September 2, 2005
This Week In Coin & Currency News
Heritage Returns to Long Beach!
The Thomas D. Wolfe Collection of American Type Coins
Found Treasures: 1971-D Half Dollar
Website tips: Tips For New Bidders
Numismatic Glossary
Help Wanted: Internet Sales
Coin Club Outreach Program
Instant Quiz: Test your numismatic knowledge
Is It Time To Sell? 2005 November Palm Beach, Florida Signature Auction
Current Auctions: 2005 September (CAA) Long Beach Signature Auction, 2005 September (HWCA) Long Beach Signature Auction, 2005 September Long Beach Signature Auction, 2005 September Long Beach Online Session, 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
Heritage Returns to Long Beach!

Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc (HNAI) will hold our upcoming Signature Auction September 21-24, 2005 as the official auctioneer of the Long Beach Coin Expo. This event marks our 55th turn as official auctioneer in Long Beach, and the show gets more exciting each time we return. We're offering over 15,000 lots over four venues - our Signature auction, our Online Session (formerly known as the Bullet Auction), our Currency Auctions of America event, and the Heritage World Coins Auction. I think it's safe to say that this grand event includes something for everyone.

There are several important anchor consignments in this auction, including the Oak Collection of American Colonial Coinage and the William Harmon Collection of Half Dimes, both of which have been covered in previous issues of Coin and Currency News; the Thomas D. Wolfe Collection, profiled separately below; and the Daniel Biddle Registry Collection of Washington Quarters and the Ken Arnold Collection, each of which will be profiled in detail in coming issues. Other anchor consignments include the William Bickel Collection, Part Two, the Alan Bingel Collection of Gold & Silver Ingots, Part Two, the Larry Rausch Collection of Errors, Part Six, and the William Waste Collection.

The world-renowned collection of "Snow" Variety Indian Cents formed by Allan W. Mays Sr. is well known to the readers of Longacre's Ledger. This magnificent collection of Snow varieties - well in excess of 100 pieces - will be avidly pursued by variety specialists.

Highlights of the Allan W. Mays Sr. Collection of "Snow" Variety Indian Cents include:

The Robert Leach Collection of Washingtonia is somewhat different than the other offerings in this auction. A long-time collector of coins and currency, Mr. Leach sold his prior numismatic collections, and began to search out the medallic art of George Washington. Combining a fascination with both history and numismatics, Mr. Leach was looking for something a little different to collect, and in the process rediscovered one of the core collecting areas of Americana.

Highlights of the Robert Leach Collection of Washingtonia include:

Aside from the great anchor collections featured so often in Heritage Signature Auctions, there is simply a fantastic selection of coins in this fall's Long Beach auction. Two legendary gold rarities are the 1870-CC Double Eagle and 1854-S Quarter Eagle, each of which is represented in this auction. A PCGS-graded 1909-S VDB cent in MS67 Red and an MS64 1916 Doubled Die Nickel represent terrific combinations of 20th century desirability and quality. One of the most intriguing coins in this auction is a 1820 quarter; not rare in its own right, yet this is one is a proof and thus tremendously rare and coveted.

Highlights of the Long Beach Signature Auction include:

This auction is open for bidding now at

To purchase a catalog for any Heritage Auction, please contact Nicole Jewell at Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc., 3500 Maple Avenue, 17th Floor, Dallas, TX, 75219 or visit to order by credit card.

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The Thomas D. Wolfe Collection of American Type Coins

The Thomas D. Wolfe Collection of American Type Coins, formed over half a century of collecting, will anchor Heritage Numismatic Auctions' Sept. 21-24 Long Beach Signature Auction. Heritage is the Official Auctioneer of the Long Beach Coin Expo, and Signature Auctions will be presented there by HNAI, Heritage Currency Auctions of America, and Heritage World Coin Auctions. The online catalogs have been posted at, and all three auctions are now open for bidding.

Thomas Wolfe fell in love with rare coins as a young man, and took his first table at the Omaha Coin Show in 1959. That same year, he decided to become a professional dealer in better-quality antiques, rather than specializing in numismatics. While he continued to buy and occasionally sell coins for his personal collection, numismatics was approached much more as a hobby than as a business. He has now been a fixture on the Omaha antiques scene for more than a quarter century. Mr. Wolfe is also an inspiration for runners everywhere; he has been an avid runner for decades, and he still runs every morning at he age of 75. He completed his last marathon at the age of 70.

Mr Wolfe's collection covers the range of American numismatics, from Half Cents to gold Territorials. It includes many classic type coins, and nearly every collector favorite - coins like the 1922 No D and 1955/55 Doubled Die Cents; the 1918/7-D, 1921-S, and 1924-S Buffalo Nickels; the 1916-D, 1942/1, and 1942/1-D Dimes; the 1916 Type 1 and 1927-S quarters; the 1932-D & '32-S Washingtons; and a pair of Gobrecht Dollars. His collection is especially strong in Walking Liberty Halves and early Dollars. These are coins that every collector will appreciate and covet.

Here are just a few of the highlights of Mr. Wolfe's wonderful collection:

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Found Treasures: 1971-D Half Dollar
by Stewart Huckaby

Some time ago, in an article about a Dallas Federal Reserve Bank Note, I brought up a place where a few of us like to go to lunch on occasion. Sammy's BBQ, literally in the shadows of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, serves a pretty good BBQ Sausage plate, although they never seem to put quite enough sauce on for my tastes. If you're in town and decide to go, make sure you miss the lunch crunch, since the line runs all the way through the place and out the back door.

For reasons I wouldn't even begin to speculate about, Sammy's is also somewhat numismatically interesting. Probably six months ago I found a 1923 cent in change there, and although this coin, grading Fine, was only worth about a quarter, it ranks to this day as the second oldest coin I've ever found in change (the oldest was a 1917 cent I got from a coin dealer in Sacramento. Like that was by accident... :) ). But what brings about this article is that Sammy's may be the last of a dying breed. For my BBQ sausage plate and soda, costing $10.34, I'll give them $11, and in return they'll give me a cent, nickel, dime... and a half dollar. Always a half dollar. If you want two quarters instead, you have to ask.

Heritage, like probably all coin dealers, gets repeated calls, questions, and e-mails about ordinary date clad Kennedys simply because the half dollar is an unusual denomination today. The answer is always the same: "Spend it." But when was the last time you received a half dollar in change? When was the last time you spent one? Did the person handling the cash even know what it was? The mint doesn't even release half dollars for circulation any more; if you want this year's model, you have to buy it directly. There was a time, maybe 25-30 years ago, when now and again merchants would actually keep them around and give them to you as change. Now? You can't use them in vending machines, and the only time you get them in change under most circumstances is if you see one in the register and ask for it.

Probably the most common use for half dollars these days is as gambling tokens, similar to how the Sacagawea and SBA dollars work very well as postal and transportation tokens and almost not at all elsewhere. It's not at all difficult to find half dollar machines in larger casinos, with a nice selection of coins covered in nicks from repeatedly falling into the pay drawer of a slot machine. Half dollars also work very well when a dealer pays off 3-2 on my $5 bet when I have an ace under that face card at the blackjack table, something that unfortunately happens about as often as a chilly day in a Dallas summer.

I chose the 1971-D half dollar as the subject coin for this article because it is a common coin in an unusual denomination. It was made during the first year of the copper-nickel clad composition for half dollars; previous clad half dollars including the non-circulating 1970-D contained 40% silver. It is the highest mintage Kennedy Half Dollar, and was far and away the most common circulating half dollar during the 1970s (Bicentennial Halves, despite a mintage nearly as high at each mint, were often saved and never entered circulation), and as a copper-nickel clad coin is still quite common in circulation, at least when half dollars do circulate, today.

Does the 1971-D Half Dollar have any value? Yep. The vast majority are worth fifty cents, like other circulating copper-nickel clad Kennedys. The highest grade coins, of course, will bring a premium. An MS66 of this date (far and away the most common certified grade for this coin) might sell for $15 or so at auction, with an MS67 in the $30-50 range. There are four coins of the date certified as MS68, two each from PCGS and NGC, with values that can only be determined the next time they appear in a public auction.

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Website Tips: Tips For New Bidders

Here at Heritage, new bidder-members join our site all the time. Many of them have questions about the bidding process, and we'll sometimes take them through the process of placing a bid. Here are a few basic tips that we think might be helpful:

  1. Place a practice bid. Heritage has auctions going all the time, and there are often items available for which the current bid is far less than what the item will realize. If you've never placed a bid, find an item which has not yet received any bids that will sell for, say, $100 or more (hundred dollar bills and gold coins work well for this purpose). Then bid one dollar. This will show you how the mechanics of the bid process work. Note that all bids, even practice bids, are binding, so make sure that you're willing to pay what you bid!
  2. Use your secret maximum bid. If you know what you're willing to pay for something, bid it. Your maximum bid is known only to you, not to other bidders, and will not show publicly on the website. Because you've placed a bid on something does not mean that you will pay the full amount of your bid if you win. We often hear that someone was "willing to bid more" on an item. They would likely have won the item had they actually placed such a bid!
  3. Know what the current bid means. The current bid showing on any lot is a number calculated as the lesser of (a) the maximum bid on the lot, and (b) one increment above the second highest bid on the lot. You can find a list of increments at the bottom of each individual lot page. In most cases, the current bid tells you nothing about what the lot's high bid is; the high bid can be anything from the lot's current bid up to the Gross National Product of a small nation. Any lot with a current bid of $0 has received no bids; any lot with a current bid of $1 has received exactly one bid, but that bid may be of any amount.
  4. Bid early. Your frustration level increases the closer you are to the end of an auction when you place your bid. If you know what you are willing to pay for something, bid it early, The earliest bid always wins tiebreakers, and because your maximum bid is secret, your bid will work against all other bidders until and unless someone beats it.
  5. Learn how to track items. You can find this information in the Website Tips section on our website.
  6. Use MyBids. Once you've placed your bids, you can follow the progress of all items you've bid on from the Heritage MyBids page. Here you will see every item you've bid on, including your secret maximum bid, the current bid, the next bid, and the time remaining for Internet bidding.
  7. Use Batch Bidding to save work. Instead of entering your bids individually for every item, try tracking items, then placing bids on the ones you're interested in from either the MyBids or MyTrackedLots page. Batch bidding is a great labor-saving device, but it is neither recommended nor reliable as a sniping tool.
  8. Know the Buyer's Premium. Heritage charges a 15% Buyer's Premium on all coin, currency, and comic auctions; this figure is 19.5% in other venues. In either case, the minimum Buyer's Premium (also known as BP) is $9. Take this into account when you place your bid; we don't want you to bid $1 on a cheap item and be surprised when the invoice for $10 comes due! The website will calculate the BP for you throughout all steps of the bidding process (except batch bidding).
  9. Watch the reserve status. Some items in Heritage auctions have reserves. Reserves are placed on lots three days before the end of the auction for sales that take place only over the Internet, and seven days before the end of the auction for sales that end with a traditional floor session. Each individual lot page will show the item's reserve status ? whether a reserve has been placed, whether it has been met, whether there is no reserve, or whether the item has not yet come to the point when reserves will be placed. If, when a reserve is placed, it is higher than the previous high bid on the item, the current bid on the item will be raised to the reserve, and the next bid will also be equal to the reserve. Of course, if a reserve is placed and it is less than the high bid on an item, it is irrelevant.
  10. Know your auction. Heritage holds two types of auctions. Signature Auctions take place both on the Internet and in a traditional floor auction session. The Internet session will end at 10 PM Central Time the day before the floor auction, and the floor auction will open at the item's Current Bid, defined above. There, the winning Internet Bidder's secret maximum bid will work for him until he wins the lot or until he's outbid. When you bid in a Signature Auction, remember that you are not just trying to outbid Internet Bidders; you will be competing against phone, floor, and podium bidders as well. Other Heritage Auctions including Exclusively Internet Auctions, Continuous Internet Auctions, Internet Currency Auctions, Online Sessions, Amazing Comics Auctions, and Amazing Sports Auctions, take place only over the Internet. In these auctions, you compete only against other Internet bidders. The type of auction is visible on the description page for each item.

We want your bidding experience to be pleasurable and rewarding. Good luck!

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Numismatic Glossary:

Coin collectors like to collect by type, a specific combination of design and denomination. Most coin types have descriptive names, such as the Lincoln Cent or the Standing Liberty Quarter. However, collectors commonly refer to some US coin types by names that would baffle the non-collector. These types of coins were named after their designer, and are the familiar Barber, Morgan, and Saint-Gaudens coins.

Barber Dimes, Quarters, and Half Dollars were minted beginning in 1892 until 1916 (1915 for the Half Dollar). Designer Charles Barber was the Chief Engraver at the Mint during this time, and he has developed a reputation in subsequent years of being perhaps the foremost obstacle for quality artistry actually appearing on US coins in production at the time. Barber was a second generation Chief Engraver, following his father William Barber, designer of the Trade Dollar and Twenty Cent Piece. Charles Barber also designed the Liberty Nickel, a coin which shares the Barber silver coins' common characteristics of low relief and unimaginative artistry, but not his name. Interestingly, he also designed several early commemoratives, and while most are ho-hum artistically, he is credited with designing the Panama-Pacific Half Dollar and Quarter Eagle, both strikingly beautiful coins.

Morgan Dollars are probably the first thing you see when you walk into a coin show or a coin shop. These large, familiar pieces were minted from 1878 to 1921 and were designed by George Morgan, an Englishman and former pupil of the Wyons who was hired at the Mint because of the Barber father and son's perceived lack of engraving skill. Besides the well-known dollars that bear his name today (they were contemporarily known as Bland dollars), he designed a number of beautiful patterns along with several commemoratives. Morgan was an Assistant Engraver to Charles Barber throughout most of his career, ascending to the Chief Engraver's job only after Barber's death in 1917, when he was already in his seventies and well after his peak artistic period.

Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles were designed by the renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, perhaps America's foremost sculptor of the late 19th and early 20th century. President Theodore Roosevelt hand-picked Saint-Gaudens to redesign the Double Eagle and Eagle in the first years of the 20th century, and the result was a breathtaking piece of numismatic art, comparable perhaps only to the finest high relief coins of the ancient Greeks. Unfortunately, the high relief proved impractical, and Charles Barber, who if nothing else had an eye toward practicality, chose to lower the relief of the coin substantially, bringing about what we now know as the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, minted from 1907-1933. Saint-Gaudens also designed the Indian Head Eagle minted over the same period of time, and his numismatic legacy lives on even today with the gold American Eagle. Saint-Gaudens also began work on a redesign of the cent, a concept that never made it even to the pattern stage. He died in 1907 without ever seeing his coins enter circulation.

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Help Wanted: Internet Sales

Heritage is looking for someone to help us with Internet coin sales. If you have computer and Internet skills, and know coins, please contact This is a Dallas-based position.

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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 150,000 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. Who was the model for the obverse of the Morgan Dollar?
       Anna Willess Williams
       Elsie Stevens
       Irene MacDowell
       Sarah Longacre
       Teresa Cafarelli

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


Last week's questions:

1. Which Trade Dollar had the highest mintage?
Correct Answer: 1877-S (29%). This somehow made it onto the website with the 1878-S being listed as the correct answer; several e-mails let us know that this was incorrect.

2. The US did not produce Half Dollars in 1816. What was the next date not to appear on a half dollar?
Correct Answer: 1930 (29%). Several e-mails let us know that this one was incorrect as well, but it happens that although Walking Liberty Half Dollars were not produced throughout much of the 1920s, commemoratives popped up virtually every year. At least until 1930...

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Is It Time To Sell?

Join The Morse Collection at Palm Beach!

Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc. is proud to announce the finest collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage to ever be auctioned - the magnificent Phillip H. Morse Collection!

An owner and the vice chairman of the world champion Boston Red Sox, Mr. Morse is also a consummate numismatist, and Heritage will be offering his incredible collection of nearly 600 Saint-Gaudens $10 and $20 gold pieces in Dallas during November 2005.

Mr. Morse's collection of Double Eagles might best be described as staggering. Short of the uncollectible 1933, no coin in the series is as fabled as the 1927-D, a legendary rarity missing from even the tremendous North Shore collection we recently had the privilege to sell. Of the perhaps one dozen or fewer known specimens of this date, only one - this coin - boasts a grade as high as MS67. The 1907 Ultra High Relief, a coin that simply must be seen to be fully appreciated, boasts a grade of Proof-69, just a whisper away from perfection. Many other coins in this collection are unexcelled, with several standing alone at the top of the pack as the finest known specimens of the date.

Heritage will offer these coins at Palm Beach on November 3, along with our Palm Beach Signature Auction scheduled for November 3-5. In order to offer your coins in Palm Beach alongside these treasures, and to take advantage of Heritage's unparalleled worldwide reach among potential buyers, please call our consignment hotline at 1-800-US-COINS, x222. The September 22 consignment deadline for this auction will be here before you know it, so call today!

2005 November Palm Beach, Florida Signature Auction
Sale on November 3 to November 5, 2005
Consignment Deadline: September 22, 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. Sept. 6
at 10:00 PM
View Lots
Rare Coins
Closes Sun. Sept. 4
from noon to 10:00 PM
View Lots
Rare Currency
Closes Thurs. Sept. 15
at 10:00 PM
View Lots

Rare Coins
Location: Long Beach, CA
Auction: 2005 September (CAA) Long Beach Signature Auction #386
Auction Dates: September 21-23, 2005
Note: Internet Absentee Bidding Ends at 10 PM CT the night before the floor session of any particular lot.
Browse Lots by Category

Rare Coins
Location: Long Beach, CA
Auction: 2005 September (HWCA) Long Beach Signature Auction #387
Auction Dates: September 22-23, 2005
Note: Internet Absentee Bidding Ends at 10 PM CT the night before the floor session of any particular lot.
Browse Lots by Category

Rare Coins
Location: Long Beach, CA
Auction: 2005 September Long Beach Signature Auction #384
Auction Dates: September 21-24, 2005
Note: Internet Absentee Bidding Ends at 10 PM CT the night before the floor session of any particular lot.
Browse Lots by Category

Rare Coins
Location: Long Beach, CA
Auction: 2005 September Long Beach Online Session #385
Auction Dates: September 26, 2005
Sports cards, autographs, collectibles, and more...
Closes Sunday, September 25, 2005 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.
Movie posters, lobby cards and more...
Closes Sunday, September 4, 2005 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.
Comics, comic art and more...
Closes Sunday, September 4, 2005 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.

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