1895 Cameo Morgan Dollar Highlights Houston
1895 Philadelphia Morgan dollar, PR66 Cameo PCGS
, leads the
thousands of lots up for bid at our November
2012 U.S. Coins Signature® Auction
, the official auction of the
Money Show of the Southwest, with floor sessions scheduled for Nov.
29-30 in Houston and live bidding sessions December 1-2 at HA.com/Coins
The 1895 Morgan dollar is one of the all-time famous rarities.
Morgan dollar enthusiasts dream of owning any specimen from the
issue of just 880 proofs, so our offering of this high-end example
— a gorgeous PR66 Cameo survivor — will thrill the winning
Another high-end silver coin is an 1896-S
Barber quarter, MS66 NGC, considered among the half-dozen
finest available. The 1896-S is the first of three San Francisco
Barber quarters that form the key dates of the series. While it has
the highest mintage of the three and generally is considered to be
the most common in lower grades, in better-than-Gem condition, it
rivals the more famous 1901-S quarter in rarity.
Important 19th and 20th century gold includes a 1911-D
quarter eagle, MS65 NGC, once again an important key-date coin
in high grade; a scarce and unusual 1834
Classic Head half eagle with Crosslet 4 in Date, MS62 PCGS, and
double eagle, MS64 PCGS, a heavily melted later Saint-Gaudens
issue struck in the year of the infamous stock market crash that
popularly marks the start of the Great Depression.
Private and semi-private coins, tokens and medals are an uncommon
and welcome strength of this auction. A silver 1783
Chalmers Shilling with Long Worm reverse, AU58 PCGS
well-preserved example of the private coinage created by Annapolis
silversmith Captain John Chalmers for local circulation. Also
notable are a wide selection of the Hard Times Tokens created by
Dr. Lewis Feuchtwanger, tireless self-promoter of his pet alloy of
copper, nickel, and zinc. A representative leading light is a rare
three-cent Feuchtwanger token with Eagle Reverse, MS63 PCGSM
Of similar rarity is an 1874
restrike in copper of the 1861 Confederate cent, PR65 Red and Brown
PCGS, one of 55 such pieces struck by John W. Haseltine from
the dies clandestinely created by Philadelphia diesinker Robert
Of a far more official character is a 1925
Norse Gold Medal, PR66 PCGS, CAC, a medal congressionally
authorized in lieu of a commemorative coin and struck from dies
created by Buffalo nickel designer James E. Fraser. Just 47 of the
gold medals were sold, compared to far higher tallies for the
silver and bronze versions.
Bid on this auction now at www.HA.com/coins.
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Seldom Seen Selections: 1861 Confederate Cent, the
The important and rare Confederate States of America restrike cents
produced in the mid-19th century by John W. Haseltine must not be
confused with the later — much later — restrikes produced by Robert
Bashlow, coins that have heavy die cancellation marks on them. Our
upcoming Houston US Coin auction, taking place November 29 -
December 2, features one such restrike cent.
The story goes that Robert Lovett, Jr., of Philadelphia, the
designer of the dies and a prolific diesinker, was approached in
1861 in Philadelphia by agents of the Confederate States of America
to design dies for a Southern coinage. Lovett stated that he struck
12 original cents in copper-nickel but never delivered them; he
feared federal charges of treason, the Civil War having commenced
by that time.
For the Confederate States of America cent, Lovett chose an
obverse that some call the "French Liberty Head" design, a
left-facing Liberty with traditional pileus, a symbol of liberty,
on her head. Long tresses flow down her back and onto the rear area
of the sharply truncated bust. The CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA
encircles the periphery, with the date 1861 below. The reverse
wreath is composed of a bale of cotton at the bottom center with
bow above, tobacco, corn, maple, and two barrels.
In another move that Lovett would likely later also consider
unwise, he signed the cotton bale at lower reverse with a prominent
L initial, quite prominent on this example.
The CSA Restrikes were struck in 1874 by Haseltine, who had
acquired the dies for the then-unknown Confederate cents from
Lovett. Impressions were made in copper (but none in copper-nickel,
a smart move on Haseltine's part), to the extent of a reported 55
pieces; rarer gold and silver strikes were also produced.
This Gem Red and Brown PCGS-certified example is yet more
important, as one of the finest in color and grade that that
service has graded. No Red examples are known to PCGS, and this
PR65 Red and Brown is one of only two such pieces. Under a lamp,
considerable mint red outlines the devices and legends on both
sides, with some lovely brown and purple field accents. One could
easily imagine a late-series Indian cent that offers similar
coloration, and neither side displays any mentionable contact.
Quite the contrary, the sharp proof strike, beautiful color, and
pristine surfaces mark this coin for high eye appeal, as does the
CAC approval that accompanies it.
The CSA Restrike cents are so rare that they appear on the
market fairly infrequently. In 2008 we offered a PR63 Red and Brown
PCGS example that finally crossed the auction block for a winning
bid of $31,050 in our FUN Signature Auction. In January 2010, a
piece in the PR65 Red and Brown grade sold in a Stack's auction for
$43,700, lot 3754. In January 2008, a piece in PR65 Red and Brown
PCGS brought $48,300 at Stack's, lot 88. This piece is not an
obvious plate-match with either of those Gems.
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This Week's Top Ten
The ten highest valued coins in Heritage auctions struck in US
mints closed by the Civil War, one per coin:
1856-O $20 SP63 PCGS. CAC. Sold for $1,437,500.
50C PR63 Branch Mint PCGS. CAC. Sold for $632,500.
1854-O $20 AU55 PCGS. Sold for $603,750.
1839-O 50C PR65 NGC. Sold for $299,000.
1852-O $20 MS65 NGC. Sold for $276,000.
1849-C G$1 Open Wreath XF45 NGC. Sold for $218,500.
1861-D $5 MS63 PCGS. CAC. Sold for $207,000.
1857-O $20 MS62 NGC. CAC. Sold for $172,500.
1842-C $5 Small Date MS63 NGC. CAC. Sold for $166,750.
1855-D G$1 MS64+ NGC. CAC. Variety 7-I. Sold for $155,250.
Coins included were struck in Charlotte, Dahlonega, and New
Orleans in 1861 and earlier.
Do you have a suggestion for a future top ten list? Send
it to us!
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