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  This Week In Coin News
 

  Collector News

New York World Coin Auction realizes nearly $12 Million

Victoria gold pattern Crown ND (1887)
Victoria gold pattern Crown ND (1887)

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% Buyer's Premium.

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 Brazilian 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.

Brazilian ingot of Serro Frio, 1832

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.

Brazil: Joao V gold 12800 Reis 1729-B, KM138, Russo-087, unlisted in Gomes, 'First Shield Type' variety, AU. Extremely rare and previously unknown. Brazil: Joao V gold 12800 Reis 1729-B, KM138, Russo-087, unlisted in Gomes, 'First Shield Type' variety, AU. Extremely rare and previously unknown.

Mughal, Jahangir, AH 1015-1037 / AD 1605-1628, gold portrait mohur. Without mint name, AH 1020 year 6 (AD 1611). Choice Extremely Fine Mughal, Jahangir, AH 1015-1037 / AD 1605-1628, gold portrait mohur. Without mint name, AH 1020 year 6 (AD 1611). Choice Extremely Fine

Salzburg. Wolf Dietrich Von Raitenau (1587-1612) gold 8 Ducats 1594, Fr-674 Probszt 715, MS63 NGC Salzburg. Wolf Dietrich Von Raitenau (1587-1612) gold 8 Ducats 1594, Fr-674 Probszt 715, MS63 NGC

Safavid, Sulayman I, 1078-1105 / 1668-1694, gold 16 ashrafis. Isfahan AH 1096, A-M2657, Choice Very Fine Safavid, Sulayman I, 1078-1105 / 1668-1694, gold 16 ashrafis. Isfahan AH 1096, A-M2657, Choice Very Fine

Just a few of the other highlights of this auction included:

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:

The 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.

1792 Half Disme 1792 Half Disme
1792 H10C Judd-7, Pollock-7, SP67 PCGS
Sold for $1,410,000

Additional highlights of Platinum Night include:

1803 $1 PR66 PCGS. B-7, BB-303, High R.7 1803 $1 PR66 PCGS. B-7, BB-303, High R.7 1838-O 50C PR64BM PCGS 1838-O 50C PR64BM PCGS
1803 $1 PR66 PCGS.
B-7, BB-303, High R.7

Sold for: $851,875
1838-O 50C PR64BM PCGS
Sold for: $734,375
1792 H10C Half Disme, Judd-7, Pollock-7, R.4, MS64 PCGS 1792 H10C Half Disme, Judd-7, Pollock-7, R.4, MS64 PCGS 1880 $4 Flowing Hair, Judd-1657, Pollock-1857, R.6, PR66 NGC 1880 $4 Flowing Hair, Judd-1657, Pollock-1857, R.6, PR66 NGC
1792 H10C Half Disme, Judd-7,
Pollock-7, R.4, MS64 PCGS

Sold for: $528,750
1880 $4 Flowing Hair, Judd-1657,
Pollock-1857, R.6, PR66 NGC

Sold for: $440,625
1838 25C No Drapery PR63 PCGS 1838 25C No Drapery PR63 PCGS
1838 25C No Drapery PR63 PCGS
Sold for: $381,875

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

'The 1815 Half Eagle: New Discoveries'
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 Press.

"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 of Sweden.

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 PayPal here.

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:

  1. 1792 One Cent, Judd-2, Pollock-2, Low R.7, Fine 15 NGC. CAC
    1792 One Cent, Judd-2, Pollock-2, Low R.7, Fine 15 NGC. CAC
  2. 1784 Washington Ugly Head Copper Poor 1 PCGS. Baker-8, Breen-1185, W-10590, R.7. Sold for $9,775.
  3. 1792 Birch Cent, Judd-5, Pollock-6, R.8, Fair 2 NGC. Sold for $86,250.
  4. 1878-S 50C AG3 PCGS. Sold for $28,750.
  5. 1823/2 25C Good 4 PCGS. B-1, R.6. Sold for $43,125.
  6. 1802 H10C Good 6 PCGS. V-1, LM-1, R.5. Sold for $57,500.
  7. 1792 Half Disme, Judd-7, Pollock-7, R.4, VG8 NGC. Sold for $69,000.
  8. 1794 $1 VG10 PCGS. Sold for $132,250.
  9. 1794 $1 Fine 12 PCGS. Sold for $106,375.
  10. 1792 One Cent, Judd-2, Pollock-2, Low R.7, Fine 15 NGC. CAC. Sold for $299,000.
  11. 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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  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
  • 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, New York
  • 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 positions:

  • Client Services Representative: Dallas
  • Collections Specialist: Dallas/Contract
  • Color & Photography Imaging Specialist: Dallas/Contract
  • 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
  • Interns
  • 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

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 wines

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 coveted.

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?

[ read 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 estate.

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.

Tremendous Character

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 elegant balance.

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 wine valuable.

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 live in.

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 Auctions.

More information about Fine & Rare Wine auctions.

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  Heritage Interactive
Opinion Poll

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

What is the highest denomination coin that should circulate in the US today?
       A) 25 cents
       B) 50 cents
       C) 1 dollar
       D) 2 dollars
       E) 5 dollars




Last week's questions:

Which of the following strike designations are you most likely to pay extra for?
A) Full Bands (Mercury Dimes) (20%).
B) Full Bands (Roosevelt Dimes) (3%).
C) Full Bell Lines (Franklin Halves) (15%).
D) Full Head (Standing Liberty Quarters) (54%).
E) Full Steps (Jefferson Nickels) (8%).

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  Is it Time to Sell?

It's not too early to begin thinking about consigning your important coins and notes to our March Dallas auction of US coins and our Official Auctions of the 2013 Central States Convention. For a confidential discussion, call us: 800-872-6467 ext. 1000 (coins) or ext. 1001 (currency).

2013 March 21 - 24 US Coin Signature Auction - Dallas
Consignment Deadline: February 5, 2013

2013 April 17 - 22 CICF World & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
Consignment Deadline: February 25, 2013

2013 April 24 - 29 CSNS Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
Consignment Deadline: March 4, 2013

2013 April 24 - 28 CSNS US Coin Signature Auction - Chicago
Consignment Deadline: March 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 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 #131303
January 13, 2013
View Lots
Tuesday Internet Coin Auction Tuesday Internet Coin Auction #131303
January 15, 2013
View Lots
Thursday Modern Coin Auction Thursday Modern Coin Auction #241303
January 17, 2013
View Lots
Weekly World Coin Auction Weekly World Coin Auction #231303
January 17, 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 #141303
January 15, 2013
View Lots

Other Internet Auctions
Sunday Internet Movie Poster Auction Sunday Internet Movie Poster Auction #161302
January 13, 2013
View Lots
Sunday Internet Sports Collectibles Auction Sunday Internet Sports Collectibles Auction #151302
January 13, 2013
View Lots
Sunday Internet Comics Auction Sunday Internet Comics Auction #121302
January 13, 2013
View Lots
Weekly Internet Luxury Accessories Auction Weekly Internet Luxury Accessories Auction #251303
January 15, 2013
View Lots
Tuesday Internet Watch and Jewelry Auction Tuesday Internet Watch and Jewelry Auction #171303
January 15, 2013
View Lots
Thursday Vintage Guitar & Musical Instrument Internet Auction Thursday Vintage Guitar & Musical Instrument Internet Auction #181303
January 17, 2013
View Lots
Weekly Internet Rare Books and Autographs Auction Weekly Internet Rare Books and Autographs Auction #201303
January 17, 2013
View Lots

Auction Schedule | Order a Catalog

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