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December 2013

Eric P. Newman Collection Raises $23.8 Million

     Perhaps only once in a lifetime a collection comes along that captures the heart and soul of every numismatist. We have been lucky enough to have witnessed numerous famous auctions including collections from B. Max Mehl, Louis Eliasberg, Jack Lee, among others. However, the Eric P. Newman Collection epitomizes what can be accomplished over a very long period of time. Heritage Galleries made the Newman Collection the focus of a single sale; no other collections, over 1800 coins with the Newman Collection label on the NGC holder.

     Not only did Mr. Newman collect the finest coins he could find during his collecting years, he also collected many of the rarest coins in U.S. history. Further, and possibly just as important, he educated collectors on the coins he purchased during his years of pursuit and research. This sale raised over $23 million, all of which will go to benefit the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (EPPNES), a non-profit educational foundation. Proceeds will be used exclusively for supplementing the Society's museum operations and scholarly numismatic research efforts and for the benefit of other not-for-profit institutions selected by EPNNES for public purposes. This man is a true philanthropist.

     Depending on your specific area of interest there were many highlights in this sale, but based on value the winner was the 1796 Draped Bust Quarter that sold for a record price of $1,527,500. Mr. Newman originally paid $100 for this coin; a slightly better than expected profit. This coin was certified as MS67+* by NGC; it also had the CAC label and it came from the Col Green Collection. It helps that it is also the finest known. Prior to this sale we did not have an FMV for the MS67; now it is $1,406,250 and the CAC value is $1,620,000. Understanding the importance of such a coin we graphed the rise of the 1796 in MS66 over the last several years. Between PCGS and NGC there are only five coins total certified in MS66.

1796 Draped Bust Quarter MS66 FMV

1796 Draped Bust QuarterMS66 FMV
January 2008$362,500
January 2009$362,500
January 2010$362,500
January 2011$437,500
January 2012$437,500
January 2013$437,500
December 2013$512,500

     The MS66 has gained $150,000 over the last six years; that is an increase of 41%. If one of these coins became available in the near future it is quite likely to command much more than the current FMV based on the sale of the Newman specimen.

     One of the most fascinating aspects of collecting coins to the average collector is the dream of owning a single true rarity. At one point in time Eric P. Newman was just such a collector. This sale attests to the fact that the market is hungry for nice original coins. In some market cycles toned coins may be difficult to sell; this is not one of those cycles. This sale provided an opportunity for hundreds of collectors to participate and acquire a dream rarity. The following represent some of the many exceptional coins in this wonderful sale. We have listed the coin, grade, and price realized.

Date/DenominationGradePrice Realized
1796 Bust DimeNGC MS66+ CAC$188,000
1798/97 Bust Dime 16 Stars Rev.NGC MS65* CAC$88,125
1807 Bust QuarterNGC MS66* CAC$411,250
1815 Bust QuarterNGC MS67+* CAC$282,000
1818 Bust QuarterNGC PR67 CAC$381,875
1840 O Seated Quarter No DraperyNGC MS67* CAC$329,000
1857 Seated QuarterNGC MS68* CAC$35,250
1884 Seated QuarterNGC PR69* Cameo$70,500
1794 Flowing Hair HalfNGC AU55 CAC$99,875
1795 Bust Half Two LeavesNGC MS62$129,250
1796 Bust Half 15 StarsNGC MS62$282,000
1796 Bust Half 16 StarsNGC MS63 CAC$470,000
1795 Flowing Hair $ Three LeavesNGC MS65 CAC$646,250
1798 Small Eagle $ 13 StarsNGC MS63$258,500
1799 Bust $ 7x6 StarsNGC MS67$822,500
1803 Bust $ Large 3NGC MS65+ CAC$705,000

     As you may have noticed many of these highlights also received the + designation and/or the CAC label. This was truly an exceptional collection. It is fascinating to note that Mr. Newman paid approximately $7,500 for the total collection, a pursuit that began in the 1930’s. Also, many of the coins had the original manila envelope in which he annotated a description and cost for each coin. To further substantiate his collecting acumen he is the only living person to have owned all five of the known 1913 Liberty Head Nickels which he purchased in two separate transactions a short time after December 1941.

     Perhaps the best is still yet to come as many of these coins will be resubmitted for possible upgrades, especially since the entire collection was NGC certified. At the prices paid many buyers feel these coins have great potential for even higher grades, many potentially at PCGS.

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