September 16, 2005
This Week In Coin & Currency News
The Daniel D. Biddle Registry Collection
New: Currency For Immediate Sale
Found Treasures: 1904-S Half Dollar
Website tips: Watch Auctions Live!
Numismatic Glossary
Help Wanted: Catalogers
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


New: Currency For Immediate Sale is pleased to introduce currency for immediate purchase! Now, you can purchase the note you want directly from Heritage's extensive inventory without having to compete against other potential buyers and without having to wait up to half a month to find out if you have been successful.

Just search normally within Heritage's currency offerings from our home page for the note you want, add it to your cart, then follow the instructions to buy the note immediately. Happy hunting!

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Collector News

The Daniel D. Biddle Registry Collection

Daniel D. Biddle started collecting coins on the death of his father Paul in 1995. He mother gave him a few old coins left in his dad's lockbox, and while they were mainly of sentimental value, they fired his imagination to "pursue the hobby, and then the investment." Mr. Biddle had collected uncertified Washington quarters for many years, so he did his 'homework' before he began this Registry pursuit. He bought his first certified Washington quarter, and didn't stop until he had assembled two complete sets of both Mint State and Proof quarters in what became nearly a full-time avocation. Registry experts will note Mr. Biddle's penchant for 100% complete collections, setting a high standard for all collectors.

Among his many PCGS Registry Collections, Mr. Biddle has seven Registry sets involving Washington quarters. In our September Long Beach Signature Auction, we are pleased to offer two very impressive sets:

  1. His #1 set of Washington Quarters Proof Strikes (1936-1964), rated by PCGS as both the All-Time Finest and Current Finest Registry Set;
  2. His #1 set of Washington Quarters Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1932-1964), rated #5 among the Current Finest.

Mr. Biddle has also consigned a complete set of more recent Proof Quarters, uniformly high in quality, with a majority reaching the pinnacle grade of Proof-70. In addition, he has consigned a nice selection of Trade Dollars.

Among the highlights of Mr. Biddle's Collection are:

Bidding on this auction is open now at Further selections from Mr. Biddle's collection will be offered in upcoming Heritage Signature Auctions.

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Found Treasures: 1904-S Half Dollar
by Stewart Huckaby

During the course of my day to day job, one of the things I enjoy is the opportunity to chat with our customers, and while I enjoy teaching people about coins, auctions, and how the website and bidding process works, it is also a pleasure when I get a chance to learn something new. This morning, one of our more observant long-time customers called about some questions he had about the website, and after we had resolved his question, he started to talk about some of the research he'd done while determining his bids for the upcoming Long Beach Signature Auction.

This gentleman is in the habit of trading coins in order to upgrade his collection, often trading a common coin for a rarer one, and we pretty much see eye to eye about what coins are common and which are rare. You can almost always find a 1909-S VDB Cent for a price, for example, as well as pieces like the 1916-D Mercury Dime and the 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter. Especially if you look in a Heritage Signature Auction catalog. But some coins are a little tougher to find than you might think.

The piece this gentleman mentioned to me was the 1904-S Half Dollar. It's a low mintage coin, but a lot of Barber Halves are, and this coin ranks only eighth in the series as far as low mintage pieces go. It's not something that's expensive in all grades; the 2006 Red Book lists it at $25 in Good-4, for example, and other current guides range from $25 to $40 in the same grade. I own one. I have not looked at the coin recently (although that may be on my to do list the next time I have my collection out), but Good-4 would probably be a safe bet for its grade. Given the quality of material or general lack thereof in my collection, the coin can't possibly be all that rare in an absolute sense.

Or can it? There is no question that the 1904-S Half Dollar is the key to the Barber Half Dollar series in high grades, as it is valued more highly in any grade of XF or better than the 1892 Micro-O. The Red Book value for this coin in MS60 is a hardly trivial $6,000, and I believe that such a coin, if offered at auction, would likely top that by at least 20%. The piece pictured above, an MS67 which we offered in the last FUN auction, brought $92,000. Yet, although there is clearly some condition rarity involved with this coin, it doesn't have the notoriety of some of the condition rarities in, for example, the Walking Liberty Half Dollar and Morgan Dollar series.

However, what this gentleman pointed out that impressed me is that Heritage has offered very few of these over the years. A quick look through the Permanent Auction Archives shows that Heritage has offered only 28 of these coins in any grade in any auction since April of 1994. Certainly, this result is going to be skewed a bit from the emphasis that Heritage places on high end coins for Signature Auctions, yet even a Very Good piece, possibly even a Good, would not be out of place in an Exclusively Internet auction.

The major grading services, combined, have certified fewer than 100 of these coins? in all grades. In contrast, according to their website NGC alone has certified 313 1916 Standing Liberty Quarters, 180 1916-D Mercury Dimes, 399 1889-CC dollars, and over 2,000 1909-S VDB cents in uncirculated grades alone. Needless to say, the figures above include resubmissions and don't take into account problem coins that may have been certified by ANA or slabbed by NCS.

So is this a truly rare coin? I really don't know, although its presence in my collection implies that it's not. The Barber Half Dollar series is not as popular a series as Morgan Dollars or anything minted exclusively in the 20th Century, so the coin's relatively low prices in most grades may simply be a function of low demand. But you might just keep a look out for one of these coins. Who knows - there may be some potential...

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Website Tips: Watch Auctions Live!

As you're no doubt aware if you've participated in them, Heritage Signature Auctions consist of Internet bidding combined with a live auction session, sometimes here in Dallas, and sometimes at locations around the country. One of the questions we're often asked by both bidders and consignors is how to keep track of what an item actually sells for during the live session. Now, live from New York (or Dallas, Long Beach, or San Francisco), Heritage will give you hammer prices as they happen!

To see live hammer prices, go to the home page for the Heritage Signature Auction that interests you. From, click on the catalog image for the auction; from other portals you will first need to click on the catalog image on the left of the home page, then when a similar image opens on the right, click on that. This will bring you to a possibly familiar page much like the following:

Now, though, all you will need to do is scroll down, and you'll see a listing of five lots - the most recent three to sell, with hammer price, and the next two to come to the block, with the current opening bid:

Every five seconds or so, this page will automatically update. Just watch as the lots sell!

These results are updated at the site of the auction as soon as they happen, and are the only live results to tie directly into our official records.

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Numismatic Glossary:

Territorial Note: A National Bank Note from a bank in a US Territory. The National Bank Note system began long before the US had 50 or even 48 states, so occasionally one will run across a note from an area that was not yet a state. Perhaps the most intriguing of such notes are the ones from Indian Territory, an area that would later become known as Oklahoma.

Colonial: Term used in reference to coins and tokens that passed as money in the United States before the widespread acceptance of the products of the US Mint. Some colonial coinage was minted in the US and authorized by individual colonies; some was imported from Europe; and some was tokens or even medals that were used as money because there were few alternatives.

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Help Wanted: Catalogers

With the Palm Beach, Dallas, FUN and spring Long Beach Signature Auctions coming up over the next few months, we are looking for at least two people to help us describe the lots in these sales. You must know U.S. coins and be able to express your knowledge in written form. These are contract positions based in Dallas, but we will consider a remote position for the right applicant. If you are interested, please contact

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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. Which of the following terms does not refer to a National Bank Note?
Brown Back
Date Back
Funny Back
Plain Back
Value Back

2. Where was the coin pictured in this Pan and Zoom image minted?


Last week's questions:

1. Which of the following Proof Walking Liberty Half Dollars is more commonly found without designer's initials than with them?
Correct Answer: 1941 (40%).

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

Correct Answer: Albania (33%).

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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. 20
at 10:00 PM
View Lots
Rare Coins
Closes Sun. Sept. 18
from noon to 10:00 PM
View Lots
Rare Currency
Closes Fri. Sept. 30
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 18, 2005 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.
Comics, comic art and more...
Closes Sunday, September 18, 2005 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.

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