 2009 D Zachary Taylor dollars. A coin was left behind somewhere between striking and edge lettering became mixed with Native American dollars headed for the edge lettering process, and was thus inscribed with the wrong date.

Because of where this coin was found, it does not suggest that a large run of error coins were made and, therefore, this type of error coin may remain a significant rarity. (more…)

Upcoming Champion Hong Kong Auction Offers Chinese Numismatic Rarities

The 10th Hong Kong Champion Auction will be held on February 24 at the renowned Hyatt Regency Hotel located in 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, and features a rich selection of Chinese coins and banknotes certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and Paper Money Guaranty (PMG).

Among the auction listings are Chinese Empire minor Silver and Copper coins from a long-standing American collection. Also presented is a group of Copper Pattern coins from another American collection, including an extremely rare Yunnan Dollar pattern with raised edge, whose heritage may include the Schuler Company.

The auction will be held on February 24, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong. More information can be found on Champion’s multi-lingual Web site, www.cghka.com, and the auction can be seen at www.liveauctioneers.com/catalog/20498.

586 rare coins and banknotes will be offered and Among the highlights of coins are:

CHINA-Yuan Dynasty 5 Taels Gold Sycee, Weight 185.5g, VF?lot 48?
CHINA-SHANTUNG 1926 Dragon and Phoenix 10 Dollars Gold Pattern, KM Pn7, K1536, NGC MS65?lot 68?
CHINA-YUNNAN ND 10 Cash Copper Pattern, AU. Extremely rare possibly unique (lot 235)
CHINA-SINKIANG 1878 One Mace Silver, Lanchoufu Arsenal Mint, L&M808, K1000, NGC AU55(lot 214)
CHINA-Qing Dynasty Empress Dowager Presentation Birthday Charm, 63mm in diameter, 10mm thick, 241.8g, XF(lot 41)

Highlights of banknotes are:
CHINA 1911 Shensi Provincial Bank 3 Taels (Guo-829), VF-XF(lot 449)
CHINA 1854 Board of Revenue 10 Tales PA12b(lot 367)
CHINA 1907 Kiangse Government Bank $1 PMG VF20(lot 447)
CHINA 1914 Bank of China Chihli $5 PMG AU58EPQ(lot 389) (more…)

A Letter from Mark Salzberg

Every year I write a letter to all NGC submitters to describe what’s happening at NGC. Communication is a very important part of what we do — we see NGC as being directly responsive to the wants and needs of the numismatic community. In no small part, it’s because of this responsiveness that NGC has grown to become the largest rare coin certification company in the world. In fact, we are literally only days away from certifying our 20 millionth coin!

Before I get ahead of myself, I’d like to look back at 2009. We did so many things last year that I’m just going to get to it…

On January 1, 2009, we formally launched NGC Ancients, a grading division focused on coinage of the ancient world. David Vagi, an extraordinary numismatist, joined us to head this effort. Our goal is to provide independent expert evaluations for ancient coins, just as we do for coinage of the modern era. The precise grading system and encapsulation are both game-changing innovations in ancient numismatics, but I’m particularly proud of what it says about NGC. Now, we can provide our industry-leading services for the broadest range of coins, tokens and medals. We do this by having more and better experts than anyone, all under one roof and collaborating to continually improve the quality and value of our services.

At the 2009 FUN Show we introduced the Scratch-Resistant EdgeView® Holder. Coated in the same UV-cured materials as eyeglass lenses, it provides an optically clear surface that is resistant to nicks and scuffs. We absorb the cost on this very expensive material because we believe it’s vitally important that your coins are always presented in the best possible way, whether you are offering them for sale or enjoying them in your home. If anyone is interested in having coins re-holdered in our scratch-resistant holder, just call customer service and they will be happy to take care of you.

We’ve also continued to upgrade and improve our Web site. Dealers will find an enhanced portal upon login, and all submitters have new, easy-to-use PDF submission forms. In April, we added a comprehensive library of grading articles to the Web site, one for every US coin type. Our coin grading guide, penned by NGC Research Director David W. Lange, is called From One to Seventy, and is certainly among the most readable and informative resources of its kind. But most significantly, we’ve upgraded our Online Verification tool. Now you can see images of every coin that was tier-graded after October 2008 by entering its certification number. We even have a mobile version so you can access these images on your cell phone! If you ever had a concern about buying a fake or bad NGC holder, you shouldn’t anymore. (more…)

NGC Certifies New 2010 Cents

NGC has received a number of the new 2010 cents for certification.

The numismatic press recently announced that the new 2010 cents having a shield reverse were inexplicably released in Puerto Rico in advance of their scheduled February release date. NGC has received a number of these for certification, and the novelty of these coins makes them worthy of comment. The obverse remains unchanged from recent years, with the exception of some sharpening of the initials “VDB” at the truncation of Lincoln’s bust. The reverse has been replaced entirely, representing a retirement of the 50-year-old Lincoln Memorial design and last year’s four commemorative types. In their place is a Union shield of thirteen vertical stripes topped by a chief bearing the incuse legend E PLURIBUS UNUM. The value ONE CENT is inscribed in relief on a banner superimposed across the vertical stripes. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA appears around the upper periphery in raised letters, while the initials “LB” of the designer (Lyndall Bass) and “JLM” of the sculptor (Joseph Menna) are beneath the banner at either side of the shield.

This design is not entirely original, as it closely resembles pattern cents designed and sculpted by Charles E. Barber in 1896 (numbers J-1767 through 1769 in the Judd pattern book). Unlike the originals, however, the new 2010 cents omit the traditional visual language of heraldry in which white stripes are represented by a plain texture, red stripes are represented by fine, vertical lines within them and the blue chief is represented by horizontal lines. The new cent has the “red” stripes in faintly higher relief that is observable only with close examination, while the chief is not colored heraldically at all. The impression is thus given that the entire shield is of a single color, the lack of distinction being particularly egregious with respect to the stripes. (more…)

NGC Certifies Spanish Gold Coin Rarity from Majorca

ngc_mallorca_012010NGC recently graded the finest known example of a legendary Spanish rarity, the 8 Escudos of Charles II from the Spanish Mediterranean Island of Majorca.

NGC recently certified an extremely rare gold 1689/72 Spanish 8 Escudos struck on the island of Majorca. It is the only known crown-size gold coin of the Cob era struck in Majorca, and graded NGC XF45, with a strong, full strike and abundant underlying luster.

The Calico “Onza” book describes the coin as unique. The 1879 edition of Numismatica Balear by Alvaro Campaner included this coin, illustrating it with a line drawing. A counterfeiter, relying only on the illustration as his model, produced a meticulous replica from which these coins are perhaps better known.

The unique genuine example resided in the Marquis of Palmer collection, as noted by Campaner, and recently sold as part of the Caballero de las Yndias collection, one of the largest private collections of gold coins from Spain and Latin America.

This sale is believed to be the only time the piece has ever been publicly offered for sale.

NGC was privileged to certify this rare specimen.