New York World Coin Auction realizes nearly $12
Rare gold from around the world led the way as the Heritage
Ancient & World Coin Signature Auction
realized over $11.8
million overall January 6-7 in New York. All prices include a 17.5%
Taking top honors in this auction was a pattern
gold Crown struck for Queen Victoria, graded Proof 64 Ultra
Cameo, which sold for $235,000. This ultra-rare, undated piece
was struck in 1887 in Nuremberg, Germany. The obverse was patterned
after the famous William Wyon young head portrait of Victoria,
while the reverse devices include the Order of the Garter crest
supported by a crowned lion and a unicorn in chains. The designer
of this piece is unverified, as the artist did not sign the dies
for this piece.
Gold ingots from Brazil are extremely rare in private hands, and
those with the original certificate, the Guia doubly so. A
ingot of Serro Frio, 1832, one of only 6-8 surviving ingots
with Guia, sold for $188,000 in New York. This piece boasts
a pedigree going back over 100 years and was likely one of the last
such ingots struck, as research done by prominent Brazilian
numismatist Kurt Prober lists a single 1833 example. The vast
majority of Brazilian ingots reside in museums and institutions.
Another Brazilian ingot, this
one from Goias 1821, sold for $99,875.
A gold rarity from Bohemia, the 1629-HG
Ferdinand III 12 Ducats from the Glatz mint, brought an
outstanding price of $129,250. This magnificent double-taler sized
rarity, graded MS52, is so rare that we were unable to find a
record of a similar piece previously selling at auction.
Just a few of the other highlights of this auction included:
Joao V gold 12800 Reis 1729-B, KM138, Russo-087, unlisted in Gomes,
"First Shield Type" variety, AU. Extremely rare and previously
Jahangir, AH 1014-1037 / AD 1605-1627, gold zodiac mohur. Pisces,
Agra AH 1028 year 14. BMC India 358. Extremely Fine
Jahangir, AH 1015-1037 / AD 1605-1628, gold portrait mohur. Without
mint name, AH 1020 year 6 (AD 1611). Choice Extremely Fine
Nicholas II gold 25 Roubles - 2 1/2 Imperials 1896. Bitkin 312
(R2), Fr-171, Sev 555 (RRR), UZD 4211 (RRR), AU Details
Elizabeth I Dassier Rouble 1757 ?I, Bitkin 282, AU Details
Wolf Dietrich Von Raitenau (1587-1612) gold 8 Ducats 1594, Fr-674
Probszt 715, MS63 NGC
Britain: George III pattern gold 2 guineas 1768, S-3724, WR-79,
KM-Pn49, plain edge, PR62 NGC
Sulayman I, 1078-1105 / 1668-1694, gold 16 ashrafis. Isfahan AH
1096, A-M2657, Choice Very Fine
Aurelius and Commodus (AD 177-180). Bronze Military Diploma for
Cavalryman Sisceius, Dated 23 March AD 178
Britain: George II gold pattern 2 Guineas 1733, Young Laureate
Head, S-3667, WR-69 (rated R5, 6-10 known), KM-Pn37, plain edge,
Our January numismatic auctions continue through January 16,
with bidding continuing in the FUN US
Coin auction, the FUN
Currency auction, and the
NYINC World Coin Non-Floor session, Overall, these auctions are
expected to exceed $65 million in sales, getting the new year off
to a fast start. Place your bids in the auctions now at www.HA.com/coins and www.HA.com/currency!
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This Just In:
Platinum Night session of the 2013
January 9-14 US Coin FUN Signature Auction is complete, with
overall sales of over $25 million, led by the
unique specimen 1792 Half Disme which sold for $1,410,000.
Additional highlights of Platinum Night
B-7, BB-303, High R.7
Sold for: $851,875
50C PR64BM PCGS
Sold for: $734,375
H10C Half Disme, Judd-7,
Pollock-7, R.4, MS64 PCGS
Sold for: $528,750
Flowing Hair, Judd-1657,
Pollock-1857, R.6, PR66 NGC
Sold for: $440,625
Overall sales from this auction are expected to exceed $44
million. Bidding continues through Monday, January 14 at HA.com/Coins.
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The 1815 Half Eagle: New Discoveries, New
Monograph on Storied Coin
Heritage Auctions has announced the publication of The 1815 Half
Eagle: New Discoveries
, a 50 page monograph by Heritage
numismatists David Stone and Mark Van Winkle, published by Ivy
"This compact reference contains a comprehensive study of the
1815 half eagle," said Jim Halperin, Co-Founder of Heritage, who
also edited the monograph, "one of the most famous and valuable
rarities in the U.S. federal gold series. Although this issue has
been diligently studied by numismatists for more than 150 years,
many important facts relating to its history have only recently
come to light."
As detailed in this meticulously researched booklet, new
findings in the National Archives by Roger W. Burdette have yielded
important information about the first appearance of the 1815 along
with some never-before-published correspondence between Mint
officials establishing the pedigree of the Mint Cabinet specimen,
which was only acquired in 1885. In addition, this volume includes
the story of the long-reported specimen in the Royal Coin Cabinet
Renowned collector Joseph Mickley first discovered the 1815 in
the Swedish collection in the early 1870s, but no American
numismatist had actually seen the coin since that time despite
repeated mentions in auction catalogs and periodicals over the
ensuing 140 years.
The authors have traced the interesting history of this piece
back to Swedish merchant Carl Scharp in 1844, and confirm its
presence in the Royal Coin Cabinet by 1851, long before U.S.
collectors were aware of its existence. A high-quality image of the
coin in the Royal Mint Cabinet is published here for the first time
in any numismatic publication.
The second half of the booklet consists of a detailed census of
known specimens of the 1815 half eagle, with a separate section for
each coin. This section includes valuable information on the
history of each specimen along with images and physical
descriptions. Regrettably, one coin that has been listed in most
rosters of the 1815 half eagle compiled over the last 100 years has
been proven to be an altered date 1813 half eagle instead.
"Students of this iconic early half eagle will find this
reference indispensable," said Halperin, "and anyone with even a
casual interest in early U.S. gold coins will be fascinated by the
exciting story of this important issue."
The book is available for purchase at $20 by emailing CatalogOrders@HA.com.
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Website Tips: Connect to
Heritage through PayPal
If you've visited the Heritage website recently, you may have
noticed a change as you tried to log in. We now allow you to sign
up or log in to HA.com with your PayPal credentials.
As always, you can log in with your Heritage username and
password. However, if you click on the PayPal icon to sign in, you
will be taken to a screen that asks you to sign in with your PayPal
credentials. Enter the email address and password you use with
If your PayPal account is not connected with your Heritage
account yet, but we recognize the email address, you will see a
screen that looks like this. To connect the two accounts, just
enter your Heritage password here. Once you've connected your
account, you will be able to sign in to Heritage with your PayPal
credentials for as long as the two accounts are connected.
You can always connect and disconnect a PayPal account,
regardless of email address, to your Heritage account through
MyProfile. In the lower part of the page, click on the switch to
connect the PayPal account of your choice. Once connected, you can
sign in with either your Heritage information or your PayPal
information for as long as the accounts are connected.
If you're not already a Heritage member, you can join as a full
member with just your PayPal credentials. To sign up this way, just
click on the PayPal icon on the sign-up page and enter your PayPal
credentials. Once you've done that, a page will come up with a
couple of quick questions, and you're all done!
Finally, if you're not approved to bid yet, you can get approved
to bid by connecting a PayPal account to your Heritage account. As
long as the PayPal account connected to your account is validated
through PayPal (this involves connecting the PayPal account to a
valid bank account), you're good to go.
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This Week's Top Ten
The highest valued coins in the ten lowest certified grades to
sell in Heritage auctions, one per grade:
1784 Washington Ugly Head Copper Poor 1 PCGS. Baker-8, Breen-1185,
W-10590, R.7. Sold for $9,775.
1792 Birch Cent, Judd-5, Pollock-6, R.8, Fair 2 NGC. Sold for
1878-S 50C AG3 PCGS. Sold for $28,750.
1823/2 25C Good 4 PCGS. B-1, R.6. Sold for $43,125.
1802 H10C Good 6 PCGS. V-1, LM-1, R.5. Sold for $57,500.
1792 Half Disme, Judd-7, Pollock-7, R.4, VG8 NGC. Sold for
1794 $1 VG10 PCGS. Sold for $132,250.
1794 $1 Fine 12 PCGS. Sold for $106,375.
1792 One Cent, Judd-2, Pollock-2, Low R.7, Fine 15 NGC. CAC.
Sold for $299,000.
1817/4 50C VF20 PCGS. O-102a, R.7. Sold for $184,000.
This includes problem-free coins only. Our thanks to J.B. of New
York for his excellent suggestion!
Do you have a suggestion for a future top ten list? Send
it to us!
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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
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
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
- 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 &
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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
- Asian Art Specialist: Beverly Hills
- Coin Buyer: San Francisco
- 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,
- Timepiece Specialist: Beverly Hills, New York
- Trust & Estates Specialist: New York
- Western Art Director: Dallas, Beverly Hills
- World Coins Director: Hong Kong
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
- Client Services Representative: Dallas
- Collections Specialist: Dallas/Contract
- Color & Photography Imaging Specialist:
- Currency Cataloger: Dallas
- Currency Consignment Director: Dallas
- Currency Operations Assistant: Dallas
- Desktop Support Technician: Dallas
- Fine Jewelry Cataloger: Dallas
- Graphic Web Designer: Dallas
- e-Publishing Expert: 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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Wines Fit for a Tsar
Hugged by Crimea's granite mountains and the sea, Massandra's
vineyards produce some of the world's finest, rarest fortified
By Frank Martell
Auction specialists are driven by an irrational compulsion to
handle the rarest and most precious relics in our respective
fields. As director of fine and rare
wine at Heritage Auctions, those needs are fed regularly.
Dealing with the most exclusive property each day is a luxury
that cannot be overestimated, but we also have things that we find
unusually satisfying — intellectually and emotionally. These
are items that are perhaps not the most expensive or rare but still
hold a warm spot in our hearts, simply because they are so
incredibly cool. They are items that speak to our inner
geek, despite falling outside the realm of what is traditionally
For example, one expects to find greatness in the vineyards of
France. Indeed, great estates like Lafite and Romanee Conti were
identified centuries ago as vineyards of exceptional quality — and
being surrounded by wines of this caliber provides a certain sense
of satisfaction. Italy, Spain, the United States and Australia have
also put forth some superlative estates, but who would believe that
an experienced professional would develop a major weakness for a
winery in... Ukraine?
more » ]
In the early 1800s, Count Mikhail Vorontsov settled on the south
coast of Crimea and planted vines with his heart set on making
wines to rival the classics produced in France, Spain, Portugal and
Hungary. He began the work of building a winery which would later
be replaced by a grand Chateau cut into the granite mountains of
Crimea. In the mid-late 1800s, winemaking was assumed by Prince Lev
Golitzin, who concluded that greatness would not be achieved by
emulating the dry reds of France, but rather by taking advantage of
the subtropical climate and fashioning dessert and fortified wines
of amazing distinction and individuality. The Massandra Winery was
then built between 1894 and 1897 before immediately setting to work
providing wines to Tsar Nicholas II at his summer palace Livadia —
and the rest is history.
There is a lot to love in the story and wines of Massandra, then
and now. There is the incredible facility that stores these
wines in virtually unchanging conditions, deep underneath the main
edifice. It took 300 workers more than three years to carve those
tunnels into the stone by hand, including a flue at the end of each
which could be adjusted to control the amount of cold mountain air
brought into the caverns as needed. There is the obvious historical
importance of the winery and facility, considering the fact that
many wines produced before 1917 were made to be served to the Tsar
and his guests, since the exclusive rights to production of these
wines were held by Romanov's Royal Family. There are fascinating
stories describing the survival of all these wines in the
collection throughout long periods of political unrest and world
war. Wine lovers can find themselves overwhelmed by these
narratives and others, but what really launches Massandra into the
stratosphere of collectibles is the unyielding quality of
everything produced throughout the history of this great
The Massandra Collection simply does not include any sub-par
wine. The facility today is responsible for vinifying and bottling
wines produced by a number of local facilities which care for
around 5,000 hectare that is planted under vine. There are dozens
of unique microclimates along the coast, not all of which are
included in the top cuvees — so they can afford to be very
selective about what bears the standards set forth by the
incredible history of this estate. Many of these wines are still
being produced in continued tradition, using old methods and only
moderately updated technology — but what is most staggering is the
degree of consistency and transparency produced throughout many
decades and including modern vintages.
In August 2007, I was fortunate enough to visit Massandra, where
I was spoiled with an extremely comprehensive sampling. We tasted
across dozens of horizontals and verticals — over 90 wines going
back as far as the late 1700s. There are not many places in the
world where that is possible, much less so pleasant. To say that
the wines are delicious, or exquisite, is utterly inadequate — but
it's a starting point.
Virtually everything we tasted over the course of three days was
fortified, but rather than being fortified with Cognac or Brandy,
they use grain alcohol. Interestingly, the grapes (and therefore
the wines) achieve an extraordinary level of ripeness because of
the climate, and so they are extremely sweet and low in acid — so
the spirit actually helps to create an unusual but precise and
The Muscats and Cabernet Ports must be tasted to be believed
while the Tokay of Ai Danil remains legendary and the Sherries make
for some of the most outstanding drinking imaginable. There is
tremendous character and quality in every varietal they produce,
but the greatest sweet wine I have ever tasted was the 1914
Massandra Malaga, which was so good as to be difficult to describe.
I don't know if it is more impressive that that one glass stands
out in my mind among the many legends I have tasted, or that I
can't think of a single wine we tasted that I didn't enjoy.
Wine lovers understand that taste is only a part of what makes a
Scarcity and quality together make something marketable, but
there are so many other things that contribute to the cool factor
of what we find precious. Massandra in many ways owns a bigger part
of my heart than the classics because there is so much more than
quality in the bottle. I love La Tache, and on the day I can afford
to buy the vineyard you will see exports drop to a staggering zero
bottles per year while my popularity rises and the attendance at my
parties climbs steadily. I love the wines of Pride Mountain,
because the wines are delicious and because the people behind the
label are so exceptional. All that said, I love sharing
Massandra because it is unusual, and because it sparks the
imagination and drives conversations about history and the world we
You don't have to love sweet or fortified wines to enjoy
drinking these remarkably poised wines, which is yet another value
added. Massandra does not produce the most expensive wines on
earth, but they are incredibly interesting, delicious and precious
— compelling, even — and my inner geek really digs that.
Frank Martell is director of fine and rare wine at Heritage
More information about Fine &
Rare Wine auctions.
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