Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Here Come the Half Cents !

Half Cent collectors need to get their war-chests ready! Why? Because, next month, THE half cent collection for the ages will be sold at auction in Los Angeles by Ira & Larry Goldberg (in conjunction with McCawley & Grellman auctions). The collection, known as the "Missouri Cabinet Collection" represents a collaborative effort for more than 50 years by two prominent numismatists (R. Tettenhorst and Eric P. Newman). This half cent collection has two distinct features that assure its place in the pantheon of truly great collections:
1. It is the most complete collection of half cents ever assembled (with every known variety of business-strike and proof half cents included).
2. It has the highest overall average condition of any half cent collection sold at auction. Practically every coin in the set is included in the condition-census* for the variety (*among the top 6 finest known).
The auction of these coins is an opportunity of historic proportions for half cent aficionados and anyone who appreciates numismatic objects of the highest quality. There is a distinct possibility that attendees of this sale will witness the sale of the "First Million Dollar Half Cent". More than one coin in The Missouri Cabinet has a chance to exceed the lofty $1-million mark.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Goldbergs Auction the Paul Gerrie Large Cents

Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers conducted the sale of the Paul Gerrie collection on Feb. 3, 2013 at their offices in West L.A. Mr. Gerrie is a true connoisseur of old copper, and the coins in his collection reflect his passion for originality and high-quality early large cents. Physical attendance at the sale was modest, but the people in the room were just the tip of the iceberg (so to speak). Many collectors were being represented by dealers, while numerous others placed their bids by phone or over the internet. The bidding for these noteworthy Gerrie coins was spirited, with a few surprises to both the upside and the downside of pre-sale estimates.
  • One early surprise was provided by LOT#2, a 1793 Chain Cent (Sheldon-2) once owned by Walt Husak, and graded MS62 by PCGS. This coin was hammered for a high bid of $350,000 (against an estimate of $150,000).
  • A few lots later, LOT#7, a 1793 Liberty Cap Cent (Sheldon-13) became the subject of intense bidding among numerous contenders before selling at a hammer of $270,000 (vs. the estimate of $100,000)!
  • A 1794 Sheldon-23 Liberty Cap Cent (LOT#13) with an impressive pedigree that included Newcomb, Sheldon, and Paschal brought a surprisingly low winning bid of $6250 (lower than the pre-sale estimate of $7500).
  • LOT#33 was a stunning 1794 Sheldon-57 (once part of the Lord St. Oswald find) graded MS65 BN by PCGS. This coin brought a winning bid of $165,000 (vs. the estimate of only $50,000).
  • A scarce 1795 Sheldon-76a (lettered edge) (LOT#44) graded VF35 by PCGS was hammered remarkably low at just $6750 (below the estimate of $10,000 and far below the “book value” of $18,000). This coin was a legitimate bargain!
    The remaining lots in the sale provided plenty of bidding drama, and entertainment for the “copperazzi”, but they generally sold at levels that more-or-less met my expectation. The results of the Gerrie Collection sale helped prove two facts:
    1. The market for early-date large cents is as strong as ever.
    2. High quality and good eye appeal inevitably lead to strong sale prices for copper coins.