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Press Release - August 8, 2014

Historic 1792 Silver-Center Cent Tops The Bill At Heritage Auctions’ September Long Beach Auction

1907 PR68 St. Gaudens double eagle leads the offerings from The Pannonia Collection; Sept. 3-7, at the Long Beach Convention Center

BEVERLY HILLS — An historic 1792 Silver Center Cent, MS61+ Brown NGC, ex: Norweb, an icon of American coinage for more than a century, leads the more than 4,400 lots in Heritage Auctions' Sept. 3-7 U.S. Coins Signature Auction, taking place at the Long Beach Convention Center.

"This is a fantastic coin and it leads a fantastic U.S. Coin auction made possible by the combined input of more than 200 consignors and a notable list of pedigreed and Featured Collections," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. "While this coin is best defined by the piles of rare gold coins that populate it, sitting atop that pile is this humble and legendary copper cent with a silver plug."

Although some other U.S. pattern issues were struck earlier, in off-site facilities, the Silver Center cent was the first coin actually produced within the walls of the newly established United States Mint in Philadelphia in 1792. It's probably the most famous of the important 1792 patterns (since the more numerous half dismes were actually circulation-strike pieces) and always commands high premiums whenever an example is offered.

An 1877 Half Union $50 Fifty Dollar gold piece PR63 PCGS, in copper gilt is already drawing significant collector attention, as a coin of this significant quality will when it surfaces for auction.

"The $50 patterns, named half unions, were struck in both Large and Small Head varieties, both types using a common reverse," said Rohan. "Some of the copper coins, including the present Small Head Judd-1549 specimen, were gilt, but it is not clear if this was done at the Mint or later."

This coin was purchased for the legendary collection of King Farouk of Egypt, which lends it significant luster to this day. When his government was overthrown in a military coup in the early 1950s, his collections were sold in a series of auctions that were a sensation at the time and still resonate today.

An 1851 $50 LE Humbert, Lettered Edge, MS61, is also proving popular with collectors. This coins is an outstanding Mint State example of the famous $50 'slugs', produced in great numbers in San Francisco, between 1850 and 1855.

Of the many featured collections in the auction, the Pannonia Collection shines exceedingly bright. More than 80 lots from this collection highlight the Premier Session of the auction, with high-grade gold, proofs, silver type, patterns and commemorative coins in silver and gold all on offer.

The collection includes many superb rarities and features a 1907 $20 High Relief PR68 NGC, one of the finest known Proof strikings — recognized by both PCGS and NGC — of this elusive and highly sought-after legend.

"This coin is backed by a solid provenance, previously as part of the Captain Andrew North cased set that changed hands in 1956 and 1980," said Rohan, "with this coin eventually residing in the Harry W. Bass, Jr. collection until November 2000. Now, this remarkable specimen is offered once more to numismatic historians and collectors."

More highlights from Pannonia include an incredible Prooflike Gem 1796 B-2 Quarter Dollar MS65 PCGS, ex: Norweb, a boldly defined Gem and one of the finest existing 1796 quarters; a 1930-S Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, MS65, a major San Francisco rarity with exceptional visual appeal that is truly exceptional in every respect and a 1915-S Panama Pacific $50 gold piece MS65, in the scarcer round variant.

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