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All Posts Tagged With: "Fun Auction"

Historic proof sets and ‘Stella’ pattern coins present momentous opportunities for collectors at FUN

1834 and 1846 proof sets from private collection released as part of Heritage’s Jan. 6 FUN Platinum Night offerings in Tampa, FL

Two rare early proof sets and a remarkable set of six pattern coins associated with the famous “Stella” coinage experiment are important collective highlights of Heritage’s Tampa FUN Platinum Night U.S. Coin Auction, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011.

“All three of these sets have remained intact from the time of issue,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage. “It’s amazing to be able to see an 1834 proof set all at once, or the three coins of an 1846 proof gold set, or a six-coin set of Stella patterns. We understand that many collectors are interested in particular coins rather than sets, so we’ve chosen to offer the pieces from these sets as individual lots. It wouldn’t surprise me, though, if a single buyer were to keep one of the sets together.”

The earliest set is an 1834 eight-piece proof set, half cent through half eagle, with grades ranging from PR63 to PR65 NGC. While this proof set does not include the denominations included in diplomatic presentation sets of that year – namely the legendary 1804-dated silver dollar and gold eagle – it does include eight denominations, all extremely rare: the half cent, large cent, half dime, dime, quarter, half dollar, quarter eagle, and half eagle.

“Perhaps four or five of these non-diplomatic sets were issued,” said Rohan. “All the rest were broken up long ago. Depending on who buys these coins, this may literally be the last chance for collectors to bid on one of the non-diplomatic sets while it’s still intact.”

The second set, smaller but just as important in its own fashion, is a three-piece gold proof set from 1846. It contains the three gold denominations struck that year, the quarter eagle, half eagle, and eagle, and each coin is graded PR64 Cameo by NGC. The three-coin gold set was part of a larger 10-coin complete proof set that was last offered as part of the legendary John Jay Pittman Collection. The coins trace their origin all the way back to an 1892 sale by Ed Frossard.

“Today’s collectors have a chance to make these incredibly rare 1846 gold coins part of their collections,” said Rohan. “The half eagle, for example, is the only proof specimen not in a museum collection. We hope the winning bidders enjoy the same pride of ownership that Pittman displayed.”

Chronologically last, but of similarly momentous importance, is a set of five pattern pieces dated 1879 and 1880 and related to the famous proposed international trade coin, the four dollar or “Stella.” The first five coins, all very rare or extremely rare, were made of copper and later gilt. They grade PR62 to PR64 and include a Judd-1636 1879 Flowing Hair four dollar, a Judd-1639 1879 Coiled Hair four dollar, a Judd-1658 1880 Flowing Hair four dollar, a Judd-1661 1880 Coiled Hair four dollar, and the legendary Judd-1644 1879 quintuple stella – a trade-coin spin on the existing double eagle. (more…)

Ralph P. Muller $20 Saint Coin Collection Highlights F.U.N. Offerings

As happens every year, Heritage’s official auction of the F.U.N. convention attracts the finest consignments of great coins. Nothing exemplifies this more than The Ralph P. Muller Collection of Twenty Dollar Saints, an incredible 59 pieces from the Saint-Gaudens series of double eagles, valued in the many millions of dollars.
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Every circulation strike example in the series is included, except for the uncollectable 1933. And what coins they are! His 1927-D (MS66 PCGS) is the most exciting rarity, a coin that has been called the “King of 20th Century Regular Issues.”

Other exceptional coins include: 1920-S (MS64 PCGS); 1921 (MS64 PCGS); 1927-S (MS66 PCGS); 1930-S (MS65 PCGS. CAC); 1931-D (MS66 PCGS); and 1932 (MS66 PCGS). Behind these exceptional coins are dozens of others that are merely spectacular. (At one time, Mr. Muller had named this The Ferrari Collection, and some of the inserts still bear that appellation).

Ralph P. Muller’s fascination with rare coins has lasted more than half a century, reaching back to his early youth. Working on a newspaper route, he set aside any coins that he encountered that piqued his interest. Even as a youngster, he also collected other interesting things.

As he entered adulthood and began his restaurant businesses, he would still look through the cash receipts for interesting coins. He attended coin shows and auctions and began to buy coins, always becoming better educated and more experienced.

In business for himself throughout, his numismatic purchases had to wait for the most profitable times. Having achieved financial success, he became serious about coins over the last two decades.

The double eagles of Augustus Saint-Gaudens became his greatest desire for many reasons, summarized as their being “the premier collectible series” for Mr. Muller. They are, “without question, the most beautiful American coin,” and the challenge of assembling a complete set was a constant source of motivation. (more…)