May 6, 2005
This Week In Coin & Currency News
Western Hills Collection to Anchor Long Beach
EAC Honors Mark Borckardt
Found Treasures: The Top 100 97 VAMs
Heritage Comics to Feature the Random House Archives
Website tips: Printable Version of Prices Realized
Numismatic Glossary
Heritage Offers Huge Discounts on NumisMedia Guides
Summer Interns Wanted!
Coin Club Outreach Program
Instant Quiz: Test your numismatic knowledge
Is It Time To Sell? 2005 San Francisco, CA (ANA) Signature Auction
Current Auctions: 2005 St. Louis, MO (CSNS) Bullet Auction, Exclusively Internet Auction, Continuous Internet Auction, Internet Currency Auction, Amazing Sports Auction, Internet Movie Poster Auction, Amazing Comics Auction
Weekly Specials: Don't miss out on a great deal

Collector News
Western Hills Collection to Anchor Long Beach

The magnificent Western Hills Collection will be offered by Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc. at our June 1-4 Signature Auction to be held at the Long Beach Coin Expo.

The Western Hills Collection contains more than three hundred exquisite coins, all with incredible eye appeal. Many are the finest known by the certification services ? for more than five dozen of the coins, none have been certified finer. This is simple, unabashed quality of the kind that excites type, registry, and specialist collectors.

While the collector specialized in several series, he collected broadly as well - in fact, he is still actively collecting in his main interests, and those coins are even more phenomenal than the gems we are selling in this auction! One look at his one hundred Patterns in this sale, or his Three Cent Nickel series, and we can hardly wait for the future auctions. And, by collecting the Patterns and Errors in his specialty series, he enhanced his collection tremendously.

The one hundred Western Hills Patterns are an incredible achievement in themselves. They exhibit all you could ask for in rarity and condition. They are concentrated in the Two Cents, Three Cents, and Nickel series, but there is diversity as well.

Highlights of the patterns include:

Western Hills is especially strong in Three Cent Nickels. The collector was not just content with completing many of the minor coinages in superb grade - he also purchased finer specimens when encountered. Of course, he couldn't bear to part with any of his treasures until now, so bidders have an amazing selection from which to choose. These are the fruits of many decades of dedicated collecting.

Among his 'Finest Known' business strike Three Cent Nickels can be found (and this is a partial list!):

The Western Hills Collection contains similar quality in the Proof Three Cent Nickel, Shield Nickels, and Standing Liberty Quarter issues, with many certified 'none finer'. Among the many other significant and Registry-level coins in the Western Hills Collection are:

The Western Hills Collector was often attracted to early proof sets, some of which he kept intact, and others which were broken for his individual collections. His 1909 Proof Set is being offered intact (Cent PR66 Red; Nickel PR66; Dime PR67; Quarter PR67; Half PR68), while his incredible 1890 Morgan Dollar in PR67 PCGS is from a broken set.

This collection and the rest of the exciting Long Beach Signature Auction will open for bidding soon at our website,

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EAC Honors Mark Borckardt

Heritage and Senior Cataloger Mark Borckardt have been presented with a Special Achievement Award for the catalog of the Wes Rasmussen Collection of United States Large Cents, part of the record-breaking auction held in conjunction with the Florida United Numismatists Convention in January, 2005.

Every year, the literary committee of the Early American Coppers Society presents a Book of the Year Award to the book that best contributed to the knowledge and collecting of United States Half Cents and Large Cents. This year, they also presented a Special Achievement Award for the Rasmussen catalog.

"The Special Achievement Award is one that we've only given out three or four times in the past ten years," said Charles Davis, EAC Board Member. "It's an award that is presented for special service in scholarship and research in the area of Early United States copper coinage. This particular award is especially significant in that the EAC rarely presents awards for commercial ventures, such as auction catalogs."

"This is a terrific honor," says Borckardt. "The Rasmussen catalog was an exciting project to work on, and I'm extremely pleased with this award, which I've accepted on behalf of myself and all my colleagues at Heritage. It's both a pleasure and an honor to know that this effort has been so well received."

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Found Treasures: The Top 100 97 VAMs
by Stewart Huckaby

As with many coin series, the most die-hard Morgan Dollar collectors are nothing if not into minutia. Specialists in the series collect not only by date and mintmark, but by die variety, and in some extreme cases by die variety within a single year, usually 1878. These die varieties are known as VAMs, after Leroy Van Allen and A. George Mallis, authors of The Comprehensive Catalogue and Encyclopedia of US Morgan and Peace Silver Dollars.

As one might expect in a series produced as heavily as the Morgan Dollar was, there are hundreds of die varieties, some relatively trivial, and some much more obvious. The most popular varieties have been collected into a listing known as the Top 100 VAMs. Interestingly, a top 100 VAM listing might include a single die variety, such as the 1888-O "Hot Lips" Double Die Obverse, or a collection of varieties with a single characteristic, such as the 1879-S dollar with reverse of 1878. Varieties that made the list include overdates, repunched mintmarks, overmintmarks (each of the three 1882-O/S varieties is a separate entry, while the several 1900-O/CC varieties are represented by two entries), double dies, die gouges (the 1890-CC Tail Bar), and even the occasional late die state caused by a die clash.

Micro mintmarks have also historically been well-represented on the Top 100 list. However, in a recent article on the Collector's Universe website, PCGS has announced that the Micro O varieties of the 1896-O (VAM-4), 1900-O (VAM-5), and 1902-O (VAM-3) Morgan Dollars are contemporary counterfeits. Although these coins are made of silver, each shares an identical reverse die which was made outside the mint through a transfer process. The coins were exposed as counterfeits when each showed identical depressions in two locations on the reverse as a result of raised areas on the die.

It is believed that these coins were manufactured in the early part of the 20th century in order to take advantage of the difference between the price of silver and the amount of silver in the dollar. They were intended to circulate, not to take advantage of collectors, and circulate they did, with none being known in uncirculated grades. Indeed, the coins are believed to have been artificially circulated before entering commerce, in part because a newly minted specimen would have looked wrong when compared to similar high grade coins.

Other micro mintmark varieties in and out of the Morgan Dollar series are not affected. Legitimate Micro O varieties are known for the 1880-O and 1899-O Morgans, each with several distinct die varieties. It is likely that the die for the circulating counterfeit coins was made from the reverse of one of these coins.

NGC has long quietly refused to certify the 1896-O, 1900-O, and 1902-O Micro O Morgan Dollar varieties due to questionable authenticity. PCGS has certified a few of these coins, under a hundred of the three dates combined. They will honor their grade guarantee with regard to these coins, paying the coin's market value to anyone who wishes to turn a PCGS-slabbed counterfeit in.

Today, there remains a question about the coins' collectibility. Traditionally, coin collectors will collect anything that has been used as money, and more often than many people might think this will include circulating counterfeits. Debate continues within the circles of Silver Dollar specialists whether these three successful circulating counterfeits will be considered collectible in the future.

For more information about these coins, please read PCGS' article about them at

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Heritage Comics to Feature the Random House Archives

Heritage Comics Auctions (HCA) is pleased to announce that our upcoming May New York Comic Signature Auction #816 is to be anchored by the Random House Archives, which will be featured in its entirety in a special catalog. Within this special catalog you will find hundreds of items associated with some of the most historic and beloved comic and cartoon characters of the twentieth century. The scope is panoramic! Virtually all your favorites are here - Disney characters, the Looney Tunes regulars, and an astounding array of others from the files of the Western Publishing Company.

From the Golden Age comics of Dell to the comic titles bearing the Gold Key label beginning in 1962, from the single panel beginnings of Marge's Little Lulu in the 1930s to the Little Golden Books decades later, from the art of such respected comic book veterans as Steve Ditko and Jack Davis to the work of Richard Scarry, and on and on - the books and original art of Western Publishing are here in the Random House Archives catalog.

The Random House name is well-known in its own right, of course, but until the renowned company acquired the Western Publishing files, that name was not normally associated with comics, comic art, and all that you will see herein. That's obviously changed!

File Copy comic books, bound volumes of dozens of comic book titles, and original artwork used for such diverse publications as the Saturday Evening Post, Adventures in Space, Tom and Jerry, and Turok, Son of Stone - well, just see for yourself! And enjoy! This auction will be held at The New Yorker Hotel, 481 Eighth Ave (at 34th St.), New York, NY 10001 on May 18, 19, and 20. Bidding is open now at

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Website tips: Printable Version of Prices Realized

Our customers will often ask us for a complete listing of the prices realized in our auctions, with the idea that having the prices handy along with our catalogs makes the catalogs that much more useful. Our website,, has long provided the ability for you to print your own complete listing of prices realized for any auction.

To find this listing, go to the Permanent Auction Archives, and from there find the auction that interests you. Perform any search on this auction. You will see the results of your search, as usual, but on the right side of the page, you will also see two links.

The Printable Version of Prices realized for this Auction link will bring up a page much like the above which contains nothing but lot numbers and prices realized. This listing is designed to be printed out and kept with your catalog. If you are interested in more thorough information, click on Printable Catalog for this auction. This brings up a complete, printable listing of every lot in the auction, including both the description and the price the lot realized.

Of course, Heritage auctions often have several thousand lots, and printing an entire Printable Catalog may take several hundred pages. In order to save our forests, we urge you to preview the job and print only those pages you need!

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Numismatic Glossary:

Editor's Note: The Numismatic Glossary will not appear this week. In its stead, here are a few examples of terms that may - and in some cases hopefully will not - appear in this space in the future!

Coin Names & Misnomers
By Bob Korver

While reading auction catalogs, I occasionally come across unusual nicknames for coins; sometimes the monikers are historical, sometimes less so. On occasion, I've made up one or two myself. Back when I was cataloging on a more-or-less regular basis, I tired of writing out the correct but inelegant "Three Cent Nickels", and started to call them "Trickels." I thought this name made perfect sense, comported nicely with "Trimes," and saved ten spaces. Now you would think that with as many catalogs as Heritage produces, we don't have to worry about the costs of an extra "n" or "i." After all, buying them in quantity the way we do makes them pretty cheap, but even little costs add up. But I digress. My denomination "Trickel" appeared in some West Coast catalogs, but it never really caught on, and ultimately our Chief Cataloger Mark Van Winkle tired of the attempt.

While I was explaining all of this to your Editor during our recent Baseball outing, he volunteered that he had a punnish name for the "Twenty Cent Piece;" I won't punish you by revealing it quite yet, but you can peek at the full list below. I will note, just in case Steve Ivy is reading, that the surge of creativity engendered at this ball game strongly suggests that B-ball Playoff tickets would be in order to motivate several months of columns. But I digress again.

Back to the point. If you have any unusual nicknames for coins that you would care to volunteer or create - and that would actually make some sense to the rest of us weary collectors - please send them to

Pet Nicknames for Denominations
Three-Cent Nickel => Trickel
Shield Nickel => Shickel
Three-Cent Silver => Trime
Twenty Cent Piece => Paradigm
$50 slug => Quintuple Eagle

Remember, this is your chance to 'coin a phrase' that could be used for 'phrasing a coin' in our next catalog.

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Heritage Offers Huge Discounts on NumisMedia Guides

As a valued Heritage client, we wanted to let you know about the special discounts we have negotiated with NumisMedia for you. We believe you'll find these guides to be an indispensable coin-pricing resource. Heritage, along with many other numismatic insiders, consider NumisMedia to be the most accurate rare coin pricing source available anywhere.

NumisMedia Online Dealer Price Guides - Market, PCGS, and NGC Prices:
Just $120 per year. Order NOW!

NumisMedia presents NGC and PCGS Dealer Wholesale Prices representing dealer bid prices, and is available to dealers. In subscribing to the NGC/PCGS Wholesale Prices, you will also have access to the NumisMedia Market Prices, dealer to dealer trading prices based on sight-seen trades from activity throughout the country.

Bonus: In addition, subscribers to the Online Dealer Price Guides will receive a copy of the Fair Market Value Price Guide each month and gain access to the Online Fair Market Value Price Guide. This is an additional $96/year value.

NumisMedia Monthly FMV Price Guide:
Just $17 for 3 months. Order NOW!

The NumisMedia FMV Price Guide is a monthly publication with concise listings of the most recent Fair Market Value prices for coins offered by dealers in the numismatic community. The Fair Market Value prices listed represent accurately graded, sight-seen coins that are accepted by a majority of the dealers across the country.

There are over 40 pages of VF through MS67 listings in the following categories: Flying Eagle Cents, Indian Cents & Lincoln Cents (1909-1933) Brown, Red & Brown, and Red; Buffalo Nickels; Barber Dimes, Quarters, & Halves; Mercury Dimes (incl. Full-Bands); Walking Liberty Halves; Morgan & Peace Dollars; $1 Gold through $20 Gold; & Gold & Silver Commemoratives. The balance of U.S. coinage is available in our online price guide with your paid subscription.

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Summer Interns Wanted!

Heritage Rare Coin Galleries and Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc. are now accepting applications for interns for next summer. Here's your chance to work for the world's largest Rare Coin Dealer. If you are at least 18 years old, attending school and have a good background in numismatics, then join us in Dallas for the summer! Contact with an informal resume of your experience and any accomplishments in numismatics.

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Coin Club Outreach Program

In a move to help strengthen the coin hobby and increase membership in America's coin clubs, Heritage has created the Coin Club Outreach program.

The Coin Club Outreach program features a speaker's bureau to deliver presentations at coin club meetings, promotional items to be offered to clubs to help generate revenue and enlist new members, and access to the Heritage website and mailing list of over 100,000 active coin and currency enthusiasts. Anyone interested in scheduling a speaker for a coin club or other collector group is invited to contact:

David Lisot, Director
Heritage Coin Club Outreach
1-800-872-6467 ext. 303

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Heritage Interactive
Instant Quiz

NEW: Instant quizzes and polls twice a week at!

Answer these quick questions and see how you stack up against your peers.

1. Which of the following coins is not a circulating counterfeit?
1848 Small Date Large Cent
1922 (Plain) Cent
1923-D Dime
1930-D Dime
1944 (Plain) Nickel

2. Which coin is pictured in this Pan and Zoom closeup?

Booker T. Washington Half Dollar
1990 Eisenhower Centennial Dollar
Lexington-Concord Sesquicentennial Half Dollar
San Diego Half Dollar
Texas Centennial Half Dollar

Last week's questions:

1. Which of the following types of coins was never minted in San Francisco?
Correct Answer: Indian Head Quarter Eagle (33%).

2. Which coin is pictured in this Pan and Zoom closeup?

Correct Answer: 1928 Hawaiian Sesquicentennial Half Dollar (42%).

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Is It Time To Sell?

A Second California Gold Rush

The American Numismatic Association, the world's largest numismatic organization, is bringing its annual convention to San Francisco this July! Heritage has once again been selected as the official auctioneer, making this Heritage's 33rd selection as the Official Auctioneer of the ANA.

We expect to see hundreds of records established at the 2005 ANA. In this sizzling market, with the ANA audience competing against our 140,000+ registered Internet bidder-members, only Heritage reaches every part of this hot market. Take advantage of our marketing strengths and Internet leadership by consigning today, and maximize your audience and your proceeds!

Millions of dollars of consignments are already on hand, so you know that the attention of the numismatic world will be focused on Heritage's San Francisco ANA Signature Auction. When the time comes to sell your coins and currency, you want to choose the one firm that attracts the most bidders and the highest prices - Heritage. Why would you want to sell your coins and currency anywhere else?

The June 16th deadline is quickly approaching, so act quickly. Call our consignor hotline at 1-800-872-6467, extension 222, today!

2005 San Francisco, CA (ANA) Signature Auction
Sale on July 27 to July 30, 2005
Consignment Deadline: June 16, 2005

Leo Frese
Director of Consignments
1-800-US-COINS ext. 222 (24 hour voice mail)

Interested in Selling?
What's My Coin Worth?
Get the Most Money for Your Collection
Consign to a Heritage Auction

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Current Auctions


Rare Coins
Closes Tue. May 10
at 10:00 PM
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from noon to 10:00 PM
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Rare Coins
Location: St. Louis , MO
Auction: 2005 St. Louis, MO (CSNS) Bullet Auction
Auction Dates: May 9, 2005
Note: Internet Absentee Bidding Ends between Noon and 10 PM CT.
Sports cards, autographs, collectibles, and more...
Closes Sunday, May 29, 2005 at 10:00 PM
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Movie posters, lobby cards and more...
Closes Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 10:00 PM
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Comics, comic art and more...
Closes Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 10:00 PM
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