July 22, 2005
This Week In Coin & Currency News
The Dr. John L. Pellegrini Collection of Liberty Seated Dollars
A Rare Treat for Currency Collectors
Seldom Seen Selections: The First Struck 1915 Panama-Pacific Set
Found Treasures: Matt, You Got Your Wish
Website tips: Batch Bidding
Numismatic Glossary
Coin Club Outreach Program
Instant Quiz: Test your numismatic knowledge
Is It Time To Sell? 2005 September Long Beach, CA Signature Auctions
Current Auctions: 2005 San Francisco, CA (ANA) Signature Auction, Platinum Night, 2005 San Francisco, CA (ANA) Bullet Auction, Exclusively Internet Auction, Continuous Internet Auction, Internet Currency Auction, Amazing Sports Auction, Internet Movie Poster Auction, Amazing Comics Auction
Weekly Specials: Don't miss out on a great deal

Announcements

A Rare Treat for Currency Collectors

The current Internet Currency Auction, is a little different! To take advantage of some great material and the upcoming San Francisco ANA convention, this auction contains more than 2,000 lots, and will feature on-site lot viewing in San Francisco much like our Bullet Auctions.

As always in any of our Currency Auctions, we cover the gamut of US currency with nice selections of Colonials, Fractionals, and Type notes. This auction also contains nice selections of both National Bank Notes and World currency, with representations of nearly 150 lots in each category.

If you will be attending the upcoming ANA Convention in San Francisco, we welcome you to come by and view these lots in person, in conjunction with the July 25th-29th lot viewing for our San Francisco ANA Signature and Bullet Auctions. If you do not have the opportunity to attend the show, you can always inspect the lots as usual and place bids at www.HeritageCurrency.com.

Bidding for this auction closes July 30, at 10 PM Central Time. Good luck and happy hunting!

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Collector News
The Dr. John L. Pellegrini Collection of Liberty Seated Dollars

New Englander Dr. John Pellegrini finished his surgery residency at Brown University and Harvard University in 1978, and he immediately began a rural surgery practice in Whitesburg, Kentucky. His interest in American coins - particularly silver dollars - was fueled by two Whitesburg coin dealers, Eric Patterson and "Dude" Wells. Eventually, Dr. Pellegrini finished complete sets of Morgan and Peace dollars in Mint State, and was looking for new challenges.

Neighbor (and long-time Liberty Seated half dollar collector) Jim Bailey suggested that a complete set of Liberty Seated dollars in Mint State would be a worthy challenge. It took Dr. Pellegrini two decades to accomplish this task, lacking only the extremely rare 1870-S. Working with noted Seated specialist Eric Patterson, Dr. Pellegrini twice bid on the James Stack 1870-S, and he has held the Ostheimer dollar in his hand but passed on the purchase. He sent Mr. Patterson after the Norweb coin without success, and was also the underbidder on the Eliasberg specimen. The last time a possible Mint State 1870-S was sold, Dr. Pellegrini watched as the coin brought well over one million dollars in a New York auction. Deciding that an affordable Mint State 1870-S was unlikely to appear on the market in his lifetime, Dr. Pellegrini decided to sell.

According to Mr. Patterson, who has been dealing in rare coins since 1969, "I was honored to help Dr. Pellegrini complete his collection of Liberty Seated dollars in Mint State and Proof. This set is one of the better collections to ever be acquired, certainly rating in the top handful ever completed. Time, hard work, luck, resources, a fine eye, and dedication are all necessary in such a prodigious accomplishment." We couldn?t agree more.

Among the many highlights of the Pellegrini Collection are:

The San Francisco ANA Signature Auction is open for Internet bidding now at www.HeritageCoins.com. Floor sessions will take place on July 27-29 in San Francisco.

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Seldom Seen Selections: The First Struck 1915 Panama-Pacific Set

Heritage is proud to present the very first 1915 Panama-Pacific Commemorative Coin Set struck as a part of Platinum Night in our San Francisco ANA Signature Auction. This is the most famous set of these coins, and the present auction appearance is the first time this set has ever been offered for public competition.

Each of the first coins struck from the dies of the half dollar, gold dollar, gold quarter eagle, the round and octagonal fifty dollar coins were gathered together and presented to Charles C. Moore, the president of the Exposition. The first octagonal gold coin was struck by Mint Superintendent T. W. H. Shanahan himself. All of the #1 or first strike specimens were placed in a special gold presentation case by Shreve & Co. This set is photographed in Silver & Gold Commemorative Coins 1892 to 1954 by Anthony Swiatek and Walter Breen. Without a doubt, this set is one of the most historic and important of all commemorative issues and will certainly become the highlight of any advanced collection.

The 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal on August 15, 1914. In addition, the celebration commemorated the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the Pacific Ocean by Balboa. Competition to host the fair was intense among cities, with President Taft announcing that San Francisco was selected in 1911. San Francisco was still recovering from the devastating earthquake and fire of 1906, and this international event helped provide employment and restore much civic pride to a city which had literally been knocked to its knees.

The site chosen for the Exposition is the current Marina District, which in 1911 was a mud flat. In all, 635 acres of mud were reclaimed for building sites, and construction of numerous buildings consumed over one hundred million feet of lumber and employed a small army of construction workers for three years. Landscape architect John McLaren, (also the designer of Golden Gate Park) was in charge of the exposition's landscaping, and worked closely with the many different architects involved in the project to ensure a harmonious appearance.

General Electric was in charge of lighting the fair, and numerous hidden colored spotlights were employed to give the buildings an ethereal glow in the evenings. The magical effect changed the way fairs were illuminated from that point forward. The Exposition proved so popular that many people returned again and again to enjoy the many exhibits and enjoy the world cuisine that was offered by the many countries represented.

Congress authorized the coinage for the convention on January 16, 1915, including up to 3,000 gold coins of the $50 denomination, 10,000 gold coins of $2.50 denomination, 25,000 gold coins of $1 denomination and 200,000 silver coins of the 50 cent denomination. It is interesting to note that the authorizing act also included a provision to allow the Secretary of the Treasury at his discretion, to actually coin the silver half dollars at the Exposition itself as part of the educational exhibit from the Mint. However, popular lore to the contrary, the coins were actually struck in the San Francisco mint on a 14-ton hydraulic press shipped from the Philadelphia Mint expressly for the striking of the $50 coins.

The smaller denominations sold fairly well to attendees, but the $50 gold coins were well beyond the means of most of the population at that time. All unsold coins were to be melted after the Exhibition closed. Congress authorized $5,000 to pay for the coinage, providing this sum was repaid after the Exhibition closed. Hence, the premium required above face value for these commemorative coins, as the costs of producing them would obviously exceed the cost of striking regular issue coins at the various mints.

The half dollar was designed by Charles E. Barber, designer of the Barber silver coinage, Liberty nickel, the Hawaiian coinage of 1883, Cuban coinage starting in 1915, the Isabella and Lafayette coinage and numerous other coins, medals and commemoratives of the period. Barber's choice for the Panama-Pacific Exposition half dollar depicts Liberty scattering flowers from her cornucopia held by a cherub, with the setting sun seen behind, while the reverse shows an eagle perched on a shield with wings outstretched and flanked by an oak (strength) and olive (peace) branch beneath the wings. Current research suggests that George Morgan may have been involved in the reverse of this issue.

The gold dollar was designed by Charles Keck, who also designed the Vermont and Lynchburg Sesquicentennial Half Dollars. The obverse depicts a laborer symbolizing the canal workers who built the Panama Canal coupled with the reverse which shows two dolphins, a reference to the meeting of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Canal.

The quarter eagle was also designed by Charles E. Barber, in collaboration with George Morgan, and this design employs rich allegorical engraving. Liberty or Columbia rides sidesaddle on a hippocampus while holding a caduceus. In can be assumed that the horse-fish combination suggests the labor saved by shipping goods through the new canal instead of moving them across country with the labor of horses. Perhaps the caduceus symbolizes Col. Gorgas's medical triumph in developing a vaccine, which greatly reduced malaria and yellow fever epidemics. These epidemics had decimated the canal workers and helped cause the previous canal project to end in failure in the early 1880s. The reverse shows a stylized eagle perched on a standard, with the denomination below.

Robert Aitken designed the fifty dollar gold pieces, one in octagonal format, the other round. The obverse shows Liberty as Athena, with an Athenian helmet with the date below, and surrounded by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and FIFTY DOLLARS. Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom, agriculture and such things as spinning and weaving and was often paired with the owl on the reverse. On the octagonal coins, small dolphins were tucked into the corners of the obverse and reverse. A majestic owl resides on the reverse perched on a pine branch. Owls have always been respected for wisdom and watchfulness, characteristics needed with a war unfolding through much of Europe. Aitken is also credited with designs of the Missouri and San Diego Half Dollars.

These were struck beginning on June 15, 1915 at a ceremony using the large medal coining press required to bring up the design elements. Few of the fifty dollar gold coins were sold, as the issue price of $100 per coin was far more than most people could afford. The attendees to the Exposition could stay in local hotels for about $1 a day, and eat for another $1 a day. With incidentals such as tickets and fees, a single person could attend the Exposition for about $20 a week.

Collectors should note that when these coins were designed and struck, much of the Western hemisphere was embroiled in World War I. America had carefully avoided the conflict at the time these were coined, but that would change in 1917. The Great War had a voracious appetite and America stepped up to fill that plate with armaments, gunpowder, clothing, ships, and food. The new canal boosted shipping by shaving 18,000 miles off the voyage from New York to San Francisco, and eliminated the very dangerous passage through the Straits of Magellan. Goods of all sizes could now move from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean via the Panama Canal, taking days off that voyage and saving weeks at sea. Furthermore, warships could quickly move between oceans as needed.

America at that time was experiencing strong economic growth, partly because of the war supplies being sold overseas and a general increase in the money supply. The art and coinage of this period reflected the beauty and inspiration of the era, with the advent of flying, the production line of automobiles, improved communications with the telegraph, electricity was coming to cities and towns, all these advances were becoming more commonplace. In fact, biplane rides were available at the Panama-Pacific Exposition, and for a nominal fee a person could fly out over San Francisco Bay. One can only imagine the thrill of attendees who took the opportunity to go on such a flight. Americans had much to be proud of during these heady days, and these ever-popular Panama Pacific Exposition coins captured the essence of the period with their symbolic designs and majestic proportions, especially on the large $50 gold pieces.

The individual coins are each housed in an NGC holder labeled "First Set Stuck," and are described as follows:

1915-S Panama-Pacific Half Dollar. MS65 NGC. Breen-7432. Doubled S Mintmark. Although the surfaces are not totally free of marks, and the devices are not fully struck, this is an attractive and sharply struck example with satiny silver luster beneath pale gold, steel, and iridescent toning. The S mintmark is sharply doubled above, with the top curve of the original mintmark punch nearly level with the top of the digit 1.

1915-S Panama-Pacific Gold Dollar. MS66 NGC. A splendid Gem with frosty yellow-gold luster and rich orange patina. Much sharper than usually seen. The mintmark punch is the same as that used years earlier for the 1909-S V.D.B. Cent.

1915-S Panama-Pacific Quarter Eagle. MS65 NGC. Like the Gold Dollar, the mintmark is from the same 1909-S V.D.B. Cent punch with its diagnostics clearly visible. Sharply struck with frosty and highly lustrous yellow-gold surfaces. Considerable die polish lines are visible on both sides. Like the Half Dollar, this is sharply struck although not fully detailed.

1915-S Panama-Pacific Fifty Dollar Round. MS64 NGC. This Choice Fifty-Dollar Gold Piece is a splendid example of the design in the scarcer round format. The brilliant yellow-gold surfaces are satiny and highly lustrous. Most of the design features are sharply defined. Light die polishing lines are visible on both sides.

1915-S Panama-Pacific Fifty Dollar Octagonal. MS63 NGC. An attractive example of the octagonal format Fifty, with satiny luster and brilliant yellow-gold surfaces. Faint die polish lines are visible along with pantograph lines from the reducing process to produce the original hubs.

Additional important items and ephemera accompany this set:

The original violet and purple presentation case, with gilt inscription "Charles C. Moore." The case is made of wood and covered in violet leather, gilt. The interior is purple velvet with two 14K plaques identifying this as the first set. The larger plague is attached to the lid in a manner so that the case turns into an easel. It is inscribed: "Presented to Charles C. Moore in appreciative recognition of his inestimable services as president of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition San Francisco 1915." Signatures of the Governor of California, the Mayor of San Francisco, and eight members of the Citizens Committee of San Francisco are all reproduced. The smaller plaque is attached to the removable velvet frame with openings for each of the five coins, and it is inscribed: "These five coins are certified by the Director of the Mint to be the first struck in each of their respective denominations in commemoration of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition pursuant to the Act of Congress Approved January 16, 1915." This exceptional and unique case was created by Shreve & Co. of San Francisco.

1915 Florida Exposition Fund Medal. HK-404. MS65 NGC. Although we have not seen any documentation that this medal belongs with the set, they were all received together. Several states, including Florida, issued "State Fund Dollars," struck prior to the opening of the Exposition as a fund raising device to help finance each states' exhibition. All of these fund-raising pieces are rare today. This Gem example is silver-plated bronze with deep steel, gold, and iridescent toning.

Other ephemera includes: The Numismatist for August 1915, containing photographic coverage of the first production of the $50 gold pieces, June 15, 1915 at the San Francisco Mint; The Argentine Republic hardbound in brown cloth with important information about this country's exhibit; View Book of the Exposition, with text in English and Japanese; Annual Permit No. 1, issued to Charles C. Moore, enclosed in a small black leather wallet; Small red leather coin purse, lettered in gilt PANAMA PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION SAN FRANCISCO 1915; and a Closing Day Badge and Ribbon.

Pedigree: Charles C. Moore, president of the Exposition; The Bancroft Library, Oakland, CA; Earl Parker; Robert Johnson; later, Ronald Gillio; Larry Hanks; Dr. W.P. Stratemyer; Joseph Kuehnert; Leon Hendrickson; Harlan White; Ronald Gillio; Elvin Unterman; private collection, Paris, France; to the present consignor.

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Found Treasures: Matt, You Got Your Wish
by Stewart Huckaby

While it is by no means necessary to be a collector, let alone a numismatist, to work at Heritage, most of us here appreciate some of the more interesting things we sell. The sports guys like to wander by my desk with some of the more interesting material they bring in, and Doug Norwine was passing around Johnny Carson's mic a couple of months before we sold it. No, I didn't do my imitation of either Ed McMahon or Jack Nicholson while I was holding it.

I've mentioned my cubicle-mate here once or twice, a fellow named Matt whom I'm trying with occasional success to turn into a numismatist. Matt is the person who works behind the scenes to put Heritage newsletters together into the form you are (hopefully) reading now, and he manages to point out some of the sillier things I write. I get even by including the occasional bad pun in one of the articles. Matt does have the collecting bug, and will probably be the lead cataloger as soon as Heritage holds our first Signature Auction of Indo-Persian Weaponry in about 2028.

I have long been in the habit of bringing in some of my newer purchases to show some of the non-collectors in the office, and Matt usually appreciates anything with a "Cool" factor. Ancient coins are cool (in fact, he has me looking for one for him). Hammered coins are cool. Big, shiny silver coins are cool. Older coins in nice shape are cool. Gold and Platinum are cool. Really expensive coins are cool; of course, I don't own any so I'm not likely to be wandering around with them very often. As for my MS66+ collection of Wartime Nickels - well, I guess they're a little more of an acquired taste.

Matt will often take a peek at our auction catalogs during his rare down times, and while he didn't respond much to the seven pictures of slightly worn 1893-S dollars in the Platinum Night catalog (I clearly have some work to do here!), he got to the back of the catalog with Part One of the Alan Bingel Collection of Gold and Silver Ingots and promptly started drooling. To be sure, I can't blame him; in fact, Bob Korver and I were comparing some of the anchor collections as we were finalizing the Platinum Night catalog, and we both loved this one. I can only imagine what kinds of treasures will be found in the two future sales where this collection will appear.

The one lot that impressed Matt the most was the one pictured above - lot 10482, a presentation ingot to Miss Gertie O. Rugg, possibly from the Belcher mine in Virginia City, Nevada. Rather than being merely a large, stamped bar of a precious metal like most ingots, this piece is engraved and has a great deal of character to go along with significant historical significance, hence the five different images in the catalog. The first second Matt saw this bar, he asked me to mention something about it in Coin and Currency News, just because it was so cool.

I'm in the habit of planning for future issues of this newsletter as far ahead of time as I can schedule something. Some articles are scheduled a month or two in advance, but when I have a bit of spare time, the inclination, or a particularly good story, I'll write about a random numismatic subject in Found Treasures. Usually, the article will reflect something I either know or can easily research, but unfortunately, neither of those descriptions covers silver bars. I'm quite sure this would not surprise the consignor, a contrarian in his collecting as well as his investing: "I wanted to be one of the few, rather than one of the many. I chose this singular pursuit [ingots] because few others wanted them, and I believed they were undervalued."

So, because Matt likes this piece, it's from a great collection, and like most numismatists I don't know the first thing about ingots, particularly the silver ones, here we are. If you'd like to find out more about this piece's history, please check out the description on the website, available here. And yes, I also think this piece is cool.

The Alan Bingel Collection of Gold and Silver Ingots, Part One is part of the San Francisco ANA Signature Auction, to be held July 27-29. Future selections from Mr. Bingel's collection will be offered in Long Beach in September, and at FUN in January.

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Website Tips: Batch Bidding

If you have already decided which lots in one of our auctions you would like to bid on, but do not want to enter your name and password individually for every single lot, you can use our Batch Bidding feature.

You can batch bid from any of four places:

  • MyBids, for items on which you have already placed a bid
  • MyTrackedLots, for items you have tracked but on which you have not yet placed a bid
  • MyWantlistMatches, for all items that match your MyWantlist criteria.
  • Any Heritage search page

From any of these pages, enter the amounts that you wish to bid next to the items on which you wish to place bids. You may bid on any or all of the items on the page, and each bid is considered an individual bid. At the bottom of the page, enter your user name and password.

A dialog box will appear, asking you if you wish to confirm the bids you just entered. If you wish to confirm the bids, choose "OK". This will enter your bids.

Once you have placed the bids, the results will show up very much as in the following example:

Here you will see the lot numbers you have bid on, the current bid on the item after your batch bid, what your bids were, and what the result of your bid was. In this case, the bidder placed one successful bid, two bids that were immediately outbid by another bidder, and one bid that was not accepted because it did not equal or exceed the listed next bid.

Once you are on this page, you can immediately return to "My Bids" by clicking on either the "Return to My Bids" link at the bottom of the page or the "Show Items I'm Bidding on" link at the top. You can also return directly to your tracked items or to your Wantlist matches by clicking on the appropriate link.

Important: Tracked items that you have bid on will no longer appear on the "Items I'm Tracking" page; rather, they will appear on the "My Bids" page.

Batch bidding is intended as a labor saving aid only. Depending on the number of bids you submit at any one time it may take a while to transfer those bids into our system, so you should not count on being able to snipe bids at the last minute. We make no guarantee that your bids will be executed on time. Other bids may be coming in during the time that your "Batch Bids" are being processed causing you to lose to a tie bid entered before yours. We recommend that you not use batch bidding within one hour of the close of the auction.

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Numismatic Glossary:

Plug: A piece of metal inserted into a coin or planchet to fill an existing hole. If a plug is used to fill a hole in a previously struck coin, it is considered a repair. However, some early silver dollars and half dollars are known to have been struck on planchets that have been plugged with silver; these coins are numismatically fascinating and the 1795 Flowing Hair Dollar with silver planchet brings a premium.

Acid Date: A coin treated with acid in order to allow a date to be read, or the date on such a coin. Because their dates wore off so easily, many Buffalo Nickels have been treated with acid to make their dates legible. The acid allows the date to become fully legible, if weak, but leaves an obvious residue in the area of the date. Because this treatment is necessarily only used on very worn coins, and because of the additional problem with acid residue, acid date coins tend to have very little value.

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Coin Club Outreach Program

In a move to help strengthen the coin hobby and increase membership in America's coin clubs, Heritage has created the Coin Club Outreach program.

The Coin Club Outreach program features a speaker's bureau to deliver presentations at coin club meetings, promotional items to be offered to clubs to help generate revenue and enlist new members, and access to the Heritage website and mailing list of over 100,000 active coin and currency enthusiasts. Anyone interested in scheduling a speaker for a coin club or other collector group is invited to contact:

David Lisot, Director
Heritage Coin Club Outreach
DavidL@heritagecoins.com
1-800-872-6467 ext. 303

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Heritage Interactive
Instant Quiz

NEW: Instant quizzes and polls twice a week at www.heritagecoins.com!

Answer these quick questions and see how you stack up against your peers.

1. Which of the following coins contains the most gold?
       British Sovereign
       German States 20 Marks
       Mexico 10 Pesos
       Russia 10 Roubles
       US Quarter Eagle


2. What is the date of the coin pictured in this Pan and Zoom closeup?

       1775
       1776
       1777
       1976
       1999



Last week's questions:

1. Other than the 1921 issues, what was the lowest mintage Walking Liberty Half Dollar?
Correct Answer: 1938-D (15%).

2. What is the date of the coin pictured in this Pan and Zoom closeup?

Correct Answer: 1861 (12%). This is the Paquet Reverse, manufactured only in that year.

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Is It Time To Sell?

The Beach is Long, and the Time is Right

As official auctioneer of the Long Beach Coin and Collectibles Expo, we've been proud to sell over $30 million in great coins already this year. Rarities such as an uncirculated 1794 Dollar, a 1838-O Half Dollar, and the finest known British 1643 Charles I Triple Unite have made headlines throughout the numismatic world.

Now, once again in September, Heritage is proud to bring more great US coins, World Coins, and Currency to our finest customers through the proven venue of the Long Beach show. We are thrilled to have outstanding collections of Colonial coinage, Half Dimes, Washington Quarters, and Illinois Nationals, as well as numismatic Washingtonia, already consigned to these auctions. If you have material to sell, give us a call and take this opportunity to participate in these auctions. The time is right!

Where else can you reach a base of over 150,000 registered Internet bidders from all over the world, as well as an appreciative audience of collectors and dealers on site at the show - in the midst of one of the hottest numismatic markets we've ever seen? Contact us today, and find out how we can help you get the most from your material.

The consignment deadlines are August 4 for Currency and World Coins, and August 11 for US Coins. Call us today to ensure that you can take full advantage of this opportunity!

2005 September Long Beach Signature Auction
Sale on September 21 to September 24, 2005
Consignment Deadline: August 11, 2005

2005 September (CAA) Long Beach Signature Auction
Sale on September 23 to September 24, 2005
Consignment Deadline: August 4, 2005

2005 (HWCA) Long Beach Signature Auction
Sale on September 21 to September 24, 2005
Consignment Deadline: August 4, 2005

Leo Frese
Director of Consignments
Leo@HeritageCoins.com
1-800-US-COINS ext. 222 (24 hour voice mail)

Interested in Selling?
What's My Coin Worth?
Get the Most Money for Your Collection
Consign to a Heritage Auction

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Current Auctions

Internet
Only
Auctions


Rare Coins
Closes Tue. July 26
at 10:00 PM
View Lots
Rare Coins
Closes Sun. July 24
from noon to 10:00 PM
View Lots
Rare Currency
Closes Sat. July 30
at 10:00 PM
View Lots

Rare Coins
Location: San Francisco, CA
Auction: 2005 San Francisco, CA (ANA) Signature Auction #382
Auction Dates: July 27-29, 2005
Note: Internet Absentee Bidding Ends at 10 PM CT the night before the floor session of any particular lot.
Browse Lots by Category

Rare Coins
Location: San Francisco, CA
Auction: Platinum Night Signature Auction #382
Auction Dates: July 28, 2005
Note: Internet Absentee Bidding Ends at 10 PM CT the night before the floor session of any particular lot.

Rare Coins
Location: San Francisco, CA
Auction: 2005 San Francisco, CA (ANA) Bullet Auction #383
Auction Dates: August 1, 2005
Note: Internet Absentee Bidding Ends between Noon and 10 PM CT.

HeritageSportsCollectibles.com
Sports cards, autographs, collectibles, and more...
Closes Sunday, July 31, 2005 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.

HeritageMoviePosters.com
Movie posters, lobby cards and more...
Closes Sunday, July 24, 2005 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.

HeritageComics.com
Comics, comic art and more...
Closes Sunday, August 7, 2005 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.


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