This item is currently being reviewed by our catalogers and photographers. A written description will be available along with high resolution images soon.Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
Auction Preview: Preview items may not have yet been properly described or vetted, and items are posted as soon as they have a description or a picture. We are continuing to add and correct information as we approach the auction posting date, so check back here often and Contact us with any comments or suggestions.
1911-D Half Eagle, MS65
1911-D $5 MS65 PCGS. The 1911-D is without doubt one of the
rarest half eagles in the Indian gold series at the Gem grade
level. PCGS and NGC each list only two pieces in this grade (one of
the PCGS coins is Plus designated) and none finer (5/20). None of
these coins have appeared at auction in nearly a decade, and
appearances prior to that are sparse.
Major Condition Census Rarity
Not Seen This Fine in Nearly a Decade
The rarity of the 1911-D in MS65 is compounded by the rarity of coins in the adjacent lower grades of MS64 and MS63. Since our Permanent Auction Archives began in 1993, we have handled an MS63 example of this issue on only nine occasions, and an MS64 coin on just 11 occasions. We have previously seen only two different Gem examples of the 1911-D, the most recent offering being that of the MS65+ O'Neal coin that appeared in our 2011 FUN Signature and realized a staggering $299,000 -- far and away an auction record for the issue. Before that, a Gem example in Bowers' 2006 ANA sale realized $241,500.
The Simpson coin represents collectors' first chance to acquire a Condition Census example of this coveted issue in nearly a decade, and it is clearly one of the greatest Indian gold pieces in this offering. In his description for the Duckor specimen in Auction '90, David Akers wrote:
"The 1911-D Half Eagle is a strong candidate for the rarest regular issue 20th Century U.S. gold coin in MS-64 or better condition, and, in fact, it may be the only issue of which there is not even at least one known specimen that is an unquestioned MS-65."
Akers wrote that analysis during the infancy of third party grading, and in the decades that followed a number of Mint State pieces came out of the woodwork, including the aforementioned coins that have earned strong MS65 designations from PCGS and NGC. Yet, the sentiment expressed by Akers concerning the rarity of this issue in high grade stands resolute. Registry collectors typically acquire MS64 examples of this issue for the simple reason that Gems are almost never available. On the rare occasion when a Gem 1911-D comes on the market, the long-patient collector demand awakens. That is what drove the O'Neal coin to its previously unheard of price level, and it is what will possibly bring the Simpson coin a similar showing.
Unhindered by surface abrasions, the lustrous surfaces radiate rich orange-gold and light rose hues. This coin is sharply struck, and close examination of the fields fails to reveal any objectionable abrasions. Only a loupe identifies microscopic marks that will serve as future pedigree markers. Eye appeal is outstanding. For a 1911-D half eagle, the technical and visual quality is unsurpassed. The 1911-D half eagle is one of the great condition rarities of the 20th century gold series, and this specimen stands in an elite group of pieces known as the Condition Census. Population: 2 in 65 (1 in 65+), 0 finer (5/20).
Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28DR, PCGS# 8521)
Weight: 8.36 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
Signature®: Heritage Live®:After Internet bidding closes, live bidding will take place through www.HA.com/Live. Your secret maximum bid placed prior to the live event will compete against the live bids. To maximize your chances of winning, enter realistic secret maximum bids on our site. Many of our proxy bidders are successful at winning lots in these auctions, and usually below their secret maximum. You can also place last minute bids directly with us by e-mailing Bid@HA.com or calling 1-866-835-3243. (Important note: Due to software and Internet latency, live bids may not register in time, so enter realistic proxy bids.)
Signature® Floor Sessions
Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 24 hours before the live session begins and continues through the session. During the live auction event, bidding in person is encouraged, and Heritage Live includes streaming audio and often video during the event.