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Press Release - December 18, 2013
Trio Of Famous U.S. Numismatic Rarities Anchor Heritage Auctions’ FUN Offerings, January 8-121787 Brasher doubloon, 1913 Liberty Nickel (Olsen specimen) and a 1927-D Double Eagle top the list of important offerings in Orlando, FL, Jan. 8-12, in the Official Auction of the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Annual Convention
DALLAS — An astounding trinity of legendary American numismatic rarities — a 1787 Brasher doubloon with hallmark EB on the eagle's wing, MS63 NGC, CAC, a 1913 Liberty nickel, PR64 NGC, CAC, the Olsen Specimen and a 1927-D double eagle, MS66 NGC — expected to bring millions of dollars when they cross the auction block as part of Heritage's January 8-12 Florida United Numismatists (FUN) U.S. Coin Signature Auction Platinum Night offerings, have the world of high-end coin collecting abuzz.
"The sheer variety in this Platinum Night is amazing," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage. "The Brasher, the 1913 Liberty nickel and the 1927-D double eagle are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg here."
The first to sell will be a 1787 Brasher doubloon with hallmark EB on the eagle's wing, MS63 NGC, CAC. This Brasher doubloon was the first one known to numismatists and has been off the market since Walter Perschke purchased it in 1979.
"The Brasher doubloons, created by New York silversmith Ephraim Brasher, were the first truly American gold coins, struck by a resident of a former British colony for use within the United States," said Rohan. "The most famous are those with Brasher's original design, which adapts New York's state coat of arms on one side and the Great Seal of the United States on the other."
Soon after, a 1913 Liberty nickel, PR64 NGC, CAC, the Olsen Specimen, will cross the auction block. One of only five 1913 Liberty nickels known, two of which are held by museums, it also is called "The Hawaii Five-O Specimen" after an appearance on a 1973 episode of the television show. It is offered as part of The Greensboro Collection, Part V.
"Between the fame the 1913 Liberty nickel has among coin collectors and the Olsen Specimen's TV appearance, it is one of the most famous single coins on Earth," said Rohan. "It's a numismatic star that will lend instant prestige to its new owner."
A 1927-D double eagle, MS66 NGC, is the crown jewel of The Douglas Martin Collection, a virtually complete set of $20 gold pieces. After Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued an executive order that prohibited almost all ownership of gold coins, the Treasury Department stopped paying out gold and eventually destroyed the coins it had on hand, including almost all the 1927-D double eagles ever struck. Out of 13 examples traced, four are held by museums and unavailable to collectors. The Saint-Gaudens double eagles are among the most beautiful and popular U.S. coins, and owning a 1927-D is a mark of distinction.
Two important silver coins that would headline almost any other auction certainly deserve special mention: an 1870-S Seated dollar, XF40 PCGS, is one of only nine confirmed examples and is a centerpiece of The Usibelli Collection, themed around the year 1870, one of the most challenging in U.S. numismatics, while an 1884 Trade dollar, PR65 PCGS, CAC, is one of only 10 struck under mysterious circumstances. It comes from The Smoke Rise Collection.
Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:
1861 Confederate States of America cent, PR63 PCGS Secure: Made by a Philadelphia engraver, Robert Lovett, Jr., who soon had second thoughts about making coins for the Confederacy. From The Noble Family Collection.
1792 half disme, Judd-7 variety, MS65 PCGS: One of the best-preserved examples of the first federally issued silver coins, mentioned in a speech by President George Washington to Congress. From The Klamath Mountain Collection, Part II.
1879 Coiled Hair Stella in gold, Judd-1638 variety, PR66 Cameo PCGS Secure: With the unusual face value of four dollars and one of only 12 specimens definitively traced.
1826 half eagle, BD-2 variety, MS66 PCGS: One of only three examples known for the variety and easily the finest, a landmark offering for early gold coinage specialists. From The David & Sharron Akers Collection.
1827 half eagle, BD-1 variety, MS64 PCGS: A noted rarity struck from a single pair of dies, one of the better-preserved coins out of 17 confirmed examples. From the collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation.
1838-O 50C PR64 NGC: The 1838-O Reeded Edge half dollar is one of the most mysterious and valuable coins in American numismatics. The 1838-O is believed to be the earliest branch mint proof coin of any denomination and no official record of its mintage exists. Researchers have traced only nine surviving examples in all grades, with one coin impounded in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, and two others in slightly impaired condition.