David Lawrence Rare Coins and John Albanese Acquire the Famous 1854-S $5 NGC XF45

David Lawrence Rare Coins and John Albanese Acquire the Famous 1854-S $5 NGC XF45

On August 15th during an auction held at the American Numismatic Association's World Fair of Money in Philadelphia, John Brush of David Lawrence Rare Coins (DLRC) and John Albanese of Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC) acquired the fourth identified example of the world-famous 1854-S No Motto Half Eagle $5 for $2.16 million.

The coin, which was graded and authenticated by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) as Extremely Fine 45, was recently discovered by a New England collector who had the coin submitted to NGC by a dealer acquaintance believing it to be counterfeit. Prior to the discovery of this piece, only three examples were known from an original mintage of 268 coins during the San Francisco Mint’s first year of production. One such example resides in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Numismatic Collection (from the Josiah K. Lilly Collection), another was stolen during a well-known armed robbery in 1967 of the DuPont Collection, and the last example, graded by PCGS as AU58+ resides in the Pogue Family Collection.

Mr. Brush stated “This is a bucket-list coin that is certainly among the top five gold coin rarities in American Numismatics. We had previously submitted a slightly higher offer to purchase the coin directly before it was submitted to auction, but in the end, we were able to purchase the coin a few months later for a slightly better price. We were thrilled to partner with Mr. Albanese in the purchase of this rarity as we have long been friends and sharing in the excitement of acquiring such a rare coin was a true pleasure.

Mr. Albanese, the founder and President of CAC, has long been known as a leader in the coin industry and has earned a stellar reputation in handling the most important U.S. coins. With the 1854-S Albanese stated, “This is the first real opportunity that I’ve had to acquire this historic item. It fell into our laps at what we thought was an absolute bargain for the price and to partner with David Lawrence Rare Coins on it was simply icing on the cake.”

While Mr. Brush and Mr. Albanese both thought that the coin might remain in inventory for their respective firms for quite some time, they received an offer less than 30 minutes after the sale ended and they were able to place it in a new home.

Historically, the 1854-S $5 has been considered out of reach for collectors due to its lack of availability in auctions, but this “Discovery of a Lifetime” example has added a significant piece to the upper echelon of numismatics.

1854-S $5 NGC XF45


David Lawrence Rare Coins was founded in 1979 by David Lawrence Feigenbaum in a spare bedroom. A passionate collector his entire life, Feigenbaum made the jump to dealing when his collecting desires surpassed his limited professor’s budget. After David passed away from a long battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), David’s son John Feigenbaum took the reins and oversaw the company's growth until 2015. In August of 2015, John Feigenbaum became the Publisher of the CDN Publishing and passed operations on to John Brush.

Mr. Brush directs the company with the help of an extremely dedicated staff of 20 employees. The management team has a cumulative total of over 80 years with the company while DLRC’s numismatic team offers 100+ years of experience. They are deeply passionate about all aspects of coin collecting. Whether the coin is $5, $50 or $5 million, they are here to serve the collector with the best quality, service, and price possible. Brush and the DLRC staff are also equally focused on bringing the latest technology advances to the hobby.

The company has handled many legendary rarities of United States numismatics including the finest certified 1796 No Pole Liberty Cap Half Cent, two examples of the 1894-S Barber Dime, a gem 1876-CC Twenty Cent Piece, the finest known 1901-S Barber Quarter, three of the 12 known 1870-S Seated Dollars, the famous “Discovery of a Lifetime” 1854-S $5 Gold Half Eagle the historic 1815 $5 Gold Half Eagle one of the two known 1825/4 $5 Gold Half Eagle, and the Mickley-Hawn-Queller 1804 Proof Draped Bust Dollar. DLRC also helped to assemble and then sell the $25 million Richmond Collection at three public auctions hosted in New York City and Baltimore, Maryland and are the curators of the All-Time Greatest Collection of U.S. Coins, the D.L. Hansen Collection.

David Lawrence Rare Coins is an industry leader in the trading and auctioning of U.S. rare coins certified by PCGS, NGC, and CAC. DLRC holds weekly internet auctions and offers sellers the options of direct sale or consignment to auction. To work with David Lawrence or for any question as to how they can help your collection, please call 1-800-776-0560 or email coins@davidlawrence.com.

DLRC is located in Virginia Beach, VA, and offers products via their website, trade shows, Amazon, <a href="https://nam04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fstores.ebay.com%2FDavid-Lawrence-Rare-Coins&data=02%7C01%7C%7C84d5d453ff3e4c8f6bbf08d561e4422f%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636522555346316656&sdata=21mGBNygEwxeduchg1mNJlafhS33j9IBoXfRkpQ8iGs%3D&reserved=0"style="color:#26aecd">eBay, as well as several other numismatic-related venues.