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NumisMedia Monthly

September 2016

ANA Auctions a Reflection of Shifting Rare Coin Market

       There are encouraging signs that indicate some dealers are buying into the current rare coin market and, perhaps, we are at the beginning of an upward cycle. The ANA World's Fair of Money could be seen as the force that started this momentum forward as we found numerous dealers attempting to purchase coins at new levels. Some purchases were above market, while many others were discounted.

       Over the last three months, while Gold plowed through the $1,300 mark, dealers had seen a major increase in bullion sales as buyers added to their holdings. Just prior to the ANA and since, Gold prices have fallen from recent highs and dealers are reporting sales are down. Many are confirming that collectors are becoming more active in rare coins, and dealers are thus beginning to increase their inventories.

       The results from the two official ANA auctions are rather representative of the current coin market. Some coins sold at discounts while others, especially rarities, brought bids well above the market. Looking first at the Heritage Auctions Sale, there were a plethora of featured rarities as well as coins for the average collector. Listed below are a few highlights along with the price realized and the previous FMV.


1909 S VDB Lincoln CentPCGS MS67 Red$70,500$99,450
1909 VDB Lincoln CentPCGS PR66 Red$54,050$54,380
1864 Two Cent Small MottoPCGS PR62 RB$56,400$28,130
1880 Shield NickelPCGS MS63$23,500$15,310
1916 Buffalo NickelPCGS PR68$25,850$29,250
1794 Flowing Hair Half DimePCGS MS65+ CAC$61,688$81,580
1838 O Half Dime No StarsPCGS MS66+ CAC$47,000$51,880
1796 Draped Bust QuarterNGC AU55$70,500$64,060
1805 Draped Bust QuarterPCGS MS63 CAC$42,300$23,130
1918/7 S Standing Liberty QuarterNGC MS67$105,750$273,000
1928 D Standing Liberty QuarterNGC MS67+ FH CAC$70,500$19,380
1795 FH Half Two LeavesNGC MS62 CAC$82,250$66,880
1918 S Walking Liberty HalfPCGS MS66$64,000$61,750
1921 S Walking Liberty HalfPCGS MS64 CAC$70,500$47,190
1863 Seated DollarPCGS MS65$38,775$69,380
1892 S Morgan DollarPCGS MS62 CAC$82,250$55,630
1796 $2.5 Gold No StarsPCGS AU53$102,813$143,750
1808 $2.5 Gold Capped BustPCGS AU53+$96,938$109,380
1879 $4 Gold Flowing HairPCGS PR67$305,500$300,000
1880 $4 Gold Flowing HairNGC PR65$352,500$450,000
1797 $10 Gold Small EaglePCGS MS61$258,500$240,500
1907 $10 Gold Indian Rolled RimNGC MS66+ * CAC$346,625$325,000
1869 $20 GoldPCGS MS64+$88,125$78,980
1921 $20 Gold Saint GaudensPCGS MS63$199,750$215,630
1931 $20 Gold Saint GaudensPCGS MS65$105,750$105,630

       Some of these coins from the Heritage Auctions Sale sold for well above FMV. For example, the 1805 Draped Bust Quarter in PCGS MS63 sold for almost double the FMV, but it also has the CAC sticker. This is an exceptional coin that could eventually receive a higher grade upon resubmission. The 1892 S Morgan Dollar in PCGS MS62, also with the CAC label, brought a $27,000 premium above FMV because of its eye appeal and, of course, its rarity.

       However, there were several coins that sold below FMV. The 1918/7 S Standing Liberty Quarter in NGC MS67 seems like a bargain compared to the much higher FMV. There are only two coins certified in this ultimate grade. Another coin that was heavily discounted was the 1880 $4 Gold Flowing Hair Stella in NGC PR65. This coin brought $100,000 less than the current FMV, a price that will surely have to be adjusted downward as a result.

       A featured highlight from the Stack's Bowers Galleries Sale at the ANA was the 1860 $20 Gold Liberty in PCGS MS65 with the CAC sticker. It is the only coin certified in this grade with none higher. It brought a resounding $141,000; the previously listed FMV price was $87,750. Below are some other highlights from this sale.


1864 Indian Cent L on RibbonPCGS PR65 RB$79,313$131,250
1918/7 D Buffalo NickelPCGS MS64+ CAC$111,625$79,380
1796 Draped Bust QuarterNGC MS63$105,750$125,000
1795 FH Half Two LeavesPCGS MS63+$129,250$118,130
1870 CC Liberty Seated HalfPCGS AU50$28,200$27,810
1874 Liberty Seated Half ArrowsPCGS PR68$64,625N/A
1880 CC Morgan DollarPCGS MS67 P/L$47,000$23,440
1895 Morgan DollarNGC PR66 Cameo$88,125N/A
1875 $2.5 GoldPCGS PR65 CAC$135,125$55,630
1864 $3 GoldPCGS MS65 CAC$44,650$50,290
1879 $4 Gold Flowing HairPCGS PR63$146,875$175,000
1898 $5 GoldPCGS PR67 DCam$70,500$93,130
1908 $5 Gold IndianPCGS PR66 CAC$88,125$56,030
1795 $10 Gold Cap Bust 13 LeavesPCGS AU55$64,625$78,130
1798/7 $10 Gold Cap Bust 7x6 StarsPCGS AU58$352,500$237,500
1799 $10 Gold Cap BustPCGS MS65$258,500$357,500
1907 $10 Gold Indian Wire RimPCGS MS65 CAC$82,250$80,630
1898 $20 Gold LibertyPCGS PR65+ DCam CAC$258,500$123,130
1912 $20 Gold Saint GaudensPCGS PR65 CAC$188,000$87,750

       The Stack's Bowers Galleries Sale had more of the same results with a few rarities attracting premium bids while many others were discounted. The 1918/7 D Buffalo Nickel in PCGS MS64+ CAC realized 25% above FMV, but it obviously had eye appeal that was recognized by the + and CAC sticker. This is a coin that all buyers are looking for and few can actually afford. The 1875 $2 1/2 Gold in PCGS PR65 CAC, with only two coins certified in this highest grade and less than two handfuls certified in lower grades, brought nearly two-and-a-half times the current FMV.

       On the downside, the 1864 Indian Cent with the L on the Ribbon in PCGS PR65 RB brought $79,313; the previous FMV was $131,250. This seems like a bargain in today's market, yet it could be the Red and Brown coloration was significantly detracting compared to previous examples. The 1799 $10 Gold in PCGS MS65 is a lovely coin and rare as well, but it realized almost $100,000 less than the FMV.

       Contact Heritage Auctions and Stack's Bowers Galleries for all of the prices realized.

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