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All Posts Tagged With: "Eliasberg"

Coin Rarities & Related Topics: Eliasberg 1795 Eagle, Gem Oak Tree Shilling and 1806 quarter of the rarest variety!

News and Analysis:  scarce coins, coin markets, and the coin collecting community, #16

A Weekly Column by Greg Reynolds

Yes, there are more rarities, available in Boston this month, which should be discussed. In my columns over the last two to three months, I have covered many important rarities that sold or appeared in Boston, especially coins in the Heritage, B&M and Stack’s auctions. In my column just two weeks ago, I discussed rarities that were ‘on the floor’ at the ANA Convention in Boston, which was held from Aug. 10th to 15th. Even so, three additional coins are each extremely important in their own different and very distinctive ways.

Perhaps few collectors would be enthusiastic about all three of these, though I find all three to be intriguing. These are an Eliasberg 1795 Eagle ($10 gold coin), the gem quality Earle-Boyd-Manley Oak Tree Shilling (of colonial Massachusetts), and an 1806 quarter in Very Good condition that sold for $18,666! An expected retail price for a VG grade 1806 quarter would be in a range from $600 to $900.

I. Eliasberg 1795 $10 Gold Coin

To the best of my recollection at this moment, this Eliasberg 1795 Eagle is the second best 1795 Eagle that I have ever seen, and it has more eye appeal than the first best. Gold coins were first struck at the U.S. Mint in 1795. As the 1796 and 1797 dates, of the Bust – Small Eagle type, are much rarer, the 1795 Eagle is one of the most popular of all U.S. gold coin issues. Plus, the Eagle ($10 gold coin) was the largest denomination of all U.S. coins until 1850, and zero business strike Eagles were struck between 1804 and 1838. (Please see my columns of Aug. 18 and July 28th for comments on a Proof 1804 Eagle.) As 1795 Eagles were the first U.S. $10 coins and are of a scarce design type, collectors tend to be extremely enthusiastic about them.

Louis Eliasberg, Sr. formed the all-time greatest collection of U.S. coins. After his death, one of his sons consigned his U.S. gold coins to Bowers & Ruddy, which auctioned them in New York in Oct. 1982. This coin, which is thought to be the finest of Eliasberg’s 1795 Eagles, was later graded by the NGC as “MS-65.” At the ANA Convention in Boston, it was in Kevin Lipton’s display case. Kevin’s asking price is “$1 million”!

It was Kris Oyster who drew my attention to this 1795 Eagle. “It is just a magnificent coin, a lustrous gem,” Oyster says. “It is the best 1795 Eagle that I have ever seen. It has bold detail, frosty devices, and fantastic appeal. I [Oyster] was struck by it.” Oyster is the managing director of numismatics for DGSE, which operates stores in Texas and elsewhere. In 2007, DGSE acquired Superior Galleries, a name that is well known to coin collectors.

I (this writer) also like this 1795 Eagle, which has a terrific overall look. It is very brilliant, with strong cartwheel luster. Its soft grass green tint is particularly appealing. There are a significant number of contact marks and hairlines, most of which are not noticeable without a magnifying glass. My hunch is that it is the fourth or fifth finest known.

Originally, I had planned to compile a condition ranking for 1795 Eagles. This project, however, will have to be postponed. I wish to be contacted by those who have examined 1795 Eagles that grade MS-64 or higher. The two that the PCGS and the three that the NGC has graded MS-65 probably amount to just two to four different coins.

My guess is that the Garrett coin, the coin in the leading collection of pre-1840 gold, and the coin that is PCGS graded MS-66 are all the same 1795 Eagle. John Albanese reports that “Dave Akers submitted a beautiful 1795 Eagle” to the NGC “in the late 1980s.” I (this writer) suggest that it is the coin that the PCGS later graded MS-66. “It is just amazing,” Albanese exclaims. “We [at the NGC] were talking about for months afterwards.”

Saul Teichman attended the auctions of the Eliasberg and Garrett collections. He states that the “Garrett 1795 eagle was an awesome coin” that is (or was) similar in quality to a few superb pre-1840 Half Eagles in the Eliasberg collection, which Teichman found to be spectacular. “The Eliasberg 1795 Eagles did not strike me as being in that class. They were nice pieces but not like the Garrett coin,” Teichman relates. (more…)

Stack’s To Offer Coins and Currency from the Eliasberg & Krause Collections in Baltimore

On March 2nd and 3rd, Stack’s will present items from The Eliasberg & Krause Collections, along with many other important numismatics properties at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland.

The sale includes items from over 80 consignors and offers over 2,500 lots of coins, tokens, medals, and currency.

In addition to the pieces offered from the Eliasberg & Krause Collections, Stack’s will proudly feature the Peter Scherff Collection of Colonial Coins, the Alan Bleviss Collection of Civil War Tokens Part IV, and selections from the Collection of Jerry Byrne, Sr.

Session One: U.S. Tokens, Medals, and Americana; U.S. Coins

Lot 40 – Ohio, Ashland. (1861-65) Ella Buchanan. Watchmaker. Fuld Rarity-9. MS-62 (NGC).

A modest selection of Hard Times tokens leads us into Part IV of the Alan Bleviss Collection of Civil War Tokens. This particular offering from this immense collection features nearly 300 lots of Ohio store cards. One interesting piece is a rare brass Ella Buchanan token from Ashland that was struck over a McClellan for President token! Cleveland issues include a rare A. & H. token, a Rarity-9 copper piece that is graded MS-63 BN by NGC. Following this piece is a somewhat cryptic Brattin token in copper-nickel; these were probably issued by the watchmaker as repair receipts and not intended as a currency substitute. Urbana tokens feature a copper C. McCarty token in MS-63 (NGC) and an MS-64 RB (NGC) example of the rare Walker’s Ale Depot issue in copper.


Lot 505 – 1855 large cent. N-10. Rarity-5. Slanted 55.
Proof-66 BN (PCGS).

The second half of Session One is comprised of U.S. coins from half cents through quarters, silver and gold commemoratives, sets and errors. Half cents feature a wonderfully appealing and desirable 1794 C-2a example in AU-55 (PGS) from the Pittman Collection and large cents provide a startling high grade Proof 1855 N-10 example. This Slanted 55 variety is graded Proof-66 BN by PCGS, and no Proof of this date has been certified finer in any color designation by PCGS. (more…)

Legend Numismatics Market Report: The Fun Show

By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics

legend_market_report_logoTHE 2010 FUN SHOW

First, congratulations to the FUN people. Yet again they show that hard work and listening to what we all want can make for a great show. There are only three “MUST ATTEND SHOWS”, FUN, ANA Summer, and of course our own COINFEST. Attendance was as strong as we have ever seen it. The overall activity was healthy too.

LEGEND PAID $1,495,000.00 FOR THE $20 1927-D PCGS MS66!

We had our eyes on this coin since Heritage announced they had it in auction. But a funny thing happened in Decemeber.

Legend is proud to announce in December 2009 it bought and sold the Eliasberg $20 1927-D PCGS MS66. The purchase and sale were by private treaty. The buyer, a real collector happens to be new to coins. The Eliasberg coin is believed to be the FINEST 27-D in MS66.

The reason why we purchased the Heritage coin is 100% proof of what we have been saying. Really wealthy people are trolling for great value. The collector who bought the coin from us did it on our say so. We knew that by placing the Eliasberg coin, there was one less buyer for a 27-D. Thus, we took a “shot” on the coin in the sale and it worked. There is no question we got the “rip” of the auction. 27-D $20’s in MS66 are pretty much a $2 million dollar coin (although this coin is clearly not equal to the Eliasberg coin)! The last time we stalked a big coin like this, was about 4 years ago and we purchased a Ultra High Relief PCGS MS68 for $1.8 million out of a FUN Sale (of which we were immediately offered $2 million). Sometimes people are so confident a coin will bring x, they simply do not follow it.

Legend has now bought and placed THREE MS66 27D $20’s-The Dallas Bank coin (which mirrors the Eliasberg coin), The Eliasberg coin, and the Connecticut State Bank coin (this purchase). We do not think any other dealer comes close to having handled as many.

Also, with this sale, Legend has now placed million dollar coins with SIX DIFFERENT collectors! NO OTHER DEALER (not counting auctions) has come close to that either. Again, its not just bragging, its POWERUL proof as to the strength and more importantly confidence of the participants in today’s market. (more…)

The Basis for Collecting and Appreciating Naturally Toned Coins, Part 2

By Greg Reynolds for CoinLink

In Part 1, I discussed the fact that almost all sophisticated collectors of U.S. coins have a very strong preference for natural toning, as opposed to coins that have been artificially toned, doctored, or dipped in brightening chemical solutions. As more and more rare coins are becoming subject to such deliberate, artificial modifications, this issue is crucial and needs to be urgently addressed. Although the two leading grading services have, since 2007, been rejecting a larger percentage of submitted ‘doctored’ coins, too many still become graded and encapsulated. Collectors will benefit by learning about such matters. Here in part 2, I focus on the connection between natural toning and the greatest collections, I emphasize the tradition of strongly preferring naturally toning, and I point out that naturally toned, 19th century coins are often not expensive.

Vermuele_93S_Morgan_pvgsHolderIn many instances over the years, I have mentioned the importance of naturally toned coins in the all-time greatest collections. I never claimed that my thoughts on this matter were path-breaking. Quite the contrary, I always believed that most sophisticated and knowledgeable collectors, plus advanced dealer-experts, agree that, usually, the naturalness and originality of the coins is a substantial and very important factor in determining the greatness and importance of a collection of U.S. coins.

Of course, there are other factors, such as completeness and the rarity of the coins included. Yes, collections that do not score at the highest levels in the originality category can still be excellent, such as the Harry Bass and Ed Trompeter collections. Undoubtedly, however, these collections would have been even better had more of the rare coins included been characterized by natural toning and/or original surfaces.

Certainly, natural toning and original surfaces are not the only factors to take into consideration when analyzing an individual coin. A coin may have natural toning and still have many problems. Natural toning has, though, been regarded as an extremely important factor throughout the history of coin collecting in the U.S.

Over the last half century, the Eliasberg, Norweb, Pittman, and Garrett collections are the four greatest to be auctioned. Numerous coins in these collections can be definitively traced to specific auctions that were conducted prior to 1915. Records exist of auction purchases by the Norweb and Garrett families. Moreover, most of the gem quality, 19th century silver and gold U.S. coins in the Eliasberg collection were earlier in the Clapp collection, which largely documented by the elder John Clapp. In addition to acquiring coins directly from the U.S. Mints, Clapp purchased coins at auction, possibly through or with the assistance of an agent. These had original (or at least mostly original) surfaces. Clearly, he avoided coins that were brightened with acids or artificially colored.
(more…)

The Olsen 1913 Liberty Head Nickel to be Auctioned by Heritage on Platinum Night at FUN in January

Coin World has reported that The Olsen specimen 1913 Liberty Head nickel, the most famous of five known specimens, will be auctioned by Heritage on Platinum Night at the 2010 FUN Sale in Orlando in January.

olsen_1913_liberty_nickelThe coin is graded Proof-64 by NGC.  It has the distinction of being the only 1913 Liberty Head nickel ever handled by B. Max Mehl, who made it a centerpiece of his lifelong advertising campaign. It was also briefly owned by Egyptian King Farouk. When the set of five 1913 nickels was broken up in the 1940s, the Olsen specimen was sold first to James Kelly and then to Fred Olsen, whose name it has kept ever since.

The Olsen specimen was featured on “The $100,000 Nickel” episode of Hawaii Five-O soon after it broke the record for the most expensive coin ever sold in 1972. During the episode, the “star” coin is stolen by a thief and spends much of the episode passing from hand to hand as the human stars of the program look for it. The coin’s price doubled to $200,000 when it was purchased by Superior Galleries in 1978. It has been resold on several occasions since then, most recently fetching $3 million in June of 2004.

The 1913 Liberty Head  Nickel is one of the most famous US coins. With only 5 made,  it is truly a remarkable coin. Liberty Head nickels dated 1913 first came to the attention of the numismatic community in 1920. All five were in the possession of Samuel Brown, a numismatist who attended the American Numismatic Association’s annual convention and displayed the coins there. Brown had previously placed an advertisement in The Numismatist in December 1919 seeking information on these coins and offering to pay $500 for each. Ostensibly, the coins had been purchased as a result of this offer. However, Samuel Brown had been a Mint employee in 1913, and many numismatic historians have concluded that he was responsible for striking the coins himself and then removing them from the Mint. Official records from the Mint do not record any Liberty Head nickels produced in 1913, However, that in and of itself is not conclusive sice record keeping at the US Mint was somewhat lax and there are many examples of coins that exist today that lack official records of their coinage. (more…)