Coins We Love: Live at the ANA!

Coins We Love: Live at the ANA!

Update from the ANA Show
We’ve had a fantastic show, but we’re exhausted! We’ll have coverage from the show next week, but for now we’ll share a few highlights:

Another 1894-S Dime Finds Its Way Home: David Lawrence Rare Coins and D.L. Hansen Acquire Famous Numismatic Rarity

On Thursday night, August 16th, 2019, at the Stack’s-Bowers Rarities Night Auction, hosted by the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money, John Brush, President of David Lawrence Rare Coins and D.L. Hansen, the owner of the Greatest U.S. Coin Collection of All-Time, acquired the famous 1894-S Dime, graded by PCGS as Proof 63 for $1,320,000.

Mr. Hansen, assisted by John Brush of DLRC, has been on a mission for the past three years to put together the first privately held coin collection of items from 1792 to Present. The “Eliasberg Quest” as they call it, has been an incredible challenge for the duo and this legendary rarity was another stop on the path to completion. According to the PCGS Registry Set calculations, the collection put together by Hansen has already surpassed the overall quality of the historic Louis Eliasberg collection.

David Lawrence Rare Coins, which is celebrating their 40th Anniversary in 2019, has handled several examples of the famous rarity designed by Charles Barber, but this is the first time that the Virginia Beach firm has owned this particular example. According to Mr. Brush, “This was one of the most exciting acquisitions that we have made in the pursuit of Mr. Hansen’s collection. While DLRC has long been known as the leading specialist in Barber Coinage, it was a tribute to the founder, David Lawrence Feigenbaum, that we were able to acquire yet another example of this famous numismatic rarity at such an exciting event.” Mr. Feigenbaum originally wrote a detailed pedigree on the 1894-S dime in 1990 and while his son, John ran the company, the firm handled both the Proof 64 and Proof 66 examples.

The coin, which was graded and authenticated by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) as Proof 63, was last offered in a public auction in June 1998. The coin can be traced back to several famous collectors, with a pedigree of Clapp and Eliasberg, the piece was also previously owned by Dr. Jerry Buss, the now-deceased owner of the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA.

Mr. Brush stated, “This opportunity to acquire such a legendary rarity is something that you can only dream about as a child. It’s a true highlight of my numismatic career, and I’m very proud to add DLRC and D.L. Hansen to the already impressive pedigree list of this famous rarity. It’s truly an honor to work with a collector and business partner such as Mr. Hansen, and this purchase was certainly another one of the highlights of my career.”

Mr. Hansen, a Utah businessman and partner of DLRC, has been an active collector since childhood, but has only rekindled his passion over the last three years. In that small-time span, he has acquired what is widely considered to be the Greatest All-Time Collection of U.S. Coins. He commented, “This was an opportunity to buy yet another famous rarity for the growing collection. As the final piece of the Barber Coinage puzzle, we have now completed the collection of Proof and Circulation Strike sets of Barber Dimes, Quarters, and Halves. I never imagined that this incredible hobby would bring such excitement and joy, but I’m truly ecstatic to be able to be the caretaker of this famous piece of American History and to add it to the collection.”

This piece marked another statement by Mr. Hansen as the collection now houses many classic rarities and Finest Known Items. The 1894-S Dime will join the 1884 and 1885 Trade Dollar Proofs, the 1804 $1 PCGS Proof 62, the 1907 Ultra High Relief $20, 1876-CC 20c PCGS MS64, the finest 1901-S Barber Quarter PCGS MS68+, as well as the most complete collection of US coins that has been privately assembled.

Additionally, our very own Paul Nugget was awarded the Professional Numismatists Guild's Abe Kosoff Award for his commitment to the entire numismatic community as well as noteworthy contributions to the PNG. To read more about Paul and the presentation, check the link here.

John Brush and Your Friends at DLRC

Why we love it: Scarce gem cameo proof Liberty Seated Quarter from a super low mintage of just 600 pieces struck. Only two other examples are graded finer by either service with this cameo designation. Flashy mirrors with frosted devices highlight its incredible eye appeal that is complemented by pretty rose and blue obverse tints around the rims.

Value: No NGC-graded example has sold at auction in over nine years making this an intriguing opportunity. The PCGS Price Guide values the piece at $11,500. Considering the NGC holder, we feel a starting bid of $5,000 is more than a fair start at less than half the price guide!

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Why we love it: A finest known registry quality Lincoln Cent minted in Denver. A true ultra-gem as detracting marks are at an extreme minimum and the eye appeal is through the roof. Highlighted by its flashy, red surfaces with blazing luster and beautiful reddish-orange tints.

Value: The PCGS Price Guide is set at $9,500 with the CPG at $10,600 and the most recent auction record from this January bringing $11,400. Considering all those amounts, our best price via Make Offer of just $8,000 even is a solid deal.

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Why we love it: This popular proof type coin for the Barber Quarters is one of our favorite designs when deeply cameo'd as these coins display extreme contrasts and fantastic overall eye appeal. It comes from a mintage of only 735 coins struck in proof format. Gorgeous surfaces that are lightly toned with such minimal marks and hairlines that the CAC approval was certainly expected.

Value: The last fully comparable CAC’d example sold at auction in 2014 for $5,288. The PCGS Price Guide, which does not factor in CAC approval in its estimates, values the coin at $4,750. Therefore, our starting bid of just $4,250 leaves bidders with much room to work with.

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Why we love it: An early Capped Bust Half Dollar of the popular and scarce Bearded Goddess, Large Stars 50/20 Variety. This completely original, choice VF comes with smooth, light evenly worn surfaces and a CAC sticker as the detail remaining on this piece could have easily placed it a bit higher on the Very Fine spectrum.

Value: This fantastic early variety is not offered often and has a PCGS Price Guide Value of $5,500. Even with the CAC approval, we are glad to give Bust Half and early variety enthusiasts a reasonable start on the coin of over one thousand less than the price guide at just $4,400 for a starting bid.

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Why we love it: An ultra-gem Full Bands example of this later date Mercury Dime. A beautiful, satiny piece with amazing overall eye appeal coming from its pristine original luster and spotless blast white surfaces. Just two plus graded examples are graded finer at PCGS.

Value: The most recent sale of a comparable coin was in a 2017 sale which brought a strong $5,280 and that is with a PCGS Price Guide Value of $4,000. These numbers prove our best price via Make Offer of just $3,850 to be quite a good deal.

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Why we love it: A scarce early Walker out of San Francisco that is one of our favorite dates in the series. Frosty, golden surfaces with blazing luster and such premium overall quality that leaves it with fair aspirations of "sixing." At PCGS the only finer grade in existence is MS66 with a population of 13 coins.

Value: The most recent sale of a CAC’d example sold at auction in 2017 for $32,900. The PCGS Price Guide, which does not factor in CAC approval, values the coin at $32,500. Considering those two figures, our starting bid of $28,500 is fair as it leaves bidders with a few thousand dollars to play with.

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Why we love it: An absolutely gorgeous gem Franklin Half Dollar with beautiful cameo mirrors and fantastic overall eye appeal. An amazing example that would be the highlight of any collection as this piece is simply of the highest registry quality. From a mintage of just 233,300 coins and true to the grade as there are no blemishes seen by the naked eye.

Value: The starting bid for this ultra-gem proof Franklin Half is set at just $7,500 in this week’s auction. A reasonable amount considering the three most recent auction records all in 2018 realized $7,200, $7,800 and a strong $10,200 in January of that year.

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Why we love it: A slightly lower mintage date from the Peace Dollar series with just 848,000 coins originally struck. The only grade known finer for the issue is MS66 with a population of 19 coins. Flashy, blast white gem with a strong strike and incredible luster making the coin an accurate representation of the grade.

Value: The grade is right in the value sweet spot as the only remaining grade above it would come at a cost of four to five times as much as this. Our best price via Make offer is just $5,000, which is fair as compared to the $6,000 evaluation of the PCGS Price Guide.

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Why we love it: A popular San Francisco Minted Trade Dollar type coin. Lovely gem condition with choice, original surfaces that are ideal for the grade with fantastic luster and pretty light blue-green and golden tints. There are only nine examples graded finer at PCGS that would garner a massively higher investment to acquire.

Value: This Trade Dollar type coin has a PCGS Price Guide Value of $9,500 in MS65+ and jumps to $21,500 in MS66. Our lustrous toned gem example comes with a CAC sticker and therefore also a premium. The starting bid is set so reasonably with a fraction of the premium that could have been expected at just $10,500.

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Why we love it: The 1893-S Morgan Dollar is a famous key date that does more than just transcend its own series as it is so greatly desired by every collector across the entire numismatic spectrum in all grades. This high-end XF example features beautifully original surfaces with pretty blue, gold, and rose rim tints making for extremely unique and pleasing eye appeal. It comes from a small mintage of 100,000 coins struck, in which far fewer have survived and is the lowest of all business strike Morgans as is.

Value: This famous key date Morgan Dollar owns a PCGS Price Guide Value of $12,500 in XF45 and jumps to $20,000 in AU50. Our nicely toned choice XF example lands somewhere in the middle as it is CAC approved. The starting bid is set at just $13,250 leaving the potential winning bidder barely paying any premium at all.

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Why we love it: A low mintage S-mint Quarter Eagle with only 27,000 coins struck and only a single example is graded finer by PCGS (MS65) with none finer at CAC. This condition census piece is silky smooth with satiny surfaces and lovely yellow-golden luster. A true condition rarity with stunning overall eye appeal.

Value: The PCGS Price Guide value comes in at $14,500 with the CPG Value comparable to that at $14,200. Offered with a starting bid of just $13,750 in our auction this week, we feel that is the right point to kick it off as this condition rarity is CAC approved.

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Why we love it: Any Humbert is widely known as an extremely desirable and rare territorial gold issue, and this overdate $10 piece is exactly that. In lustrous, choice AU condition with little to no wear and a strong strike. An eye appealing and desirable grade point for sure but surprisingly there are less than 20 pieces graded finer than this circulated example across all grading services.

Value: The PCGS Price Guide for this $10 Humbert is set at $27,500 in AU55. This being an NGC-graded example of such a popular and scarce territorial issue, we able to offer it for $8,000 less than the price guide at just $19,500 via our Make Offer function.

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Why we love it: This is the finest example of this date that has earned the coveted CAC seal of approval. The 1854-O is one of the key dates in the $3 Princess series. Scarce in uncirculated grades, the date experienced heavy circulation and less than a dozen remained in uncirculated condition. This super slider example displays smooth, lustrous fields with the slightest amount of wear on the hair, but is otherwise just a gorgeous, wholesome coin. From a low mintage of just 24,000 coins struck, there are only two others graded finer by PCGS.

Value: A recent sale of another CAC approved, PCGS graded coin of the same date and grade realized $19,200 just this past August in auction. That sale, along with a PCGS Price Guide Value of $19,500, justifies the starting price of $19,500 as fair and reasonable. This price point accurately represents what a CAC approved example of this scarce issue should bring at auction.

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Why we love it: A scarce date in the Indian Gold Eagle Series that becomes especially rare as it approaches the mid Mint State range making this one of the last reasonably priced grade points. It comes from a low mintage of 59,000 coins, in which PCGS’s survival estimate is only one thousand. This bright yellow stunner has so much to offer aside from the rarity with its limited marks and its gorgeous, excessive luster.

Value: The PCGS Price Guide value comes in at $11,000 and the CPG Value just above that at $12,700. Offered with a well-justified starting bid of just $12,500 in our auction this week considering the beauty, rarity and especially the CAC approval.

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Why we love it: An affordable yet lovely CAC approved Bust Half type coin of the Overton 106a variety. Pretty choice XF example with surprisingly plenty of remaining luster along with really nice rim toning with light bluish-green tints.

Value: Offered at a best outright purchase price via Make Offer of just $400. Perfect Bust type coin as the PCGS Price Guide is a bit higher even with this coin’s CAC approval at $450.

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Why we love it: The Oregons are one of the prettiest and most popular Classic Silver Commemorative designs. From a low mintage of just 6,006 pieces struck, there were also P and D mints struck in 1938 as well. This beautiful ultra-gem example displays frosty luster and pristine, mostly white surfaces.

Value: Offered at a best outright purchase price via Make Offer of just $550. Reasonably priced Commem as the PCGS Price Guide and CPG are both a bit higher with respective estimates of $600 and $650.

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Check out all of the available "Coins We Love" from past newsletters