For those of you who follow the larger coin market, you know that the Harry Bass Jr. Core Collection, which was housed at the ANA Museum for the past 20+ years, is now on the auction market and the first of four installments hit the block last week. These coins don’t really fit into the average collector’s budget as they are unique varieties, major (under-appreciated) rarities, and high-quality key dates. Some of the coins include the unique 1870-S $3, the Proof 1854 Type 1 Gold Dollar, and a Proof 1833 Gold $2 ½, just to name a few. These coins had remained ungraded for many years at the ANA Museum, but they were recently graded by PCGS and submitted to CAC. Mr. Bass wasn’t enamored by quality so much as he was in completion and the search for varieties, but some of the really amazing coins did indeed garner CAC stickers.
As you might expect, we did bid on a few examples for the Hansen Collection and we walked home with a few coins. These are two of the amazing gems that we won:
- 1849 Gold $1 PCGS/CAC MS67+ (No L): Finest known of this date.
- 1854 Type 1 Gold $1 PCGS/CAC Proof 65 Deep Cameo: This is the ONLY Type 1 Gold Dollar proof that is known. It is so rare, there is not even a PCGS CoinFacts entry on the coin. If there were 2 coins in the entire collection that we wanted, this would be one of the two.
The big question about the sale was “how were the results?”. When talking about mega rarities, like the coins mentioned above with only one known or the sole finest known, the results were super strong (as expected). When rare condition census coins like these come up they do bring ridiculous values. That being said, does this show that the market is weakening? I would argue that it is actually stabilizing on the collector coins. Supply issues have been mostly erased and coins are selling. However, they aren’t skyrocketing in value, they are simply selling for stabilized price levels, and there’s a lot of encouragement in that!
One interesting note regarding the Bareford Collection that I read about this week really struck me. A collector exited the market when he thought coins were too high and he profited handsomely. But, I wonder what coins he missed by jumping completely out of the vault of coins. Uncle Scrooge certainly would have swam around a little bit more. While the hobby certainly turns out as an investment, it’s still a hobby and we have to treat it as such. I, for one, am thankful for some stabilization on coins that belong in the hands of collectors. While the prices are still high in comparison to where they were, there’s still room to grow when compared to other collectibles.
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