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All Posts Tagged With: "Finest Known"

Finest-Known 1901-S Barber Quarter to be sold by Bowers and Merena in Baltimore

This is the undisputed “King of Barber Coinage,” the rare and eagerly sought 1901-S Quarter. The San Francisco Mint struck a mere 72,664 Quarters in 1901, which snatched the record low mintage for the Barber series from the hands of the 1896-S (188,039 pieces produced).

This record would remain intact until 1913, when the San Francisco Mint delivered a mere 40,000 Quarters. The 1901-S is much rarer than the 1913-S in all grades, however, for the issue was saved in far fewer numbers by the contemporary public.

Indeed, little interest seems to have been taken in the 1901-S Quarter at the time of its production, especially numismatic interest. What interest there was in the 1901-S seems to have been focused entirely on the issue’s usefulness as a circulating medium of exchange. And circulate these coins did, many of the 72,664 pieces being lost in the process and most survivors displaying heavy wear. As with most issues in the various Barber coin series, in fact, the only 1901-S Quarters that are seen on a fairly regular basis in numismatic circles are low-grade pieces in AG, Good and VG.

Even at the lower reaches of the numismatic grading scale, however, the limited mintage guaranteed that the 1901-S would be a scarce coin in an absolute sense. Rarity increases exponentially through the Fine, VF, EF and AU grade levels, at which point we find ourselves at the Mint State portion of the grading scale. Here the 1901-S is very rare, the small number of such pieces known to exist having survived almost purely as a matter of chance.

The B&M cataloger has never seen a 1901-S Quarter with the technical merits and eye appeal of this awe-inspiring Superb Gem. This is the single highest-graded 1901-S Barber Quarter known to PCGS, and the coin fully deserves every bit of honor that derives from this important standing. (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.

Park Avenue Numismatics Sells Finest Known 1907 $20 St. Gaudens High Relief

pan_ms69_hr_111809(Miami Beach, FL)- November 18 2009, Park Avenue Numismatics has sold the Finest Known example of the 1907 $20 St. Gaudens High Relief Wire Rim graded MS69 PCGS with CAC (Certified Acceptance Corporation) approval for more that $600,000.

“Arguably the most desired of all $20 US gold coins, this Gem was the most incredible High Relief I’ve ever seen in my 25 years as a rare coin dealer ” said Bob Green, President of Park Avenue Numismatics.” It holds a place in numismatic history with a Pedigree to the famous Ed Trompeter collection. We are pleased to have been part of that history” stated Green.

Park Avenue Numismatics has bought and sold many of the rarest $20 St. Gaudens Double Eagles over the last two decades and was awarded recognition by PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) for assembling the Finest Know complete set of St. Gaudens, including the scarce 1927-D in 2005.

1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim MS69 PCGS. This issue was a revision of Saint-Gaudens’ Ultra High Relief double eagle, as the latter proved impractical for circulation strikes because it required seven blows from a 150-ton medal press to fully articulate the design. The “High Relief” could be struck after just three blows of the medal press. Over 12,000 High Relief twenties were struck by the end of December, 1907.

A so called “Wire Rim” protruded around the outer extremity in the coins, which resulted from excessive metal flow between the die face and collar during the striking process. Unlike today’s collectors who consider the Wire Rim to be a highly collectible variety, Mint officials considered it to be a striking deficiency. This “flaw” in the striking process was corrected around mid-December, and subsequent High Relief double eagles possessed what became known as a “Flat Rim.”

Finest Known 1829 Half Dime Variety Discovered by NGC

Posted by David W. Lange, Research Director on NGC

ngc_1829_hcA recent grading submission to NGC included a mix of miscellaneous gold and silver coins, one of which was an 1829 half dime for which the submitter requested VarietyPlus attribution. It took just a moment or two to identify its obverse by the distinctly repunched top to numeral 1 in its date. Obverse 4 in Federal Half Dimes 1792-1837, by Russell J. Logan and John W. McCloskey, this die is known in various states and paired with no less than six reverse dies. Only a couple minutes more were spent in determining which die pairing was involved, as the reverse die bears distinctive pitting on the underside of the banner carrying the Latin motto—LM-18 it is. That’s where things got really fun.

The vast majority of half dime attributions made at NGC turn out to be common varieties. This is true because submitters tend to seek attribution for high grade coins alone, the ones most likely to be of common varieties (when rare varieties are knowingly submitted they often fail to qualify for numeric grading, and coins given Details Grading alone don’t appear in our census). As this coin had already been graded MS-64 by the first NGC grader who had seen it, I was expecting yet another type coin issue. Instead, I was pleased at just how scarce this variety is in high grades. The Logan/McCloskey reference implies that the finest known is an About Uncirculated coin seen in a 1991 auction. Since their book was published more than ten years ago, could it be possible that this information was obsolete?

I then started reading backwards in past issues of The John Reich Journal until I found what I was seeking—the most recent survey of notable half dime collections (May 2008). Here was confirmation of this R-5 variety’s rarity in high grades—the best coins known among the top collections were three entries grading AU-58. As soon as this newly discovered specimen was finalized and encapsulated by NGC as MS-64, I notified the delighted owner, who was unaware of its significance until then and wishes to remain anonymous.

This coin is well struck from a slightly earlier die state than that of the plate coin in Logan/McCloskey. The die crack that connects stars 3-4 to the rim at two places is less developed, though all other features are similar to the plate coin. It has light, milky toning overall, with flecks of gold within the reverse legend and steel gray toning on both rims.