Press Release - January 13, 2004

Heritage 2004 FUN is the Largest Rare Coin & Currency Auction of All Time: Over $30 Million

Dallas, Texas: Auction sales by Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Currency Auctions of America, and Heritage World Coin Auctions in Orlando, Florida, between January 7 and 10, plus the official FUN Internet Bullet Auction, for which bidding closed on January 12, achieved a record $30,369,147 in actual sales. The prices realized are expected to climb even higher as bidders compete for Post-Auction Bargains, which are available after the sale at www.heritagecoin.com.

Approximately 7,000 bidders participated in these auctions by phone, by mail, over the Internet or in person, and about 2,500 of those bidders actually purchased lots.

As part of their official auctions at the 2004 annual convention of the Florida United Numismatists in Orlando, Heritage’s first Platinum Night auction was held on January 7, and realized $12,559,834 in sales in just four hours! Although other Heritage sessions also contained significant rarities, Platinum Night concentrated the majority of the very finest coins that Heritage auctioned at FUN into a single, spectacular catalog.

Platinum Night was anchored by the fabulous North Shore Collection, one of the most important consignments in the history of Heritage Numismatic Auctions. This landmark collection contained nearly a complete set of Double Eagles by date and mintmark, missing only the 1856-O, 1927-D, and 1933 issues. The legendary 1870-CC, graded AU53 by PCGS and the single finest certified by that service, sold for an incredible $368,000. The proof-only 1883, 1884, and 1887 Double Eagles were represented with grades between PR64 and PR66, and sold for $172,500, $149,500, and $63,250, respectively. The ultra-rare 1854-O, graded AU58 by NGC and tied for the finest grade certified, realized $189,750.

Other standouts included a 1907 High Relief certified by NGC as PR67, which changed hands for $126,500, and an 1861-S Paquet Reverse, AU58 NGC, which sold for $97,750. The very rare dates from late in the Saint-Gaudens series were exceptional performers. A 1921 Double Eagle, MS62 PCGS, brought $60,375; a 1930-S, graded MS63 by NGC, sold for $51,750; and a Gem 1932, MS66 NGC, realized $71,875.

Highlights of the North Shore Collection Double Eagles:

Another outstanding section of the North Shore Collection was its complete Guide Book variety set of Early Eagles, with each piece certified in Mint State grades by either NGC or PCGS. The two highest prices realized within this important holding were for two exceptionally rare varieties, the 1795 Nine Leaves Eagle, MS60 PCGS, which sold for $161,000, and the 1798/7 7 by 6 Stars, MS62 PCGS, which brought $218,500.

Highlights of the North Shore Collection Early Eagles:

The North Shore Collection also contained numerous important individual rarities. The most spectacular among these are the 1796 No Stars Quarter Eagle, MS62 NGC, which sold for $138,000; the 1848 CAL. Quarter Eagle, MS67 NGC, which brought $161,000; and an 1875 Three Dollars, PR65 Cameo NGC, that realized $126,500.

Further highlights of the North Shore Collection:

The special Platinum Night sessions also included the magnificent Green Pond Collection, the #1 All-Time PCGS Registry Set of Dahlonega Mint gold coinage. Stated Heritage President Greg Rohan, “The catalog for the Green Pond Collection will serve as an important reference for Dahlonega specialists, since the rarity, strike, surfaces, luster, and color of each coin is described in detail. Most of the pieces within this complete collection are plated in the second edition of Doug Winter’s Gold Coins of the Dahlonega Mint, 1838-1861.”

Highlights of the Green Pond Collection:

More than seventy different consignors contributed to Platinum Night, and the result was a stellar line-up of diverse rarities that represented all major collector series but also included colonials, territorials, patterns, and commemoratives.

A noted major dealer opined, “The quality of the coins in the Platinum Night session were incredible. There was one lot after another of exceptional material. These coins are clearly destined for the finest specialized collections.”

Perhaps the most exceptional result was a Snow-3 1856 Flying Eagle Cent, MS66 PCGS, which brought $172,500. An 1827 Half Dollar from the legendary Eliasberg collection was certified as PR68 by NGC, and realized $126,500. Three conditionally rare Morgan Dollars delivered outstanding results: an 1892-S graded MS67 by PCGS sold for $126,500; an 1893-O certified as MS66 Prooflike by PCGS realized $166,750; and an 1895-O with the uncommon grade of MS65 Deep Mirror Prooflike sold for $138,000.

According to Heritage Co-Chairman Steve Ivy, “It came as no surprise that the 2004 FUN sales achieved record status, given the immense quality of the consignments. In addition to the spectacular North Shore and Green Pond Collections, there were several significant Registry Sets that ranked high within their respective categories. Patrick Mullen’s PCGS Registry Set of Silver Washington Quarters with varieties is listed as #1 All-Time. The Richard Registry Collections of Mint State & Proof Indian Cents are currently ranked on the PCGS Registry as the #4 All-Time Finest - for both sets! Mike Sadler’s collection of Wheat Reverse Lincoln Cents stands on the PCGS Registry as #8 All-Time. The Timely Collection of Mint State Indian Quarter Eagles is currently ranked on the PCGS Registry as #2 Current Finest and #6 All-Time Finest. The John Troy Collection holds the #1 PCGS Registry Set of Proof Memorial Reverse Lincoln Cents, and contains an impressive number of PR70 Red Deep Cameo pieces.”

Continued Ivy, “The anchor consignments in our FUN catalog demonstrate an impressive array of collecting interests. Part 3 of the Frank O. Fredericks Collection includes more of his important patterns and Seated Dollars. Part 2 of the Morris Geiger Collection offers additional selections from his U.S. coins, plus major offerings in our HWCA (his famous Latin America holdings) and Heritage-CAA catalogs. Part 2 of the New Millennium Collection continues with wonderful coins that have also been off the market since 1973, including more patterns, some two-dozen pieces of $3 gold, and fifty Double Eagles. Part 2 of The Palm Beach Collection includes complete, superlative sets of Flying Eagle & Indian Cent Proofs, plus Morgan Dollar rarities.”

FUN consignor Mike Sadler was pleased with the enthusiastic bidding for his collection of early Lincoln Cents. “The cataloging by Heritage was exceptional, and the high resolution of the color images on the internet allowed bidders to examine every detail of the coins. The quality shows in the high prices realized. Who would have thought just a few years ago that a 1924 Cent, certified as MS66 Red by PCGS, would bring $13,225, or that a 1927-S MS65 Red PCGS Cent would sell for $24,725?”

The standout among the many exceptional coins from the later sessions of the 2004 FUN Signature Sale was the proof 1864 L on Ribbon Cent. Noted as the most important rarity within the Indian Cent series, a PR64 Red example certified by PCGS brought $118,450.

Additional highlights of the Heritage 2004 FUN Signature Sale:

Heritage-Currency Auctions of America also participated in the official FUN Signature Sales, and achieved record-breaking results for a currency auction. The prices realized for the 5086 lots sold (out of 5290 lots offered) was $6,443,328. Among the highlights, a $10,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note, Fr. 2231-J, certified Gem Uncirculated 67 by CGA, sold for $120,750; a rare $500 1878 Legal Tender Note, Fr. 185d, Choice Fine, brought $75,900; a $50 1865 Interest Bearing Note, Fr. 212d, VF-XF, sold for $66,125; and a Fr. 399 $5 Note from the National Bank of Chester, South Carolina, VF-XF, realized $51,750.

Heritage World Coin Auctions held two separate Signature Sales in less than a week. As part of the 2004 FUN auctions, the Orlando HWCA sale realized $937,330, with a spectacular sell-through rate of 97.8%. The standout lot in the HWCA sale was a very rare uncirculated Costa Rica 1873 20 Pesos, which brought $31,050.

The FUN Bullet sale realized $644,070 so far, not counting after-auction sales, which are still coming in.

Heritage also held a Signature auction at the New York International show on Monday January 12. That sale has thus far realized an additional $1,883,706, which is not included in the $30,369,147 FUN total.

Images, descriptions, and prices realized are available in the Permanent Auction Archives at the Heritage website, www.HeritageCoin.com

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