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NumisMedia Monthly


Our monthly article
detailing specific areas
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collectors, and investors
of United States Rare Coins

September 2014

Type I & II $20 Gold are Leading Market Indicators

     Ah, summer time: rest and relaxation, warm weather, kids out of school, family vacations…..and major coin auctions? This is typically a less hectic time of year for coin dealers, but judging from the success of last month’s World’s Fair of Money, the rare coin market has not slowed down one bit. The number of true rarities sold by Heritage Auctions and Stack’s Bowers Galleries was nothing less than awesome. The ANA invited both auction houses to host the Official Auctions of the event and it looks to have been a good move for all parties concerned. Below are two lists of just some of the magnificent rarities that attracted thousands of bidders during these remarkable sales.

Heritage Auctions
Date/DenominationGradePrice Realized
1793 Chain Cent AMERICAPCGS MS64 BN CAC$411,250
1793 Wreath Cent Vine & BarsPCGS MS66+ CAC$528,750
1796 Draped Bust DimePCGS MS68 CAC$793,125
1927 S Standing Liberty QuarterPCGS MS66 FH$258,500
1797 Bust Half DollarPCGS MS65+ CAC$1,292,500
1870 Seated DollarPCGS MS66$105,750
1859 $2 ½ GoldNGC PR64 Cameo$38,188
1879 $4 Gold Flowing HairNGC PR60$102,813
1795 $10 Gold 13 LeavesPCGS MS65$881,250
1854 O $20 GoldPCGS AU50$329,000
1856 O $20 GoldPCGS AU53$425,938
1861 $20 Gold PaquetPCGS MS61$1,645,000
1866 S $20 Gold No MottoNGC MS62$246,750

Stack’s Bowers Galleries
Date/DenominationGradePrice Realized
1793 Wreath Cent Lettered EdgePCGS MS64 BN CAC$270,250
1794 Large Cent Starred ReversePCGS VF25$129,250
1828 Bust Quarter 25/50CPCGS MS63$117,500
1794 Flowing Hair DollarPCGS VF35$223,250
1795 Flowing Hair DollarNGC SP64$822,500
1804 Bust Dollar Class IIINGC PR55$1,880,000
1922 Peace DollarPCGS PR67 CAC$381,875
1797 $10 Gold Small EagleNGC AU58$164,500
1852 O $20 GoldPCGS MS62$94,000
1932 $20 Saint GaudensNGC MS66$99,875

     When early rarities such as these are available, especially in a major auction, the competition becomes very aggressive and prices rise. The buyers for these types of coins are looking for specific characteristics. Essentially, all of these coins have great popularity, they are mostly low mintage issues, they have low populations with the higher grades even lower, and they are available very infrequently. It also helps when these rarities have the CAC sticker or the + designation. The combination of these elements is leading to higher premiums and investors have been taking note.

     Rare U.S. Gold has been and still is highly in demand by most collectors and investors. In previous articles, we have discussed the strengths of TI & TII $20 Liberty Gold, and the depth of this market is very apparent in the Heritage ANA Sale. There were a total of seven TI or TII $20 Liberty Gold coins that sold for over $100,000, including the four mentioned in the highlights above. Two that were not listed above each sold for $152,500; one was the 1853 in NGC MS65 and the other was the 1857 S Spiked Shield in PCGS MS67. The latter coin also had the CAC approval.

1861 $20 Paquet MS61 PCGS

1861 $20 Paquet MS61 PCGS sold for $1,645,000 in Heritage Auctions ANA U.S. Coins Signature Auction in Chicago, August 7, 2014

     There were also 59 TI or TII $20 Liberty Gold coins that sold for prices ranging from $10,000 to $99,875. Even better, there were at least 25 New Orleans ‘O’ Mint coins that sold in the TI or TII categories. Besides the Carson City Mint, the New Orleans Mint is one of the most popular for early U.S. Gold, especially in the $20 denomination. In the past month alone there have been at least 25 TI & TII’s that have increased in FMV in various grades.

     Another highlight of the Heritage ANA Sale was the 1859 O $20 Liberty Gold in NGC AU58 which brought $76,375. This date had an original mintage of just 9,100. There are only 7 coins total grading in mint state with the highest being a MS64 P/L by NGC.

     Also of significance in this sale were two 1855 O $20 Liberty Gold coins in NGC AU55 which sold for $58,750 and $67,563; one had the CAC sticker and interestingly, it was the coin that sold for the least. There are only 14 coins grading AU55, and just 4 in AU58. There are only 3 Mint State coins certified, all by NGC, with the highest in MS61. The current FMV for the AU55 is $78,130; five years ago the FMV was only $51,880.

     Type I & Type II $20 Liberty Gold coins are key leading indicators in today’s coin market. As long as buyers continue to pursue these coins at present levels or higher, the rest of the rare coin market should be very healthy. It is very important to understand that we are talking about the rare coin market and not the whole coin market. There are many less active areas of the coin market that will remain so because the number of coins certified is very high and availability is quite substantial.

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