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1854 3CS PR65 NGC
1854 3CS PR65 NGC

Walter Freeman Collection of Three Cent Silvers at FUN

It's unusual for us to be able to present a near-complete collections of both Mint State and proof three cent silvers for auction, and it's even more unusual when all of the coins are Gems — or better. But that's just what is happening in our 2013 FUN US coin auction in Orlando, as we are honored to offer The Walter Freeman Collection of Three Cent Silvers.

This collection is scheduled to cross the auction block on Wednesday, January 9, in its own section during Session 1. The individual highlight of the collection is undoubtedly the 1854 proof, an outstanding example of a coin that has crossed the Heritage auction block just eight times in the past twenty years, including this appearance. In addition to its extreme rarity, this magnificent coin carries a sterling pedigree dating back to 1883 and once resided in the Garrett collection.

Besides the obvious interest generated by the high grades, the toning on these pieces is extraordinary. None bears the Star designation for extraordinary eye appeal, but this is easily explained by the "fatty" NGC holders that most of the coins reside in.

1855 3CS PR65 NGC 1855 3CS PR65 NGC

1856 3CS PR65 NGC 1856 3CS PR65 NGC

1869 3CS MS67 NGC 1869 3CS MS67 NGC

1863/2 3CS PR65 NGC 1863/2 3CS PR65 NGC

A few of the other highlights include:

This collection and the rest of the outstanding offerings in our January 9-14 FUN auction are open for bidding now at www.HA.com/Coins.

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Seldom Seen Selections: The $1.25 coin?

(2000)-P Sacagawea Dollar -- Muled With Statehood Washington Quarter Obverse -- MS66 PCGS
(2000)-P Sacagawea Dollar -- Muled With Statehood Washington Quarter Obverse -- MS66 PCGS
One of the more fascinating coins we have the privilege to offer in our 2013 January 9-14 US Coin FUN Signature Auction - Orlando #1181 is a (2000)-P Sacagawea Dollar — Muled With Statehood Washington Quarter Obverse. This "mule" error combines a Sacagawea dollar's planchet and eagle "tails" design with a "heads" side that shows George Washington and the legends from the Statehood quarter design from 1999 on. A "P" mintmark represents Philadelphia. This coin, graded MS66 PCGS is from Die Pair 1 (of 3), cracked through the F in OF on the reverse.

While the coin itself is dateless — in 2000, Washington quarters were dated on the reverse and Sacagawea dollars the obverse — the coins were identified and documented in 2000, the first year of Sacagawea dollar production, hence the date attribution. It is worth noting that in theory, similar errors could have been created from 2001 to 2008 while the Sacagawea dollar had an eagle on the reverse, but after the considerable public embarrassment these "mules" caused the U.S. Mint — the Office of Public Affairs released a statement on August 4, 2000, confirming the genuineness of at least four "mules" and citing rumors of further discoveries — one would expect the U.S. Mint to have been "on alert" during that time.

The market for these "mules," ranked #1 in 100 Greatest U.S. Error Coins, has been unusual, to say the least. Early auction appearances were in the five-figure range, but the vast majority of the known coins were snapped up, at least in the early going, by a single collector, Tommy Bolack (as detailed in Appendix B of 100 Greatest U.S. Error Coins). After almost a decade of exclusively private transactions for these coins, the auction route is making a comeback. It is clear the winning bidder will have to rise above the scrum to win this prize.

For now there are 11 confirmed distinct examples of these "mules," though others may well exist. (The 11th piece did not come to light until 2011, after the publication of the reference.) Identifying this coin within that roster is tricky, as there are several MS66 PCGS examples from Die Pair #1 and the market for these coins was almost exclusively private from 2001 to 2011. This coin does not appear to be a match for the "Discovery" coin as pictured in the Bowers and Merena Sale of the Millennium from August 2000, but the "Fred Weinberg" and "Tommy Bolack 1" specimens remain possibilities.

This example is yellow at the base with a few grayish areas on the obverse and broad lavender-to-violet overtones on the reverse. The most notable shallow planchet voids, which may aid in future identification, are at the top of Washington's temple and a pair in the field to the left of his nose.

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1855, 1870 Opinions and Comments on Coinage and Mint Operations

It is fascinating to see what the thoughts on American coinage were going back a century and more. Franklin Peale, chief coiner of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia from 1839 to 1854, wrote the opinions expressed below in 1855 and 1870. Well over a century later, they are still relevant. — Editor.

This article appeared in the Winter 2013 Issue of the 'Journal of Numismatic Research'
Read the full article here

"It cannot be doubted, that the coinage of a country, of high rank in the scale of nations, should bear evidence on its face of the condition and progress both of the fine, and mechanical arts, within its borders. In the second place it should insure the greatest degree of security against fraudulent imitations, or counterfeiting. This can best be secured by the employment of the highest grade of artistic talent in the design of the devices, and in its execution throughout to the finished coin as issued from the mint.

Opinions about Coinage Designs

Subject: Coin Designs

It will not, I hope, be deemed irrelevant to introduce a few remarks on the mechanical relations and exigencies by which the devices of coins are controlled, and which have a most important bearing on the style and execution of them.

It has already been said, and now repeated, that the coiner is limited to a single blow of the press in striking pieces of money. It is important, therefore, that the design of the device should be so disposed as to give the strongest effect with the least degree of relief. This is not only for the purpose of giving the utmost degree of legibility to the impressions on the coins, but also to save the dies as much as possible, under the severe usage to which they are subjected. Highly legible coins are thus prepared to retain their distinctness during circulation for the longest period of time.

Force and strength of expression in a coin are best attained by a judicious outline in strong relief, whilst the general relief is kept as much subdued as possible. In fact, the center of the device should not rise above a plane of which the outline forms the boundary (rim). On the contrary, if a device on a coin rises above the rim in the middle, it compels a reduction of the outline to faintness, producing a weak and unsatisfactory effect. This is also hard to strike, is soon obscured by abrasion during circulation and entirely deprives the coiner of the opportunity of polishing the table or field of the dies, and background of the coin. Irregularities of the table, which is the Royal Mint's usual technical term, are a grave fault very often observed in what, if otherwise executed, would be works of high artistic excellence. The type of relief alluded to as producing exemplary result is found in the frieze of the Parthenon, where strong shadows form a bold outline, and give the effect of depth by means well understood by the ancients, and yet this is of comparatively easy execution.

The obverse of a coin, which is the most important side, should bear the strongest device. The reverse must be subsidiary and its components should therefore be simple, such as broad letters, a shield, wreath or other ornament in low relief. This arrangement will concentrate the force of the impression on the obverse. By this disposition the best effect is given to the most important side of the coin.

The United States Mint labors under a disadvantage in this respect, as most of our pieces have devices on both sides which are of equal depths. In consequence, the force of the blow and the necessary metal to fill the recesses of the die are distributed between the two sides. This makes both weak and loses the effect of a more judicious disposition.

After long experience, observation and reflection on this subject, I am decidedly of opinion that the obverse of all coins should present the device of a head or profile. This may be a "composition emblematic of Liberty," or a portrait — it does not matter. The likeness of our glorious pater patriae George Washington, might justly be considered the embodiment of Republican liberty — or the classic head of high art, with the admitted exquisite beauty of the Greek school, are alike applicable. I do not desire to give a decided opinion relative to either, but I say the obverse should be thus engraved because, in the first place, the highest grade of artistic talent and excellence is required for its conception and execution. Artistry of the portrait is much more elevated than that required for the usual armorial or inanimate delineations common on the reverse. Secondly, because its effect, when well and suitably executed for coining purposes, is better adapted to the mechanical exigencies which control the operation. The reverse should, as I believe, be plain and legibly lettered, with the denomination of the piece in the middle of the field, surrounded by a wreath of rich composition, in low relief, with the usual legend around the border. The design of the wreath might contain the products of the North, West and South, the wheat, corn and cotton of our wide spread domain.

The disadvantages of the full-length figure of our silver coins or of any other full-length figure, are numerous. The minute size of the head, hands, limbs and other portions of the figure, debars the artist from the ability to give full expression and finish that a high grade of art deserves. The small size and proportion, however well executed interposes difficulty in transferring the impression to the coin.

The various views, above presented, are sustained, and appear to have had their influence, by the best and most recent coinages of Europe. I have only to fear that I have not brought them in relief (to use an appropriate figure), with the force to which, as I respectfully conceive, they are entitled.

Subject: New Coinage Designs

When new devices are required, the best talent and highest grade of skill, within the command of the government, should be employed at any cost for its execution in the most perfect style. Further, I do not hesitate to say that if artistic talents and skill of sufficient eminence cannot be found in this country, we should look for and employ its aid wherever it can be found. This will place our coin in the highest rank of the coin issues of the civilized world.

The above views are sustained by the usages of the mints of France and England. In the former the original dies or matrices are procured by competition (concurrence), judged and selected by commissioners appointed for the purpose. In the latter, since the late reform of 1853, competent artists selected for the purpose of making new designs.

Subject: Devices for use on the Coinage of the United States

The representation of an eagle should be omitted on the reverse of all the coins, for reasons that will be stated in subsequent remarks.

"A device emblematic of Liberty" is appropriate, and consecrated by our history, and by usage. A head in profile is the most appropriate, because it gives opportunity for the highest grade of' artistic and classical ability to be employed for the composition of the device, and its execution.

Full-length figures are inappropriate. The parts are too small to permit of expression in the design, and do not permit of sufficient depth to "come up," as it is technically expressed, in striking the coin; and they are easier for counterfeit imitations, and more difficult to detect when counterfeited.

Armorial bearings or devices are to be deprecated. They have all the disadvantages of the last paragraph, and are the relics of feudal and effete monarchical and semi-barbarous times, inappropriate to free and enlightened republican government.

Besides the above objections to the conventional eagle (it has no prototype in nature) on the reverse of several coins of gold and silver, required by law, there are others of grave importance; a device on both sides, obverse and reverse, of a coin compels a sacrifice of relief or strength on the obverse or principal side, the metal of the blank or planchet being absorbed between them; whereas a simple reverse, consisting of the legend "United States of America, E Pluribus Unum," etc., around a wreath in low relief, with the denomination of the coin in plain distinct letters is more expressive, in better taste, and accords with the usage of the most enlightened nations.

The Mint of the United States in Philadelphia is now in possession of improved apparatus for procuring from models, and reducing to all sizes and denominations, facsimiles for original dies, and there are artists quite capable, under instructions in regard to exigencies which control the operation of striking coins, to place the United States in the front rank of all nations in the artistic, classical, and mechanical execution of its coinage.

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Website Tips: How to Bid

1. Log onto www.HA.com/Coins.

2. Search or browse for the lot that you're interested in. You can do this from the ha.com/coins home page, from the Auctions home page, or from the home page for the particular auction you wish to participate in.

3. Click on the link or the photo icon for the lot that you want to bid on.

4. On the left, you'll see a small image of the lot in question. Right below the header is the bid box, which we'll cover in a bit. You will also see the name of the auction, the number of bidders, the time remaining, a note about sales tax, and buttons that will allow you to share the lot, track the lot, or, if the item is in a live auction, choose to receive a text before item comes up for live auction. The time remaining to bid is dynamic; go to any item page and you'll see it counting down to zero.

5. In several places on this page, you'll see the icon. Click on the icon and you will receive an explanation of the Buyer's Premium, the number of bidders, or the Reserve Status.

6. If you wish to place a bid, just enter the dollar amount you wish to bid under Secret Maximum Bid. This header will show you the minimum you must bid; as always, you may bid any amount above the minimum. The reserve status, along with any reserve that has been implemented, will also show here.

7. Once you have placed your bid, click on the "Place Bid" button to continue.

8. If you have not logged in, you will be taken to the login page; you must enter a username and password (or log in via your PayPal account) to continue. Once complete, or if you have already logged in...

9. You will be taken to a page entitled "Please Confirm Your Bid". This page will show you the name of the item you're bidding on, the current bid, and the maximum bid. When you are satisfied with your bid, click on the button marked "Confirm Bid". If you decide you do not wish to place this bid, click on the button entitled "Cancel Bid ". You must confirm your bid here for us to receive it!

10. Some people will see a slightly different page here. If your bid notifications are turned off, you will see a page that looks more like this:

This page will allow you to turn on bid notifications, by clicking the button that says "E-mail me if I'm outbid", or to leave notifications off, by clicking the "Do not notify me if I'm outbid" button. Either of these buttons will confirm your bid.

11. Once you have confirmed your bid, you will be taken to either of two pages. If your bid is the current high bid, you will be notified, and given some information on what might happen with your bid over the remainder of the auction. If you have chosen to receive e-mail bid notifications, you will also receive a Bid Confirmation notice via e-mail.

If your bid is not the current high bid, you will be taken to a page that will notify you of that fact. You always have the option to rebid, and this page contains another "Place Bid" box that will allow you to do just that.

We want your bidding experience to be pleasurable and rewarding. Good luck!

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This Week's Top Ten

The ten highest valued US silver commemorative coins to sell in Heritage auctions, one per issue:

  1. 1900 $1 Lafayette Dollar MS67 PCGS. CAC
    1900 $1 Lafayette Dollar MS67 PCGS. CAC
  2. 1900 $1 Lafayette Dollar MS67 PCGS. CAC. Sold for $86,250.
  3. 1925 50C Lexington MS68 PCGS. Sold for $69,000.
  4. 1915-S/S 50C Panama-Pacific MS68 PCGS. Sold for $66,125.
  5. 1928 50C Hawaiian MS67 PCGS. Sold for $54,625.
  6. 1893 25C Isabella Quarter MS68 PCGS. Sold for $51,750.
  7. 1922 50C Grant With Star MS67 PCGS Secure. CAC. Sold for $48,875.
  8. 1936 50C Gettysburg MS68 PCGS. Sold for $48,875.
  9. 1938-D 50C Oregon MS69 PCGS. Sold for $46,000.
  10. 1937 50C Roanoke MS68 PCGS. Sold for $46,000.
  11. 1918 50C Lincoln MS68 PCGS. Sold for $43,700.

Do you have a suggestion for a future top ten list? Send it to us!

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  Announcements

Coin Buyer Wanted - San Francisco Office

Heritage Auctions is seeking a talented numismatist with a broad range of expertise to join our new S.F. office located in Jackson Square. If you have an good working knowledge base of U S. coins and currency and are comfortable dealing with the public, we have an opening for a permanent position as a buyer in our San Francisco office. Duties will include dealing with walk-in clients, evaluating and purchasing coins and currency, working local coin shows, and accepting Auction consignments. Pay will be commensurate with numismatic experience.

If you are interested in this position, please contact Jobs@HA.com.

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Reduced Auction Commissions When You Resell Your Winnings!

When you win any lot worth with a hammer price of $1,000 or more (or $2,500 for Art and Natural History lots), you will receive a coupon that entitles you (or your heirs) to re-consign that lot to Heritage at a reduced seller's commission. Selling through Heritage is a convenient and hassle free way to maximize your return (find out why). Maybe you'll need to make room in your collection for something better, perhaps your collecting tastes will change, or maybe it will be your heirs that benefit; but be sure to save the coupon, which could be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars.

  • Coins: 0% Seller's Commission for all items $1K or more.
  • Comics: 50% of the usual Seller's Commission for all items between $1K & $10K, and 0% for items $10K and over.
  • All Other Categories: 50% of the usual Seller's Commission for everything else over $1K ($2,500 for Art & Natural History).

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  Employment Opportunities

As the fastest growing American-based auction house, financially rock-solid Heritage Auctions continues to grow and seek the best talent in the industry. If you are a specialist or have strong general collectibles knowledge, we want to hear from you. These specialists will, in some cases, head new departments and in others will enhance existing department expertise. We have positions open at our headquarters in Dallas as well as at our new state-of-the-art galleries in prime locations in both Midtown Manhattan and Beverly Hills.

Heritage is seeking to hire the world's best specialists in the following categories:

  • 20th Century Design Specialist: Beverly Hills, New York
  • Asian Art Specialist: Beverly Hills
  • Comics & Comic Art Specialist: New York
  • European Art Specialist: New York
  • European Comic Art Specialist: Dallas, Paris
  • Fine Jewelry Specialist: New York
  • Firearms Specialist: Dallas
  • Modern & Contemporary Art Specialist: Beverly Hills, New York
  • Timepiece Specialist: Beverly Hills, New York
  • Trust & Estates Specialist: New York
  • World Coins Director: Hong Kong
  • World Paper Money Expert: Dallas/Remote

If you are interested and feel you have the qualifications we seek, please email your resume and salary history to Experts@HA.com.

We are also seeking to fill the following corporate positions:

  • Cataloger — Currency: Dallas
  • Cataloger — Fine Jewelry: Dallas
  • Client Services Representative: Dallas
  • Collections Specialist: Dallas/Contract
  • Color & Photography Imaging Specialist: Dallas/Contract
  • Consignment Director — Currency: Dallas
  • Desktop Support: Dallas
  • e-Publishing Expert: Dallas
  • Interns: Dallas
  • Senior Settlements Accountant: Dallas
  • Shipping Associate: Beverly Hills/Part-time
  • WPF Applications Developer: Dallas

If you are interested in applying for one of these Corporate positions, please apply here.

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  Around Heritage

Early Colt Revolver Brings $284,410 In $1.8+ Million Heritage Arms & Armor Event

Rare First Year of Production Civilian Colt Pinch Frame Single Action Revolver with Accompanying Nickel-Plated Skeleton Shoulder Stock and Authentication Letter from Colt Authority Ron GrahamOne of the first 150 civilian Colt single action revolvers ever produced brought $284,410 to lead Heritage Auctions' $1.8+ million Arms & Armor Signature® Auction on Dec. 9.

More than 1,100 bidders competed for Colt rarities ranging from an exceptional 1860 Army percussion revolver, which brought $131,450, to an 1862 police percussion revolver, which sold for $41,825, and an exceptional cased Colt Model 1855, which surpassed its high estimate to sell for $33,460.

Custom Pair of U.S. Model 1911 Ithaca Semi-Automatic Pistols Belonging to Texas Ranger Captain Clint PeoplesBy far the most anticipated grouping of the day was related to the late Texas Ranger Senior Captain Clint Peoples, whose personally owned firearms and memorabilia sold for $118,000+, including a pair of custom U.S. Model 1911 Ithaca semi-automatic silver appliquéd pistols purchased by a floor bidder for $35,850 and a custom pair of Smith & Wesson double action revolvers, which brought $26,680.

A cased custom engraved Colt single action revolver with ivory grips owned by Peoples sold for $11,950 while his Senior Captain Texas Ranger badge constructed from a Mexican five peso coin brought $7,768.

E. Dumoulin Sidelock Ejector Double Rifle 3 Barrel Set in .458 Win. Mag. Additional Barrels for 375 H&H Mag. and 300 Win. Mag., each with Swarovski Telescopic Sights"We're pleased with how bidders responded to the array of rare Colt revolvers," said Clifford Chappell, director of Arms & Armor at Heritage. "It was exciting to watch items in the Peoples collection blow their estimates out of the water."

Rare Winchester T3 Semi-Automatic Carbine and AccessoriesBidders took advantage of a number of rare and desirable rifles crossing the block including an E. Dumoulin Sidelock Ejector Double with a three-barrel set including a .458 Winchester Magnum and additional barrels for 375 H&H Magnum and 300 Winchester Magnum and two Swarovski Telescopic sights, selling for $26,290, a rare Roberts Custom Model 70 Bolt Action Rifle made by Pachmayr selling for $15,535, and the famous "Betsy #1", a 7mm Mashburn Super Magnum Mashburn Arms Bolt Action Rifle with Telescopic Sight, formerly owned by Warren Page, Field & Stream's shooting editor from 1947 to 1972, selling for $10,755.

Other rifle highlights include a Winchester T3 semi-automatic carbine and accessories, selling for $9,560, a rare experimental Collis Breechloading Flintlock, selling for $7,170, and an Inland U.S. T3 semi-automatic carbine and accessories, selling for $7,170.

More information about Arms & Armor auctions.

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  Heritage Interactive
Opinion Poll

Answer this quick question and see how your opinion compares with your peers.

Which of the following strike designations are you most likely to pay extra for?
       A) Full Bands (Mercury Dimes)
       B) Full Bands (Roosevelt Dimes)
       C) Full Bell Lines (Franklin Halves)
       D) Full Head (Standing Liberty Quarters)
       E) Full Steps (Jefferson Nickels)




Last week's questions:

How many times have you visited numismatic museums?
A) Never (45%).
B) Once (17%).
C) 2 or 3 (20%).
D) 4 or more (14%).
E) They have coins in museums? (4%).

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  Is it Time to Sell? Long Beach: One of the finest traditions in numismatics

Heritage held our first Official Auction at the Long Beach Coin Expo in 1985, to be followed by 76 spectacular Long Beach auctions — successfully selling more than $600 million of numismatic rarities.

We are now accepting consignments for our February 2013 Long Beach Signature Auction of U.S. Coins. You have an exciting opportunity to consign your rare coins to Heritage's first West Coast event of 2013. The coin market continues strong, buoyed by new collectors and investors.

2013 February 7 - 10 US Coin Signature Auction - Long Beach
Consignment Deadline: January 11, 2013

David Mayfield
Vice President, Numismatic Auctions
David@HA.com
1-800-US-COINS ext. 1000

Interested in Selling?
What's My Coin Worth?
Consign to a Heritage Auction

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  Current Auctions
Coin Auctions
2013 January 6-7 Ancient & World Coin Signature Auction - New York
2013 January 6-7 Ancient & World Coin Signature Auction - New York #3021
View Lots

2013 January 9-14 US Coin FUN Signature Auction - Orlando
2013 January 9-14 US Coin FUN Signature Auction - Orlando #1181
View Lots

2013 January 15-16 NYINC World Coin Non-Floor Session - Dallas
2013 January 15-16 NYINC World Coin Non-Floor Session - Dallas #3022
View Lots

Sunday Internet Coin Auction Sunday Internet Coin Auction #131302
January 6, 2013
View Lots
Tuesday Internet Coin Auction Tuesday Internet Coin Auction #131302
January 8, 2013
View Lots
Thursday Modern Coin Auction Thursday Modern Coin Auction #241302
January 10, 2013
View Lots
Weekly World Coin Auction Weekly World Coin Auction #231302
January 10, 2013
View Lots


Currency Auctions
2013 January 9-14 Currency FUN Signature Auction - Orlando 2013 January 9-14 Currency FUN Signature Auction - Orlando #3521
View Lots
Tuesday Internet Currency Auction Tuesday Internet Currency Auction #141302
January 8, 2013
View Lots

Other Internet Auctions
Sunday Internet Movie Poster Auction Sunday Internet Movie Poster Auction #161301
January 6, 2013
View Lots
Sunday Internet Sports Collectibles Auction Sunday Internet Sports Collectibles Auction #151301
January 6, 2013
View Lots
Sunday Internet Comics Auction Sunday Internet Comics Auction #121301
January 6, 2013
View Lots
Weekly Internet Luxury Accessories Auction Weekly Internet Luxury Accessories Auction #251302
January 8, 2013
View Lots
Tuesday Internet Watch and Jewelry Auction Tuesday Internet Watch and Jewelry Auction #171302
January 8, 2013
View Lots
Thursday Vintage Guitar & Musical Instrument Internet Auction Thursday Vintage Guitar & Musical Instrument Internet Auction #181302
January 10, 2013
View Lots
Weekly Internet Rare Books and Autographs Auction Weekly Internet Rare Books and Autographs Auction #201302
January 10, 2013
View Lots
Monthly Internet Wine Auction Monthly Internet Wine Auction #221302
January 10, 2013
View Lots

Auction Schedule | Order a Catalog

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