Important News! CoinLink has merged..... Visit our NEW Site www.CoinWeek.com

BREAKING NEWS:....... Vist Our NEW Site at CoinWeek.com

Category: Registry Sets

Unique 1943 Bronze Cents Set To Be Displayed at the FUN Show

The first-ever public display of the one-of-a-kind set of 1943 bronze Lincoln cents from the Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints will be hosted by Professional Coin Grading Service and Legend Numismatics, Inc. during the first three days of the Florida United Numismatists convention in Tampa, Florida, January 6, 7 and 8, 2011.

The unprecedented exhibit marks the first time the complete set has been included in the PCGS Set RegistrySM. It also marks the fulfillment of a boyhood dream of the collector who owns the coins, Texas business executive Bob R. Simpson, Co-Chairman of the Texas Rangers baseball club.

“A total of nine off-metal World War II-era Lincoln cents from Mr. Simpson’s collection will be displayed at the PCGS booth (#102) at the FUN convention,” said Don Willis, President of PCGS, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ:). “There’s the unique set of three 1943 bronze-planchet cents, a set of three 1944 cents on zinc-coated steel planchets, and three wartime Lincoln cents erroneously struck on silver planchets apparently intended for the production of dimes.”

Simpson wanted to own a 1943 bronze cent error since he was a teenager, and now owns the only-known 1943-D bronze cent as well as other wrong-planchet, wartime cents. All will be exhibited at FUN.

Zinc-coated steel was used for producing cents in 1943 to conserve copper for other uses during World War II, but a small number of coins were mistakenly struck on bronze planchets left over from 1942. In 1944 the Mint resumed use of copper for cent production using recycled ammunition shell cases; however, a small number were mistakenly struck on zinc-coated steel planchets intended for use only on 1943-dated cents.

“Mr. Simpson is the first collector to ever assemble a complete P-D-S set of bronze-planchet 1943 Lincoln cents,” said Laura Sperber, President of Legend Numismatics. “When he recently saw all three coins together for the first time, he said, ‘This is incredible!’ Now, he’s graciously agreed to publicly display them.”

Sperber said that when he was a youngster, Simpson thought he’d actually found a 1943 copper cent in circulation. “But it was not authentic. He still has that in his desk drawer.”

The unique 1943-D bronze cent was purchased by Simpson in September for a record $1.7 million through Legend Numismatics after four years of negotiations with the coin’s anonymous former owner who donated all the proceeds to charity. It is the highest price ever paid for a United States cent.

“It was always special to buy each coin for this set, and until I had all the coins together I just did not realize how important and unreal this project really was! I’m as excited as any collector can be to see this amazing display,” Sperber said.

“Not only is Mr. Simpson’s Set of Off-Metal Cents the All-Time-Finest, it’s the absolute finest possible given the scarcity of the coins,” said BJ Searls, PCGS Set Registry Manager. “Photos of Mr. Simpson’s 1943 bronze and 1944 steel cents can be viewed online in the PCGS Set Registry for ‘Lincoln Cents Off-Metal Strikes, Circulation Strikes (1943-1944)’. The one-of-a-kind complete set has a weighted grade point average of 62.89.” (more…)

Coin Rarities & Related Topics: The B&M Auction of the Malibu Collection of Standing Liberty Quarters

News and Analysis regarding scarce coins, coin markets, and the coin collecting community #27

A Weekly Column by Greg Reynolds

I. The Malibu Collection

In Baltimore, on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010, B&M auctioned the ‘Malibu’ collections of Standing Liberty Quarters (SLQs), Liberty Seated Halves and Liberty Seated Dollars. Though I have a strong affinity for Liberty Seated coins, I will focus here on this collector’s Standing Liberty Quarters (SLQs), as his set of SLQs is phenomenal.

Since the collector who formed the Malibu collection wishes to remain anonymous, Malibu will be employed here as the code name of this collector and of his collections of specific series. All the Malibu collections auctioned in Novembers were of business strikes. In January, B&M will auction the Malibu collections of Proof Liberty Seated Quarters and Liberty Seated Halves, in Tampa, just prior to the winter FUN Convention.

II. Malibu SLQ Registry Set

Among the collections that Malibu has formed so far, the Malibu set of Standing Liberty Quarters (SLQs) is the most famous. In the category of “Basic” sets of Standing Liberty Quarters with Full Heads on Miss Liberty, the Malibu collection is the second “All-Time Finest” in the PCGS registry.

All of the quarters in Malibu’s set have a ‘Full Head’ designation from the PCGS, and the FH indicator is best referred to as part of the grade, though it is technically a designation that is considered separately from the numerical grade. An MS65FH SLQ is generally considered to be ‘of a higher grade’, so to speak, then an MS-65 grade SLQ of the same date with a weakly struck head, which is typical for most dates of SLQs. For some SLQ issues, only a very small percentage of those struck have a full head (FH).

In the PCGS registry, the Malibu Collection of Standing Liberty Quarters (SLQs) has a weighted grade point average of “67.92.” Relatively scarce SLQs are weighed more than relatively less scarce dates. The rules of the PCGS registry provide for “bonus points” that are awarded to SLQs with FH designations.

The sixth “All-Time Finest” Basic SLQ set in the PCGS registry was formed by Pat McInally, who was the lead punter for the Cincinnati Bengals during the football seasons from 1976 to 1985. In 1977, 1978 and 1980, he caught a significant number of passes. In the NFL, it is very unusual for a punter to also be a regular receiver. McInally’s SLQ set had a “Weighted GPA” of “67.59.” While “67.59” not nearly as high as the “Weighted GPA” of the Malibu SLQ set, “67.92,” it is impressive. Also, Malibu’s set is the #2 SLQ set in the NGC registry as well, though Malibu did not fully update his listing in the NGC registry and some SLQs that were just auctioned are not listed.

Both the PCGS and the NGC registries provide the most weight to the scarcest dates. Generally, the 1916, the 1918/7-S and the 1927-S are the queens of the SLQ series, closely followed by the 1923-S and then the 1921. The 1919-D and the 1919-S are very rare with a FH, but not rare without. The 1920-S SLQ issue is also relatively rare with a FH.

In the PCGS registry, the “Basic” SLQ sets do not include the 1918/7-S overdate, though the ‘variety’ SLQ sets do. It seems that, according to the PCGS, the 1918/7-S is the only ‘major variety’ in the SLQ series. In my view, the 1918/7-S is an overdate that has the status of a distinct date; it should not be referred to as a ‘major variety.’

In any event, Malibu’s set is ‘100% FH’ in accordance with the rules for ‘Basic’ sets of SLQs in the PCGS registry. The #1 SLQ set is ‘91.89% Full Head’ because three SLQs in the set, including a 1927-S, lack a FH. The Malibu SLQ set is thus the “All-Time Finest” in the PCGS registry that is ‘100% FH.’ Indeed, on the PCGS ‘all-time’ list of Basic sets of SLQs, the Malibu set is one of only five sets that are both ‘100% Complete’ and ‘100% FH’! (more…)

PCGS Currency Releases Population Report for Serial Number Blocks

The newest resource for paper money collectors is now available online. PCGS Currency has expanded the PCGS Currency Population Report, a report by grade of more than 250,000 notes authenticated and certified by PCGS Currency, to include population by serial number block. Updated daily and available by subscription to members of the PCGS Currency Collectors Club and all PCGS Currency Authorized Dealers, the new “Pop by Block” feature gives collectors and Small Size U.S. currency specialists the opportunity to view PCGS Currency grade populations by serial number block.

“Small Size U.S. currency collectors and specialists now have the availability to research population data and view the relative scarcity of individual blocks by grade,” says PCGS Currency Vice President Laura A. Kessler. “Our new “Pop by Block” population report expands the many resources available to our members. With it’s ease of navigation and 24 hour availability at your fingertips, collectors can quickly find and research pertinent information for over 150,000 small size notes by block. Our initial small size series release includes Legal Tenders, Silver Certificates, Federal Reserve Bank Notes, Federal Reserve Notes, WWII Emergency Notes, and Gold Certificates.”

While the initial release of population data for serial number blocks includes just Small Size notes, the data for Large Size notes by serial number block will soon be released as well. Population data for Canadian notes by serial number block will follow, as well.

“A great deal of work has gone into this project,” stated Jason W. Bradford, President of PCGS Currency. “Our experts have gone over the data line by line to ensure the accuracy of this report. The PCGS Currency Population Report expansion to include serial number blocks will provide collectors of all U.S. notes to gather more information and accurately gauge the relative scarcity of specific blocks by grade.”

PCGS Currency Collectors Club memberships are available online by clicking on our Collectors Club page, or you can join by calling (309) 222-8200. All PCGS Currency Collector Club members can submit notes directly to PCGS Currency, access the online Population Report, and receive a free sample note and a copy of the PCGS currency Grading Standards guide.

The Dilemma of the Placeholder – Coin Collecting Strategy

By Doug Winter – www.RareGoldCoins.com

PlaceholderIf you collect a set (or sets) and are competing in the Set Registry, the chances are good that you’ve struggled with the Dilemma of the Placeholder. Let’s examine the Pros and Cons of buying a placeholder coin and try to decide whether this is a smart collecting strategy or not.

First off, let’s define what a “placeholder coin” is. I view a placeholder coin as one that you buy as a stop gap. As an example, say that you are assembling a set of Indian Head eagles. One of the few dates that you are missing is a 1911-D. One comes up for sale at auction in a grade lower than what you really want. You decide to buy it anyway because of the fact that it a) fills a gaping hole in your set and b) gives you a sufficient number of Registry Set points that you move up a notch and pass Collector X. Was this is a smart purchase or not?

Let’s look at the pros of buying a placeholder coin. The first is the measure of satisfaction that filling a really nagging hole can give. There is nothing more frustrating for our hypothetical collector than seeing a big ol’ ugly blank every time he looks at his set inventory – especially if he has a nice date run before and after the missing coin. Coin collecting is a very emotional hobby and the Karmic Value of filling a hole is hard to put a value on.

Another pro is the fact that a Placeholder coin might grow in appeal on the owner. I’m going to assume that as a collector you are smart enough to not buy something truly hideous and to at least hold out for a moderately attractive placeholder. You might learn that your placeholder is actually so rare that it represents the only coin that you are likely to have a shot to buy.

For some collectors a placeholder coin represents a practical decision. Let’s say for example that you are assembling a gold type set from the 19th and 20th centuries and that you don’t have the ability to spend $100,000+ on a nice 1808 quarter eagle. In this case, a decent looking coin in, say, an NCS holder with EF sharpness but with signs of an old cleaning at $40,000-50,000 might be a savvy purchase; especially given the fact that an uncleaned 1808 quarter eagle in this price range might take years and years to locate.

For every pro there is a con, so now let’s look at the cons of buying placeholder coins. To my way of thinking, the biggest con about a placeholder coin is the fact that you know you are going to have to replace it. Unless the market goes up in your series, you are probably going to lose money on it when you sell it. Let’s say, for example, that Collector Z buys the mythical 1911-D eagle we discussed above. He purchases one for $10,500 that’s decent but not really a great looking coin due to the presence of some marks on the obverse. A year later he finds the right coin and it’s going to cost him $27,500. Unless Collector Z has a buyback or “trade up” agreement with the dealer he bought it from he’s probably going to take a 10-15% hit on the coin. Let’s say he’s sells it at auction and nets $9,250; a loss of $1,250. This brings the actual cost of his new coin to $28,750. (more…)

The Joshua II Collection of Mercury Dimes is the #1 All-Time Finest PCGS Registry Set and is being sold in Boston

Selling the #1 All-Time Finest PCGS Registry Set in any category is an honor, and Heritage fully appreciates the hard work necessary to put the Joshua II Collection into that position. Completing the all-time finest set, especially in such a popular series, is an accomplishment of the highest order. In a popular series with thousands of collectors, the task becomes nearly impossible.

The consignor of Joshua II did it, and did it convincingly, and with the same style that characterizes his many other Registry leading collections. This set has a collecting background measured in decades, with such uniform quality across the series that the hard work of collecting is almost unimaginable. Heritage has been proud to offer many other collections, of equal quality and note, from this distinguished numismatist. s.

As might be expected from such a high quality set, many of the coins are the finest known of their date. In addition, every circulation strike dime has obtained with the Full Bands designation, and 46 of the 79 coins have the CAC affirmation as well. Each coin grades at least MS66, with the 1939-D, a date called “the quintessential type coin” by David Lange, reaching an astounding MS69 to go along with its full bands. Of course, the overall quality of this set is by no means limited to type coins; the key date 1916-D grades MS67 with full bands, and is one of only seven known in the grade from PCGS with none finer.

A collection like this has innumerable highlights; these are just a few:

Cardinal Collection of US Large Cents On Display in Boston

Bowers and Merena Sponsor display of this Multi-Million dollar collection ranked the Finest Registry Set

The number one-ranked collection of United States large cents in both the PGCS and NGC Set Registry listings will be publicly displayed for the first time in Boston, August 10 – 13, 2010, at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money. The historic coins from the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation include some of the finest known examples of large cents struck from 1793 to 1857.

The foundation’s exhibit is co-sponsored by Bowers and Merena Auctions (www.BowersAndMerena.com) and Collateral Finance Corporation (www.cfccoinloans.com), and will be displayed at the Bowers and Merena booth, #1017, during the five-day show.

“This is a truly amazing collection, valued at millions of dollars. There are 77 large cents and each is among the very finest known for its respective date and type. Many of them are simply the finest known, period,” said Greg Roberts, CEO of Bowers and Merena.

This 1793 Chain Cent (S-2), graded PCGS MS65BN, is one of the highlights of the multi-million dollar Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation large cents collection that will be displayed August 10 – 13, 2010 by Bowers and Merena Auctions and Collateral Finance Corporation at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Boston.  (Photo by PCGS)

While supplies last, visitors to the exhibit can receive a free, 40-page illustrated booklet published by the foundation, “Portraits of Liberty,” that describes the history of U.S. large cents.

Highlights of the exhibit include:

1793 Chain Cent (S-2) graded PCGS MS65BN that set a world’s record in 2005 as the most valuable U.S. cent;

1793 Wreath Cent, PCGS MS69BN, the single highest-graded 18th century U.S. coin of any date of denomination;

1794 Liberty Cap “Head of 1793” Cent, PCGS MS64BN, described by Logies as “the single finest representative work of early Mint engraver, Joseph Wright;”

1803 Draped Bust Cent, PCGS MS66RB, acclaimed by the Early American Coppers society as tied for the finest known Draped Bust cent of any date or variety;

the record-setting 1842 Braided Hair Cent from the Naftzger Collection, PCGS MS65RD, widely acknowledged as the finest existing “Petite Head” type;

and another record-setting coin from the Naftzger Collection, an 1852 Braided Hair Cent, graded PCGS MS65RD, and acknowledged as the finest existing cent from its era.

“The Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation is a non-profit educational organization that focuses on the study and publication of information about early coinage of the United States of America. The foundation is delighted at the opportunity for thousands of people to see these superb-quality, early American cents in person in Boston with the valued assistance of Bowers and Merena and Collateral Finance Corporation,” said Martin Logies, a director of the Sunnyvale, California-based foundation. (more…)

All-Time Greatest Collection of Barber Half Dollars to be Auctioned in Boston, Part 1

by Greg Reynolds

On Wed., Aug 11, during the Platinum Night event of the Summer 2010 ANA auction in Boston, the all-time greatest collection of Barber Half Dollars will be auctioned. This set was assembled and consigned by Dr. Steven Duckor.

I. Overview

Here in part 1, I will introduce Dr. Duckor’s collection, mention the last two coins that were added, focus on his 1904-S half, and discuss the evolution of his set of Barber halves. In part 2, the historical and cultural importance of this set will be analyzed, along with references to other landmark sets of Barber Halves, including those of Thaine Price, Louis Eliasberg and the Norweb family. Plus, there will be some additional information in at least one of my Wednesday morning columns. Please read tomorrow’s column.

All of Dr. Duckor’s coins are authenticated, graded, and encapsulated by the Professional Coin Grading Service. During the Spring, the entire set was re-evaluated by the PCGS under the new SecurePlus™ program. Twenty-seven of Duckor’s halves received plus grades, Duckor himself reports, and “one coin fully upgraded to the next grade.”

In accordance with the rules of the PCGS registry, Duckor’s primary set has a “weighted” grade point average of “66.776.” With inclusion of the rare and recognized 1892 Micro O variety, his GPA drops a little to “66.72” The second ‘current finest’ set is owned by Dr. Peter Shireman and it is third on the “all-time” list. My guess, though, is that the Thaine Price collection is superior to that of Shireman. In accordance with current grading criteria, some of Price’s coins would merit higher grades than these received in the 1990s.

I am not referring to Dr. Duckor’s set of Barber Half Dollars as the ‘all-time’ best because it is the number one “All-Time Finest” in the PCGS registry, though this is so. I am referring to it as the greatest collection of business strike Barber Halves of all time because it is superior to any other, better than those that were disbursed before the PCGS was founded, and better than those that include a mix of PCGS and NGC certified coins. I have spent considerable time researching and analyzing the topic of business strike Barber Half Dollars.

Actually, so few collectors have even attempted to assemble gem quality, complete sets of business strike Barber Halves, it was not that difficult to determine that the Duckor collection is the greatest of all time. References to other sets of Barber Halves are central to an understanding of Dr. Duckor’s set. In terms of the culture of coin collecting, Dr. Duckor’s set of Barber Halves is perhaps the most important collection to be auctioned in Boston this August, even though tens of millions of dollars worth of rare coins, including several wonderful collections, will be sold.

Unfortunately, I am not able here to extensively discuss many of the individual Barber Halves in the collection. The objectives of this two-part series are to explain the importance of this set, to provide information about its evolution, to relate it to other sets of Barber Halves, and to discuss the meaning of this set in the context of the history and traditions of coin collecting in the United States. I will mention a few specific Barber Halves in my weekly columns, starting tomorrow.

Mark Borckardt, surely, did an admirable job of cataloguing Dr. Duckor’s coins. I strongly recommend that collectors read the catalogue. Even collectors who cannot afford these halves will find the catalogue to be educational and interesting. In order to understand the coins that a collector possesses, it is necessary for him or her to learn about coins that are not affordable. (more…)

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…)

Dwight Manley’s Superlative New England Silver Registry Set to Highlight ANA Platinum Night

What’s better than an offering of New England coinage at the Boston ANA? An offering of the very finest New England coinage at the Boston ANA, and Heritage’s Platinum Night festivities will feature precisely that.

Dwight Manley’s NE Silver Collection is a Registry masterpiece, the #1 finest set of all time at PCGS:

  • #1 Massachusetts Silver Shilling Design Set (1652-1682)
  • #1 Massachusetts Silver Design Set (1652-1682)
  • 2009 “Best of Registry Award Winner”

Dwight Manley is no stranger to outstanding coins, and this collection is proof of that. The five coins in this collection include:

Gem Mint State 1652 Pine Tree Shilling. One of Only 11 Examples of Noe 7 Known, and the Finest Example Certified. While not rare, Pine Tree shillings have a romantic quality that has enticed countless collectors. If a collector were to choose only one Colonial coin to own, it would undoubtedly be the Pine Tree shilling. A previous owner of this coin described it succinctly: “Gem Coin. Cannot Be Excelled.” We feel that his description accurately represents this stellar coin.

Spectacular 1652 Oak Tree Shilling, MS66. An Oak Tree shilling in Mint State 66 is something so remarkable that one must see and hold it in person to fully appreciate it. (I have, and I concur. -Editor) This lucky survivor is the finest example certified by PCGS by a margin of two points and could possibly be the finest Oak Tree shilling in existence.

1652 Willow Tree Shilling, VF35; Plated in Noe. This very piece has a special significance to numismatists as the discovery coin for the Willow Tree type. As a type, the Willow Tree shillings are rarer than their NE, Oak Tree, and Pine Tree counterparts, and this piece is additionally an example of the very rare Noe-3 variety, with perhaps eight examples known to collectors.

Rare and Important About Uncirculated New England Shilling; Plated in Noe. The rarity and significance of the New England shilling can hardly be overstated. The NE pieces claim the title of first coins struck in British America. Few collections, including some of the most advanced cabinets of Colonial coins, have possessed a representative of the New England shilling, let alone an example that has the quality of the present coin.

Rare Libertas Americana Medal in Silver, MS61. This is only the second time in 20 years that Heritage has had the pleasure to offer an example in silver. These medals are so highly prized and rare that it may be many years before another silver Libertas Americana, particularly one in Mint State, appears at auction.This auction will post for bidding soon at HA.com/Coins, with previews available now!

Exceptional Early Copper Coin Collection Exhibit To Highlight Long Beach Expo

The Cardinal Type Collection of Early Copper, a multi-million dollar display of over two dozen high-grade early American copper pieces including items from an all-time finest PCGS Set Registry collection, will be exhibited at the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo, June 3 – 5, 2010. The show will be held in the Long Beach, California Convention Center, 100 S. Pine Ave.

1793 S-2 cent, PCGS MS65BN, Cardinal Collection:  This 1793 Chain "AMERICA" (Sheldon-2 variety) large cent, graded PCGS MS65BN, is one of the highlights of the Cardinal Collection of Early Copper that will be displayed at the Long Beach Expo, June 3 - 5, 2010. “This special exhibit is a superb collection of historic and rare private coinage from 1787 to 1792 and early items from the Philadelphia Mint from 1793 up to 1852. The collection was assembled by Martin Logies and will be exhibited courtesy of Bowers & Merena Auctions,” said Ronald J. Gillio, Expo General Chairman.

Highlights of the exhibit include the following coins that were part of the 2009 PCGS Best of Registry winner for Large Cents Basic Set:

1793 Chain AMERICA S-2 variety formerly in the Beckwith, Collins and Naftzger Collections and graded PCGS MS65BN;

1793 Wreath, Vine and Bars Edge formerly in the Naftzger Collection, PCGS MS69BN;

1794 Head of 1793 formerly in the Garrett Collection, PCGS MS64 BN;

and 1803 No Stems S-243, PCGS MS66RB, formerly in the Helfenstein and Naftzger Collections.

1794 Head of 1793 cent, PCGS MS64 BN, Cardinal Collection:  Formerly in the famous Garrett Collection, this 1794 "Head of 1793" variety large cent graded PCGS MS64BN is one of the highlights of the Cardinal Collection of Early Copper that will be displayed at the Long Beach Expo, June 3 - 5, 2010.During the three-day Long Beach Expo more than 1,000 dealers will be buying and selling rare coins, paper money, stamps, postcards, historic documents, antiques, estate jewelry and other collectibles. Some dealers will provide free, informal appraisals for visitors.

A free gold coin door prize will be awarded each day to a lucky, registered visitor, and a children’s treasure hunt will be held on Saturday, June 5. A half dozen educational programs and collectors’ clubs meetings will be conducted during the show and will be open to the public.

Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, Texas (www.HA.com), the world’s largest collectibles auction house and the official auctioneer of the Long Beach Expo, will hold a public auction of U.S. coins in conjunction with the show.

(more…)

The Finest $10 Indian Head Eagle Gold Coin Registry Set: The Simpson Collection

The all-time finest set of Indian Head Eagles was among the first coins certified under the new PCGS Secure Plus (http://www.pcgs.com/secureplus.html) system.

Known as “The Simpson Collection” and now added to the popular PCGS Set RegistrySM, the 32-coin set was assembled with the help of Laura Sperber of Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey.

The set includes 18 of the finest known gem mint condition examples of their date and mint with none graded higher. Eleven of those are unique in their top grade including a 1920-S graded PCGS MS67+, the owner’s personal favorite coin in the set.

The set was displayed at the Professional Coin Grading Service booth during the American Numismatic Association National Money Show™ in Fort Worth, Texas, March 25 – 27, 2010. The revolutionary new PCGS Secure Plus system was formally announced there on the first day of the show by David Hall, PCGS Co-Founder and Collectors Universe, Inc. President, and Don Willis, PCGS President.

“This is the finest $10 Indian set ever assembled,” said David Hall – Co-Founder of PCGS. “The quality and originality of the set are unsurpassed in numismatic history. In my opinion, the 1920-S is the most important $10 Indian in existence.”

The Simpson collection is ranked in the PCGS Set Registry as the All-Time Finest set of gold Indian Head $10 circulation strikes, 1907- 1933 (http://www.pcgs.com/setregistry/alltimeset.aspx?s=71313). It has a weighted grade point average of 66.335 and is 100 percent complete.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better inaugural set to be submitted through PCGS Secure Plus. Thirteen of the coins received the ‘+’ designation. Our entire team was blown away by the quality of these coins,” said Willis. (more…)

New Registry at NGC for Early U.S. Gold Coins Announced

The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) has announced the addition of a new section to its registry for Early U.S. Gold Coins.

Noted as a pedigree collection and officially named American Independence, it will include Gold Quarter Eagles, Gold Eagles and Gold Half Eagles. It is the first time a new section has been added to the registry in years.

With this new designation, collectors will now be able to register and display photos of their early U.S. gold coins, interact with other collectors, and compete for awards and recognition.

The NGC is the largest coin registry of its kind, widely recognized as the definitive showcase of the world’s most valuable and important coins.

According to Scott Schechter, NGC Vice President, Sales & Marketing, “The newly-created early gold sets in the NGC Registry are definitely among the most difficult to complete. To attempt them is to undertake a long and serious pursuit. This underscores the achievement of the American Independence collection, which consists of high-grade and attractive examples of these challenging coins. As it continues to grow, it should be a milestone Registry collection.”

Tom Pilitowski is currently the exclusive representative of the American Independence collection and owner of U.S. Rare Coin Investments in Port Charlotte, Florida. “This new pedigree of Early U.S. Gold now makes these coins eligible for NGC grading and authentication,” Pilitowski said. “More importantly, it will bring attention to the historical significance of U.S. gold coins that date back to this country’s founding.”

Pilitowski is an expert on early U.S. gold coins and has formed many collections, ranging from an extremely rare 1795 9 Leave Eagle in MS-61 in what has been known as the Denver Collection to several sets of Early Half Eagles. (more…)

PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club™ Launched

Although most collectors and dealers may never personally own a seven-figure numismatic rarity, enjoying and learning about them now is easy and fun with the launch of the PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club™ (www.PCGS.com/Million-Dollar-Coin-Club), a free reference guide available from the Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com).

The “club” presently consists of 210 United States rare coins that have sold at auction for $1 million or more, or would sell for that much if offered, according to the expert opinions of five well-known professional numismatists. The list will be updated four times a year.

“Our estimate for the total current value of these 210 United States coin rarities is $475,515,000,” said David Hall, PCGS Co-Founder and President of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT) who is among the pricing consultants who prepared the list. The other four experts in the group are Ron Guth, President of PCGS CoinFacts; Kevin Lipton, President of Kevin Lipton Rare Coins of Beverly Hills, California; Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas; and Laura Sperber, Co-President of Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey.

Rankings and information in the PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club will be updated every three months online at www.PCGS.com/Million-Dollar-Coin-Club and in a printed, full-color educational booklet when more coins reach that mark and others already in the “club” bring new prices at upcoming auctions. The first edition of the booklet will be available from PCGS at the 2010 Florida United Numismatists convention in Orlando, Florida, January 7 – 10.

“The first U.S. coin to reach the million dollar mark was the Eliasberg specimen 1913 Liberty Head nickel 14 years ago. It sold at auction for $1,485,000 on May 21, 1996. Today, there are 210 coins that would bring $1 million or more if offered in the marketplace,” said Hall. (more…)

Brahin’s Syrup to be Auctioned at FUN: Select Group of Saint Gaudens $20 Gold Coins

by Greg Reynolds for CoinLink

On Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010, Heritage’s long awaited Platinum Night event at the FUN Convention in Orlando will include a marvelous array of choice and rare U.S. coins. It is part of a larger auction extravaganza that is held in conjunction with one of the two most important coin conventions of the year, that of the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) organization.

brahin_121809_reynoldsThe famous collector Jay Brahin has consigned a select group of Saint Gaudens Double Eagles ($20 gold coins) to be sold on Platinum Night. The most valuable piece from the Brahin collection is a 1927-S Saint that is graded MS-66 by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).

Brahin’s consignment is of just seven coins, yet these are particularly significant. These seven constitute his entire current collection of Double Eagles and were very carefully selected by him. Jay reveals that he had “no intention of selling is coins, but I [Jay] am selling for personal reasons that are completely unrelated to coins or coin markets. I would have liked to have held these coins for a decade or more. Coins are art to me, and I am proud to have obtained these coins. I love the thrill of the hunt. Finding the coin is more gratifying than selling it.”

Brahin started “collecting coins as a kid.” He “filled coin albums with cents, nickels, dimes and quarters. During vacations, I [Jay] would work $20 in change several times over in one day, by going back and forth to the bank. Over the period of a summer day, I would go to a bank eight or nine times. It was fun. I loved it. I fell off the collecting wagon, but I never lost my love of coins.”

As a teenager, Brahin had other interests. Later in life, in 2002, Jay returned to coin collecting. He “always wanted to own a Saint when [he] was a kid.” So, he “turned to Saints.” Jay saw “Dr. Duckor’s Saint set on the PCGS registry, which was then blocked from view, but his e-mail address was briefly posted. I wrote to him and said I was an admirer of his Barber Half set; I inquired about his Saints. Later, we talked about the philosophy of collecting.” (more…)

Legend Numismatics Sells The Sunnywood Toned Morgan Dollar Coin Collection

Legend Numismatics, a coin dealer specializing in high-quality, rare U.S. coinage, announced the sale of the entire Sunnywood “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” Toned Morgan Dollar Collection to a private collector who wishes to remain anonymous. Financial details were not released, but Legend spokesperson Laura Sperber acknowledged that it was a “multi-million dollar transaction” and that the collection was sold intact.

DouglasKurz_120909The Sunnywood Collection (Circulation Strikes from 1878-1921 including three important varieties) was painstakingly assembled over a period of several years by Douglas Kurz, a long-time collector who is a successful businessman and former concert pianist. Bucking the market trend of preference for “white” Morgan Dollars, he decided to put together a complete set of Morgans with “attractive, original color, at least on the obverse.”

Prominently featured in the PCGS Set RegistrySM (www.PCGS.com/SetRegistry), the Sunnywood Collection, consisting exclusively of PCGS-graded coins, gained additional notoriety at the January 2009 FUN Show, the February and May 2009 Long Beach Expos, and in advertisements in Coin World and other numismatic publications.

One interesting point is that the most attractive pieces in terms of color and eye appeal are not necessarily the highest-graded pieces. Sunnywood strikes a balance between color and technical grade, so Set Registry ranking has sometimes been sacrificed for the sake of overall eye appeal.

Many collectors consider the Sunnywood Collection to be the finest set of toned Morgans ever assembled.

The collection includes many early common dates (between 1878 and 1888) and some later dates (such as 1896, 1899-O and 1904-O) that can be found with dramatic and vibrant multi-colored mint-bag toning. There are many dates, however, that simply do not exist with colorful toning. Those dates were sought instead with attractive original patination (the 1900-S and 1901-S are good examples).

Laura Sperber Comments:

In my mind, this is one collection that should not even exist. When Doug originally approached me about building the set with him, I did not think an all-colored Morgan set that nice was even possible to build. Point blank, I told him not to do it.

As time went on, I watched Doug work on the project. He was gracious enough to let Legend help him add a coin or two to this magnificent set. (more…)

PCGS To Dispaly All-Time Finest Registry Set of Early U.S. Half Dollars at FUN

1794 half dollar, PCGS MS61 finest known, from the Dale Friend Collection.More than 100 coins from the all-time finest registry set of early U.S. half dollars in the PCGS Set RegistrySM will be displayed at the Professional Coin Grading Service booth, January 7 – 9, 2010, during the first three days of the Florida United Numismatists convention in Orlando. The coins are from the collection of Dale Friend of Nevada, and 20 of them are either the finest or tied for the finest ever graded by PCGS.

“This wonderful collection has been assembled over many years. Dale has always attempted to combine the finest technical grade with the choicest eye appeal. Most of these early half dollars have gorgeous, original toning and luster, and are a pleasure to examine,” said Donald E. Willis, Jr., President of PCGS, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).

Friend’s basic set collection of circulation strike early half dollars, 1794 – 1839, has been ranked number one in the PCGS Set Registry the past six years. His set with major varieties has been the best the past four years. Both sets have earned the honor of being the number one all-time finest in their category.

“The basic set is 100 percent complete and has a weighted grade point average of 59.831. The early half dollars set with varieties is nearly 90 percent complete and has a weighted GPA of 59.104,” said BJ Searls, PCGS Set Registry Manager.

A total of 101 coins from Friend’s award-winning early half dollars collections will be exhibited at the PCGS booth, #138, at the FUN convention. (more…)

PCGS Set Registry Launches “Everyman” Coin Collections Category

The Professional Coin Grading Service has established a new category in its popular PCGS Set RegistrySM program, the “Everyman” Collections. No coins graded higher than AU58 can be registered in this category.

“The PCGS Set Registry is home to many of the finest collections ever assembled, but some collectors have stayed away from ‘the classics’ because the costs to acquire Mint State or Proof specimens are prohibitive. So, we’ve created a way for all levels of collectors, entry-level through experienced, to enjoy the fun and competitive nature of the Registry without spending a fortune on Gem Mint State coins,” said BJ Searls, Set Registry Manager.

“Major Registry categories will now have a separate Everyman Collections listing where the highest graded entry will be AU58. With Everyman Collections there’s a good chance your set will rank in the top 20 on the first page, rather than near the bottom of the third or fourth page of that group.”

pcgs_everyman The Everyman categories now available are:

o Half Cents
o Large Cents
o Small Cents through 1958
o Two Cents, Three Cents and Half Dimes
o Nickels through 1938
o Dimes through 1945
o Twenty Cents
o Quarter Dollars through 1964
o Half Dollars through 1963
o Silver Dollars through 1935
o Non-modern gold coins

Searls also announced a convenient new feature available as part of the “My Set Registry.”
(more…)

Heritage to offer the Single Finest PCGS 1925-D Lincoln Cent at Long Beach Auction

1925-D 1C MS66 Red PCGS. Collectors of Registry Set Lincolns are mostly keen, sharp-eyed, and deep-pocketed, making “men’s (and women’s) toys” from a series that most of us tried–and failed–to complete inexpensively from circulation coins, popping them into blue Whitman folders when we were young.

ha_25d_lincoln_090209In the highest Registry Set or Mint State levels, some of the various Lincoln cent issues turn the normal relationships between them on their heads.

For example, that ever-elusive 1909-S VDB: It was an immense prize, the rarest and among the most expensive coins in a circulated set. But in MS65 or MS66 Red, while still costly, it is far less expensive (per the PCGS online Price Guide, to which we refer throughout) than the 1914-D, the 1914-S, the 1915-S, or the 1917-S. (We do not mention the 1916-S, because PCGS has never certified an MS66 Red and therefore provides no price.) The 1918-S in MS65 Red costs four times the price of a Gem Red 1909-S VDB.

In the 1920s, some of the mintmarked issues provide even more stark differences. A Gem Red 1921-S costs twice what a Gem Red S VDB goes for. A Gem Red 1922-D (if you can find one) is about half of an S VDB in 65 Red–a bargain, in our opinion–but a 1923-S in MS65 Red will cost three times as much. And of course, the storied 1926-S in MS65 Red, the only one so certified at PCGS, has become a legendary rarity, a coin that we have handled twice.

The 1924-D and 1924-S are a similar story, and so are the 1925-D and 1925-S. Only with the 1927-D (but not the 1927-S) and later mintmarked issues do the comparisons and prices start to become more favorable.

The present Premium Gem Red 1925-D cent is one of just two so certified at PCGS, and needless to say, there are none finer, either technically or aesthetically. This fully brilliant Premium Gem has gorgeous orange mint luster, with bold design details for an issue that is a notorious strike rarity. In fact, the design definition is sharper on this example than on any other we have handled. The surfaces are frosty and pristine, entirely void of marks or spots. The coloration is a brilliant sunset-orange.

Registry Set collectors note: Of the top five PCGS sets, this coin would upgrade all three of the Current Finest Lincoln Cent Basic Sets, Circulation Strikes that display their inventory (PCGS has an option where you can display your set and ranking, but not its components). Two of those sets contain a 1925-D in MS64 Red; the third has an MS65 Red. Population: 2 in 66 Red, 0 finer (9/09).

How To “Brand” Your Coin Collection

By Doug Winter – www.raregoldcoins.com

You’re a serious coin collector. You’ve done all the “right” things. You’ve learned how to grade. You’ve become a knowledgeable specialist. You’ve worked exclusively with one or two exceptional dealers. Your collection is well on the way to being complete but you aren’t ready to sell it. What can you do in the interim to add value to it?

I would suggest that proper “branding” of your collection might be the single smartest thing you can do once you’ve learned the right ways to assemble said set.

The American Marketing Association defines a brand as “a name, term, sign, symbol or design or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”

Brands play a huge role in our lives whether we choose to admit it or not. You don’t tend to buy a pair of sneakers because of their style or their supposed level of performance; you buy them because you are a Nike person or an Adidas person and you choose to display this symbol to other people; whether to seem “cool” or “informed” or for whatever other reason(s) motivate you. In the case of Nike, you might buy a pair because LeBron James endorses them. What if this was the case with coins?

A small but select group of collectors have figured out that branding, in the era of the Internet, is a way to add considerable prestige and value to their collection. What do I mean by this? Think of certain areas in the numismatic market and certain specific collectors come to mind. Lincoln Cents? Stewart Blay is the Man. Bust Half Dollars? That’s Dale Friend’s Domain. Saints? Steve Duckor is the King. (more…)

Top Registry Set of $10 Gold Coins: The Jim O’Neal Collection of Indian Head Eagles (Part 2)

by Greg Reynolds for CoinLink

Jim O’Neal’s collection of Indian Head Eagles was the opening feature of Heritage’s Platinum Night on Jan. 8, and his set of thirty two $10 gold coins totaled $3.25 million. U.S. coins amounting to more than $20 million were auctioned that night. In part 1, please find an introduction, an overview of the event and a discussion of the Philadelphia Mint Eagles in O’Neal’s set. Here in part 2, O’Neal’s San Francisco Mint Eagles are analyzed. For some of these, O’Neal’s set will be forever remembered.

1913-S While the 1913-San Francisco Mint Indian Head Eagle is nowhere near as rare overall as the 1933 Philadelphia Mint Eagle, it is dramatically rarer in 65 and higher grades. The Kutasi-O’Neal 1913-S is one of the most important Indian Head Eagles in existence. Further, it is a very attractive coin with cool toning. It is the only 1913-S that is PCGS graded 66, and the PCGS has never assigned a 67 or higher grade to a 1913-S Eagle.

The NGC census does not currently list a 1913-S Eagle as grading 66, but does list two as grading 67. The Kutasi-O’Neal 1913-S, which is currently in a PCGS holder with a 66 grade, is one of the two that the NGC lists as grading 67. In 2005, when it was still in a NGC holder, Kutasi reportedly acquired it for “$200,000.” Later, the PCGS graded it as 66. O’Neal bought this 1913-S Eagle at the auction of Kutasi’s coins for $287,500, which was an astonishing price in Jan. 2007.

Todd Imhof, an expert in early 20th century U.S. gold, points out that the O’Neal-Kutasi 1913-S and the Michaels 1913-S are different coins. “The only 1913-S,” Imhof suggests, that “would compare favorably to the O’Neal specimen is the Michaels coin. But, it has been many years since [Imhof] last saw it.” The Michaels 1913-S Eagle was NGC graded MS-67 prior to Jan. 2004, at which time it realized $143,750 at auction!

Dr. Steven Duckor, a leading collector, states that the Kutasi-O’Neal 1913-S is “accurately graded as 66” and has “original surfaces.” Chris Napolitano, a leading dealer in high quality U.S. coins, states that he “has a lot of respect for this date in 66 grade. This 1913-S is certainly one of the best.” Dr. Duckor remarks that “the NGC 67” 1913-S which is still “out there is not as nice!” In his view, the Kutasi-O’Neal 1913-S “is the finest known.” (more…)

Video – Stewart Blay Interview with David Hall

In conjunction with the appearance of his legendary Red Copper Collection in the PCGS booth at the upcoming ANA convention in Baltimore, Stewart Blay was kind enough to spend a few minutes in conversation with PCGS founder David Hall. David is certainly a man who knows just what questions to ask Stewart about his amazing collection and coin collecting in general. (See PCGS Article Here)

Sponsored by the PCGS Set RegistrySM, the entertaining yet informative video will be featured at the PCGS Booth (#1245). For those who are unable to attend the ANA convention, it is now available to view.

Click on the screen below to start Video.

Condition Census still a valid tool for ranking coins

By Paul Gilkes for COIN WORLD

In 1949, Dr. William H. Sheldon introduced the numismatic term “condition census” in his book Early American Cents, later renamed Penny Whimsy.

PCGS Set RegistryNGC Set RegistryCondition census, according to Sheldon, denoted the finest example and average condition of the next five finest known of a given variety of large cents dated from 1793 through 1814.

Catalogers have gradually extended the use of condition census to other U.S. coin series. According to numismatic writer Q. David Bowers, the term has been used indiscriminately, sometimes to describe any coin that was in a particularly high grade category for its variety, regardless of how many others might share that category.

Growing from the condition census concept are the set registries for certified coins initiated by Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corp. at the end of the 20th century.

The set registry concept was the brainchild of PCGS co-founder David Hall, currently the president of Collectors Universe, PCGS’s parent company. It began when Hall published in 1998 a printed booklet providing lists of the finest PCGS-certified coin collections and almost complete collections by denomination.

BJ Searls, the PCGS Set Registry manager, launched the registry online in February 2001. NGC followed suit in August 2001 with the NGC Registry.

Read Full CoinWorld Article Here

PCGS Presents Stewart Blay’s Legendary “Red Copper Collection” at ANA

Red Copper CollectionThe “Red Copper Collection” of mint state and proof half cents and cents will be publicly displayed for the first time by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money® convention in Baltimore, July 30 – August 2, 2008. Assembled over a period of more than 20 years by Stewart Blay of New York, the collection contains some of the finest known copper coins and has won awards from the PCGS Set Registry annually for each of the past six years.

Among the highlights are a 1796 half cent graded MS-66 RB, the finest known early American copper coin; an 1877 Indian Head cent MS-66 RD (nicknamed “the Golden Princess”); and a 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln cent MS-67 RD.Nicknamed thNicknamed the Golden Princess, this 1877 Indian Head cent graded PCGS MS-66 RD is among the coins from Stewart Blay's Red Copper Collection that will be displayed by Professional Coin Grading Service during the ANA convention in Baltimore, July 30 - August 3, 2008.  Photo credit: PCGS

“It’s the finest collection of high-grade copper coins ever assembled, and some of these coins have never been publicly exhibited before. There were many excited comments posted on the PCGS Message Board when the word started to spread that this legendary collection would be shown for the first time,” said BJ Searls, Manager of the PCGS Set RegistrySM.

Blay is a sculptor who works in Colorado, Indiana and Italy, and also has acted in television commercials and soap operas. He began collecting at the age of eight.

“I had a neighbor whose uncle worked for the (New York) Transit Authority. He used to bring change home and we’d sort through it. I started with Lincoln pennies and began to fill up an old Whitman folder,” Blay explained.

In addition to the three coins mentioned above, the Red Copper Collection items to be displayed by PCGS at the ANA convention in Baltimore include:

Half cents, 1793 to 1857, all in Mint State including a 1793 half cent MS-65 BN and an 1828 half cent 13 stars MS-65 RD, the finest known. (more…)

PCGS Displays Top Set of Modern Proof Coins at FUN

Dr. Lawrence S. Brown Jr.(Santa Ana, California) — The PCGS Set RegistrySM all-time number one finest set of modern U.S. proof coins from 1968 to the present will be exhibited by Professional Coin Grading Service during the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) convention (booth #138) in Orlando, January 10 – 13, 2008.

“The 361-coin set carries an incredible weighted grade point average of 70.22 out of a possible 70.28, and has been ranked the top set of its kind the
past three years,” said BJ Searls, PCGS Set Registry Manager.

Known as the Erasmus Hall Collection, it was assembled by New York City physician and medical school professor, Dr. Lawrence S. Brown Jr., who says he owes his coin collecting passion to his love of history.

“This is one of the most popular of all the Registry Sets. It’s a panorama of modern proof coins ranging from Lincoln cents to Presidential dollars as well as the clad and silver versions of the statehood quarter dollars. The vast majority of these coins are easy to obtain, but it’s a challenge to find them in top condition,” explained Searls.

Every coin in the collection is certified as Deep Cameo, and 309 are certified PCGS PR-70 Deep Cameo. Nearly all the coins are the highest graded for their date. (more…)

Colonial and Continental Currency Now Eligible for PMG’s Registry

Continental CurrencySince the introduction of the Notes Registry at the end of August, interest has been growing. We currently have more than 200 sets that have been created by our users. Now, PMG has released a Colonial and Continental Currency category with numerous sets for the collectors of these unusual notes. These sets were created using the Friedberg arrangement from “Paper Money of the United States – 18th Edition.”

Beginning with Colonial Currency and continued with Continental Currency, which was issued in 11 series by the Continental Congress to finance the Revolutionary War, these early notes established our country’s financial separation from England.

The Colonial notes show how we adapted the denominations of our heritage (Spanish Milled dollars, British Shillings and Pence) but by printing our own money we were attempting to distinguish ourselves from these countries while still keeping trade active.

These notes are collectible for a number of reasons including their rarity, the unique designs and the historical signatures that adorn many of the notes as they were often hand-numbered and hand-signed.

PMG Website

Winners of the PCGS Set Registry Awards Reach New Heights

The winners for the 2007 PCGS Set RegistrySM Awards were announced today. The judges, a panel of PCGS experts consisting of John Dannreuther, PCGS Founder; Ron Guth, President of PCGS; and David Hall, President of Collectors Universe and PCGS Founder reviewed all sets after the deadline on June 29, 2007. With over 27,000 sets registered by more than 3,400 active members, this year’s PCGS Set Registry awards competition definitely reached new heights of numismatic achievement. In fact, there were so many great sets that the number of awards was expanded from 20 to 30 in the Classic and Modern set categories. Congratulations are in order for all participants.

Read Full Story