|The Tom O'Mara Collection of
CSNS Currency Signature Auction, which will take place in St.
Louis on May 5-7, features two collections that are so special that
we have provided a separate catalog for them.
The Tom O'Mara Collection of Fractional Currency is perhaps the
finest collection of Fractional Currency, Postage Currency, and
related items that it has ever been our privilege to offer.
Tom O'Mara has been a collector since his earliest memory. The
first numismatic item Tom purchased was a Civil War Bond, and from
there his interest caught fire. Tom collected Confederate Currency,
Obsolete Bank Notes, and Fractional and Postage Currency. After
this sale, Tom's interest will continue to lie in the Obsolete Bank
and Scrip notes from his home state of New Jersey.
As President of the Fractional Currency Collectors Board (FCCB)
Benny Bolin writes, "The first time I met Tom was at the Friedberg
sale in January 1997. From there, he caught the fever even more,
moving to exhibiting, writing, and eventually leading our little
slice of the hobby. He won many exhibit awards at Memphis,
including Best of Show in 1999. He wrote many articles for the FCCB
News and Paper Money and other publications, including The
Numismatist, CWTS Journal, etc. He took over as President of the
FCCB form Doug Hales at the 1997 Memphis Paper Money Show and held
the post until his work requirements forced him to hand over the
reins to me at the 2003 Memphis Show."
Tom's collection is heavily made up of notes from the Friedberg
Sale and the aftermarket of that sale; in fact, at last tally Tom
guesses that he owns about 166 notes from that sale. After the
Friedberg sale, he continued buying heavily from sales of noted
collections and also directly from prominent dealers. Additionally
in October 1999, Tom bought the Doug Hales collection, which
consisted of over 600 notes and was probably the finest collection
then in existence, in its entirety. This further progressed his
collection to near completion and greatly increased the condition
of many of the rare notes. Then came a real opportunity for Tom
when noted dealer Tom Denly privately arranged the purchase of the
Michael Goldman examples of the Fr. 1255a, Fr. 1352, and Fr. 1373a
in July of 2000.
Tom's family, his wife Liz and four children Casey, Abby, Meg,
and TJ, have always been very supportive of his interest, and many
times over the years have been spotted with him at auctions or at
various shows and bourses across the country. "I have always
wondered what my collecting looks like to them, and have always
been happy that they have given me the great support and
understanding that such involvement with a passion can take," he
says. "And now, after feeling that I have exhausted my collecting
interest in Fractionals, it frees up some time to work closely with
them on the family's new avocation... horses!"
Highlights from the Tom O'Mara collection include:
Fr. 1235/1322 Milton 2E5FR.2 5¢/50¢ Second Issue Double
Denomination Very Choice New.
Fr. 1255a Milton 3R10.5 10¢ Third Issue Choice New.
Fr. 1351 Milton 3R50.8 50¢ Third Issue Justice Choice New.
Fr. 1352 Milton 3R50.8a 50¢ Third Issue Justice Fine.
Fr. 1353 Milton 3R50.8b 50¢ Third Issue Justice About New.
Fr. 1354 Milton 3R50.8c 50¢ Third Issue Justice Choice About
Fr. 1373a Milton 3R50.9 50¢ Third Issue Justice Choice About
Fractional Currency Shield, with Green Background.
President Andrew Johnson's Fractional Currency Presentation
Milton 2E25F.2 25¢ Second Issue Essay (Experimental) Matching Block
Negative Essay Denomination Set in Purple Milton 2E5R.2b, 2E10R.5b,
Negative Essay Denomination Set in Blue Milton 2E5R.2c, 2E10R.5c,
Second Issue Reverse Color Trial Experimentals Milton 2E25FR.6, 6a,
6b and 6c.
50¢ Second Issue Experimental Set of Four Milton 2E50FR.2, 2b, 2c,
2d Gem New.
This auction is now open for bidding at www.HeritageCoins.com.
The O'Mara collection will be the centerpiece of our May 6 auction
session, with Internet bidding ending the evening of May 5 at 10 PM
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The Tim Cook Registry
Collection of Seated Dimes
Heritage is privileged to present
Tim Cook Registry Collection of Seated Dimes at our upcoming
CSNS Signature Auction, to take place at the Central States
Numismatic Society convention in St. Louis on May 4-7. This
magnificent collection of Liberty Seated Dimes is ranked as the #2
All-Time Finest set on the PCGS Registry (Liberty Seated Dimes with
Dr. Cook began collecting coins at the age of eight when his Dad
gave him his first Whitman folder, containing a few Wheat Cents. At
the age of twelve, his great grandmother gave him an 1861 Seated
Dime. From these modest beginnings grew a fascination for coins,
which blossomed after medical school and residency. After starting
his OB/GYN practice in Warsaw, Indiana, he began to seriously
pursue Seated Dimes through his contacts with private collectors
and specializing dealers.
"Over the past fifteen-plus years, I have built one of the
finest sets of Seated Dimes ever put together," he says. "My set
contains many high grade and rare varieties, Condition Census
coins, Finest Known for the variety, and plate coins. It has been
both a formidable challenge and an enjoyable experience."
Highlights from the Tim Cook Registry Collection of Seated Dimes
This collection and the other outstanding coins in this auction
are open for bidding now at www.HeritageCoins.com.
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Found Treasures: The Octagonal
by Stewart Huckaby
Recently, Bob Korver wrote a
short Coin and Currency News article about our adventures at
Opening Day for the Texas Rangers, although thankfully he left out
the sunburns, which is something I wish I could do. I bring this up
because it was the setting for another conversation, this time
about (shudder) work.
Bob, although no longer a full-time employee here at Heritage,
is still the creative force behind our coin ads, which you've
undoubtedly seen if you've ever picked up any numismatic
publication over the last 20 years or so. (My personal favorite is
the "81% of Heritage Customers use the Permanent Auction Archives
in Their Underwear," which typifies Bob's sense of humor as well as
anything I can think of beyond our shared love of bad puns.) At the
time, he was working on a mailer for our upcoming ANA auction,
which will take place in San Francisco on July 27-30, and since I'm
from that area, he asked me for a little input on a timeline of
events, numismatic and otherwise, that had taken place in Northern
California over the years.
So, I rattled off the usual - San Francisco Mint opens 1854,
Gold discovered 1848, 1870-S Three Dollar Gold, 1906 Earthquake and
the importance of the Granite Lady -- and a couple of more off-beat
things - Giants move to San Francisco 1958 (we were at a ballpark
in the middle of a game, after all). Bob mentioned a few other
things he'd thought of, and I'm sorry to say that I wasn't the one
who thought of Emperor Norton or the Summer of Love first.
Then he mentioned the commemorative coins that covered events in
the area - the Bay Bridge Half Dollar, one of my personal favorites
for reasons totally unrelated to the amount of time I've spent in
traffic jams on said bridge, and the Panama-Pacific coins. The
Panama-Pacific Exposition was held in San Francisco in 1915 to
celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal the year before. The
series of coins minted at the San Francisco Mint for this occasion
was unprecedented - a silver Half Dollar along with a gold Dollar,
Quarter Eagle, and two different $50 gold pieces, one round and one
octagonal. To this day, only the 1995-96 Atlanta Olympic
commemorative series can compete with the Panama-Pacific Exposition
for the number of different types of coins minted for a single
At this point, I came up with something that only a NoCal coin
club junkie like me would know: "1915: Farran Zerbe founded Pacific
Coast Numismatic Society."
H: "Yep. Oldest coin club on the west coast. A few years ago, I
went to their 75th anniversary meeting, or 1000th meeting, or some
such. They put out octagonal commemorative medals featuring
K: "I might just be able to use that."
H: "I'll bring the medal in tomorrow if I can find it."
Farran Zerbe, of course, was a past president of the ANA and one
of the most prominent numismatists of his time. He supervised the
US Mint exhibit at the Panama-Pacific Exposition, and was
responsible for selling the Panama-Pacific Commemorative coins to
the public. Since he founded the PCNS in 1915, it was almost
certainly during the Panama Pacific Exposition that the club was
founded. One can only imagine the displays of commemoratives that
must have graced early club meetings. Later, he became the driving
force for the adoption of the Peace Dollar, and his name has been
attached to the first issue of proofs of the 1921 Morgan
The PCNS meeting I'd attended was, in fact, the 1000th meeting
of the club, and my bronze medal with its prominent image of Farran
Zerbe appears in our mailer. Although having a coin club stick
around long enough to have that many meetings is certainly
significant, the major selling point of the club's medals was that
they were octagonal, unlike virtually any other club medal I'd ever
seen in a Northern California market glutted with club medals,
silver rounds and the like. However, from the historical standpoint
of an old coin club in San Francisco, never mind the marketing
angle, the octagonal shape made sense. The private and
semi-official $50 "ingots" which were commonly used for currency
during the Gold Rush were octagonal. Many California fractional
gold pieces were octagonal. And finally, of course, the octagonal
variety of the Panama-Pacific $50 gold had a special connection to
the club, the club's founder, and the area.
Even in 1915, the octagonal Pan-Pac $50 issues were considered
popular but beyond the budget of nearly all collectors. Although
roughly 1,500 of each $50 issue were minted, 645 of the octagonal
pieces were sold in comparison to about three quarters as many
round $50s. Today, if you want to own an octagonal Pan-Pac $50 in
any grade, you can count on paying in excess of $20,000, and for a
piece in a more typical MS63/MS64 grade, expect to be shelling out
$50,000 or more. To be sure, the round version of the coin is a
little more costly, but it does not bear the unique distinction of
being the only octagonal coin ever being issued by the US.
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Website tips: MyWantlist
Heritage has a quick and easy way for you to be able to see
everything in your wantlist at once! Called MyWantlistMatches, this
page will arrange everything in your MyWantList by auction in a way
so that you can see it all at once. If you like, you can even batch
bid from this page.
There are two ways to get to this page. From any of MyBids,
MyTrackedLots, or My Consignments, you can get directly to this
page by clicking on the "MyWantlist Matches" link at the top of the
page. Alternatively, if you are using the checklist version
coin-only MyWantlist, there is a link entitled "View Your
MyWantlist Matches and Batch Bid" below where you would ordinarily
enter a new coin.
The page that results will contain a listing of everything that
matches your MyWantlist, and for those of you who have far-reaching
Wantlists, there may be several pages of listings. From this
listing, you can see lot numbers, descriptions, current and next
bid levels, and the amount of time left to bid on the lot. You even
have everything on your MyWantlist in one place so that you can
place batch bids on items you want without having to track the item
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Registry Set: A set of coins or other collectibles
entered into a registry where it competes with similar collections
to be the finest known of its type.
When the term Registry Set is used to refer to a coin
collection, it has to do with coins that are entered on either the
PCGS Registry or the NGC Registry. The two registries have
different rules and features.
The kinds of collections that can be entered in the registries
can vary greatly and sometimes seem to be limited only by the
imaginations of the collectors that collect them. NGC lists 10
different types of Morgan Dollar registry sets, for example,
including some relatively common sets such as:
- Morgan Silver Dollars 1878-1921
- Morgan Silver Dollars 1878-1921, PL and DPL
- Carson City Morgans 1878-1893
Along with some sets that only a specialist might love, such
- Morgan Dollars 1878 7/8 Tailfeather Varieties
PCGS Registry Sets allow only coins that have been graded by
PCGS. Each coin is given a weight, and coins that are more
difficult to find have a higher weight than more common pieces.
Sets are evaluated on a weighted Grade average, which in practice
places an emphasis on set completeness. Coins with desirable
designations may receive a grade bonus.
NGC Registry Sets allow coins that have been graded by either
NGC or PCGS. Each coin is given a point value where common coins or
low grade coins are worth very few points and rare coins may worth
a huge number of points. Sets are evaluated based on the total
number of points they contain, which in practice places an emphasis
on the set containing the key dates. Coins with desirable
designations usually receive a point bonus.
As a numerical example of how the sets work, consider the
following hypothetical collection, which is assumed to be graded by
PCGS. Weights and point values are as of April 2005:
||MS63 Deep Mirror Prooflike
|Total (set of all CC Dollars)
Neither of these hypothetical sets is a threat to break the top
40 in either registry, but they do illustrate the priorities
according to each system. The 1889-CC is the most valuable coin in
each set, but it provides about a third of the value in the PCGS
set and about two-thirds of the value in the NGC set. Conversely,
the 1890-CC has virtually no value in the NGC set, but it is more
valuable in the PCGS set than either of the uncirculated common
Registry sets are very popular today, and the competition
between collectors is a significant force behind today's strong
prices on top population coins. For more information about the
registries, please contact PCGS at www.pcgs.com and NGC at
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