Coins We Love - February 28
This week the CWL comes to you directly from the Whitman Baltimore Coin Show. While the weather across the country delayed some arrivals, it’s quite brisk but pleasant in Baltimore, our second home as coin dealers. Unfortunately, I think we’re more familiar with the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore than we are downtown Norfolk, which is the home of our closest airport. I’m sure we’ve spent a few years of our lives in this fair city, but we must admit that we enjoy it quite a bit as it’s easy and familiar.
The show started off for us on Tuesday evening, and we acquired quite a few new items that you’ll see arriving in the next few weeks. This trend continued Wednesday with the addition of a few sales to dealers looking for items for their customers. Overall, the event shows strong promise, and we were very pleased with the earliest results at the show.
One interesting thing that seemed to be more prevalent than we’re used to is that several dealers were walking around impressive collections that collectors had consigned to them to move. This isn’t an abnormal thing, which is why we are able to offer so many interesting items on a regular basis. However, the thing that struck me is that these collectors were leaving a sizable amount of money on the table. While these dealers were happy to offer these items to us (and other dealers), it really doesn’t make sense to me. The ultimate angle is to find a dealer that will offer them the opportunity to place these coins in other collections, all the while putting their money behind the offerings. If your dealer is getting you very good money on certain items, it can leave the consignor with a fantastic feeling, but in the end, the collection is being undersold no matter the case. Dealers aren’t buying these for their own collections, they are simply acting as middlemen. I don’t want to bite the hand that is feeding us quality coins, but ultimately, we are always on the side of the collector and this is a trend that just doesn’t make business sense to me. Do dealers serve a purpose? Of course! However, when the time comes to sell, don’t settle for a middleman. Examine your options, and I think that you’ll find that DLRC Consignment and GAP programs will bring you results that you’re missing elsewhere.
John Brush and Your Friends at DLRC
Why we love it: The first year of production of Quarter Eagles in New Orleans, this scarce and desirable Classic Head piece is fascinatingly rotated 180 degrees and comes from a mintage of just 17,781 coins. Our specific example came from the SS New York Shipwreck making it an absolute historic numismatic rarity and treasure. Its frosty, bright yellow surfaces and limited number of blemishes make for delightful overall eye appeal for the grade.
Value: The CPG comes in at $24,200 with the PCGS Price Guide at $23,000. This piece being part of a such an important, historical shipwreck find in addition to rarity the date already holds makes it a unique offering, incomparable to any price guide. It is offered in this Sunday’s auction with a reserve price of $24,500. Not only is it an important date, it’s an interesting piece of shipwreck history as well.
Why we love it: A slightly tougher Barber Quarter to come across from the Philadelphia Mint, in which our example is tied for the finest at PCGS. This piece is immaculate and beautiful as there is not a single detracting mark on these lustrous surfaces that are covered in rich toning. The eye appeal is so pleasing thanks to the bright magenta, subtle gold and lovely blue-green that highlight the coloring of this gem.
Value: The PCGS Price Guide has this coin valued at $10,000, which seems remarkably conservative considering there are only two pieces graded as such. A gorgeous, incredibly toned gem Barber Quarter, it is available in this week’s auction reserved at an excellent value of $7,250.
Why we love it: A popular common date Peace Dollar that, along with many other issues in the series, becomes extremely scarce and desirable in MS67 and up. Only a single piece is graded finer by PCGS making this stunner perfect for a high-end registry set. Frosty surfaces, silky white fields and luster with the kind of beauty that rivals any other Peace Dollar you will come across.
Value: The PCGS Price Guide at $8,000 and the CPG Value of $8,120 are comparable which should bring much assurance to bidders. Our lustrous, ultra-gem example is available in this week’s auction with a reserve that has already been met this week.
Why we love it: A popular O-Mint Morgan that is bested by just one MS68 at PCGS making it an ideal specimen for both a far advanced Morgan Dollar Collection or a high-end registry set. This silky-smooth ultra-gem features beaming luster and pure white surfaces except for a light orange tint around the rims, especially on the reverse.
Value: The PCGS Price Guide Value for this coin is set at $25,000. Our immaculate, lustrous ultra-gem example is available for outright purchase for $3,000 below the price guide at just $22,000 via the Make Offer Function.
Why we love it: A scarce registry quality gem example of this already desirable and simply ideal type coin issue for the Capped Bust Dime Series. Pristine, crisply struck surfaces that display a lovely light grayish-brown layer of toning with some golden highlights. Between the originality, surface quality, eye appeal and CAC sticker, we can confidently claim this is a high-end example of the grade.
Value: The PCGS Price Guide Value comes in at $12,000 with the plus grade yet not factoring in the CAC sticker’s premium as it jumps up by $4,000 in MS66. This gorgeous gem offers type collectors the absolute ideal look and quality you could imagine from any coin of the Capped Bust design for the incredible value of a $10,500 reserve in auction this week.
Why we love it: A better date S-Mint Indian Gold Eagle from a low mintage of just 59,850 coins struck. The surfaces boast frosty luster and lovely eye appeal that, along with a noticeable lack of marks, make for a true gem look. This scarce near-gem is just a few blemishes to the cheek away from an upgrade.
Value: The PCGS Price Guide Value for this coin is set at $16,500. Our pretty, lustrous near-gem example is available via Make Offer for $3,000 below the price guide at just $13,500. If this low mintage coin were to ever reach gem level it would double in value.
Why we love it: A low mintage date in the Indian Gold Eagle Series, in which just 51,000 were minted. This choice uncirculated example offers flashy, lustrous surfaces that are completely original and rich in its color. This piece is fairly graded as the marks are visible but certainly not overbearing, and the lack of major blemishes makes the eye appeal that much more pleasing.
Value: As such an underrated, scarce date in its series there are no sales of this NGC grade since 2012 but the PCGS Price Guide and CPG Value give reasonable estimates of $11,000 and $11,900 for the coin. This Indian Gold Eagle is available via Make Offer for just $9,000, which is two to three thousand off the price guides making this NGC graded example an excellent value.
Why we love it: This popular and quite scarce Carson City Minted Double Eagle comes from a low mintage of just over 100,000 coins. The scarcity and desirability are much higher for this piece specifically as it is both CAC approved and in beautiful Mint State condition. These surfaces are both original and lustrous along with not being too crowded with marks making it a nice example of the grade.
Value: The most recent sale of this date and grade combination came this past June fetching a sizable $21,000. It did come in an Old Green Label Holder which drove up the price but was not CAC approved like the present offering. The PCGS Price Guide and CPG Value give estimates of $17,500 and $20,000 which are fairer but do not factor in a premium of any kind for the CAC sticker. We find our best price of just $17,500 via Make Offer to be a fantastic value.
Why we love it: The 1877 Indian Cent is such a famous key date that it transcends its series and grabs the attention of nearly all collectors of U.S. coinage. This stunning red gem example from a mintage of just 900 in this proof format features frosty mirrors with pretty reddish-orange rim tints. This captivating eye appeal and superb surface quality makes this piece the ideal, perfect example of this grade.
Value: Being such a rare key date especially in proof, there are no sales of this NGC grade since 2012 but the PCGS Price Guide and CPG Value give fair, comparable estimates of $10,500 and $11,000 for the coin. We are offering a best price for this piece of just $9,000 via Make Offer, which considering the desirability of the date and the relatively low price point, we expect it to go fast.
Why we love it: An underrated key date in the 3-Cent Nickel Series from a minuscule business strike mintage of just 1,000 coins. This CAC approved, choice AU example comes with only the faintest signs of wear on the obverse and none visible on the reverse, making the surface quality incredible. Completely natural and original in all aspects, this piece is perfect for any key date collector.
Value: The PCGS Price Guide Value and the CPG Value are both at $3,750. A difficult date to find in any grade, our choice AU example of this key date is available in this week’s auction with a reserve set at just $3,700 even with CAC approval.
Why we love it: This extremely rare Bechtler $5 was struck between 1831 and 1834 in North Carolina. This series is among the first issues produced by the firm. The Bechtlers were prolific in their minting of private gold coins during the first U.S. gold rush in the 1830s. Even when the Federal mints at Dahlonega and Charlotte opened, the Bechtlers continued to strike coins that circulated alongside their Federal counterparts. Among the finest graded examples, this lustrous AU example displays beautiful coloring and little to no wear.
Value: The PCGS Price Guide Value and CPG Value for this territorial gold rarity are set at $90,000 and $84,700 respectively, which shows the kind of admiration that this rare piece of Pioneer gold receives. This exact piece has sold twice in 2018 for approximately $60,000 and shortly thereafter in a fire sale for $50,000. Having not sold for less than $60,000 in the past two decades, we could write a book about this issue being an incredible value. We are proudly offering the coin in this week’s auction at the fair and reasonable reserve of just $52,500 and are convinced that a buyer is going to jump on this piece at such an opportunistic value.
Why we love it: A slightly better later date Barber Half Dollar from the earlier days of the Denver Mint. This CAC approved choice uncirculated example displays surfaces with subtle luster and surprisingly few blemishes for the grade under this rich and unique toning.
Value: The PCGS Price Guide Value for this coin is set at $825, which does not factor in the CAC sticker’s premium as the value jumps $400 in MS64. Our pretty, toned example of this better date D-Mint Barber Half is available for purchase at just $775 via the Make Offer Function.
Why we love it: A sizable lot of eight ultra-gem proof Franklin Half Dollar type coins. All eight coins feature clear, blemish-free surfaces with blast white deep mirrors giving them high-quality eye appeal. This is a fantastic chance to obtain these flashy proof Franklin Halves that display incredible beauty across the board for a reasonable price.
Value: The PCGS Price Guide has this lot of eight coins valued at a combined $480; however, this group is available for purchase at the low price of just $300 via Make Offer. That is a solid $180 discount off the PCGS Price Guide value for this set of ultra-gem Proof Franklin Half Dollars.
Why we love it: A popular O-Mint Morgan Dollar Issue that becomes quite scarce and much more desirable with DMPL surfaces. This near-gem displays frosty white surfaces with stunning reflections in the fields that contrast gorgeously from the devices, which creates a truly captivating eye appeal.
Value: The PCGS Price Guide and CPG Value are fair and comparable within $100 of each other with respective estimates of $975 and $1,060. The auction reserve is set hundreds below the price guides at $700 making it an excellent value.
Why we love it: An affordable and intriguing lot of five gem Eisenhower Dollar type coins. All the coins display ideal luster, mostly blemish-free fields, and well-struck devices that feature sharp detail giving them premium eye appeal.
Value: The PCGS Price Guide reflects a value of $550 for the combined lot. The group is available for just $265 via Make Offer. This is a great opportunity to obtain these attractive Eisenhower Dollars for less than half the price guide.
Why we love it: A popular, low mintage Commemorative Issue of just 13,012 pieces struck marking the 100th anniversary of the admission of the state of Arkansas into the Union. Gorgeous eye appeal with lustrous, mostly bright white surfaces that are complimented nicely by a richly toned rim. These surfaces are so pristine that the CAC approval comes as no surprise and neither would an upgrade.
Value: The PCGS Price Guide Value for this coin is set at $650, which does not factor in the CAC sticker’s premium as the value triples in MS67. Our beautiful gem example of this popular commem is available for purchase at just $500 via the Make Offer Function.
Check out all of the available "Coins We Love" from past newsletters