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March 17, 2006
This Week In Coin & Currency News
Extraordinary Coins in Upcoming Signature Auctions
Mint State High Relief Won by California Collector
Seldom Seen Selections: 1845 Proof Gold
Website tips: One Million Lots
Numismatic Glossary
Stolen Coin Alert, Seattle WA
Help Wanted: Numismatist
Help Wanted: Information Technology
Around Heritage Auctions
Coin Club Outreach Program
Instant Quiz: Test your numismatic knowledge
Is It Time To Sell? 2006 June Long Beach Signature Auction
Current Auctions: 2006 April Atlanta, GA (ANA) Signature Auction, 2006 April Atlanta, GA 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

Collector News
Extraordinary Coins in Upcoming Signature Auctions

Heritage has the privilege of offering three exceptional gold collections - the Jeffrey Fisher - Duke's Creek Collection of Dahlonega Gold, the Lake Highland Collection, and the Alexander Collection - in the Atlanta ANA Signature Auction, being held April 6-7. While very different in their focus, each of these collections exhibits a dedication to rarity and quality that defines a great numismatic pursuit.

The Duke's Creek Collection, focused entirely on Dahlonega gold, was profiled in an earlier issue of Heritage Coin News. This collection has a well-deserved world-class reputation and exhibits superb pedigrees on many of the coins. Many of the pieces are the finest known. While the Lake Highland and Alexander Collections contain several denominations, their emphasis on proof gold double eagles - Liberty for Lake Highlands and Saint-Gaudens for Alexander - presents superb opportunities for the specialists demanding the highest quality.

Our Atlanta ANA catalog contains many rarities across all denominations, but perhaps none are quite as interesting as the proof Peace dollars found in Robert Moreno's #1 NGC Registry Collection. All five proof Peace Dollar varieties recognized by NGC are represented, and in addition to this remarkable set, we have two additional proof Peace dollars consigned by others. What an opportunity for specialists! Of course, collectors of circulation strike Peace Dollars need not worry — the quality offered in Mr. Moreno's #1 Registry Set will more than satisfy the most discriminating eyes!

No Heritage Signature auction would be complete without at least one coin that makes even the most jaded numismatist stop and look. The ANA Signature Auction features one such great coin in the Waldo Newcomer discovery specimen of the extremely rare 1849-C Open Wreath Gold Dollar, graded AU58. Only five specimens are known of this classic rarity.

Highlights of the Atlanta ANA Signature Auction include:

This auction is open for bidding now at

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Mint State High Relief Won by California Collector

Keith M. Parker, a Southern California collector, has won the Grand Prize in Heritage's 2006 Auction Survey drawing - an MS61 High Relief Double Eagle designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Designed at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt, the High Relief "Saint" is considered by many numismatists to be America's most beautiful coin.

According to Mr. Parker, who has never won any prize of any size in his life, the call announcing his win came as a complete surprise: "To say that your call made my day (my weekend, my month...) would be an understatement. I jumped on the Internet to to look at other High Relief examples, having never even owned a $20 Saint (although I did bid on some in your recent auction of the wonderful collection of Phillip H. Morse, the co-owner of the Red Sox. I read that catalogue from cover to cover, finding the descriptions of the coins and the history of their mintage fascinating)."

Mr. Parker, who was born and raised in Southern California, filled "the obligatory Whitman folders with coins as a child, but spent all of the Morgan and Peace dollars that my grandparents sent to my sister and I when they would write to us. To this day I wonder if an 1889-CC or 1893-S passed through my hands at the toy store. In high school, I worked at a jewelry store, and was allowed to search the cash register for silver coins, which had just ceased being minted. When I had enough to make the trip worthwhile, I would drive to Jonathon's Coins in Inglewood and sell them. I thought being able to sell a quarter for 35 cents or more was very cool, but I was never very dedicated to the effort of buying coins. Fortunately, I always remembered those gorgeous silver coins."

Mr. Parker received his Bachelor's degree in Physical Chemistry in 1974 from UCLA, and found work in Madison with the Wisconsin Power & Light Company as an Environmental Scientist. "I worked on air and water pollution studies in connection with the licensing of new coal fired power plants. One January (when the wind chill was about 30 below) I called the company's lawyers to discuss an environmental impact report, and was told that the lead attorney was vacationing for three weeks on a Mediterranean cruise. I decided right then that I was in the wrong profession, and began law school at Northwestern University in Chicago. After receiving my Juris Doctor degree in 1982, I ultimately returned to Southern California and joined a large, national law firm that did some work for PCGS. I was very intrigued by the idea of standardized grading of coins by reputable third parties."

In 1994, Mr. Parker and 3 former colleagues started their own small firm in Irvine, motivated by lifestyle decisions. Partly that included a rekindled interest in rare coins: "I purchased my first coins from Heritage through eBay in June 2000, and I have purchased virtually all of my coins from Heritage ever since. The large number of coins available through Heritage and the information about the coins provided by your website remedied my first long-standing concern - lack of information; the independent grading by PCGS remedied the second concern - vagaries of grading. My focus remains on Morgan silver dollars. The coins are beautiful and remind me of those I received from my grandparents when I was young. While my collection for the most part consists of relatively modest coins, I have been able to purchase high-end examples by looking for JH Exceptional selections. Most importantly, I have always been treated with respect and as a valued customer by the Heritage employees."

"We were most gratified by Mr. Parker's comments," noted Heritage President Greg Rohan. "Client service is the number one focus of our efforts at Heritage, and the fun of making the phone call to the lucky winner may be superceded only by his kind remarks."

While Mr. Parker is thrilled with his new High Relief $20, he admits to being somewhat torn about its place in his collection: "It is a beautiful example of US coinage that I otherwise would never have an opportunity to own, but it is also a very valuable coin which could provide resources that I could use for rarer Morgans that I otherwise couldn't afford. Given the current state of the coin market, I don't think I can go wrong by holding onto the double eagle for the time being, and it will take a very special Morgan to give it up."

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Seldom Seen Selections: 1845 Proof Gold

Two ultra-rare proof coins, a Half Eagle and Quarter Eagle both dated 1845, will be among the lots featured in our upcoming Atlanta ANA Signature Auction, to take place on April 6-7. Both coins boast a grade of Proof 66 Ultra Cameo, and each is considered the finest among an extraordinarily small number of pieces known of the date.

At the time these coins were struck, the Mint did not keep records of proof coinage, thus we cannot be certain of an exact mintage for either coin. Based on the number of pieces surviving today, we can be certain that the quantity coined was extremely small. Gold proofs of this era were struck for only two reasons: to supply the few collectors who could afford them, and to include in sets for presentation purposes. Apparently neither was a factor in 1845. James Polk was at the beginning of his Presidency, and there was little reason for presentation sets to be prepared at the time. We have not heard of any such sets being made for this purpose, although it is possible that the quarter eagle, which is pedigreed back to England in the 1970s, and before that back to the time it was struck, may be from one such presentation set. Few collectors could afford to buy and save proof gold coins in the 1840s. Among those who could buy such coins were Joseph Mickley and Matthew Stickney.

As best we can determine, just three 1845 proof quarter eagles are known, including the example in this auction. The Smithsonian Institution specimen and the Pittman specimen are the others. Walter Breen had recorded four different pieces in his Complete Encyclopedia, but at the time he was unaware that the Pittman coin and the "Memorable Sale" coin are the same. In the Pittman catalog, David Akers hinted that another example could exist: "In my opinion, of the approximately 10-15 Proof sets minted in 1845, only 4 or 5 of them included the gold coins. I can account for only three of the quarter eagles today. However, since there are four known examples of the eagle, at least one other quarter eagle must have been struck and so it is possible that one or two others exist somewhere."

This example is apparently the finest of the three. The Pittman coin was later graded PR65 Cameo by NGC, while this example has a finer PR66 Ultra Cameo opinion from the same grading service. The obverse has slight doubling of the inner point of star 8. The digit 5 is thinner than the 184, which are heavy and rounded. There is no evidence of a tiny die lump between stars 12 and 13, as on the Pittman specimen. A curved lint mark is visible well inside of the point of star 11, but in a different position than on the Pittman coin. It is likely the same tiny piece of lint, which moved slightly between strikes. A light die crack on the reverse joins the tops of UNITE. The obverse border has a shallow depression at 3 o'clock, and the reverse has a minor rim depression over AM of AMERICA. Both sides have a few faint blemishes. This lovely Gem Proof has remarkable cameo contrast (called "rich" contrast by Superior) with bright yellow-gold devices. The portrait and eagle are both fully lustrous with frosty surfaces, and they are complemented nicely by deeply mirrored fields.

The history of this half eagle is nearly identical to that of the similarly dated quarter eagle in this auction. While there are four 1845 proof eagles known to exist, there are only three documented quarter eagles and three half eagles. This led David Akers, in his catalog of the Pittman collection, to comment: "Since there are four known proof eagles of this date, it is almost a certainty that at least four examples of both the quarter eagle and half eagle were also struck since the gold coins would have been minted only as complete sets. However, at the present time, only three each of the quarter eagle and half eagle are known." Like the quarter eagle, Walter Breen recorded four different examples in his Complete Encyclopedia, not being aware that the "Memorable Sale" coin and the Pittman coin were and are the same. Although it is increasingly difficult to establish pedigree changes for these proof gold coins with accuracy, Breen identified the Memorable Sale coin with an earlier pedigree including Lorin Parmelee, William Woodin, Waldo Newcomer, Col. Green, Burdette Johnson, and "Bell," this being a pseudonym for Jacob Shapiro.

The proof half eagle to be sold in Atlanta is a lovely one, with brilliant yellow-gold color, frosty and lustrous obverse and reverse motifs, and deeply mirrored fields. The highest points of the obverse and reverse devices are a little softly defined, typical even of proof coins from this era. A few tiny lint marks are visible on the obverse, including those outside the lower point of star 3 and near star 7, close to the point of Liberty's coronet. Other smaller marks are seen across the obverse surface, including a few minuscule blemishes that occurred after the coin was struck. The reverse has several tiny planchet flakes, especially over the eagle, and these have been described in the past as "flyspecks" or "carbon specks," but they are actually tiny flakes with no indication of dark or black color. A faint surface crease from the eagle's head to the final S in STATES appears to be as struck. Like the quarter eagle, we believe that this is the finest of the three known examples. While we cannot specifically state the quality of the Smithsonian specimen, we would be surprised to learn that it is much better than PR60. The Pittman collection specimen was later graded PR62 by PCGS. Not only is this the finest, but it is the finest by several grade points.

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Website Tips: One Million Lots

We're very proud to announce that, as of March 7, 2006, now displays more than 1 million results in the numismatic portion of its Permanent Auction Archives. On that date, there were 841,966 coin lots, and 158,965 currency lots in the Archive, for a total of over one million numismatic items.

The Permanent Auction Archives is an invaluable research tool that is provided free of charge to all of Heritage's registered bidder-members. By using the archives, collectors can research the results from all of Heritage's previous auctions. Each lot is presented with enlargeable, full-color photos, its complete catalog description, the date of the auction, and, if applicable, the price realized. In short, everything the savvy collector needs in order to make smart bidding and buying decisions for future auctions and purchases.

Heritage is the only auction firm in the world to make this much information quickly and easily available to its clients. It's part of our commitment to providing the most information possible to our clients, in order to make them smarter and more confident collectors.

To become a registered bidder-member, with full access to the Permanent Auction Archives and a host of other benefits, please visit the Heritage website,

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Numismatic Glossary:

Foldover Strike: A mint error where a coin is double struck in such a manner that it folds. Lot 1395 in the current Atlanta Signature Auction is an example.

Knife Money: A piece of metal shaped similarly to a knife, used as a medium of exchange in China roughly 2000 years ago and earlier. Originally, actual knives were used in trade, but it proved to be easier and likely a bit safer to use tokens of roughly the same shape instead. Knife money was shaped somewhat similar to a straight razor. Another similar type of Chinese money, dating from the same period, is spade money, whose shape derived from the spades used to work the land. These pieces, cast in copper, are perhaps not what we would now consider coins, but they were manufactured in denominations, and there is evidence that some may even have been mintmarked.

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Stolen Coin Alert, Seattle WA

The following coins were stolen from Federal Express packages in Seattle, Washington in the last three weeks. They were all purchases in our February Long Beach Coin Auction or our January Dallas Jules Reiver Collection Auction. Any information would be appreciated. We will make sure anyone turning in coins is made whole. Please contact Paul Minshull or Doug Baliko with any information.


Long Beach:

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Help Wanted: Numismatist

Heritage Auction Galleries, Dallas, Texas is seeking a talented numismatist for our sales department. Duties include assisting dealers and collectors and auction consignors in person and by telephone, evaluating prospective purchases, in Dallas and shows and conventions. Salary commensurate with numismatic skills and sales experience.

Please contact Paul Minshull at with your background and experience.

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Help Wanted: Information Technology

Heritage Auction Galleries is looking to fill two key positions in our Information Technology Department:

Database Administrator (DBA)

The Database Administrator will be responsible for all aspects of our databases. He/she will develop database standards and strategies to meet all business requirements in a very fluid and dynamic real-time environment.

Some of the key initiatives include architecting and developing large scale, high transaction, high volume databases, performance tuning, writing and tuning store procedures, and performing backup and recovery activities.

Applications Developer - Accounting

The developer will work closely with users in the development and enhancement of internal and web-based applications focused primarily on accounting programs and reporting. This position will be responsible for supporting requests, releases, enhancements, and new development for applications and reports surrounding our accounting applications. Provide routine application and data maintenance support. Respond to requests and enhancement requests which include modeling, analyzing, designing, prototyping, constructing, testing, implementing, and maintaining applications.

Please e-mail cover letter and resume to

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Around Heritage Auctions

A treasure-trove of music, entertainment and celebrity memorabilia is set to hit the auction block, with many pieces that have never before been offered to the general public.

"I couldn't be more excited about this auction," said Doug Norwine, Director of Entertainment Memorabilia Auctions for Heritage Auction Galleries. "Since our last auction, we've worked hard to bring to light new music and entertainment treasures that should both amaze and inspire. Personally, I think we've outdone ourselves this time."

Norwine continued, "I was thrilled beyond belief the day Maria-Elena Holly called me and said, 'I have decided to consign everything I have saved that was Buddy's to your next auction.' Due to Ms. Holly's generosity, fans of the rock-and-roll icon will have a chance to bid on the engraved watch Buddy was wearing 'the day the music died,' Buddy's 1958 passport, signed twice as 'Charles Holly,' and a number of rare, personal acetate recordings, some containing songs never heard by the general public before! And that's just the beginning. Signed photos, stage-worn clothing, and a generous number of personal items make this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Buddy Holly fans to acquire a piece of their idol's personal legacy."

"Fans of the Beatles won't be disappointed," Norwine said, "as we present enough Fab Four treasures to make even the most jaded fan sit up and take notice. Leading the list is a rare 'Livingston copy' of the almost-impossible-to-find 'Butcher Cover' album. This amazing rarity is one of a handful put aside by Capitol Records President Alan Livingston at the time of release and held back until recently. Still in its original shrink-wrap, this is truly an ultimate prize."

"Summing up the essence of Beatles fandom is the lyric book hand-assembled by a Swedish fan," Norwine said. "What makes this book extra-special is the fact that it's signed by all four of the Beatles and includes handwritten annotations by Paul McCartney himself. From the Beatles' first tour of Sweden in 1963, this is a stunning souvenir from the early career of popular music's greatest stars."

"No auction of this kind would be complete without a tip of the hat to more modern superstars," Norwine said. "We're pleased to present Kurt Cobain's favorite 1960s Mosrite Gospel guitar, one of the only known examples of a Mark V style Mosrite Gospel model. According to guitar-maker Earnie Bailey, this is a beyond rare guitar, and should inspire some spirited bidding."

"Of course, this auction isn't all about music," said Norwine. "Movie fans are going to go wild over the home movie footage of the Rat Pack and JFK, shot in Las Vegas during the filming of Ocean's Eleven, complete with autographs of all the stars and our 35th President, as well as the signed, leather-bound guest book from Bela Lugosi's funeral, resplendent with signatures of such Hollywood luminaries as Edward D. Wood, Jr. and Tor Johnson."

"If you want props, we've got them," Norwine said, "including James Arness's Marshall Dillon badge from Gunsmoke, prop guns from Raiders of the Lost Ark, and screen-used material from The Patriot, Dances With Wolves, The Magnificent Seven, Star Trek, and more. We're also presenting memorabilia and illusions from the estates of Harry Blackstone Sr. and Jr., as well as original paintings by Frank Sinatra, Woody Guthrie, and James Coburn."

"There's just too much great material to fully do it justice here," said Norwine. "Suffice it to say, if you're a fan of anything entertainment related, there's something here to whet your appetite. Of course, our entire catalog can be seen at, so what are you waiting for?"

Heritage Auction Galleries will present their upcoming Signature auction on April 14 & 15, 2006, at their headquarters in Dallas, TX. Bidding opens soon at!

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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. According to PCGS and NGC population and census figures combined, roughly how many 1881-S Morgan Dollars are known in MS65, including prooflikes and DMPLs?

2. What was the date of the last US proof coin to bear the D mintmark?
       The Denver Mint has never coined proofs

Last week's questions:

1. Which of the following Indian Head Half Eagles exists?
Correct Answer: 1916-S (53%).

2. What was the date of the first gold coin minted at the New Orleans Mint?
Correct Answer: 1839 (58%).

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Is It Time To Sell?

Hit the Beach With Heritage Signature Auctions

When the time comes to sell your valued collection, you want to select a venue that promises to maximize viewing and participation. Consigning to Heritage's Long Beach Signature Auctions brings you these advantages and more, bringing the strong collector base of Southern California, Internet participation from around the world, and a smoking hot coin market to your coins.

The eyes of the numismatic world will be on Long Beach, and you can take full advantage! You couldn't ask for a better market, nor a finer opportunity. Call our consignor hotline at 1-800-872-6467, x222, and consign to one of Heritage's Long Beach Signature Auctions today!

2006 June Long Beach Signature Auction
Sale on May 31 to June 3, 2006
Consignment Deadline: April 20, 2006

2006 (HWCA) June Long Beach Signature Auction
Sale on June 1 to June 2, 2006
Consignment Deadline: April 12, 2006

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. Mar. 21
at 10:00 PM
View Lots
Rare Coins
Closes Sun. Mar. 19
from noon to 10:00 PM
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Rare Currency
Closes Tues. Mar. 21
at 10:00 PM
View Lots

Rare Coins
Location: Atlanta, GA
Auction: 2006 April Atlanta, GA (ANA) Signature Auction #402
Auction Dates: April 6-7, 2006
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: Atlanta, GA
Auction: 2006 April Atlanta, GA Online Session #403
Auction Dates: April 10, 2006
Note: Internet Absentee Bidding Ends between 6 PM and 10 PM CT.
Browse Lots by Category
Paintings, Silver, Art Glass and Antiques and more...
Closes Monday, March 27, 2006 at 5:00 PM
View current auctions.
Sports cards, autographs, collectibles, and more...
Closes Sunday, March 26, 2006 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.
Movie posters, lobby cards and more...
Closes Sunday, March 19, 2006 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.
Comics, comic art and more...
Closes Sunday, March 19, 2006 at 10:00 PM
View current auctions.

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