Heritage, Tampa FL

10. January 2011

FUN U.S. Coin auction

Leach Rolled Edge Eagle Sells For Over $ 2 Million at FUN

Collectors at Heritage's $ 45 million+ Tampa, FL FUN U.S. Coin auction, Jan. 5-9, kept their focus on rare gold over the course of the four days – especially during the Thursday, Jan. 6 Platinum Night offerings – a sector led by the $ 2.185 million sale of the Frank A. Leach Specimen of the 1907 Rolled Edge eagle, Satin PR67 NGC, from The Colonel George M. Monroe Collection. All prices include 15% Buyer's Premium.

1907 $10 Satin PR67 NGC

1907 $10 Satin PR67 NGC

The $ 46 million total of the auction was the lion's share of Heritage's $ 62+ million January numismatic auctions, combined with the $7.7+ million U.S. Currency Auction, also at FUN, and the $ 9.25+ million Heritage World & Ancient Coin auction, Jan. 3 in New York. More than 6,700 collectors vied for the 6,701 lots in the U.S. Coin auction's Signature and Platinum Night sessions, translating into almost 1900 successful bidders, or a 95% sell-through rate by both value and lot total.

These were very solid results, across the board. Rare and singular gold, both of which were in abundance in this auction, continue to dictate pace and price of the market. We put together a superb auction and collectors responded with exuberance.

The 1907 Rolled Edge eagle, PR67, the Frank A. Leach Specimen, which descended in the family of the former Mint Director's second wife, proved itself when it sold for $2.185 million to applause in the packed auction room. The example was one of five gold coins in the auction that once belonged to Leach, and it quickly established itself as a monumental coin ranking among the most important individual specimens in 20th century American numismatics.

It's hard to say, unequivocally, that this coin is a pattern, but the price would seem to indicate that several top collectors in the world believe it is. This is only the ninth U.S. coin ever to sell for more than $2 million at public auction.

1909-O half eagle MS66 PCGS.1909-O half eagle MS66 PCGS.

1909-O half eagle MS66 PCGS.

While the 1907 Rolled Edge eagle created the most buzz in the auction, many other pieces of rare gold not-so-quietly racked up dozens of bids and millions of dollars. The $690,000 final price realized for a 1909-O half eagle MS66 PCGS, part of The Jim O'Neal Collection of $5 Indians and the finest collectible 1909-O Indian half eagle known, created a stir with the top collectors, while The Las Vegas Collection, Part Two contributed an 1854-O double eagle AU55 PCGS, one of the finest known examples of this challenging New Orleans double eagle issue, which soared amidst fierce competition to finish at $460,000.

1795 S-79 Reeded Edge cent, Fine Details NGC.1795 S-79 Reeded Edge cent, Fine Details NGC.

1795 S-79 Reeded Edge cent, Fine Details NGC.

The famous 1795 S-79 Reeded Edge cent, Fine Details NGC, the Newcomb-Hines-Sheldon Specimen, was the top non-gold coin in the auction, realizing $431,250. Last publicly offered in 1977, it is one of just eight known examples and is among the most coveted coins in American numismatic collecting circles.

An incredible 1887 Liberty double eagle, PR67+  Cameo NGC, the finest certified example of the issue and one of the finest proof Liberty double eagles regardless of date, rounded out the top five offerings in the Platinum Night auction. An impressive $402,500 final price sent the coin, part of The Henry Miller Collection, home with an advanced collector.

Further highlights include, but are certainly not limited to:

* 1864 double eagle, PR65 Ultra Cameo NGC: Realized: $359,375.
* 1933 eagle, MS65 NGC: Realized: $359,375.
* 1795 Small Eagle half eagle MS65 Prooflike NGC. Breen-6414, BD-6, R.5: Realized: $345,000.
* 1804 quarter MS65 NGC. B-1, R.3. Ex: Colonel Green: Realized : $325,000.
* 1795 13 Leaves eagle MS64 NGC. Breen-6830, Taraszka-1, BD-1, High R.3: Realized: $322,000.

The next US coin auction is scheduled for February 2-6 in Long Beach, California.

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