Monday, September 21, 2009

Coin Monday: One Collection, Seven Spectacular Coins (Part Two)

Sept. 21, 2009
Written by John Dale

A quick recap:

On Friday, I introduced the Little Rock Collection, a small but dynamite Featured Collection in Heritage’s upcoming October Dallas U.S. Coin Auction. I covered the 1871-CC double eagle and the 1892 double eagle, which both qualify as the “good stuff.”

Now that the good stuff is out of the way, it’s time to talk about the better stuff.

The 1885 double eagle, graded MS61 by PCGS, certainly qualifies. From 1882 to 1885, double eagle production at Philadelphia was minimal or nonexistent, at least as far as circulating coins were concerned. In 1883 and 1884, the Philadelphia Mint coined only proofs of the denomination. In 1882, there were only 571 business strikes produced. The year 1885, which this coin represents, saw only 751 double eagles struck for circulation at Philadelphia. With a mintage figure that small, is it any wonder that the 1885 $20 is very scarce regardless of grade?

Finishing off the theme of low-mintage, high-desirability Liberty double eagles is an 1891 $20, graded AU58 by NGC. It’s one of the best surviving examples from an issue of just 1,390 business strikes. The 1891 and 1892 Philadelphia $20s are the last of their kind; beginning in 1893, the main Mint struck a much larger number of double eagles instead of letting San Francisco do all the work.

Rounding out the collection is a trio of tempting Saint-Gaudens $10 coins. Leading off is a Wire Rim 1907 eagle graded MS64 by NGC. The Wire Rim eagles may be considered an analogue to the famous High Relief Saint-Gaudens double eagles, in that they are the first issue in the series that can be collected by more than, say, a dozen numismatists. Only 500 Wire Rim tens were struck, and examples this nice don’t come up for auction every month. Take note!

Two late San Francisco issues finish off the collection. The 1920-S eagle, represented by an NGC MS62 example, was heavily melted in the wake of the gold recall of 1933, leaving only a small scattering of lightly circulated and Mint State coins. The 1920-S is even rarer than the San Francisco eagle issue that followed it a decade later, the 1930-S. The Little Rock Collection sports a lovely MS64 representative of the 1930-S eagle. Its story is much the same as it was with the 1920-S, though surprisingly, more examples of the 1930-S have survived; it’s believed that at least one roll of 1930-S eagles was saved and eventually distributed to collectors.

So, there it is… seven coins, one collection, and plenty of excitement. Join us in October to bid on these golden treasures!

To leave a comment, click on the title of this post.

-John Dale Beety

No comments:

Post a Comment