October 14, 2005
This Week In Coin & Currency News
The Jack Lee Collection, III
Introducing Autographs.com
Seldom Seen Selections: A Fascinating Theodore Roosevelt Letter
Heritage Entertainment Auction Exceeds Expectations!
Website tips: MyHeritage Summary
Numismatic Glossary
Help Wanted: Internet Sales
Coin Club Outreach Program
Instant Quiz: Test your numismatic knowledge
Is It Time To Sell? 2006 January Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Auction
Current Auctions: 2005 November Palm Beach, FL The Phillip Morse Collection, 2005 November Palm Beach, Florida Signature Auction, 2005 November Palm Beach, FL Online Session, Exclusively Internet Auction, Continuous Internet Auction, Internet Currency Auction, Fine Art Monthly Auction, Amazing Sports Auction, Internet Movie Poster Auction, Amazing Comics Auction
Weekly Specials: Don't miss out on a great deal


Introducing Autographs.com

Heritage Galleries and Auctioneers is proud to introduce the newest website in our array of fine collectible specialties: www.Autographs.com! You will find the same great features you are used to on our other collectibles portals, such as MyBids, MyWantlist, and MyTrackedLots. In addition, you will find the Heritage Autograph Library -- the world's largest on-line database of autograph exemplars, absolutely free!

In addition to the wealth of exemplars in our Autograph Library, all current auctions containing autographs will be posted on this website. So whatever your area of collecting interest, sports, entertainment or historical, you can find them and bid on them right here.

What do you need to do to have access to this great new website? If you're already a member of Heritage, you're set! Just go to www.Autographs.com, use your existing Heritage username and password, and you're ready to use every feature we have. Check it out today!

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Collector News
The Jack Lee Collection, III

Heritage is privileged to present the incredible The Jack Lee Collection, III as a cornerstone of our upcoming Palm Beach Signature Auction, to take place on November 3-5, 2005.

There are few pedigrees in American numismatics that mean as much to the collecting community as Ex: Jack Lee Collection. Those four words convey volumes about the quality of the coin, its eye-appeal, and its status as one of the premier examples of the issue. That is a tremendous tribute to this friendly, unassuming collector/dealer.

Above all, Jack is a dedicated collector, from a family of collectors with wide-ranging interests. In the 1930s and 1940s, he was an avid stamp collector, inspired by the famous hobby interest of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His interest in rare coins didn't start until 1975, something iof a surprise in a hobby that seems to capture the imaginations of so many in their youth. Instead, Jack approached rare coins with an adult collector's sensibilities and the mind of a businessman linked to the eye of a connoisseur.

Jack can no longer recall precisely why he initially developed his interest in silver dollars, despite having achieved a worldwide reputation as a leading collector and dealer. He recalls that he enjoyed their size and look, but many collectors have said that about many series.

Jack took his desires and insights to an entirely higher level. He founded American Silver Dollars in 1976, after realizing that being a dealer would provide greater insights into value and quality from the sheer volume of coins handled.

Jack Lee's first collection, now known as Jack Lee I, was sold in the early 1990s; it contained Morgan Dollars (business strikes and proofs), Peace Dollars, and Walkers that were considered the best at that time. He started collecting again immediately thereafter, and he found himself rebuying and selling many of his "Lee I" coins - some multiple times! His second collection was sold five years later, and Jack Lee II pedigreed coins were as avidly sought as those from Jack Lee I.

Following their sale, Jack was unable to resist once again buying coins for his personal account. This time, however, he adopted a very different approach - instead of seeking to complete a collection, he only pursued coins that he really liked. Of course, with his exceptional eye and exquisite tastes, you know that every numismatist will love his selections as well. And yes, the Jack Lee III Collection includes some coins from his first two collections that he still finds irresistible!

Jack Lee understands that every collector approaches his collecting with differing expectations and goals, so he is not one to give blanket advice. But he does believe that "Buy the best that you can afford" is the best general advice in numismatics or for profits. Collecting is so personal to Jack that it becomes critical to do and collect what you enjoy.

There are so many exquisite rarities in Jack Lee III that it is nearly impossible to summarize them. Some will point to his ultra-rarities, such as his 1884 Trade Dollar or his 1870-S Dollar. Others, thinking about buyers who will be assuring themselves a place in numismatic history, will emphasize the significant pedigrees on coins such as his 1794 Dollar (AU55 NGC): Ex: John F. McCoy Collection (W. Elliott Woodward, 1864); Joseph Zanoni; James Ten Eyck; Mortimer Livingston MacKenzie (Edward Cogan, 1869), lot 15; Lorin G. Parmelee (New York Coin and Stamp, 1890), lot 681; H. O. Granberg; William H. Woodin; Waldo Newcomer; Col. E. H. R. Green; Jerome Kern; Clint Hester; W. G. Baldenhofer; Alfred J. and Jackie Ostheimer; Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II (Bowers and Merena, 2001), lot 324; Jack Lee Collection, III. Others will be astounded with quality such as his 1896-S Dollar, graded MS69 PCGS (and a veteran of Lee I, II, & III), or his 1880 Dollar, certified PR68 Cameo by NGC. Whatever their collecting priorities, Jack Lee II has something for every collector.

Here are just a few of the many highlights from the fabulous Jack Lee III Collection:

This auction is open for bidding now at HeritageCoins.com!

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Seldom Seen Selections: A Fascinating Theodore Roosevelt Letter

One of the most fascinating items that Heritage has ever been privileged to offer is a spectacular and important letter written by President Theodore Roosevelt on White House stationery to the Rev. Roland C. Dryer of Nunda, New York defending his omission of the motto IN GOD WE TRUST from newly minted $10 and $20 gold coins designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. This letter will be offered as a part of the Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage, in conjunction with Platinum Night in Palm Beach, on November 3.

Rev. Dryer protested the omission of the motto, which had appeared on numerous U.S. coins since 1864. He was one of many who protested its absence and pressured Congress to mandate the motto be used on all gold and silver coins in 1908. Roosevelt's reasons for opposing the motto were varied and nuanced and had nothing to do with issues surrounding the separation of Church and State.

Roosevelt defended the removal of the phrase citing legal precedent: "When the question of the new coinage came up we lookt [sic] into the law and found there was no warrant therein for putting 'IN GOD WE TRUST' on the coins. As the custom, altho [sic] without legal warrant, had grown up, however, I might have felt at liberty to keep the inscription had I had approved of its being on the coinage. But as I did not approve of it, I did not direct that it should again be put on. Of course the matter of the law is absolutely in the hands of Congress, and any direction of Congress in the matter will be immediately obeyed. At present, as I have said, there is no warrant in law for the inscription."

Roosevelt continues on a personal note, citing his own reasons for disliking the motto on coinage. "My own feeling in the matter is due to my very firm conviction that to put such a motto on coins, or to use it in any kindred manner, not only does not good but does positive harm, and is in effect irreverence which comes dangerously close to sacrilege. A beautiful and solemn sentence such as the one in question should be treated and uttered only with that fine reverence which necessarily implies a certain exaltation of spirit. Any use which tends to cheapen it, and, above all, any use which tends to secure its being treated in a spirit of levity, is free from every standpoint profoundly to be regretted. It is a motto which it is indeed well to have inscribed on our great national monuments, in our temples of justice, in our legislative halls, and in buildings such as those at West Point and Annapolis - in short, wherever it will tend to arouse and inspire a lofty emotion in those who look thereon. But it seems to be eminently unwise to cheapen such a motto by use on coins, just as it would be to cheapen it by use on postage stamps, or in advertisements."

To bolster his argument, Roosevelt cites numerous examples of the misuse and denigration of the motto: "As regards to its use on the coinage we have actual experience by which to go. In all my life I have never heard any human being speak reverently of this motto on the coins or show any sign of having appealed to any high emotion in him. But I have literally hundreds of times heard it used as an occasion of, and incitement to, the sneering ridicule which it is above all things undesirable that so beautiful and exalted a phrase should excite. For example, thruout [sic] the long contest, extending over several decades, on the free [silver] coinage question, the existence of this motto on the coins was a constant source of jest and ridicule; and this was unavoidable. Everyone must remember the innumerable cartoons and articles based on phrases like 'In God we trust for the other eight cents'; 'In God we trust for the short weight'; 'In god we trust for the thirty-seven cents we do not pay'; and so forth and so forth. Surely I am well within bounds when I say that a use of the phrase which invites constant levity of this type is most undesirable."

However, Roosevelt concedes that he is prepared to act according to the will of Congress: "If Congress alters the law and directs me to replace on the coins the sentence in question the direction will be immediately put into effect; but I very earnestly trust that the religious sentiment of the country, the sprit of reverence in this country, will prevent any such action being taken. Sincerely yours, [signed] Theodore Roosevelt."

The phrase "In God We Trust" first began appearing on American coins in 1864. According to the Department of the Treasury, in the early days of the Civil War, Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase received numerous appeals that the United States recognize the Deity on U.S. coins. On November 3, 1863, the Rev. M. R. Watkinson of Ridley, Pennsylvania appealed to Chase: "Dear Sir: You are about to submit your annual report to the Congress respecting the affairs of the national finances. One fact touching our currency has hitherto been seriously overlooked. I mean the recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins. You are probably a Christian. What if our Republic were not shattered beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation? What I propose is that instead of the goddess of liberty we shall have next inside the 13 stars a ring inscribed with the words PERPETUAL UNION; within the ring the all seeing eye, crowned with a halo; beneath this eye the American flag, bearing in its field stars equal to the number of the States united; in the folds of the bars the words GOD, LIBERTY, LAW. This would make a beautiful coin, to which no possible citizen could object. This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. From my hearth I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters. To you first I address a subject that must be agitated."

Seven days later Chase wrote to James Pollock, Director of the Mint in Philadelphia: "Dear Sir: No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins. You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delay with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this national recognition." In order to do this however, they had to alter the laws passed in 1837 regulating coinage. That law mandated that "...upon the coins struck at the mint there shall be the following devices and legends; upon one side of each of said coins there shall be an impression emblematic of liberty, with an inscription of the word LIBERTY, and the year of the coinage; and upon the reverse of each of the gold and silver, there shall be the figure or representation of an eagle, with the inscription United States of America, and a designation of the value of the coin; but on the reverse of the dime and half dime, cent and half cent, the figure of the eagle shall be omitted."

To provide for the addition of "In GodWe Trust" to U.S. numismatica, Congress passed an amendment to an 1857 act "Relating to foreign Coins and the Coinage of Cents at the Mint of the United States." The amendment empowered the Director of the Mint, with approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, to determine "...the shape, mottoes and devices of said coins..." In December 1863 Pollack presented two proposed mottos: "OUR COUNTRY; OUR GOD" and "GOD, OUR TRUST". Chase wrote in reply, "I approve your mottoes, only suggesting that on that with the Washington obverse the motto should begin with the word OUR, so as to read OUR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY. And on that with the shield, it should be changed so as to read: IN GOD WE TRUST."

The first U.S. coin to appear with the motto was the two cent piece in 1864. In 1865, Congress passed similar legislation regarding the three cent piece which allowed "the director of the mint, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, to cause the motto 'In God We Trust' to be placed upon such coins hereafter to be issued as will admit of such legend thereon." "In God We Trust" was placed on numerous circulating coins in subsequent years.

While Theodore Roosevelt's objections to use of "In God We Trust" were based on principle, there was also an issue related to aesthetics. In 1903 Roosevelt commissioned Augustus Saint-Gaudens to design his inaugural medal. The finished product was so impressive, Roosevelt commissioned the artist to design new coins. The President held the opinion that American coinage was of poor artistic quality. Saint-Gaudens spent eighteen months producing various designs, in particular the $10 and $20 gold eagles. According to his son, Homer Saint-Gaudens, the inscriptions for the coins proved the most vexing. He solved most of the issues: "...by placing upon them the previously milled edge of the coin, in one case, the forty-six stars, in the others, the thirteen stars with the 'E Pluribus Unum.'" Saint Gaudens, however found "The motto 'In God We Trust' an inartistic intrusion... he wholly discarded [the motto] and thereby drew down upon himself the lightning of public comment." The controversy was already brewing before the first $10 and $20 coins entered circulation on November 18, 1907. Roosevelt likely felt pressure to respond before the first coins entered circulation; perhaps it was even a fairly hurried response in light of the typographical errors in this letter.

Congress forced the issue on March 8, 1908 by passing "An Act Providing for the restoration of the motto, 'In God We Trust' on certain denominations of the gold and silver coins of the United States. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the motto "In God We Trust," heretofore inscribed on certain denominations of the gold and silver coins of the United States of America, shall hereafter be inscribed upon all such gold and silver coins of said denominations as heretofore..."

Roosevelt, in a letter to Senator Thomas Carter, called the legislation "...not necessary, it is rot; but the Congressmen say there is misapprehension as to the religious purport of it--it is easy to stir up a sensation and misconstrue the President's motive--and that the Committee is agitated as to the effect of a veto, I repeat, it is rot, pure rot; but I am telling the Congressman if Congress wants to pass a bill re-establishing the motto, I shall not veto it." True to his word in his letter to Rev. Dryer, Roosevelt signed the act into law on May 18, 1908. The motto has continued in use to this day on most U.S. coinage and in 1957 began appearing on U.S. currency as well.

This is an important Roosevelt letter illustrating his position on a lightning-rod issue. The government's use of the motto "In God We Trust" still sparks controversy to this very day. The debate over the oft-convoluted line between Church and State remains a divisive discourse in today's society. This exceptional content letter represents remarkable insight--and brilliance--in the thinking of one of our greatest presidents.

This incredible letter is in fine condition with mailing folds. The original envelope is included, showing a November 13, 1907 Washington, D.C. postmark on the front and a Rec'd Nunda, N.Y. postmark on the verso dated November 14, 1907. Both are enclosed with a Roosevelt engraving inside a handsome archival binding in quarter-leather with marbled boards. In gilt on the spine is "Theodore Roosevelt - Typed Letter Signed - 'In God We Trust' - November 11, 1907."

Published in Elting E. Morison ed., The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1952. Text also found in Hermann Hagedorn, ed, Memorial Edition, Works of Theodore Roosevelt, 24 vols., Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1923-1926.

Sold at Sotheby's, June 1, 1995, lot 327, where it brought $21,000.

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Heritage Entertainment Auction Exceeds Expectations!

Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers (HGA) held our latest Music and Entertainment Auction on October 8. With after-auction sales still ongoing, this auction has brought consignors over $800,000 so far.

The centerpiece of this auction was, undoubtedly, the desk that Johnny Carson sat behind on The Tonight Show, which sold for $38,837. The buyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a sentimental Midwesterner with a very special connection to Carson. His family owned an ice-pop company which Carson would frequently plug on-air, so this was an opportunity he just couldn't pass up.

Additional Carson items sold in this current auction included The Tonight Show studio clock, which sold for $10,755; the floor panel, complete with star spot, which brought $4,780, upon which Carson stood each night to deliver his famous monologue; and three recording disks containing Carson's senior college thesis entitled "How to Write Comedy for Radio", which Realized $4,357.

This was a great event with fabulous participation and a great deal of interest from all corners of the globe. Collectors are hungry for this type of memorabilia, and we're happy to be able to provide them with great material from the exciting worlds of movies, TV, and music.

Additional highlights of the October 8 auction included:

Prospective consignors and sellers of top-end entertainment and music memorabilia are invited to call Doug Norwine at 1-800-872-6467 ext. 452 or John Hickey at 1-800-872-6467 ext. 264 to discuss their material; visit www.HeritageGalleries.com and click on the "consign" tab, or simply email Doug Norwine at DougN@HeritageGalleries.com or John Hickey at JohnH@HeritageGalleries.com.

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Website Tips: MyHeritage Summary

If you've visited the MyHeritage web page recently, you've probably noticed that it's undergone a number of changes in order to improve its usefulness. Now, the page summarizes a great deal of information relevant to you as a customer, in order for you to have a one stop guide to much of the information you wish to see. Not sure if you have bids? This page will tell you. Outstanding invoices? Come here and find out at a glance. You need not be on any specific Heritage website; going to MyHeritage from HeritageCoins works exactly the same as doing so from HeritageComics or HeritageSportsCollectibles.

Check at the top of the MyHeritage page to see if you have bids in any current auctions. Click on the link in order to go to a MyBids page in the appropriate portal, showing all your bids in these auctions. Immediately below that, you'll see a complete listing of all items that you have tracked and not bid upon, which will be available in MyTracked Lots. Again, clicking on the links takes you directly to the page with the appropriate information.

You will see a complete listing of portals in which you have consignments in the MyConsignment section. One click takes you directly to a complete listing of lots.

If you have a wantlist on any Heritage site, MyHeritage will now show you if you have matches. Click on the link for Wantlist Matches from the appropriate site to view a complete listing. To edit MyWantlist, click on View/Edit Wantlists.

If you have open invoices, MyHeritage will let you know. Click on the link entitled "You have at least one open invoice" to see a complete listing. If you've been shopping among our inventory that is available for immediate sale, you can see a listing of what is in your shopping cart by clicking on MyCart. Go here to review or to buy.

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Numismatic Glossary:

Incuse: A design element indented into a coin's fields rather than raised from them. LIBERTY is incuse on most Seated Liberty coins. Regular issue and some proof issue platinum American Eagles have the denomination incuse, as do several modern commemoratives. The Bela Lyon Pratt designed Indian Head Quarter Eagles and Half Eagles are made in what is known as incuse relief - design elements below the level of the raised fields, but in relief rather than merely punched in.

Pattern: An unofficial coin manufactured in limited quantities in order to test a new design or metallic composition. The term has expanded to include die trials of regular issue designs in off-metals, such as a design for a circulating $10 gold piece struck in copper. The vast majority of pattern types have been struck only as proofs. Many pattern designs are exceptionally beautiful and beg the question of why the design was not adopted for circulation.

Patterns have been around virtually as long has coins have, and the United States has been making them since the beginnings of the United States Mint. The vast majority of patterns available on the market today were manufactured in the second half of the 19th century, when well-connected numismatists could and did arrange for patterns to be delivered for their collections. Some coins popularly collected as circulation issues are properly described as patterns; their numbers include the 1856 Flying Eagle Cent, many Gobrecht Dollars, and all $4 gold pieces.

Many recent patterns have been produced privately, often to test metallic composition, while others produced at the US Mint, rather than appearing as actual coins, bear the portrait of Martha Washington, the date 1759, and no denomination.

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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 Paul@HeritageCoins.com. 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 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 variety of 1846 Half Dollar?
Medium Date
6 over Horizontal 6
Spiked 4
Tall Date

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


Last week's questions:

1. What is the traditional mintmark for coins manufactured at the Paris Mint?
Correct Answer: A (34%). The cornucopia is a privy mark.

2. What was the longest-running US Commemorative coin issue?
Correct Answer: Oregon Trail (47%). This series was first minted in 1926, and continued with breaks until 1939.

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Is It Time To Sell?

A FUN Week in January

In 2005, Heritage made numismatic history with our FUN Signature Auctions, selling over $60 million worth of coins in one week? and over $30 million in one night.

In 2006, we're out to do even better.

As the traditional opening of the numismatic year, the Florida United Numismatists annual convention attracts dealers and collectors from all over the country. Auctions abound. But while most auctions are held before the convention, only one auction house holds the official auction of the FUN show: Heritage.

As official auctioneers, Heritage brings your coins to the biggest variety of dealers and collectors in Orlando for the show. Not to mention the over 155,000 registered Internet bidders just waiting for the chance to bid on the right material. Yours.

Take advantage of this unparalleled venue by consigning your coins and currency today! Get the widest possible exposure, the biggest selection of bidders, and the best results! Call our consignment hotline at 1-800-US-COINS, x222, and reserve your spot in an event that will undoubtedly make numismatic history once again!

2006 January Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Auction
Sale on January 3 to January 7, 2006
Consignment Deadline: November 24, 2005

2006 January (CAA) Orlando, FL Signature Auction
Sale on January 6 to January 7, 2006
Consignment Deadline: November 19, 2005

2006 January (HWCA) New York Signature Auction
Sale on January 8 to January 9, 2006
Consignment Deadline: November 18, 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. Oct. 18
at 10:00 PM
View Lots
Rare Coins
Closes Sun. Oct. 16
from noon to 10:00 PM
View Lots
Rare Currency
Closes Sat. Oct. 15
at 10:00 PM
View Lots

Rare Coins
Location: Palm Beach , FL
Auction: 2005 November Palm Beach, FL The Phillip Morse Collection #392
Auction Dates: Thursday, November 3, 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: Palm Beach , FL
Auction: 2005 November Palm Beach, Florida Signature Auction #388
Auction Dates: November 2-5, 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: Palm Beach, FL
Auction: 2005 November Palm Beach, FL Online Session #389
Auction Dates: November 7, 2005

Paintings, Silver, Art Glass and Antiques and more...
Closes Sunday, October 30, 2005 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.

Sports cards, autographs, collectibles, and more...
Closes Sunday, October 30, 2005 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.

Movie posters, lobby cards and more...
Closes Sunday, October 16, 2005 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.

Comics, comic art and more...
Closes Sunday, October 16, 2005 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.

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