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NumisMedia Monthly Article Archive

Our monthly articles detailing specific areas of numismatics for dealers, collectors, and investors of United States Rare Coins

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NumisMedia Monthly

February 2018

Another Look at the Top Rarities Auctioned in 2017

       Every year the major auction houses seem to bring out the best of the best including some long lost rarities that we haven't seen on the market in quite some time. This past year was no exception as numerous rarities found their way out of their hiding places and into new collections. Despite the fact that bullion has been the focus for many investors and dealers have shifted their efforts to modern minted coins, the auction houses in 2017 still managed to attract some great rarities in their sales.

       The sale of a 1792 Half Disme in PCGS MS66 by Heritage Auctions was not the highest valued coin of the year, but it is truly a favorite of collectors; it sold for $493,500 and is tied for the third finest known with two others in the same grade. This coin is considered to be as rare and coveted as the 1804 Dollar, the 1913 Liberty Nickel and the 1894 S Barber Dime. The 1792 Half Disme is also an important part of history as it was the very first national coinage issued in America. PCGS lists one MS67 and one MS68 in their population report.

1792 Half Disme PCGS MS66

1792 Half Disme PCGS MS66 sold for $493,500 at the Heritage Auctions FUN Show U.S. Coins Signature Sale in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

January 4-9, 2017

       Also from the FUN Sale, the rarely seen at auction 1884 Trade Dollar certified as PCGS PR63 sold for $423,000. This is one of two coins certified in this grade with the highest grade being a PCGS PR67. There are only 10 coins known to exist, many of which have traded among today's well-known dealers, and this PR63 has traded at least ten times since the late 1980's. There were many other top rarities sold by Heritage Auctions during 2017, the following list is just a few of the many others.

1884 Proof Trade Dollar PR63

1884 Proof Trade Dollar PR63 sold for $423,000 at the Heritage Auctions FUN Show U.S. Coins Signature Sale in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

January 4-9, 2017


1943 Lincoln Cent BronzeNGC MS62 BN$282,000
1802 Half Dime Heraldic EaglePCGS AU53 CAC$329,000
1796 Quarter Draped BustNGC MS64+ CAC$264,000
1839 O Reeded Edge Half DollarNGC PR65$211,500
1843 $2.5 GoldPCGS PR65 DCAM CAC$211,500
1795 $5 Gold Small EagleNGC MS64 CAC$336,000
1797 $5 Gold 16 StarsNGC AU58+$305,500
1864 $20 GoldPCGS PR64+ CAM CAC$305,500
1866 $20 GoldNGC PR65 CAM CAC$517,000

       Stack's Bowers Galleries sold two of the most expensive coins of the year. In the final portion of the D. Brent Pogue Collection hosted by Stack's and Sotheby's, the Class I 1804 Dollar in PCGS PR65 was purchased by Kevin Lipton and John Albanese for $3.29 million. The coin now known as the Dexter/Pogue/Lipton/Albanese Dollar was then immediately sold to another buyer. This is one of two coins certified in this grade with just a PR67 and a PR68 certified by PCGS according to the population report.

Class 1 1804 Silver Dollar PCGS PR65

1804 Silver Dollar Class 1 PCGS PR65 sold for $3,290,000 at the D. Brent Pogue Collection Sale Part V in Baltimore, Maryland

March 31, 2017

       At the ANA in Denver, Stack's Bowers auctioned the Lord St. Oswald-Norweb 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar in PCGS MS64 CAC for $2,820,000. There are over 100 coins certified in all circulated grades combined, but only nine in all Mint State grades; there are two in MS64, two in MS66, and another two in MS66+.

Lord St Oswald-Norweb 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar PCGS MS64 CAC

Lord St Oswald-Norweb 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar PCGS MS64 CAC sold for $2,820,000 at the Stack's Bowers Galleries ANA World's Fair of Money Auction in Denver, Colorado

August 1-8, 2017

       Included in the Pogue Sale was an 1811 Classic Half Cent in PCGS MS66 RB which realized just under a million at $998,750. This is the finest known and the only one listed in Red & Brown. The other four certified Mint State coins are all Brown with the highest in MS65+. Another near million dollar coin was the 1793 Liberty Cap Large Cent in PCGS AU58; this sold for $940,000 and there are only two listed in Mint State with the MS64+ the highest grade. Listed below are some other top rarities sold by Stack's Bowers Galleries this past year.


1794 Head of 1793 Large CentPCGS MS64 BN$540,500
1796 Liberty Cap Large CentPCGS MS66+ RB$705,000
1804 Draped Bust Large CentPCGS MS63 BN$540,500
1853 O Seated Half Dollar No ArrowsPCGS VF35$517,000
1801 Heraldic Eagle DollarPCGS MS65$399,500

       Legend Rare Coin Auctions may not have the same depth of the two majors reported above but they certainly have no problem obtaining superb quality consignments that realize strong bids. During this past year Legend auctioned an 1892 S Morgan Dollar, a top rarity date from the series, and it was one of the finest not certified as MS65 that you will ever see. This 1892 S Morgan Dollar is certified PCGS MS64 CAC and realized $293,750, about three times what the Market value was at the time it was purchased. In another Legend Regency Sale, a second 1892 S Morgan Dollar was offered, and this one was even better; it was a PCGS MS67 CAC which brought $470,000. This is one of just two coins in this grade that features the CAC sticker. Below are a few other highlights from Legend Rare Coin Auctions this past year.

1892 S Morgan Dollar PCGS MS64 CAC

1892 S Morgan Dollar PCGS MS64 CAC sold for $293,750 at the Legend Rare Coin Auctions Regency Auction XXII in Las Vegas, Nevada

July 13, 2017


1822 Capped Bust Quarter 25/50CPCGS MS65+$123,375
1893 O Morgan Dollar PCGS MS66 P/L CAC$411,250
1908 $10 Gold Indian W/MottoPCGS PR67 CAC$146,875
1910 S $10 Gold IndianPCGS MS66$141,000
1920 S $10 Gold IndianPCGS MS63+ CAC$152,750
1909 $20 Gold St. GaudensPCGS PR66 CAC$193,875

       One of the common themes from the past year was that many of the rarities that sold and brought premium prices either had the + designation or the CAC sticker, or both, emphasizing the importance of superb eye appeal in conjunction with low pop rarity. There were thousands of other top rarities that sold at auction in 2017, some brought premiums while others appeared to be bargains. Please contact the individual auction houses for more information and complete prices realized on their auctions.

       To see more of the top rarities sold at auction in 2017, check out our

Slide Show - Auction Highlights from 2017

...get more news and analysis in the

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