July 29, 2005
This Week In Coin & Currency News
Internationally Renowned Art Expert Joins Heritage Staff
Found Treasures: Thanks, Mom?
Website tips: Auction Previews
Numismatic Glossary
Coin Club Outreach Program
Instant Quiz: Test your numismatic knowledge
Is It Time To Sell? 2005 September Long Beach, CA Signature Auctions
Current Auctions: 2005 San Francisco, CA (ANA) 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
Internationally Renowned Art Expert Joins Heritage Staff

As part of our successful, continuing expansion in fine arts, Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers has hired internationally-known scholar and former Yale University curator and 18 year Kimbell Art Museum Director, Edmund P. Pillsbury, Ph.D., as Senior Fine Arts Expert. Heritage also is adding 21,000 square feet of space to its existing 53,000 square feet galleries to house the firm's rapidly growing fine arts services.

Dr. Pillsbury is one of America's foremost museum professionals who helped build the art collections of the renowned Kimbell as well as the Paul Mellon Collection of British Art and served as the founding director of the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art housing the Steve Wynn collection. He has an international reputation as a connoisseur, scholar, and arts administrator. His expertise will be a significant factor in Heritage's expansion in European and American paintings, art glass, ceramics and decorative arts.

Heritage is the third largest auction house in the United States with over $400 million in sales the past year in art, antiques, rare coins and currency, books and manuscripts, Americana, comics, vintage movie posters, sports, and Hollywood and entertainment memorabilia. The addition of Dr. Pillsbury, 62, to Heritage's 250-member staff is expected to help significantly bolster the firm's growth in the fine arts field.

Among his many outstanding accomplishments, Dr. Pillsbury is a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1991 New York Times art critic John Russell characterized Dr. Pillsbury as "one of the most gifted men in the American museum profession.

A native of Minneapolis, he is the great-grandson of the founder of the Pillsbury Milling Company, today known to consumers as the Pillsbury bakery division of General Mills, Inc.

A graduate of Yale University, Dr. Pillsbury holds a Ph.D. in Italian Renaissance Art from the University of London's Courtauld Institute of Art. His acclaimed former management positions include Director of the Yale Center for British Art and Chief Executive Officer of the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London. He served as Director of the Meadows Museum and Professor of Art History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and is currently a Research Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, a position he holds part-time.

Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers is headquartered in Dallas, at 3500 Maple Avenue, 17th Floor, Dallas, TX, 75219.

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Found Treasures: Thanks, Mom?
by Stewart Huckaby

I'll freely admit that this particular article was inspired by a suggestion from Bob Korver (amidst a lot of laughing in this part of the office over its sheer brilliance and virtually universal theme), but the idea was so inspired that I couldn't resist putting together a few words. The basic premise: What treasure did you once own that your mother threw out?

Most collectors that I've encountered over the years have collections of, well, everything, and we've all heard stories about those comic books or baseball cards that someone once owned that now live in someone's landfill. As numismatists, we're perhaps a bit lucky in that our coin collections were never considered just "junk". However, coins serve a rather obvious purpose in commerce, and while I would hope that the parents never raided your piggybank, let alone your collection, to pay the bills, it's always possible that you may have decided at a young age that it was more important to use those silver coins to buy ice cream or pay for a hot date (come to think of it, I'm probably with you on this one ;)) than to keep them in your collection.

I've been fairly fortunate in that my mother is somewhat of a pack rat, a characteristic I obviously inherited. My baseball card collection is still around, and anyone interested in common 1970-72 Topps cards that were handled by a ten year old would enjoy it. My comic book collection - well, it was thrown out, but I did it because I'd read the 10-20 comics it contained to death. (There are some first edition Archies and Richie Rich comics from the seventies that bit the dust this way, and I hesitate to this day to look them up on the Overstreet Guide.) Mad magazines? Same thing - a very low life expectancy due to extreme use.

There are a couple of coins from my youth that I wish I could track down, though, and a mere mention of what they are - a 1904 Double Eagle and a 1882-CC GSA Dollar - would explain why. No, I was never rich enough as a youngster to buy them, but I'm living proof that it is possible to win a grand prize at a coin show auction (the $20) by buying a single raffle ticket, and the dollar came from a very similar source. It remains open to question what happened to these coins; the two best guesses are that they are still stranded in a safe deposit box somewhere near San Jose or that they live somewhere in my parents' things, probably in the general vicinity of most of my world coins somewhere near Neverland.

Because we're all collectors, we all have stories about the one that was thrown away. If you have a good one, send it along to me at stewarth@heritagecoin.com, and hopefully we'll get a chance to mention it in a future issue of Coin and Currency News.

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Website Tips: Auction Previews

If you're familiar with the Heritage website at all, you'll know that one of the first things you see when you go to the home page is a listing of all current Heritage auctions. Each of these auctions is open for Internet bidding, and you can search and bid on these items to your heart's (and wallet's) content.

Sometimes, though, you may be interested in an auction that has not yet opened, just to see what might be available once the auction does open for bidding. If you are interested in this kind of information, Heritage provides Auction Previews for you. Just look below the list of current auctions on the homepage for a list of all auctions where previews are available.

Our auction previews let you watch our auctions grow. We post individual lots in our previews as soon as they have either a description or a picture, so you don't have to wait until the auction is posted to get an idea of the items you want. It is possible that a coin in our auction previews may not have a complete description or an image - yet - but we will continue to add information as we approach the auction posting date. If there's an auction you're interested in, check back often, as information will be added to the previews until the time the auction is ready to post.

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Numismatic Glossary:

Rarity Factor: Also rarity rating, rarity scale, etc. A shorthand means of describing how rare a coin or variety is. Catalog listings for many coins, particularly those minted before 1840 or so, include a rarity followed by a number between 1 and 8, with 1 being the least rare and 8 the rarest. The rarity scale in the third edition of Overton's Early Half Dollar Varieties looks like this:

R.1 Common 1000+ known
R.2 Uncommon 500-1000
R.3 Scarce 201-500
R.4 Very Scarce 81-200
R.5 Rare 31-80
R.6 Very Rare 13-30
R.7 Extremely Rare 4-12
R.8 Unique or nearly so 1-3

The rarity scale published for Large Cents in Penny Whimsy is very similar, but not identical. Still, this scale or a variant is used for most US coins.

Rarity scales for world and ancient coins tend to go in the opposite direction from the above, with the lower number signifying the rarer coin.

GSA Dollar: A Morgan Dollar encapsulated and sold by the General Services Administration during the 1970s in an effort to empty the Treasury's vaults of silver dollars. The vast majority of these coins are from Carson City; however, a few coins of other dates were released at the same time. A quick look at our Permanent Auction Archives shows that we have sold GSA Dollars dated 1879-S, 1880-S, 1881-S, 1883, 1883-O, 1884-O, 1885-O, and 1903-O, while the 1889-CC and 1893-CC dollars are virtually if not totally unknown in GSA holders.

According to Walter Breen, there were a total of 2,937,695 dollars turned over to the GSA, including 27,980 coins not from Carson City and 84,165 coins that were not uncirculated. The latter figure should probably be taken with several grains of salt, as the GSA considered toned coins to be circulated and some coins that would be considered high grade now did not merit an "Uncirculated" mention on the holder. However, some legitimately circulated coins were placed in envelopes similar to what was used on uncirculated Silver Ikes, but bearing a GSA label.

GSA Dollars trade based not only on the usual factors of date and grade, but also on their rarity or lack thereof in the GSA holder. While common Carson City coins such as the 1882-CC, 1883-CC, and 1884-CC bring little to no premium in GSA holders, other coins can trade for significant premiums over an ordinary coin of the date. Pieces with the original box of issue and certificate of authenticity bring a premium over those without.

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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 www.heritagecoins.com!

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

1. Which of the following is not a known overmintmark combination?
       CC over S
       D over S
       O over CC
       S over CC
       S over D

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

       Congress Bicentennial Half Dollar
       Panama-Pacific Half Dollar
       San Diego Half Dollar
       Texas Half Dollar
       Women Veterans Dollar

Last week's questions:

1. Which of the following coins contains the most gold?
Correct Answer: Russia 10 Roubles (19%). All of these coins contain just under one-fourth of an ounce of gold.

2. What is the date of the coin pictured in this Pan and Zoom closeup?

Correct Answer: 1976 (65%). This is the Bicentennial Half Dollar.

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Is It Time To Sell?

The Beach is Long, and the Time is Right

As official auctioneer of the Long Beach Coin and Collectibles Expo, we've been proud to sell over $30 million in great coins already this year. Rarities such as an uncirculated 1794 Dollar, a 1838-O Half Dollar, and the finest known British 1643 Charles I Triple Unite have made headlines throughout the numismatic world.

Now, once again in September, Heritage is proud to bring more great US coins, World Coins, and Currency to our finest customers through the proven venue of the Long Beach show. We are thrilled to have outstanding collections of Colonial coinage, Half Dimes, Washington Quarters, and Illinois Nationals, as well as numismatic Washingtonia, already consigned to these auctions. If you have material to sell, give us a call and take this opportunity to participate in these auctions. The time is right!

Where else can you reach a base of over 150,000 registered Internet bidders from all over the world, as well as an appreciative audience of collectors and dealers on site at the show - in the midst of one of the hottest numismatic markets we've ever seen? Contact us today, and find out how we can help you get the most from your material.

The consignment deadlines are August 4 for Currency and World Coins, and August 11 for US Coins. Call us today to ensure that you can take full advantage of this opportunity!

2005 September Long Beach Signature Auction
Sale on September 21 to September 24, 2005
Consignment Deadline: August 11, 2005

2005 September (CAA) Long Beach Signature Auction
Sale on September 23 to September 24, 2005
Consignment Deadline: August 4, 2005

2005 (HWCA) Long Beach Signature Auction
Sale on September 21 to September 24, 2005
Consignment Deadline: August 4, 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. August 2
at 10:00 PM
View Lots
Rare Coins
Closes Sun. July 31
from noon to 10:00 PM
View Lots
Rare Currency
Closes Sat. July 30
at 10:00 PM
View Lots

Rare Coins
Location: San Francisco, CA
Auction: 2005 San Francisco, CA (ANA) Bullet Auction #383
Auction Dates: August 1, 2005
Note: Internet Absentee Bidding Ends between Noon and 10 PM CT.

Sports cards, autographs, collectibles, and more...
Closes Sunday, July 31, 2005 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.

Movie posters, lobby cards and more...
Closes Sunday, July 31, 2005 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.

Comics, comic art and more...
Closes Sunday, August 7, 2005 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.

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