The Daniel D. Biddle Registry Collection
Daniel D. Biddle started collecting coins on the death of his
father Paul in 1995. He mother gave him a few old coins left in his
dad's lockbox, and while they were mainly of sentimental value,
they fired his imagination to "pursue the hobby, and then the
investment." Mr. Biddle had collected uncertified Washington
quarters for many years, so he did his 'homework' before he began
this Registry pursuit. He bought his first certified Washington
quarter, and didn't stop until he had assembled two complete sets
of both Mint State and Proof quarters in what became nearly a
full-time avocation. Registry experts will note Mr. Biddle's
penchant for 100% complete collections, setting a high standard for
Among his many PCGS Registry Collections, Mr. Biddle has seven
Registry sets involving Washington quarters. In our
September Long Beach Signature Auction, we are pleased to offer
two very impressive sets:
- His #1 set of Washington Quarters Proof Strikes (1936-1964),
rated by PCGS as both the All-Time Finest and Current Finest
- His #1 set of Washington Quarters Basic Set, Circulation
Strikes (1932-1964), rated #5 among the Current Finest.
Mr. Biddle has also consigned a complete set of more recent
Proof Quarters, uniformly high in quality, with a majority reaching
the pinnacle grade of Proof-70. In addition, he has consigned a
nice selection of Trade Dollars.
Among the highlights of Mr. Biddle's Collection are:
Bidding on this auction is open now at www.HeritageCoins.com.
Further selections from Mr. Biddle's collection will be offered in
upcoming Heritage Signature Auctions.
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Found Treasures: 1904-S Half
by Stewart Huckaby
course of my day to day job, one of the things I enjoy is the
opportunity to chat with our customers, and while I enjoy teaching
people about coins, auctions, and how the website and bidding
process works, it is also a pleasure when I get a chance to learn
something new. This morning, one of our more observant long-time
customers called about some questions he had about the website, and
after we had resolved his question, he started to talk about some
of the research he'd done while determining his bids for the
upcoming Long Beach Signature Auction.
This gentleman is in the habit of trading coins in order to
upgrade his collection, often trading a common coin for a rarer
one, and we pretty much see eye to eye about what coins are common
and which are rare. You can almost always find a 1909-S VDB Cent
for a price, for example, as well as pieces like the 1916-D Mercury
Dime and the 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter. Especially if you look
in a Heritage Signature Auction catalog. But some coins are a
little tougher to find than you might think.
The piece this gentleman mentioned to me was the
1904-S Half Dollar. It's a low mintage coin, but a lot of
Barber Halves are, and this coin ranks only eighth in the series as
far as low mintage pieces go. It's not something that's expensive
in all grades; the 2006 Red Book lists it at $25 in Good-4, for
example, and other current guides range from $25 to $40 in the same
grade. I own one. I have not looked at the coin recently (although
that may be on my to do list the next time I have my collection
out), but Good-4 would probably be a safe bet for its grade. Given
the quality of material or general lack thereof in my collection,
the coin can't possibly be all that rare in an absolute sense.
Or can it? There is no question that the 1904-S Half Dollar is
the key to the Barber Half Dollar series in high grades, as it is
valued more highly in any grade of XF or better than the 1892
Micro-O. The Red Book value for this coin in MS60 is a hardly
trivial $6,000, and I believe that such a coin, if offered at
auction, would likely top that by at least 20%. The piece pictured
above, an MS67 which we offered in the last FUN auction, brought
$92,000. Yet, although there is clearly some condition rarity
involved with this coin, it doesn't have the notoriety of some of
the condition rarities in, for example, the Walking Liberty Half
Dollar and Morgan Dollar series.
However, what this gentleman pointed out that impressed me is
that Heritage has offered very few of these over the years. A quick
look through the Permanent Auction Archives shows that Heritage has
offered only 28 of these coins in any grade in any auction since
April of 1994. Certainly, this result is going to be skewed a bit
from the emphasis that Heritage places on high end coins for
Signature Auctions, yet even a Very Good piece, possibly even a
Good, would not be out of place in an Exclusively Internet
The major grading services, combined, have certified fewer than
100 of these coins? in all grades. In contrast, according to
their website NGC alone has certified 313 1916 Standing Liberty
Quarters, 180 1916-D Mercury Dimes, 399 1889-CC dollars, and over
2,000 1909-S VDB cents in uncirculated grades alone. Needless to
say, the figures above include resubmissions and don't take into
account problem coins that may have been certified by ANA or
slabbed by NCS.
So is this a truly rare coin? I really don't know, although its
presence in my collection implies that it's not. The Barber Half
Dollar series is not as popular a series as Morgan Dollars or
anything minted exclusively in the 20th Century, so the
coin's relatively low prices in most grades may simply be a
function of low demand. But you might just keep a look out for one
of these coins. Who knows - there may be some potential...
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Website Tips: Watch Auctions
As you're no doubt aware if you've participated in them,
Heritage Signature Auctions consist of Internet bidding combined
with a live auction session, sometimes here in Dallas, and
sometimes at locations around the country. One of the questions
we're often asked by both bidders and consignors is how to keep
track of what an item actually sells for during the live session.
Now, live from New York (or Dallas, Long Beach, or San Francisco),
Heritage will give you hammer prices as they happen!
To see live hammer prices, go to the home page for the Heritage
Signature Auction that interests you. From HeritageCoins.com, click
on the catalog image for the auction; from other portals you will
first need to click on the catalog image on the left of the home
page, then when a similar image opens on the right, click on that.
This will bring you to a possibly familiar page much like the
Now, though, all you will need to do is scroll down, and you'll
see a listing of five lots - the most recent three to sell, with
hammer price, and the next two to come to the block, with the
current opening bid:
Every five seconds or so, this page will automatically update.
Just watch as the lots sell!
These results are updated at the site of the auction as soon as
they happen, and are the only live results to tie directly into our
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Territorial Note: A National Bank Note from a bank in a
US Territory. The National Bank Note system began long before the
US had 50 or even 48 states, so occasionally one will run across a
note from an area that was not yet a state. Perhaps the most
intriguing of such notes are the ones from Indian Territory, an
area that would later become known as Oklahoma.
Colonial: Term used in reference to coins and tokens that
passed as money in the United States before the widespread
acceptance of the products of the US Mint. Some colonial coinage
was minted in the US and authorized by individual colonies; some
was imported from Europe; and some was tokens or even medals that
were used as money because there were few alternatives.
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