Walter Freeman Collection of Three Cent Silvers at
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 designation for
extraordinary eye appeal, but this is easily explained by the
"fatty" NGC holders that most of the coins reside in.
A few of the other highlights include:
This collection and the rest of the outstanding offerings in our
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?
One of the more fascinating coins we have the privilege to offer in
January 9-14 US Coin FUN Signature Auction - Orlando #1181
Sacagawea Dollar — Muled With Statehood Washington Quarter
. 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
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
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
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'
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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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
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.
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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:
1900 $1 Lafayette Dollar MS67 PCGS. CAC. Sold for $86,250.
1925 50C Lexington MS68 PCGS. Sold for $69,000.
1915-S/S 50C Panama-Pacific MS68 PCGS. Sold for $66,125.
1928 50C Hawaiian MS67 PCGS. Sold for $54,625.
1893 25C Isabella Quarter MS68 PCGS. Sold for $51,750.
1922 50C Grant With Star MS67 PCGS Secure. CAC. Sold for
1936 50C Gettysburg MS68 PCGS. Sold for $48,875.
1938-D 50C Oregon MS69 PCGS. Sold for $46,000.
1937 50C Roanoke MS68 PCGS. Sold for $46,000.
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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