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[ COINS ] High Relief Double Eagles 1907 Ultra High Relief

[ COINS ] High Relief Double Eagles 1907 Ultra High Relief, $20 Lettered Edge PR69 PCGS. While the sun never set on the British flag in the 19th century, the 20th century was definitely The American Century. After the assassination of William McKinley in 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt typified the American spirit: young, vibrant, and energetic. Roosevelt's interest in the appearance of America's coinage is not coincidental, as he had written an essay some 20 years previously on the coinage of Gouverneur Morris. Nor was his interest merely that of a collector or enthusiast of coinage. It is not an overstatement to say that Roosevelt was prescient in his understanding of the role the United States would play in the 20th century. To that end, he sought a new appearance for American coinage, one that would project to all the nations of the world the vision and dynamism of the United States. Just as mint officials from the 1790s understood the importance of the exact weight of all silver and gold coins and how that exactness affected the acceptance of U.S. coins abroad, Theodore Roosevelt understood the importance of the appearance of American coins. To that end, he challenged America's foremost sculptor to alter the coinage then in circulation, coins Roosevelt considered to be artistically of atrocious hideousness. It seems particularly appropriate that exactly 100 years after Roosevelt and Augustus Saint-Gaudens first met and discussed making a try at the high relief coins of the ancient Greeks, the finest known example of the Ultra High Relief is being offered for sale as part of the finest collection of Saint-Gaudens coinage ever sold at public auction. Needless to say, this is a visually stunning coin. The surfaces are virtually perfect, as one would expect from a coin graded PR69; nevertheless, it is somewhat surprising to see that any coin has been so well cared for since striking 98 years ago. As mentioned in the introductory page, Ultra High Reliefs were struck seven times on a medal press in order to fully bring up all the details in the dies. Also, they were annealed between strikings. This annealing process heated the coin to a cherry-red color and then cooled in a weak solution of nitric acid. The result was a coin that had a surface of nearly pure gold. This annealing process gives Ultra High Reliefs an even more distinctive appearance. Each side is bright, shimmering pure gold with no variation between fields and devices. This no-contrast appearance is suggestive of proof coinage that the mint struck from 1901-1903, but that was a conscious effort to not give proofs a cameo appearance and, of course, annealing was not a part of the striking of those coins. To reiterate, the surfaces are bright, and we make mention of this a second time as the Ultra High Relief has surfaces unlike any other American coin because of the annealing process. The Ultra High Relief transcends terms such as satiny or frosted, when discussing the finish. It is simply pure, glittering gold. Undoubtedly this contributes to the popularity and desirability of the 19-20 coins that are known, but its desirability goes far beyond this. The lore of the Ultra High Relief includes the meticulous striking conditions under which these pieces were produced, their production by presidential order, and the time spent to strike each coin. The story of the Ultra High Relief is one that also seems to have a villain. The story has been told by Walter Breen, Don Taxay, and countless others of the resistance by Charles Barber to outside interference and the production of a non-mint designed coin. As good as this story may be, an objective look at the reality of the production of these coins and the subsequent High Reliefs and Low Relief pieces suggests that Charles Barber may not have been such a vain protagonist as he was a Chief Engraver who knew the impracticality of striking such coins for commercial distribution. As stated above, the surfaces of this piece are essentially perfect, as one would infer from the assigned grade. We see no contact marks on either side, and this cataloger has looked long and hard with a 16-power loupe. There is, however, a curious and distinctive area on this piece that will distinguish it from other Ultras: on the lower reverse along the wire rim and just above it, between 6 and 7 o'clock, there is a line of copper alloy that was apparently not removed in the annealing process. The fields show very faint, swirling die polish marks and, of course, the Capitol building is much smaller than on any subsequent strikings including the regular High Reliefs. The Ultra High Relief was the first coin to break the $200,000 price barrier and that was in the Ullmer Sale in 1974. The Ultra has few peers in terms of desirability and, in our opinion, none that compare in historic or numismatic importance. Its only rival is the 1933 double eagle, bookends in this widely collected series, and the only twenty dollar that is more valued than the Ultra High Relief- but then, only one 1933 is legal to own. This piece is one of the Lettered Edge strikings, but the lettering is not visible because of the PCGS encapsulation. It is tempting to call the Ultra High Relief first among equals, but in fact, it has no equal among regular High Reliefs or lowered relief business strikes. Because the Ultra has a unique and distinctive appearance, its only peers are other Ultra High Reliefs, and according to the NGC Census and PCGS Population Report, this is the only PR69 in existence. (The NGC Census Report shows another PR69, but this is the same coin, apparently the flip was never returned to NGC and so the duplicate entry remains). We feel confident stating that this particular coin will set a new record for an Ultra High Relief when sold as part of the Phillip Morse Collection. Purchased by NERCG/Jim Halperin as part of The Million Dollar Set ( Captain North) of 1907 coinage from Stack's in April 1980; Boston Jubilee Auction (NERCA, 7/80), lot 323; Trompeter Collection; Heritage private sale, 1999. From The Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint- Gaudens Coinage.(#9131)(Registry values: N1)

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-11-04
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[ Colonials ] [ COINS ] 45 NGC 488 1787 DBLN Brasher Doubloon

[ Colonials ] [ COINS ] 45 NGC 488 1787 DBLN Brasher Doubloon, EB on Wing 1787 DBLN Brasher New York Style Doubloon. EB Punch on Breast. XF45 NGC. Lots 30011 through 30017 represent what is almost certainly the ultimate collection of coins related to Ephraim Brasher, the New York city gold and silversmith. Included are two colonial copper coins produced by John Bailey and punchlinked to the Brasher Doubloons, two gold coins from Brazil that each have an EB counterstamp, the important 1742-dated Lima Style Brasher Doubloon, the famous 1787 New York Style Brasher Doubloon with EB punched on the eagle's wing, and the unique 1787 New York Style Brasher Doubloon with EB punched on the eagle's breast. In the Garrett Collection sale, this coin was called the single most important coin in American numismatics. Today, its status is no different. Any coin that is unique can be considered an important coin. The importance also depends on the coin's position in the numismatic world. A Colonial American gold coin, one of two varieties intended for actual circulation, maintains a higher position in American nu mismatics than another coin which might be part of a long series of coinage issues. In his day, B. Max Mehl was fond of comparing certain rarities to that King of American Coins, the 1804 dollar. Today, we have other coins that can provide a comparison. Certainly, we feel this coin is the equal of the 1804 silver dollar in terms of importance. It seems far more important than the unique 1870- S three-dollar gold piece, or the 1870-S half dime, or other unique coins. Is it as important as the 1933 double eagle? In our opinion, it is. Is it worth as much, or will it sell for as much as that coin recently sold for? We certainly hope so. In fact, we whole-heartedly agree with Dave Bowers' comments regarding the offering of this coin in the Garrett Collection. We feel that this coin is the single most important coin in American numismatics!The Lilly-Smithsonian Brasher Half Doubloon Lilly Specimen. Unidentified non-collector accumulation 1928); David Proskey; F.C.C. Boyd; Col. E.H.R. Green; Frank Smith; Major Ball; Josiah K. Lilly; Smithsonian Institution. Breen stated that this piece is said to weigh 204 grains = 13.2 grams. The Unique Brasher New York Style DoubloonWith Hallmark on Eagle's Breast Bushnell Specimen. Bushnell Collection (S.H. & H. Chapman, 6/1882) $505; Edouard Frossard; Garrett Collection; Johns Hopkins University ( Bowers and Ruddy, 3/1981), lot 2340, $625,000. 26.66 grams.Obverse and Reverse The surfaces have bright yellow gold with some peripheral weakness. The tops of most letters are merged with the border. On the obverse, the mountain and the sun show considerable weakness with the sun merely outlined. Unfinished or crude die work is visible in the central fields, in the form of horizontal and vertical raised die lines. Below the central reverse device, small letters of BRASHER are slightly disfigured. The entire design on both sides shows evidence of slight doubling, most likely from multiple punches to impart the appropriate detail to the coin. The reverse is similar with the bottom of the date and tops of the letters slightly merged with the border. EB punch in an oval on the eagle's breast is actually on the shield which covers the breast. This shield is lacking nearly all of its horizontal and vertical lines and is nearly flat.Specifications Breen Encyclopedia 982. Weight: 26.41 grams (per Walter Breen). Die Alignment: 180 degrees, or coin-turn alignment. Edge: Plain. The NGC Photo-Proof lists a different set of specifications, and they are recorded as the same for both specimens. As those specifications are the same as the general specifications recorded by Walter Breen in his Complete Encyclopedia, it is likely that they simply copied this information from his work. Pedigree The unique Brasher Doubloon with punch on the breast reportedly was in the Parsons and Bushnell Collections. Charles Ira Bushnell was an uncle of the Chapman brothers He was born in New York City on July 28, 1826 and died there on September 17, 1880. He wrote articles for the New York Sunday Dispatch and also studied law but did not practice. After his death, Bushnell's collection was offered for sale for $10,000, and Lorin Parmelee paid $8,000 for its acquisition. Once he had removed needed pieces, Parmelee consigned the collection to the Chapman Brothers who offered it for sale under the original Bushnell name. The sale was held June 1882 and Ed Frossard paid $505 for the Doubloon. Edouard Frossard was born in Switzerland circa 1837 and died in Brooklyn, New York on April 12, 1899. Frossard saw active service in the Civil War, and was wounded in a battle at West Point, Virginia on May 7, 1862. Ed Frossard was the publisher of Numisma, a magazine that also served as his own sales vehicle. This was also the platform for his literary jabs at W. Elliott Woodward, he returned blows in the pages of his own auction catalogs. Frossard sold this Doubloon to T. Harrison Garrett, patriarch of the Garrett family of Baltimore. John Work Garrett was the son of T. Harrison Garrett of Baltimore. He was born on May 19, 1872 and lived 70 years until June 26, 1942. His father served as President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Other members of this family had their own talents, and his brother, Robert, participated in the 1896 Olympics, winning America's first Olympic gold medal (shotput . John Work Garrett served in the diplomatic service. His collection was donated to the Johns Hopkins University of Baltimore, and was sold by Bowers and Ruddy Galleries in four sales held from 1979 to 1981. This Doubloon was sold as lot 2340 in the fourth sale, held March 1981 where it realized $625,000.Ephraim Brasher Ephraim Brasher ( pronounced Bray-zher) lived just a few feet from President Washington in New York. Washington resided at 3 Cherry Street and Brasher lived next door at 1 Cherry Street. Some sources give the address of Brasher as 5 Cherry Street. Cherry Hill was a fashionable section of New York in the 18th century, located just north of the Manhattan side of the present day Brooklyn Bridge. His business address was 77 Queen Street, not too far north of his home. Brasher was born in 1744 and lived to 1810, the entire 66 years a resident of New York City. He was married to Anne Gilbert on November 8, 1766. Ann was a sister of another New York silversmith, William Gilbert. Some sources state that Brasher did not have any children with Anne, or with his second wife, Mary Austin, whom he married in 1797, sometime after Anne's death. Other sources suggest that he did. Indeed, an article by Richard Bagg and Q. David Bowers in the February 1980 issue of The Numismatist, Ephraim Brasher, Originator of the Famous Brasher Doubloon, mentions Ephraim's great- great-great granddaughter, Deborah.

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-01-13
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Two Dollar Bills (Back) (40 Two Dollar Bills in Green)

An iconic work from the artists first, pioneering foray into the medium of silkscreen painting, Two Dollar Bills (Back) (40 Two Dollar Bills in Green) from 1962 encapsulates the extraordinary ability to appropriate, subvert, and reinvent the motifs of consumer culture which defines the inimitable Pop vernacular of Andy Warhol. Executed in two columns of eye-popping green, the mechanical seriality of the present work evokes the quotidian process by which printed money is mass-produced in American mints every day; simultaneously, in his rote repetition of this familiar form, each bill subtly variegated with painterly specificity, Warhol elevates the American two-dollar bill to stand alongside Coca-Cola bottles, Campbells soup cans, and Brillo boxes in his revered pantheon of iconic Pop art symbols. A superb example from Warhols 1962 series of Dollar Bill silkscreen paintings, Two Dollar Bills (Back) (40 Two Dollar Bills in Green) is one of only ten works from the limited group executed in serial format, the remainder of which are housed in a number of the worlds most esteemed public and private collections; within this rarified group, the present work is the sole example to depict only the reverse of the American two-dollar bill, Warhols personal favorite. An artist who would become known for his inspired use of image repetition as a thematic device, Two Dollar Bills (Back) (40 Two Dollar Bills in Green) endures, not as one of the artists first serial masterworks, but as a magnificent exemplification of Warhols pioneering investigation of the universal legibility and semiotic power of cultural icons that comprise everyday life. To compose Two Dollar Bills (Back) (40 Two Dollar Bills in Green), Warhol arranged twenty two-dollar bills in two precise rows, both shown in reverse, to create an exquisite, slim-line portrait format. Within the familiar pantheon of American currency, Warhol placed a particularly high premium upon the image of the two-dollar bill; fascinated by the pictorial scheme of these rare bills, he would frequently visit New York banks to stock up, reveling in the intricate beauty of their unique design. Indeed, Arthur C. Danto recounts that a significant cache of two-dollar bills was found in Warhols apartment after his death, testifying both to the artists fondness for the this particular item of currency and to his unique mania to collect. In concordance with comparative rarity of two-dollar bill in circulation, and evoking the lucky status they were subsequently accorded, Warhol created only four large-scale two-dollar bill works, including, Two Dollar Bills (Fronts)(40 Two Dollar Bills in Red), in the Froehlich Collection, Stuttgart, and Forty Two Dollar Bills (Fronts and Backs), and Two Dollar Bills (Front and Rear)[80 Two Dollar Bills (Front and Rear)], in the collection of the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, in addition to the present work. Alongside the other monumental works in the artists limited 1962 Dollar Bills series, Two Dollar Bills (Back) (40 Two Dollar Bills in Green) stands as the ultimate manifestation of perhaps the most salient inquiry in Pop Art history: the relationship between art and commerce. With this series, Warhol wholly revolutionized American art with his pioneering use of the commercial silkscreen technique, de-personalizing the production of his oeuvre in wry mimicry of the overabundant prosperity of Post-War America.  Responding to the consumer-driven culture which defined the era, Warhol sought a technique that would eradicate traces of the artists hand, mirroring the distance and alienation that was proliferating in the modern world around him. Rather fittingly, and with typical Warholian irony, the subject matter chosen for this momentous shift in practice was the ultimate serial image and symbol of commerce the mass-printed dollar bill.  While various anecdotes as to who inspired Warhol to elevate the humble dollar bill have become mythologized within the annals of art history, one account in particular speaks to the origin of Two Dollar Bills (Back) (40 Two Dollar Bills in Green); as told by Eleanor Ward, a prominent New York art dealer and friend of Warhols, the inspiration for the stories came from her promise of a solo show at her celebrated Stable Gallery if, and only if, Andy should paint a portrait of her lucky two-dollar bill. In typical fashion, however, when asked to reveal the impetus behind the series, Warhol wryly remarked: I just paint things I always thought were beautiful, things you use every day and never think about. Im working on soups and Ive been doing some paintings of money. I just do it because I like it. (Andy Warhol quoted in: David Bourdon, Warhol, New York, 1995, p. 90) Indeed, Warhol often commented on the beauty of the dollar bill itself: American money is very well-designed, really. I like it better than any other kind of money. (Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again, New York 1975, p. 137) Created at the very crux of the artists transition from commercial illustration to the realm of fine art, Two Dollar Bills (Back) (40 Two Dollar Bills in Green) is emblematic, not only of Warhols career-long investigation of commercialism within the art world, but also of his unique, utterly Pop exploration of the universal semiotic power of cultural signs, icons, and objects that comprise everyday life. Signed and dated 62 on the reverse 

  • USAUSA
  • 2018-05-17
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[ Colonials ] [ COINS ] 55 NGC 487 1787 DBLN Brasher Doubloon

[ Colonials ] [ COINS ] 55 NGC 487 1787 DBLN Brasher Doubloon, EB on Breast 1787 DBLN Brasher New York Style Doubloon. EB Punch on Wing. AU55 NGC. Lots 30011 through 30017 represent what is almost certainly the ultimate collection of coins related to Ephraim Brasher, the New York city gold and silversmith. Included are two colonial copper coins produced by John Bailey and punchlinked to the Brasher Doubloons, two gold coins from Brazil that each have an EB counterstamp, the important 1742-dated Lima Style Brasher Doubloon, the famous 1787 New York Style Brasher Doubloon with EB punched on the eagle's wing, and the unique 1787 New York Style Brasher Doubloon with EB punched on the eagle's breast. Various theories have attempted to explain the purpose of the various Brasher Doubloons. Don Taxay suggested that they were struck from the dies intended for copper coinage, but that the gold version were intended as bribes for the New York State legislators who would favor Brasher and Bailey with a contract for the copper coinage. Taxay's comments probably came from Robert A. Vlack, in Early American Co ins: There is every reason to believe he rasher contemplated expanding his profession to that of coinage as he filed a petition on February 11, 1787, with John Bailey, for the privilege of coining copper. It is reasonable to assume then, that these original dies were cut to serve more for a copper coinage for New York, than for a gold issue. This is supported by the fact that the dies were of the same size as that for the copper state coinage. Another theory suggested that these coins were produced as souvenirs to visitors of Washington, who lived next door. The cataloger for RARCOA, in Auction '79, stated: The logical conclusion, then, is that the coins were minted by Brasher to be sold as souvenirs. Brasher's shop was located at 1 Cherry Street (as listed in the 1787 New York Directory), directly next door to the 'first White House' where George Washington lived from his inauguration in April 1789 until February 1790. When important persons came to town, Brasher now had something to offer (other than his expensive hand-made silverware) that had a real, tangible value. For about $16, they could purchase a gold piece, complete with the famous and treasured hallmark of a well-known craftsman, that was a true souvenir of their visit to New York. This might account for the fact that at least three of the seven known Doubloons were discovered in Philadelphia. This souvenir theory suggests that the EB hallmark was famous and treasured. Today, we consider the hallmark to be famous and treasured as suggested. However, in the late 1700s, the hallmark was probably not all that famous. Although a number of gold coins had been stamped with the EB hallmark, it is doubtful that their continued circulation had reached enough people to make the hallmark famous. Even though the Doubloons contained about $16 worth of gold, this seems to be an expensive souvenir of a late 18th century visit. In support of the theory that these coins were, in fact, intended to represent a gold coinage issue is the weight (and almost certainly the composition), which is virtually identical to that of the Spanish Doubloons in circulation at the time. The Doubloon was one of the most widely used of all circulating gold coins in America, according to Risk (p. 754): Banker's lists of gold coins acceptable for receipts and payments show quite clearly that the pieces were largely the issues of Brazil and Portugal, Britain and France, and, possibly the most important, Spanish Mints in Mexico and Peru. It was in all these mints that the familiar single and double Pistoles and, above all, the Doubloons were struck. The latter were large coins, somewhat greater in diameter than the U.S. $20.00 gold piece, but thinner and worth about $16.00 in terms of the old United States gold coinage. The Doubloon was probably the most common gold trade coin used in Colonial America, and one with which every merchant of substance was on intimate speaking terms. Of all the theories created to explain the existence of the Brasher Doubloons, the gold coinage theory seems to be the most credible.Importance of Brasher Doubloons The Brasher Doubloons were the only colonial gold coinage issues produced with intent for circulation, and therefore, must be considered among the most important of all colonial coinage. A case can certainly be made that these are the most important American coins, bar none. In the Ten Eyck catalog, B. Max Mehl discussed these coins: This celebrated coin has the unusual distinctive importance of being rightfully included in the American Colonial Series, and, as it is the first issue of a private gold coinage, is also included in that important series. For historical interest and numismatic rarity, this great coin is second to none. It is rightfully recognized as one of the greatest numismatic rarities of the world. Of course, Mehl was not above a little extra promotional effort as he continued, As the other five of the six known in 1922 specimens are in all probability out of the market for all time, the one offered here is undoubtedly the only purchasable one. In 1922, the others were owned by the Smithsonian Institution, the Garrett family (two), Virgil Brand, and Waldo Newcomer. Today, two of the seven known specimens are in museums, including the aforementioned Smithsonian specimen and the Waldo Newcomer specimen that was donated to the American Numismatic Society by the Norweb family.Obverse and Reverse Design Obverse: The sun is rising over the peak of a mountain with a body of water in the foreground. Brasher is below the waves, in small letters. This central device is enclosed within a circle of beads. The legend, around: NOVA EBORACA COLUMBIA EXCELSIOR has each word separated by a rosette. The legend translates to New York, America, Ever Higher. Excelsior remains the state motto to this day. Reverse: An eagle with wings displayed, and a shield covering its breast, has a bundle of arrows in its sinister claw (to the observer's right) and an olive branch in its dexter claw. Thirteen stars surround the eagle's head. This central device is enclosed in a continuous wreath. Around, the legend: UNUM E PLURIBUS with the words separated by stars. This legend translates to One of Many. Below, the date 1787 is flanked by rosettes. In The Early Coins of America, Sylvester S. Crosby provided the following descriptions of the obverse and reverse designs: Device obverse - the sun rising from behind a range of mountains; at their foot, in the foreground is the sea; BRASHER underneath, a beaded circle around. Legend - NOVA EBORACA COLUMBIA EXCELSIOR. Device reverse - An eagle, displayed, on his breast a shield argent, seven pales gules, a chief azure; in his right talon is an olive branch, and in his left, a bundle of arrows; about his head are thirteen stars, and on his right wing i

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-01-13
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[ COINS ] Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles 1927-D $20 MS67 PCGS

[ COINS ] Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles 1927-D $20 MS67 PCGS. As we previously indicated in the introductory section to the 1927-D double eagle, this issue is considered to be the rarest U.S. gold coin of the 20th century, and is the rarest coin of any denomination or metal from this century. As we also wrote, fewer than 12 pieces are known in all grades, and PCGS and NGC have certified a total of ten examples, some of which may be resubmissions. Auction appearances of this issue are few--only six or seven coins having been in major sales over the past 20 years. Three specimens are in the Smithsonian National Collection. We present below some of the sales in which the '27-D has appeared in the recent past. Superior offered a Brilliant Uncirculated example in its February 1973 sale, which was described as frosty with minimal abrasions (lot 1041). Bowers and Ruddy, in its October 1982 Eliasberg sale, sold a Choice Brilliant Uncirculated piece (lot 1067). The Auction '84 sale included a Gem Uncirculated 65 coin offered by Paramount (lot 999), which was described as Fully struck and lustrous with superb orange and greenish-gold toning. Identifiable by a small bagmark on the 9th ray (from left) and a faint hairline in the left obverse field by the end of Liberty's flowing hair. In October 1985, Stack's included a Choice Brilliant Uncirculated piece in its Primary Bartle Collection sale, where it was described as having frosty luster and being sharply struck with light coppery toning (lot 868). This same coin appeared in Superior's August 1992 sale as lot 686. The coin was readily identifiable by a comparison of photos from the two catalogs that revealed a light contact mark located on the middle of the fourth ray down beneath Liberty's left arm, and another on the ray just above the D mintmark. In our June 1995 sale, we offered an NGC-graded MS66 specimen, which we described as heavily frosted with rich, variegated orange-gold coloration (lot 6026). The Paramount example in Auction '84 reappeared as lot 115 in David Akers' Thaine Price Sale. This specimen was easily identified by a series of minute marks on and between the rays on the left (facing) obverse. A Gem Brilliant Uncirculated specimen described as beautifully toned in a rich medium yellow shade of gold appeared in Sotheby's/Stack's October 2001 sale of the Jeff Browning Collection ( lot 206). The Superb Gem '27-D we offer from the Phillip Morse Collection is the single finest known specimen certified by either PCGS or NGC (9/05). This coin radiates dazzling luster on both obverse and reverse. The bright frosty surfaces display variegated apricot and brass-gold patination over each side, and reveal no copper stains. The design elements are well impressed throughout, with the Capitol building, the olive branch, and the leaves beneath the rock exhibiting sharp definition. Some minor softness is seen on the stars along the lower obverse border, which is typical of this issue. A few miniscule, unobtrusive marks on Liberty's midsection and head and in the left ( facing) obverse field are mentioned solely for accuracy, as they do not detract in the least from the fantastic overall eye appeal generated by this magnificent specimen. Indeed, were it not for these, this coin may possibly have graded even higher! The present coin is struck from the same pair of dies as are all other known specimens. ( As we pointed out in the introduction to the '27-D, Mint records indicate that four pairs of dies were prepared to coin 1927-D double eagles). While there is some speculation that the Smithsonian examples may have been struck from other dies, we are not able to confirm this. All of the known coins (including the present Morse specimen) outside of the Smithsonian collection show a thin die break through the top of L in LIBERTY, another from the bottom of the L through the I to the torch, and another thin vertical break through the eagle's beak. Ex: Stack's (3/91), lot 1217, where it was bought by Jay Parrino for $522, 500. From The Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage.( #9187)(Registry values: N1)

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-11-04
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[ US Silver Dollar Coins ] Original 1804 Silver Dollar

[ US Silver Dollar Coins ] Original 1804 Silver Dollar. Class I. Very Choice Brilliant Proof. PCGS PR64. Gorgeous iridescent blue and rich rose colors wreath both sides of this magnificent and historic coin. The coin exhibits an amazing sharpness of detail. Each and every one of the individual strands in Miss Liberty's hair on the obverse is outlined and separated. They all show to the fullest extentpossible. The stars that surround her head are all bold and clear. They have super strong centers. The points on the stars look sharp enough to poke your finger on! The all important 1804 date is boldly struck. Wonderfully, the eagle on the reverse shows full and complete feathers in its breast. On Bust Dollars the eagle's breast was directly opposite the highest point of the obverse and it is usually seen flat and weak. On this magnificent coin the feathers are all sharp and bold. The olive wreath and bundle of arrows in the eagle's claws are strong and show all of their inner details. Every one of theletters in the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is sharp and clear. Theclouds above the eagle's head are boldly impressed and clearly outlined. The tiny "D" in the center of the second cloud from the right proves that this is the Dexter-Dunham specimen of the Class I 1804 Silver Dollar. This is the only specimen that was actually certified as genuine by the United States Mint. In 1887 Mint Superintendent A. Louden Snowden and Mint Assayers Jacob Eckfeldt and Patterson DuBois all certified that the Dexter Class I 1804 Silver Dollar was unquestionably authentic. For the technically minded collectors we note the reverse break extends only through NITED.The 1804 Silver Dollar has been rightly called The King of American Coins for more than half a century. It has always been the pinnacle of everycollector's dream. No collection of United States coins can ever become internationally recognized and famous until it includes an 1804Silver Dollar. Acquisition of an 1804 Silver Dollar is the sign that acollection has become mature. It marks the collector's entry into the hallowed halls of the greatest numismatists of all time, such as Garrett, Eliasberg, Childs, and duPont. There is no other United States coin that is so well known or so popular. From the bazaars of Morocco to the Champs d'Elysee, from the markets of Thailand to the canyons of Wall Street, everyone who works with money has heard of the1804 Silver Dollar. Books have been written about it, television showshave featured it, radio talk shows have discussed it. No other coin, not even the legendary Brasher Doubloon, can rival the worldwide fame and celebrity of the 1804 Silver Dollar. Within the past few years, the Eliasberg and Childs specimens of the 1804 Silver Dollar have set successive world record shattering prices at auction, fully establishing itself as "The King of American Coins." Often referred toas "America's most famous rare coin" or "the most desirable of all American coins," might not the Class I 1804 Silver Dollar also be the most famous and most desirable rare coin in the entire world? If not, then what is? Only 5 collectors in all the world will can crown their collections with "The King"! Although 8 were struck, three of them arenow in museums and are forever unavailable. One is in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C; a second is in the Durham Western Heritage Museum in Omaha, Nebraska; and the third is in the American Numismatic Association's Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

  • USAUSA
  • 2000-10-19
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[ Coins ] Proof High Relief Double Eagles 1907 Ultra High...

[ Coins ] Proof High Relief Double Eagles 1907 Ultra High Relief $20 Lettered Edge PR68 PCGS. Among American coin collectors, the Saint- Gaudens Ultra (or Extremely) High Relief double eagle coin may be the most recognized coin ever produced. There are other great rarities of outstanding reputation, but no other combines the beauty, rarity, and the story of collaboration between President Theodore Roosevelt and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Theodore Roosevelt became President after the assassination of William McKinley in September 1901. After three years of being President one would think he had adapted to the job, yet it was not until after the election of November 1904 that Roosevelt could truly claim in his own thoughts to be President of the United States. In the weeks following his election, amid celebrations and congratulatory visits, there was time for contemplation and good- natured conversation with wife Edith, and family friend, painter Frank Millet. As their conversations wandered over many topics, the subject of the aesthetic merit of American coinage came to the fore. It probably took little prodding for Millet to expound on the artistic banalities of the coins Americans carried in their pockets and purses. Roosevelt agreed and soon fired off a typically commanding letter to Secretary of the Treasury Leslie Mortier Shaw on December 27, 1904: My dear Secretary Shaw: I think our coinage is artistically of atrocious hideousness. Would it be possible, without asking permission of Congress, to employ a man like Saint-Gaudens to give us a coinage that would have some beauty? The President had developed an opinion and now wanted to do something about it - he was not one to study the situation at length. With Shaw's assurance that Saint-Gaudens could be hired to design American coins, Roosevelt laid his trap. For his part, by 1905 Saint-Gaudens was at the height of reputati

  • USAUSA
  • 2007-01-04
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[ Coins ] Proof Liberty Eagles 1839/8 $10 Type of 1838 PR67 Ultra Cameo NGC

[ Coins ] Proof Liberty Eagles 1839/8 $10 Type of 1838 PR67 Ultra Cameo NGC. This is an amazing opportunity for the advanced collector, the connoisseur of early American gold coinage, or the numismatist who appreciates the combination of quality and rarity. This masterpiece is the finest of just three proofs known, and one of just two examples available to collectors. Three additional proofs are known for the 1838 eagle, bringing the total population to six coins for this first design type. One of each date is held by the Smithsonian Institution, and the other four are available to collectors. This specimen is the finest of all six known proofs of this first Liberty Head eagle design. In the Eliasberg catalog, Dave Bowers wrote: The 1839 Large Letters or Type of 1838 eagle has traditionally been one of the most desired issues in the series. Specimens are very elusive in high grades, and in proof grade this piece ranks as one of the most important rarities in the field of American numismatics. A marvelous opportunity for the specialist. Previous Discussions Walter Breen wrote in his Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins: Large Letters, type of 1838. Date low to left, many die file marks near rev. border. (1) Smithsonian, from Mint collection. (2) Parmelee: 1097 to Chapman, Jenks: 5735, John H. Clapp, now in Eliasberg collection. No rumor of a third specimen. A decade later, the same author mentioned the third specimen in his Complete Encyclopedia: East European pvt. coll., 1981, Mark Emory for NERCG, in a proof set including $2 1/2 and $5. In United States Gold Coins, An Analysis of Auction Records, David Akers commented briefly: There are only two known proofs, one in the Smithsonian Institution and the other in the Eliasberg Collection. His 1980 reference was published just a year before the third example was discovered.

  • USAUSA
  • 2007-01-05
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[ COINS ] Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles 1921 $20 MS66 PCGS

[ COINS ] Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles 1921 $20 MS66 PCGS. Ex: Crawford. After the end of The Great War, there was a general deterioration of economic conditions in the United States. This overall deterioration was evident by the spring of 1920. Programs and procedures put in place during the war had in many instances been removed or modified after the armistice, which resulted in a certain amount of economic dislocation. In particular, U.S. manufacturers had built up large inventories of goods, but the consuming public was unable to absorb them. At the same time, American exports to overseas nations dropped sharply at war's end, which deepened the plight of industry. The results of the recession were high unemployment, a broad series of business bankruptcies and generally falling wages for those Americans who kept their jobs. Most severe of all, however, was the protracted fall of farm prices--an event that would continue to a greater or lesser extent throughout the decade. Mint production reflected this general unease in 1921. Several issues throughout the various denominations were mass produced, cents and nickels from Philadelphia, for instance. Others were low mintage issues, such as the nickels, quarters, and halves from the branch mints. A relatively large number of double eagles were struck, 528,500 pieces, but judging from the number of surviving examples today 99% of the mintage was melted in the 1930s. The 1921 is unequalled as a condition rarity in the regular Saint-Gaudens series. Its only rival is the (almost) unobtainable 1933. Probably only 40-60 mint state examples are extant today in all grades. This is the finest piece certified, and almost certainly the finest known example. The surfaces are softly frosted and virtually flawless. There are no obvious abrasions on either side that can be used as pedigree identifiers. The coloration of this coin is quite interesting. It shows a mixture of both green-gold and orange gold in the planchet with numerous, light reddish alloy spots on each side. The striking details are uniform but not absolutely full on the highpoints--a coin that mirrors Bowers' comment that this issue has an average strike, not needle sharp in obverse details. On this piece, the most apparent area of weakness is on the eagle's breast feathers. It is interesting to speculate about the pedigree of this coin. All we know for certain is it came out of the Crawford Collection. However, in documents uncovered by Roger Burdette, Dr. Thomas Louis Comparette supplied assay coins to George Godard, Librarian of Connecticut and the man responsible for updating the Joseph P. Mitchelson Collection donated to the state in 1911. In a letter dated December 15, 1921, Comparette wrote: Some [1921] double eagles are being struck here at the mint. Do you wish one? Also some Two Colono gold pieces have been struck here for Costa Rica. They are about the size of a gold dollar. Have you secured specimens? Godard wasted no time, replying the next day: We [Senator Hall and Godard] both, too, desire to have specimens of the double eagles and of the two Colono gold pieces now being struck for Costa Rica. Godard's coin was sold in Auction '82 (lot 447) so we conclude (without direct evidence) that this piece was the one George Godard purchased from Dr. Comparette for Senator Hall. It is certainly the coin in Stack's March 1982 sale, lot 1471, as seen by the small copper stain to the right of the first ray on Liberty's right (facing) side, and another (more obvious) spot on the upper portion of the eagle's lower wing on the reverse. Possibly Ex: Thomas Comparette to George Godard to Senator Hall; Stack's (3/82), lot 1471, where it brought $41,000; Crawford Collection. From The Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage.(#9172)(Registry values: N1

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  • 2005-11-04
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[ Dimes ] [ COINS ] 65 PCGS 4805 1894-S S 10C 1894-S 10C PR65 PCGS

[ Dimes ] [ COINS ] 65 PCGS 4805 1894-S S 10C 1894-S 10C PR65 PCGS. As one of the Big Three of American numismatics, along with the 1913 Liberty nickel and the 1804 silver dollar, acquisition of this rarity has long been regarded as a pinnacle of collecting. Of these three rarities, only the 1894-S dime was officially listed in Mint Reports at the time of issue. This is one of the finest known 1894-S Barber dimes, and is the single most important example from a historical perspective. Only three of the nine currently known examples have been described as Gem quality. The Eliasberg Collection coin was described in the May 1996 sale as Proof 65; however, that coin has reportedly been dipped at least twice since the sale. The Eliasberg duplicate, sold by Stack's in 1947, is graded PR66 by NGC, but despite the grade, it is the coin that Eliasberg considered his duplicate, thus is probably no finer than the coin he kept. In our opinion, this coin is equal to the primary Eliasberg coin retained for his collection, and these two are the two finest examples. Both of these coins are superior to the Eliasberg duplicate that was sold by Stack's in 1947, despite its higher certified grade. Why were there only 24 dimes struck at the San Francisco Mint in 1894? This question has been asked by numismatists for many years. And why were they all struck as Proofs? Several theories over the years have tried to explain the mintage of these coins. One of the early theories suggested that these 24 coins were simply struck to balance the books in 1894, as reported in the April 1928 issue of The Numismatist. This theory was related by Farran Zerbe who claims that the information was given to him at the San Francisco Mint in 1905: To close a bullion account at the San Francisco Mint at the end of the fiscal year, June 30th, 1894, it was found necessary to show 40 cents, odd, in the year's coinage. The mint not having coined any dimes during the year, the dime dies were put to work, and to produce the needed 40 cents, 24 pieces were struck, any reasonable amount of even dollars over the 40 cents being readily absorbed in the account. It has been stated that at the time no thought was given by the mint people that a rarity had been produced, it being supposed they would, as always in the past, be ordered to coin dimes before the close of the year. It so happened that no dime coinage was ordered and the unintentional error was not realized until the year's coinage record was closed. Two parts of this theory do not seem to make sense today. If the coinage was indeed produced to close a bullion account that was off by 40 cents, why did it not matter how many even dollars over this amount were produced? Doesn't it make sense that the bullion account was then out of balance by two dollars? The second question surrounding the Zerbe report concerns the condition of these coins. With the exception of two heavily circulated examples, every known 1894-S dime is a Proof. If Mint personnel were simply balancing the account, why did they take the time to create these coins as Proofs, especially if no thought was given by the mint people that a rarity had been produced. Today, the Zerbe account is considered to be illogical and inaccurate. James Johnson presented the Presentation Specimen theory in his Coin World article of September 13 1972. He reported that his information came from Earl Parker who purchased two examples from Hallie Daggett in 1950. Hallie was the daughter of John Daggett, the superintendent of the San Francisco Mint in 1894. These details reportedly came directly from Hallie Daggett via Parker. It seems that seven banker friends of John Daggett were visiting the San Francisco Mint in 1894, and desirous of a souvenir, each received three freshly minted Proof dimes. The remaining three went to Daggett, who gave all three to his daughter. Why were dimes the coins of choice for this presentation? Why not special presentation gold coins or silver dollars? Also, why did Daggett give all three dimes to his middle child and not one to each of his three children? Perhaps he distributed them among all three and Hallie eventually received the others from her siblings. If she did spend one on ice cream, as the story is told, perhaps that was her only example, leaving just two coins in the family. The Johnson report provides the most credible theory about these coins, although even this is based on the memory of Earl Parker, two decades after the fact, with Parker relying on the recollection of Ms. Daggett, who was 72 years old when she met with Parker. Today, this is the production theory that is taken as fact, and is the theory that Walter Breen published in his various encyclopedic works. William Burd has discounted the Johnson theory as part fact and part fiction, stating that the part about various bankers each receiving three pieces is fictional. His research was published in The Inscrutable 1894-S Dime appearing in The Numismatist, February 1994. Burd suggested the possibility that Daggett simply held a reception or party and produced the dimes as demonstration pieces or souvenirs. He may have had dignitaries in from Washington, local supporters, or relatives visiting from the East. Perhaps he held a gathering commemorating his nomination to the office a year earlier. At the time, he most likely believed a regular production of dimes would be run in the second half of the year. Today this commentary provides even more speculation without any hard evidence. Burd continued: Until someone can produce Mint records that detail day-to-day operations at San Francisco, we can only surmise what took place. Until such evidence is located, we will not know the true story behind these coins. Only a few facts are known, everything else is speculation: 1. Only 24 examples were struck and they were struck during the first half of the year, according to official mint records. 2. One or more examples were reserved for the Assay Commission that met on February 13, 1895. Were these included in the 24 coins minted, or were the Assay coins in addition to the 24 examples? 3. All were struck as Proofs, and all but two retain some or full mirrored proof finish today. They were struck from a single pair of dies, indicating all were struck at approximately the same time. 4. Aside from the record in contemporary mint reports, the first public notice that these coins existed was not until the March 1900 issue of The Numismatist. These four points are the only facts of the 1894-S dime case.The Confusing Pedigree of 1894-S Dimes Several different authors and sources have provided pedigree listings of the 1894-S dimes. To this day, however, none have provided a complete and accurate pedigree listing of the nine known specimens. James Johnson published a listing in Coin World in the September 13, 1972 issue. Johnson wrote a follow-

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  • 2005-01-13
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[ Half Eagles ] [ COINS ] 67 PCGS 8167 1833 $5 Large Date...

[ Half Eagles ] [ COINS ] 67 PCGS 8167 1833 $5 Large Date 1833 $5 Large Date PR67 PCGS. Ex:Pittman. When this coin was last offered for sale at public auction more than seven years ago, David Akers said: A magnificent, stunning coin which, in my opinion, is the premier coin in the entire Pittman Collection. It is indeed a magnificent piece, and in our opinion, the only coins that rival this piece in sheer numismatic interest in this current sale are the two Brasher doubloons As a date, the 1833 is very rare with only 60-75 examples known of both the Large Date and Small Date variants. Only two proofs are known for the 1833 half eagle, both of which are Large Dates, and the other is permanently impounded in the National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian. That coin also is only a PR63. This coin was one of John Pittman's most significant acquisitions. The story is now well known, but for those who may not have heard it when John Pittman traveled to Cairo in 1954 to buy coins out of the Farouk Collection, he took out a second mortgage on his house. He certainly must have had an understanding wife, but as time showed he had a unerring eye for quality and value. He paid an astonishingly high price for this coin, 210 Egyptian pounds with a 5% government surcharge, which was the equivalent of $635 in 1954. As significant as that amount sounds in 1954 dollars, it pales in comparison to the actual value of this essentially unique coin in today's marketplace. When Pittman's holdings were sold in 1997-98, this coin realized $467,500. The viewer of this coin will come away with two impressions. First is the incredible method of manufacture. The proofing process used to strike this coin is every bit the equal of the mass-produced proofs from the 1870s or 1880s. Obviously, this coin was produced with great care and most likely was intended to showcase the abilities of the newly opened Second Mint, which opened the same year this coin was struck. The second impression is the incredible, almost unequaled quality of this piece. This was made possible by the impressive list of only seven collectors who have owned this coin since the early 1880s. As mentioned, the fields are deeply mirrored and almost all the die polishing marks that created the proof surface have disappeared except for a short series at the obverse rim between stars 4 and 5. Significant amounts of mint frost are seen over the devices, which gives the coin a slightly contrasted appearance. The letters in LIBERTY were sunk into the die at the same depth as the fields, and as a result most of these letters show full proof flash. An interesting numismatic observation is that the letters in E PLURIBUS UNUM on the reverse scroll were punched into the die in a larger and different font than the letters in the surrounding UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. There are several light coppery alloy stains on each side, but these should definitely not be confused with carbon spotting. The most prominent of these alloy stains is located just inside star 3 on the obverse. Another one, lighter in color but larger when examined is placed at the bottom of the trailing curl on Liberty's neck. On the reverse, the most significant pedigree markers are located on each side of the D in UNITED: on the left side there is a bit of planchet roughness, and on the right side there is a small alloy stain. Originally struck in green-gold, over the past 150 years the surfaces have taken on a rich overlay of thin reddish patina. A few errant hairlines are seen in the fields, but these are not indicative of cleaning but instead are probably from the coin having lain on felt in a coin cabinet or from being inserted and removed from paper holders many years ago. The opportunity to acquire this one-of-a-kind coin may not occur again for many years. If it is bought by someone who is as dedicated as John Pittman it could literally be decades before this piece surfaces again. Think hard and plan to stretch to acquire this prize, for it will surely bring significantly more in this market than the current owner paid when he bought it from the Pittman Collection. Ex: J. Colvin Randall; Lorin G. Parmelee (NY Coin & Stamp Co., 6/25/1890), lot 1021; James W. Flanagan (Stack's, 3/23/1944); J.F. Bell, lot 355; The Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, 2-3/54), lot 246a; John Jay Pittman (Akers, 10/97), lot 933.From The Gold Rush Collection.

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-01-13
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[ Four Dollar Gold Pieces ] [ COINS ] 66 NGC 88060 1880 $4 1880 $4 Coiled Hair

[ Four Dollar Gold Pieces ] [ COINS ] 66 NGC 88060 1880 $4 1880 $4 Coiled Hair. Judd-1660. Pollock-1860. PR66 Cameo NGC. R.7. The Morgan design. Reeded Edge. An exceptional Cameo Proof with mirrored fields and frosted devices, some light mint frost visible in the reverse field. A few very faint hairlines are noted. Lovely gold with traces of purplish-copper hints particularly on the edge. This is a superb, sharply detailed specimen. In reviewing the NGC and PCGS population reports we note a total of three specimens which have been graded this high, with another three coins seen finer. This particular coin has a tiny planchet flake below the right leg of the M on the reverse on the obverse there is a tiny flake in the field between Liberty's hair bun and the star between A and M. The obverse striations run roughly at a 70 degree descending angle and are present on Liberty's head. Obverse: Head of Liberty faces left, her hair coiled in a bun atop her head, this coil held in place by a band inscribed LIBERTY. Around, the inscription * 6 * G * .3 * S * .7 * C * 7 * G * R * A * M * S * and below, the date 1880 from a curv ed logotype. Evidence of repunching is visible in the upper loop of the second 8 in the date. Reverse: A single large star serves as the central motif, inscribed with incuse lettering ONE STELLA 400 CENTS. Around, in small letters, the mottoes E PLURIBUS UNUM and DEO EST GLORIA. In large letters, around the border, the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA above, and the denomination FOUR DOL. below. This is the same reverse die found on the gold stellas, with the D in UNITED doubled, the original impression above the final location. International coinage had been proposed before, with one relevant entry by Dana Bickford in 1874. Bickford was a New York businessman and the inventor of automatic knitting machines. After experiencing difficulty traveling through Europe and contending with various exchange rates, he devised a plan for international coinage based on the systems of several countries. The Bickford eagle had the following denominations physically incorporated as part of the design: 10 dollars; 2 pounds, 1 shilling, 1 pence sterling; 41.99 marken, 37.31 kronen, 20.73 gulden, and 51.81 francs. The fineness and weight was also displayed so that the exact current value at any time could be determined in any country, based on the value of gold. Patterns were issued in gold, copper, aluminum, and nickel. Again, presumably after much debate, the proposal was turned down by Congress. Another international coinage experiment was advanced by Hon. John Kasson, United States Minister to Austria. Kasson was formerly Chairman of the Committee of Coinage, Weights and Measures. He suggested to the Secretary of State, that a United States coin should be produced with a value close to the Austrian eight florins coin. Given exchange rates of that time, the value of an Austrian eight florins coin was just under $3.90, and very similar to the value of other foreign gold coins then in circulation. A four- dollar gold coin was the logical choice. Near the end of this historical appreciation are listed details of various foreign gold coins of the period . John Kasson's suggestions were communicated to Secretary of the Treasury John Sherman and to Alexander Stephens, Chairman of the Coinage Committee. Details of the proposal were provided by Dr. Wheeler W. Hubbell, an advocate of the metric system of coinage and holder of the patent for the goloid composition. The Pennsylvania resident was the logical choice for this work. According to Edgar H. Adams and William H. Woodin in their 1913 referenceUnited States Pattern, Trial, and Experimental Pieces, the new denomination, the Stella, was named as an analogy to one eagle, both the star and eagle being National emblems on our coinage. The present coin is likely number 2 or number 5 below. Roster of 1880 Coiled Hair Stella:1 Trompeter Specimen. Gem Brilliant Proof. Ex:B. Max Mehl, 6/1947: 2603 sold as part of a set for $3,850; Grant Pierce; Stack's, 1976 ANA: 2920 sold as part of a set for $225,000; Stack's 12/1981 $135,000; Ed Trompeter Collection; Superior, 2/25/1992: 136 $264,000; Stack's, 10/1995 $308,000. The reverse has a dark toning line down from the star above D of DOL.2. Kern Specimen. Gem Brilliant Proof. Ex: B. Max Mehl, 1950: 245 sold as part of a set for $4,100; Amon Carter, Sr.; Amon Carter, Jr.; Stack's, 1/1984: 634 $72,250. The reverse has a dark toning line up from the dentils between DOL. and the final A of AMERICA.3. Delp Specimen. Brilliant Proof. Ex: Stack's, 11/1972: 792 $35,000; Stack's FPL Summer 1997 offered as part of a four piece set for $875,000. The plate suggests a diagonal toning line in the field at the throat.4. Davies Specimen. Proof. Ex: Paramount, 2/1975: 547 $67,500; Bowers and Ruddy Rare Coin Review #26, p. 64. Very lightly cleaned with faint hairlines. The most prominent pedigree marker is a horizontal line-like scrape on the back edge of the neck just above the neck truncation. This is located directly above the digit 0 in the date. The reverse has a short diagonal scratch below the U of UNUM.,5. DuPont Specimen. Proof-66 (PCGS). Ex: Sotheby's, 9/1982: 252, $102,300 Superior, 8/1991: 707 $440,000. The obverse has a small spot just below and left of the chin and another over G. The reverse has a minor fingerprint pattern of toning below the star right of EST.6. Eliasberg Specimen. Proof-65. Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Louis E. Eliasberg, Jr.; Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982: 319 $99,000. The obverse has a small spot between the digit 1 and star 1, about level with the serif of the 1 in the date. Another tiny spot on the obverse is midway between the junction of the hair and neck and star 12. A third obverse spot is above the period preceding the 3.7. Smithsonian Specimen. National Numismatic Collection.8. Lilly Specimen. Smithsonian Institution.9. Memorable Specimen. Proof-64 (NGC). Numismatic Gallery, J.F. Bell Collection, 3/1/1948: 282; Stack's 3/1999: 136. Illustrated in Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins. Additional auction appearances which may represent coins listed above. S.H. and H. Chapman 5/1906: 1456 $370.Woodin (Adams) 2/1911: 181.B. Max Mehl, Grinnell Collection, 6/15/1943: 187 $850.B. Max Mehl, Olsen Collection, 11/7/1944: 621 $1,075.King Farouk, Sotheby's 2/1954: 323 $1,922.90 offering both types of 1880 as a pair.Abner Kreisberg, 2/1961: 1150.Abner Kreisberg, 1/1963: 1940.Paramount (1973). Wilkison Specimen, Polished. Possibly ex King Farouk.

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  • 2005-01-13
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[ Silver Dollars - Coins - United States of America ] 1885 Trade Dollar

[ Silver Dollars - Coins - United States of America ] 1885 Trade Dollar. Brilliant Proof, with strong claims to Choice. Of the Highest Rarity: one of only 5 known. The Debut Specimen, this being the first one ever offered for sale at auction, way back in 1913. At that time, it was famous collector H.O. Granberg's personal specimen. In 1950, famous old time dealer B. Max Mehl described this coin as ``Perfect brilliant Proof gem.'' The coin has brightly reflective, full deep mirror fields with blazing Proof flash visible everywhere. Liberty's figure on the front and the eagle on the reverse are lightly frosty. There is light russet iridescent toning on the obverse and reverse and some few hairlines. The coin has all the required attributes of a special Proof strike made at the Philadelphia Mint to exacting government standards. This coin is rarer than an 1804 Silver Dollar and rarer than even a Brasher Doubloon. In fact, it is so rare it is tied with the 1913 Liberty Nickel as being one of the rarest and most desirable of all great American numismatic classics. (NGC PF61) {cp8}( SEE COLOR PLATE) Ex Worrell Collection (Superior, September 1993, lot 1325); earlier, ex Hoffecker Collection (Superior, February 1987, lot 1446B); Auction'84 (Superior, lot 192); Amon Carter, Jr. Collection ( Stack's, January 1984, lot 441); Jerome Kern Collection (B. Max Mehl, May 1950, lot 897); Mehl's sale of June 1945, lot 628; H.O. Granberg Collection (B. Max Mehl, July 1913, lot 392).

  • USAUSA
  • 2003-05-15
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[ COINS ] Proof Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles 1907 $20...

[ COINS ] Proof Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles 1907 $20 Small Edge Lettering PR68 PCGS. Technically a pattern, but unrecognized as such to date, the Small and Large Edge Arabic Numerals twenties are experimental coins that were struck in very limited numbers (only three Small Letters are known). Contrary to popular belief, it appears that the lowered relief Small Edge Letter proof twenty was actually struck before the unique Large Edge Letter proof. We base this opinion on direct observation of the two coins. The Small Letters proof shows less definition, as evident on the Capitol building and the eagle's belly, indicating mint personnel really did not know how much striking pressure to use to fully bring up lowered relief coins. Second, and even more convincingly, the Small Edge Letters coin lacks any trace of die polishing on the rim at 9 o'clock. This is quite pronounced on the Large Edge Letters piece. This indicates that mint personnel polished the rim of the Large Letters coin before striking. With a maximum number of four pieces of both Small and Large Letters proofs produced, die polishing would certainly be evident on each coin struck after the polishing was done; ergo, the coin with no polishing was the first struck. The Small Edge lettering (a.k.a. Die Collar II) is distinguished by the motto on the edge reading: * * * * * * * E I P L U R I B U S * I U N U M * * * * * I. On this particular coin the distinctive arrangement of the Small Letters is noticeable and the * I UNUM is actually viewable through the PCGS encasement. Only three Small Edge Letter proofs are believed known. Each is pedigreed in Breen's 1988 Encyclopedia, but we do not know which of the three this piece represents as all three appearances at auction or private sale are from the 1950s. That being said, this is the only Small Edge Letters coin that has been certified in any grade by either PCGS or NGC. This may be significant as there may be fewer than three proofs known--it has often happened that pedigrees were confused over a period of 40 or more years and more coins were listed for certain issues than were actually extant. Like the Large Edge Letters coin below, the surfaces on this piece are bright, especially when compared to the finish seen on the matte proofs from 1908. The finish on this coin is a curious hybrid of brightness that resembles a Roman Gold coin from 1909 or 1910, with a fine-grain matte finish as seen on other 1908 and 1911-1915 proof twenties. Lovely satiny mint luster rolls around the surfaces and is unimpeded by even the tiniest imperfections. Close examination with a loupe failed to reveal any flaws on this magnificent coin. The basic yellow-gold coloration of the piece is overlaid by a subtle orange patina that gives the coin even more eye appeal. Only the most important and specialized collections of twenties have included examples of the Small and Large Letters Arabic Numerals twenties. To our knowledge, the only two collections to have contained both examples were those of Ed Trompeter and Phillip Morse. Ex: Ed Trompeter Collection; Heritage private sale, 1999. From The Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage.( #9198)(Registry values: P10)

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  • 2005-11-04
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The Unique 'Mystery' Victoria Cross and triple D.S.O

The Unique 'Mystery' Victoria Cross and triple D.S.O. group of 11 awarded to Vice-Admiral Gordon Campbell, Royal Navy, the celebrated Q-Ships Captain and author of the best-selling My Mystery Ships, published in 1928. He was recommended for the Victoria Cross whilst Commander of H.M.S. Q5 or Farnborough, 'for conspicuous gallantry, consummate coolness, and skill in command' shown during the sinking of the German Submarine U.83 on 17 February 1917. Having deliberately steered his vessel into the path of a U-Boat torpedo, and having then drawn in the enemy submarine through the ruse of a 'panic party' as she slowly sank, after half an hour the guns of Q-5 finally opened fire at close quarters and sank the enemy vessel in 'what may be regarded as the supreme test of naval discipline.' Gordon Campbell later subsequently declined the potential award of a bar to his Victoria Cross (following nomination by his fellow officers) whilst Captain of H.M.S. Pargust, having successfully deployed the same tactics and having duly sunk UC.29 on 7 June 1917, comprising: Victoria Cross, suspension bar and reverse centre engraved 'Comdr G. Campbell, D.S.O. Royal Navy. / 17. Feb. 1917.'; Distinguished Service Order, G.V.R., in silver-gilt and enamels, with 2 clasps, both privately engraved on their reverses with dates of award 'June 7th 1917.' and 'Aug. 8th 1917.'; 1914-15 Star (Lt. Commr. G. Campbell, R.N.); British War and Victory Medals, 1914-1919 (Capt. G. Campbell. R.N.); Defence and War Medals, 1939-1945, unnamed as issued; Coronation, 1937, officially engraved in capitals (Admiral Gordon Campbell. V.C.); Coronation, 1953, unnamed; France, Légion d'Honneur, Officer's breast badge in gold and enamels, with rosette on ribbon; France, Croix de Guerre, with palm, 1914-1918; Group court-mounted on bar with reverse brooch pin as worn by the recipient, in original navy-blue leather and gilt-embossed case by Gieves Ltd., Old Bond Street, London, minor marks from wearing and slight enamel loss to D.S.O. from court-mounting next to V.C., about extremely fine, a truly magnificent group (11). V.C.: London Gazette: 21 April 1917 – 'In recognition of his conspicuous gallantry, consummate coolness, and skill in command of one of H.M. Ships in action'. (Original recommendation notes: '...when he sank a German submarine on 17th Feby. 1917. Although his ship had been torpedoed and was sinking whilst he allowed the enemy submarine to circle round until she came into a position where all guns would bear.'). D.S.O: London Gazette: 31 May 1916 – 'for services in command of British submarines operating in the Baltic Sea' (Original recommendation notes: 'Success of the operation was due to the thorough organisation & good nerve with which it was carried out' and 'promoted to Commander'). Bar to D.S.O.: London Gazette: 20.07.1917 - 'for services in action with enemy submarines' (Original recommendation notes: 'On the 7 June 1917 sank an enemy submarine by gun fire. He reserved fire for 35 minutes in order to ensure the complete destruction of the submarine, although his ship was crippled and unable to move. T. L. high commendation expressed to Cdr Campbell, officers and men, for the admirable discipline and courage shown by them in this encounter, which will stand high in the records of gallantry of the Royal Navy.'). Second Bar to D.S.O: London Gazette: 2 November 1917 - 'for services in action with enemy submarines' (Original recommendation notes: 'T. L. admiration expressed to Capt. Campbell, Officers and Men under his orders of the magnificent discipline and gallantry displayed by them on 8 August 1917 in an action with an enemy submarine. H.M. The King has been pleased to state that "greater bravery than was shown by all Officers and Men on this occasion can hardly be conceived". The action lasted over 3 hours and the Dunraven was torpedoed & eventually sunk, but all hands were saved by one of H.M. Ships.'). France, Legion d'Honneur, Officer: London Gazette: 25 January 1918. France, Croix de Guerre: London Gazette: 2 November 1917. Vice-Admiral Gordon Campbell V.C., D.S.O. was born on 6 January 1886 in Croydon, Surrey, the son of Colonel Frederick Campbell of Airds and Ardnamurchan, and Emilie Guillaumine Maclaine. His father, the First Commandant of the Dulwich Volunteer Battalion, had served in the Royal Artillery in the New Zealand War of 1864-66 and hailed from an old Scottish family with a long and prestigious military pedigree, being himself the 9th generation (with one exception) in a line of army officers. His mother Emilie was the daughter of Donald Maclaine, the 20th Clan Chief of the Maclaines of Lochbuie, on the Isle of Mull, who had made his fortune in Java. As one of 16 children from this marriage, of whom 8 would attend Dulwich College, Gordon Campbell completed his education at Dulwich before joining the Royal Navy as a Naval Cadet on 15 September 1900. He attended the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, passing out on 15 January 1902 and being appointed to Midshipman one month later. His first years were spent aboard H.M. Ships Prince George, Irresistible and Flora, on the Channel, Mediterranean and Pacific Stations respectively. He afterwards returned to England for several months for an operation upon an old rugby-playing injury to his right knee which frustrated much of his early career, despite him otherwise being of 'splendid physique'. Returning to fitness, he was promoted to Sub-Lieutenant on 15 April 1905, where his officer had already marked him out as 'very plucky'. He subsequently spent roughly a year at the Royal Naval College at Greenwich, to study and then pass the various examinations required for further advancement, showing much promise in so doing. He was appointed to the Destroyer H.M.S. Arun (Vivid), before being duly promoted to Lieutenant on 1 October 1907. His service papers note some particularly insightful comments made by Commander Ricardo: 'Exceptional...Most promising, & of marked ability. Exceptionally good disciplinarian'. It was this same mastery of discipline that would later save his life and the lives of his crew on many occasions, and would also eventually earn him the Victoria Cross. His service continued aboard H.M.S. Hawke from 16 November 1907, and then aboard King Alfred on 16 January 1908, seeing service on the China station, when again he was found unfit in April 1910, presumably relating once more to his knee injury. He was sent to the King Edward VII's Hospital for Officers in Westminster, London, for treatment, and battled for fitness until August that year. He resumed active service with spells aboard Impregnable (during which time he was married, on 1 June, 1911) and Vivid, before taking command of the aging Destroyer Ranger on 10 October 1912 and then the Destroyer Bittern (Vivid) in April 1913. He was aboard this ship when hostilities were begun against Germany and its allies at the outbreak of WWI in 1914, and operating from Plymouth, Bittern was put to work escorting ships in the Channel, searching for submarines and rescuing other Allied vessels. Having blown her engines on one particular 'wild-goose chase', as he called it, in search of an enemy submarine, Campbell suddenly found himself without a ship. Gordon Campbell was very frustrated by these events, but as he later recalled in My Mystery Ships (p. 31), his life was about to take a sudden change of course: 'Over a year in the English Channel, without sighting the enemy or smelling powder, had made me restless, and I had visions of the war ending without firing a shot. The idea was particularly galling, as we were continually escorting our gallant troops on their way to the fighting line and also seeing the wounded returning in the hospital ships. I was sent for by the Admiralty and asked if I would like to go in for some "special service", but was not given any details...I had also heard faint rumours of one or two mystery ships in the Channel, and without a minute's hesitation I accepted the "special service".' To undertake these "special services" he was given command of the old collier Loderer, which he initially reviewed with some disappointment until the specific nature of this new work had fully dawned upon him. He was given 3 twelve-pounder guns and a maxim with which to fit out this 'typical tramp' to his own specific designs and requirements, and with a freshly-drafted crew. The guns were disguised to appear as typical ship's features, and Gordon Campbell and his officers spent much time learning proper Merchant Marine procedure and terminology, to appear as 'genuine' as possible once at sea. Towards the end of the fitting out period, a rumour emerged that the enemy had got wind of the new Mystery Ship, so Lt. Campbell suggested to Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly (the great Q-Ship exponent, in charge of the South Western Approaches) that he should change the ship's name and create a new rumour that the old ship had been sunk. It was then, sailing from Plymouth to Queenstown (the port from which 'Q-Ships' took their name) in late October 1915 that they opened an envelope showing the ship's newly allocated name – Farnborough. This 'new' ship, alongside Baralong, Zyphla, and somewhat later the smaller ships Vala and Penshurst, formed the new weapon with which to fight the German U-Boat menace. Now at sea, Campbell set about training his crew for 'panic party' simulations, and for drills to release the gun coverings ready for quick-fire broadsides. These were practiced with the greatest of discipline until perfect to a man – with Campbell making quite clear that 'any one man could spoil the show' (My Mystery Ships, p. 59, refers). In the course of the war, Campbell and his crew would go to incredible lengths to make the 'show' as realistic as possible, with his more famous deceptions including dressing up a rating in female clothes, placed prominently on a deck chair on the poop deck, and equipping one member of the 'panic party' with a bright green dummy parrot in a cage. The Q-Ship Baralong had already accounted for the first two U-Boat sinkings made by a 'Mystery Ship', and Campbell was keen to engage the enemy and play his part. His first opportunity came on 22 March 1916 during an encounter with U-68 off the west coast of Ireland. The enemy vessel, on her first mission and under the command of Kapitänleutnant Ludwig Güntzel, fired a torpedo which narrowly missed Farnborough's bow. Campbell kept his ship on course at the same speed, whilst U-68 closed to 1,000 yards astern and fired a shot across the Q-Ship's bow. At this point, Campbell gave his well-drilled crew the order to start their ruse – blowing off steam and sending out the 'panic party' to simulate surrender. As the enemy moved closer still to 800 yards, the white ensign was revealed, and Campbell chose his moment to attack. Swiftly uncovering the guns, three of Farnborough's 12-pounders, a Maxim and a number of rifles were brought to bear on the enemy, registering multiple hits to the submarine's conning tower. As she submerged, two depth charges were released which blew U-68's bow out of the water. Further hits were registered on the conning tower as she rapidly sank stern-first, being lost with all hands (38). For this first success Campbell was awarded his first D.S.O. and was promoted to the rank of Commander on 29 March, 1916, above the heads of the 700 Lieutenant-Commanders on the Navy List. Campbell and his crew damaged another U-Boat on 15 April 1916, upon which they scored a handful of hits at range, but which managed to escape. Despite the success of his recent encounters, and having achieved one of only two Q-ship victories in 1916, Campbell continued to engage the enemy in an increasingly aggressive and effective manner. Realizing that his first success owed much to the apparent inexperience of his opponent, he chose even more extreme measures in providing 'live human bait' (Stephen Snelling's 'The Naval VCs' refers) in the encounters to come. He later recalled: 'I came to the conclusion that the only way for us to ensure decoying the enemy to the surface was deliberately to get torpedoed...so the idea now was that the ship would be manoeuvred so as to make the torpedo hit'. Returning to the seas off the south-west coast of Ireland after a refit, Germany's new 'unrestricted' submarine offensive was unleashed in February 1917, and Campbell knew that another chance would soon come to engage with the enemy. On the 17 February 1917, Farnborough (or Q-5 as she was officially known) was returning to Queenstown after several days of rough weather when a torpedo was spotted on the starboard side, having again been fired cautiously by U-83 (under the command of Kapitänleutnant Bruno Hoppe) from some distance away. Campbell now seized the opportunity to put his new theory into practice, and he ensured that Q-5's course would meet that of the torpedo – only steering at the last moment to prevent a direct hit on the engine room and unnecessary loss of life. The impact shook the vessel and its crew, whereupon the ruse of organized chaos commenced once again. Regaining his footing and composure, Campbell saw a few men on the foredeck remaining 'calm': 'After getting up, I observed a thing which I hadn't foreseen and couldn't help laughing at. It will be remembered that we had drilled for nearly every emergency, and how I would say "Torpedo coming" and the "Torpedo hit" or "Torpedo missed". Now the torpedo had hit and I saw the men rushing for the boats, but on looking over the front of the bridge I saw a group of men smoking and lolling over the ships' side when they ought to have been "panicking". I shouted why the something something they weren't rushing for the boats. The reply was, 'Waiting for the order sir. "Torpedo hit!". They then joined in the pandemonium...' This light-hearted incident well illustrates the sense of iron-discipline which had been instilled, as well as the rather sanguine humour seen aboard a Q-Ship under constant risk of attack. With the full pantomime 'show' of lifeboats and panic now fully underway, and without any signal being sent for assistance (lest a rescue ship might get in the way), Campbell waited for further any signs of the U-Boat as his own ship listed heavily: "He... came past the ship on the starboard side, about 5 yards off the lifeboats and 10 yards off the ship, so close that I could see the whole hull of the submarine distinctly...The temptation to fire was almost unbearable. He passed close across the bow and broke surface about 300 yards on the port bow at 10.5am and I then made the signal 'Torpedoed'. He came down on the surface past the port side; I waited til he was on the only bearing on which all my guns could bear, and opened fire at point-blank range." Again, the coverings fell away in an instant, and as the white ensign was run up the first shot from the 6-pounder decapitated the enemy U-boat captain at the conning tower. Taken by complete surprise, Q-5 battered the enemy ship with her full firepower, with 45 shells fired in addition to the many rounds fired by the Maxim gun. The U-Boat then rapidly began to sink, with her conning tower shattered and open. Eight survivors made attempts to escape the stricken submarine, but only two – an officer and a crewman – were able to be saved from the water, which Campbell described as being 'thick with blood and oil'. Having done all he could for the enemy crew, his attention now became focused on the task of saving his ship, which was filling rapidly and was in real danger of sinking. He signalled for all remaining crew to move to the ship's boats (except a few key individuals, including his First Lieutenant Ronald Stuart and Engineer Lieutenant Len Loveless), saw to the destruction of all confidential records and books, and sent a now famous message to Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly, in typically understated fashion: "Q5 slowly sinking respectfully wishes you good-bye." Having prepared for the worst, the destroyers Narwhal and Buttercup came to his aid within just an hour. After many hours of determined towing and the untimely explosion of a depth charge, Campbell masterfully handled his sinking ship. Farnborough – listing at nearly 20 degrees and under 8 feet of water – was eventually beached by tugs at Mill Cove, with the salvage of all of her guns and much undamaged equipment. Admiral Bayly's message in reply to Campbell was equally modest but clearly showed his delight: 'Very good piece of work. Well done.' This delight was shared by the whole Royal Navy, with an impressive £1,000 distributed amongst the 40 crewmembers as well as a large number of decorations awarded. Lieutenant Stuart and Engineer-Lieutenant Loveless each received a D.S.O., with three other officers receiving the D.S.C., and twenty-four crewmen receiving a mention in despatches. The crowning reward was, however, that of the Victoria Cross to Gordon Campbell, which was presented to him by the King at Buckingham Palace on 7 March 1917. The award of a V.C. to Gordon Campbell had appeared in the Court Circular prior to its proper announcement in the London Gazette, and as such the award was picked up by the newspapers - being christened 'The Mystery V.C.' (My Mystery Ships, p. 192, refers). The 'tantalising lack of detail' provided in the V.C. citation as published by the London Gazette on 21 April 1917 'for conspicuous gallantry, consummate coolness, and skill in command of one of H.M. Ships in action' only added to the air of mystery and intrigue. It should be noted that this was the very first instance in which a V.C. had been so deliberately shrouded in secrecy for fear of undermining the secret work of these 'Mystery Ships'. As fate would have it, German intelligence ascribed to Campbell some involvement in an entirely different incident, and he ended up with a price put on his head notwithstanding. Having formally had the beached Q-5 paid off, Gordon Campbell set about choosing a new ship. Having already considered three ships unsuitable, he was given leave to choose his own – eventually settling upon the tramp steamer S.S. Vittoria in Cardiff Docks. This new vessel, once requisitioned and refitted to Campbell's requirements (two torpedo tubes, one four-inch gun, four 12-pounders and Lewis guns, and one 'false' gun), was renamed Snail and then, finally, H.M.S. Pargust. Retaining his old crew, they returned to the same sea-channel off the coast of Ireland, where further encounters with enemy submarines would soon follow. After being told of an omen by a crewmember on 6 June (whereby a bird had flown into Campbell's cabin, as it had on every other occasion the day before a submarine encounter), sure enough on 7 June, a torpedo was spotted. Kapitänleutnant Ernst Rosenow's minelayer-class submarine UC-29 fired from close range, with her torpedo striking the Pargust's engine room, killing Stoker Petty Officer Isaac Radford, and tearing a 40 foot hole in her hull at the waterline. The impact shook loose the starboard gun port, and it was only the quick thinking and brute strength of Seaman William Williams D.S.M., who, by taking the entire weight of the gun port on his shoulders until an ideal moment came to attack, single-handedly prevented 'giving the game away'. The 'show' was swiftly put into motion once again, with panic parties being dispatched into boats (including the aforementioned green parrot) as part of the chaotic and panicked display. As the last boat cleared the damaged ship, a periscope was spotted 400 yards off the port beam. Soon after the U-Boat re-appeared astern and surfaced, before being led by one panic party (under the command of Lieutenant Hereford) to a position just 50 yards from Pargust's guns. The white ensign was run up, and the guns revealed as they inflicted repeated strikes upon the enemy submarine's exposed conning tower. The submarine began to list to port, and a number of the shaken crew emerged on deck. After Campbell's order to cease fire, the submarine attempted to make its escape, so Campbell gave the order to resume the attack. No chances were taken, and the submarine suffered an explosion at its bow-end before sinking sharply below the water. Pargust's gun-teams had sunk the enemy ship in just four minutes, with thirty-eight rounds spent and one torpedo which had narrowly missed. One officer and one crew member were saved from the water ("We've again got a sample of each", Lieutenant Hereford reported), but all other hands were lost. Having received assistance from H.M. Ships Crocus and Zinnia, as well as the U.S.S. Cushing (the U.S.A. had entered the war just 2 months previously), Pargust was towed back to Queenstown, once again to the congratulations of Admiral Bayly. The sum of £1,000 was again distributed, but the matter of awards caused the Admiralty some difficulty, and no one man could be singled out for the award of a V.C. amongst so many deserving candidates. It was therefore decided that for the very first time, the King should approve the first 'elected' V.C. awards to a ship's crew, settled by ballot, with one officer and one man to be chosen amongst the officers and crew themselves in accordance with Clause 13 of the Victoria Cross Warrant. Gordon Campbell was initially approached by his fellow officers so that he might receive a second Victoria Cross. This would have made him the first Naval Officer in history to receive a bar to his V.C. but Campbell declined, adding that he 'already felt that the Victoria Cross I wore was on behalf of my crew and through no special act of my own' (My Mystery Ships, p. 228 refers). The ballot was arranged by an officer from 'outside' the ship, and the result led to the awards of Victoria Crosses to Lieutenant R. N Stuart, D.S.O., the First Lieutenant (and second in command), and to Seaman William Williams, who had so gallantly held the weight of the gun-port. Campbell received a bar to his D.S.O. as well as a promotion to Captain over the heads of some 500 Commanders. Fourteen of his crew men were also rewarded with decorations. Leaving the Pargust to be paid off, Campbell's final Q-Ship was the Dunraven. Slightly larger than his last ship, and armed with a real 2½ pounder defensive gun, she was fitted out with 'a host of new gadgets' and specialized equipment. Reports of activity in the Bay of Biscay led Gordon Campbell to a new hunting ground, and he disguised his ship as a Blue Funnel steam with deck cargo and collapsible railway trucks as if heading to the Middle East. After several days without any sign of the enemy, he doubled back along his course on 7 August 1917, into the path of UC-71 which had been sighted in the distance. The wary submarine kept its distance, eventually surfacing before opening fire with its guns. Campbell tried a new ruse this time, hoisting the red ensign and returning deliberately wild and inaccurate fire from the Dunraven's only 'true' deck gun: "I ordered much smoke to be made but at the same time reduced speed to 7 knots (with an occasional zig-zag) to give him a chance of closing...the submarine's firing was very poor...At 12.25 he turned broadside on and re-opened fire; in the meantime my gun was firing intentionally short. During this period I made 'en clair' signals for the submarine's benefit such as 'Submarine chasing and shelling me'... (and) ... I made a 'cloud of steam' to assume boiler trouble and ordered 'Abandon ship'." As a final ruse, the gun team of the 2½ pounder gun were evacuated to the ship's boats, and the full 'panic party' sent out. Dunraven then took several hits to the poop deck, setting off a depth charge, and creating a fiery havoc on deck, which threatened a quantity of cordite and a host of other munitions, as well as the 4-inch gun crew, who could feel the heat above and below them. Knowing that if they emerged the game would be up, they decided to chance their fate by remaining hidden in position 'in an act of self-sacrifice of the highest order' ('The Naval VCs' refers). As the U-Boat came to within 400 yards the cordite exploded, sending the entire gun crew into the air, but all of whom miraculously survived despite serious wounds and burns. P.O. Ernest Pitcher, leader of the gun team, was wounded in a number of places, and Lieutenant Bonner, who had been blown up earlier with the depth charge and now suffered from burns and a head injury, reported to Campbell: 'I am sorry, sir, for leaving my gun without orders. I think I must have been blown up.' This U-boat was far more wary than those previously encountered, and continued to keep her distance. Two shots from the Dunraven's after-bridge gun were believed to have struck the conning tower, after which the U-boat submerged again – now aware of her true enemy. A torpedo was sent in retaliation, striking the Dunraven at 1.20pm just abaft the engine room, causing Campbell to deploy his final trick ordering 'Q abandon ship' while still keeping his remaining gun teams in place, and while signalling all other friendly ships to keep away. For an hour the submarine prowled and kept her distance as Dunraven struggled with fires, explosions and a breach in her side. The submarine resurfaced dead astern, where no guns could be brought to bear, and bombarded Campbell's ship for 20 minutes, scoring multiple hits including two upon the bridge, through which Campbell's life was saved only thanks to some recently-installed armour plate. Still they held their nerve. Finally, knowing that time was short and seeing a chance opportunity, Dunraven fired two torpedoes, both of which narrowly missed by just inches. The submarine then submerged and left the scene, thus ending what Keble Chatterton rightly described as Campbell's greatest Q-Ship battle, lasting some 4 hours in total. As Campbell emerged onto the bridge, a crewmember in the boats shouted: "My oath, there's the blooming skipper still alive, Wouldn't the Huns give ninepence an inch for him!" The American ship U.S.S. Noma, coming to their aid, sighted and fired at a periscope but saw no more of the enemy thereafter. As Campbell said in summary: "My ship had been perfectly fitted out, and as for my crew, words can't say what I think – not a man failed, not a man could have done more." After the evacuation of the wounded and the remaining crew, 36 hours of determined work followed in order to save the ship, with the assistance of the British destroyers Attack and Christopher. This was to no avail, as the Dunraven was finally abandoned to sink in the early hours of 10 August. Campbell and his crew were rewarded with a greater number of honours than ever before; Campbell himself was recognized with a further bar to his D.S.O. 'for an action that more than justified a bar to his V.C.' (as Stephen Snelling writes in 'The Naval VCs'), and Seaman Williams V.C. added a bar to his D.S.M.. Two Victoria Crosses were once again awarded, this time to Dunraven's First Lieutenant, Charles Bonner, and another to P.O. Ernest Pitcher, who was elected to receive the award on behalf of the 4-inch gun crew, the remainder of whom all received the C.G.M.. In a letter to Campbell soon after, the American Admiral W. S. Sims wrote: 'I know nothing finer in naval history than the conduct of the after gun crew.' After this final, nerve-wracking encounter, Campbell was taken off further Q-ship duties at the insistence of Admiral Bayly. Bayly wrote: 'The only time we came near to a disagreement was when I told him that as a Captain RN at an exceptionally early age, with the honours His Majesty had given him, he must give up the dangerous game of mystery shipping and must take up the ordinary duties of a naval officer in war.' He became Bayly's Flag-Captain aboard Active, taking charge of all anti-submarine operations in the Irish Sea, before taking up the dual role of Senior Naval Officer at Holyhead and Commander of a destroyer flotilla - during which time a clandestine attempt was made upon his life by way of a booby-trapped fishing line fitted to a bomb. Campbell emerged unscathed although two crewmen were injured. At the end of the War he proudly attended the V.C. Garden Party of 26 June 1920, where he, together with Lieutenant Bonner V.C., formed part of the Naval Group (Group No.1) of 24 naval recipients. Soon afterwards, on 11th November, he had the unique privilege of leading the 100-strong V.C. Guard of Honour at the burial of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey. Held on the second anniversary of the Armistice and on the date which has since become Remembrance Day, the event 'left a great impression' upon Gordon Campbell, providing as it did some measure of closure for so many bereaved families. Captain Campbell adjusted uneasily to life in peacetime, undertaking various training roles, the position of Captain-in-charge of Simonstown dockyard in South Africa, and subsequently that of Captain of the battlecruiser Tiger between 1925 and 1927. He then began writing his memoirs, published as 'My Mystery Ships' in 1928, the first of a number of books - including books for children - which were to follow. He was promoted to Rear-Admiral on 5 April 1928 and attended the lavish V.C. Dinner-Party held by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales at the House of Lords, where 300 V.C. winners gathered, with seating arranged by ballot. Campbell recalls in his book 'Number Thirteen' that he was 'very much touched when the four officers and men who had been awarded V.C.s under my command asked me to lead them past H.R.H., so that we all went together like old times'. He was made A.D.C. to the King for a short time before moving into politics – becoming Conservative M.P. for Burnley in the 1931 General Election by a majority of some 8,000 votes over Arthur Henderson, a strong Labour candidate and Secretary of the Party. Suffering a heart attack in 1934, Campbell lost his Parliamentary seat the following year, returning to the worlds of books and public speaking. Having been promoted to Vice-Admiral on 31 December 1932, he remained on the retired list until the outbreak of the Second World War, which saw him recalled to active service at the request of his friend, Winston Churchill. This proved to be short-lived, as Q-Ships were seen as weapons of the past and in the absence of any notable new successes to support the project, it was soon abandoned. Campbell was however content to serve as a Commander and Resident Naval Officer at Padstow, in charge of anti-invasion measures, until 1943 when his health once more deteriorated. Retiring for a second time, he returned to his writing as his constitution weakened in the following years. He died at Isleworth, Middlesex, on 3 October 1953, and was buried in All Saint's Churchyard, in Crondall, Hampshire. His passing was widely lamented and the Portsmouth Evening News of 6 October 1953 proclaimed: 'for cold courage his exploits against German U-boats may be occasionally equalled, but never exceeded.' Campbell is recognised as the greatest of all Q-Ship commanders, with three enemy submarines sinkings to his name (and another damaged), and he was the recipient of multiple gallantry awards. His medal group was inherited by his son, Father David Campbell, who placed it on loan into the care of Gordon Campbell's school Dulwich College, to whom the Vice Admiral had already personally presented the binnacle from one of his Q-Ships. A portrait was commissioned by the College, where it hangs alongside those of other former alumni who have received the Victoria Cross including that of the Vice Admiral's nephew Colonel Lorne Campbell of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, whose V.C. was won in North Africa in 1943. Provenance: Father David Campbell bequeathed his father's medals to The Fellowship of St John (UK) Trust Association, an Anglican charity working in education and mission. The entire sale proceeds will be used to support projects all over the world with which the Fellowship is involved.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2017-11-23
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[ Coins ] Early Quarter Eagles 1796 $2 1/2 Stars MS65 NGC

[ Coins ] Early Quarter Eagles 1796 $2 1/2 Stars MS65 NGC. Breen-6114 Bass-3003, BD-3, R.5. BD Die State b. This is the only Gem quality 1796 With Stars quarter eagle certified. The next finest examples grade MS63, and the population goes downward from there. NGC and PCGS have combined to grade just 14 pieces in all Mint State grades, and that total undoubtedly includes several resubmissions. There are certainly less than 10 true Mint State examples of this issue still in existence today. In all grades, the total estimated population is only 40 to 45 coins from a mintage generally believed to be 432 coins. Historical Commentary The Mint Act of 1792 authorized all of the gold and silver coins that would eventually be struck by the young Philadelphia Mint. After property was acquired, construction of the actual buildings was completed, and all was ready to produced the Nation's first coinage, copper, silver, and gold. Despite completion of the physical components and acquisition of the necessary equipment, coinage of gold and silver could still not be accomplished as the bonding requirement for key employees was too strict. These employees were unable to meet the original requirement of $10,000 bond to insure against possible loss. Rittenhouse approached Congress with a request to reduce this amount, which they eventually did. The new requirement was $5,000 bond, a more reasonable figure for the time. It was understood that steps would be put in place for these bonded employees to only have access to a limited amount of gold and silver at any one time, further reducing the risk to the government. Finally, all was set for production of precious metals coinage. Silver dollars and half dollars were coined for the first time late in 1794, followed by other silver denominations. Half eagles and eagles came next, with the first gold coins struck in July 1795, and finally the quarter

  • USAUSA
  • 2007-01-05
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[ Coins ] Patterns 1879 $20 Liberty Head Quintuple Stella

[ Coins ] Patterns 1879 $20 Liberty Head Quintuple Stella, Judd-1643, Pollock-1843, Low R.7, PR62 PCGS. The obverse has the Liberty Head from the regular issue double eagle, although it does not appear to be the Type Three hub used for regular issue pieces. The standard diagonal die line from the hair to the left side of Y is not present, as it is on all regular issue pieces of the third design. The legend is a variation of the legend on the four dollar stella: * 30 * G * 1.5 * S * 3.5 * C * 35* G * R * A * M * S *. The date is below the bust and the initials J.B.L. are located on the bust truncation. The reverse is similar to the regular issue piece with an eagle and shield design, the legend E PLURIBUS UNUM on the scroll work to the left and right. Around, the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and below, the denomination TWENTY DOLLARS. An oval of stars and a glory of rays above the eagle contain the motto DEO EST GLORIA. It is this motto that is different from the regular design. Struck in gold with a reeded edge. Even the casual numismatist or collector is aware of the international experiment that is represented by the four dollar gold stella coinage. Although those pieces are patterns, they have been listed in the Guide Book since its first publication in 1946, and they are considered by some to be regular issue gold coins. Not nearly so well known are these quintuple stellas, the 20-dollar version of the same coinage issue. Just five of these pieces are known in gold, along with 10 to 12 examples struck in copper. Among the five examples in gold are this piece, and another that is permanently part of the Smithsonian Institution holdings. The following pedigree is provided by Saul Teichman and USPatterns.com: 1. PR62 PCGS. The example offered here. U.S. Mint; Dr. William Wheeler Hubbell; J.W. Haseltine (11/1881 , lot 1490; Hebbeard Collection (H.P. Smith,

  • USAUSA
  • 2007-01-04
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[ COINS ] Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles 1921 $20 MS65 PCGS

[ COINS ] Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles 1921 $20 MS65 PCGS. The absolute and condition rarity of the 1921 double eagle is beyond question in the minds of specialists in this series. An AU example is enough to raise the eyebrows of collectors, and most Uncirculated pieces are tightly held in major collections. The question of how this coin compares to the above MS66 is inevitable. The fact is, there is very little difference in the technical preservation or mint luster between the two pieces. This MS65 shows three tiny marks: one short abrasion below Liberty's right (facing) elbow, and two barely perceptible planchet flakes above the 21 in the date. The mint luster and color on this coin is nothing short of fabulous. Like the MS66 above, it also possesses a softly frosted finish. However, it is brighter and even more vibrant than the MS66 because it lacks the reddish color and pale alloy spots that are seen on the MS66. Like the MS66, this coin has the same curious mixture of green-gold and orange- gold coloration, but the reverse has a pronounced intermingling of both colors with the greenish-lilac color quite evident. The striking details are exceptionally strong, and unlike the MS66, there is no trace of weakness on the eagle's breast feathers. While attempting to trace the pedigree of these coins, it became apparent that the coin that was labeled as the George Godard piece in Stack's session of Auction '82, and later in Superior's Premier Sale from January 1984, has not found its way into an MS65 holder. Only one MS65 and one MS66 coin have been certified by the major services, and both are in the collection of Phillip Morse. The interpretation we give to this is that George Godard gave the better of the two coins he received from Dr. Comparette to Senator Hall, and Godard's piece (if it is indeed in a holder) is a less-than-Gem example. The offering of these two pieces at public auction represents a unique opportunity for the specialist to compare and contrast the finest two coins certified, weigh each on their relative merits, and bid accordingly. Surely the pairing of these 1921 double eagles will not be duplicated again in our lifetime, and if there was ever a time for the specialist to stretch, this is it With the aid of Dr. Stephen Duckor, we have been able to tentatively reconstruct this coin's pedigree as: Ex: Dr. Thomas Louis Comparette; George Godard; Senator Hall; Louis Eliasberg; Eliasberg Collection ( Bowers and Ruddy, 10/82), lot 1052; Dr. Stephen Duckor; Jay Parrino ( 1990). From The Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage. #9172)(Registry values: N14284)

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-11-04
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[ Numismatic Coins ] 61 NGC 6851 1794 S$1 1794 $1 MS61 NGC

[ Numismatic Coins ] 61 NGC 6851 1794 S$1 1794 $1 MS61 NGC. Bass Collection. The late Jack Collins made a special study of 1794 dollars and traced their pedigrees for many years. Jack was a classic example of a perfectionist. The non-publication of his manuscript also illustrates the bind many numismatic authors find themselves in: should the writer publish before the last word has been spoken or written on the subject, or should he go ahead and publish, knowing that others will revise or correct his work at a later date? We tend to believe the latter should be the case, as we view the addition and diffusion of knowledge as an ongoing process. Jack's manuscript had a lengthy introduction that traced the development of the dollar (thaler from the time of Archduke Sigismund in 1477 to the first United States silver dollars of 1794. In the introduction, he acknowledges the importance of the ounce-sized silver coins over the centuries: Unlike smaller coins, circulating thalers and dollars of the world became public relations items, to spread laudatory propaganda about the ruling families who ordered them made and issued, to publicize events these families believed important enough to record for coming generations, and to disperse these images worldwide. And so it was with the 1794 dollar in the United States. All early coins, but especially the dollars and gold coins were seen as ambassadors of the fledgling United States. Their weight and fineness had to be beyond reproach (thus the adjustment marks often seen), and the designs had to send the correct image abroad (thus the short-lived Chain cent with its chain on the reverse a bad omen for liberty). The head of Liberty on the 1794 dollar closely follows that on the 1794 cents, also engraved by Robert Scot, a former bank note engraver. The planchets were made in part from the Bank of Maryland's bullion deposit of July 18, of 94,532 ounces of French minor coins containing 69,692.4 ounces of lower fineness silver that had to be brought up to 900 fineness. Much has been written about the legal fineness of these and other early silver coins, i.e., 1,485/1,664 silver and 179/1,664 copper. We urge anyone who is interested in this subject to read the introductory remarks in Breen's Encyclopedia for a more detailed discussion. In addition to Engraver Robert Scot, there are several other people who were instrumental in the production of the 1794 dollar. The one person who was most instrumental in their striking was undoubtedly David Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse was a true Renaissance man whose life and interests encompassed being a clockmaker, instrument maker, mathematician, surveyor, astronomer, legislator, and foremost scientist of the day (only Jefferson and Franklin came anywhere close) And all these accomplishments preceded his appointment as first Director of the Mint. As much as anyone, Rittenhouse deserves the title Father of the 1794 Dollar: he provided the bullion, determined the fineness, supervised the production, and distributed all the specimens struck. Adam Eckfeldt was also an important person in the cast of characters responsible for the 1794 dollars. He satisfactorily rolled the planchet strips, cut and prepared the blanks, hardened the dies, and fitted the press to strike the coins. Additionally, Henry Voigt was Chief Coiner, and Albion Cox was the Assayer in the early years of the first U.S. Mint. The weakness of strike on 1794 dollars is well known. On most examples, the first few stars and the date are weakly impressed on the obverse, while on the reverse UNITED and STATES are usually softly defined. This is in part because 1794 dollars were struck on a press meant for smaller coins (cents, half dollars, and eagles), and in part because the dies slipped out of alignment (which is why these coins are weak on the left portions of each side). This was first noticed shortly after the coins were released. In the December 2, 1794 edition of the New Hampshire Gazette the editor favorably critiqued the new coins, but concluded by stating, The tout ensemble has a pleasing effect to a connoisseur; but the touches of the graver are too delicate, and there is a want of that boldness of execution which is necessary to durability and currency. The editor understandably confused misalignment of the dies with shallowness of engraving. This weakness of strike was apparently well known even in 1794, as one 1795 dollar (a Bolender-4) is known to have been struck over a 1794 dollar. It is possible that Breen was correct in his assumption that more than 1,758 dollars were struck in 1794. He speculated that as many as 2,000 may have been struck, with the other 242 coins used as planchets in the following year. However, to date only one such coin has surfaced. Only a small number of 1794 dollars are known today with strong definition on the left portion of each side. This is such a coin. While the stars on the left side of the obverse do not show the completeness of those on the right, the comparison of this coin to most other 1794s is unfair. The stars on the left side lack complete radials, but all are fully outlined, as is the date and UNITED STATES. This strength carries over onto the figure of Liberty, which shows fine definition on the hair curls. The eagle's breast lacks complete definition, but we must emphasize that this slight softness has nothing to do with die misalignment. The surfaces are covered with pleasing gray toning that is lighter in the centers and somewhat deeper in hue toward the rims. Approximately 8% of the mintage of 1794 dollars survives today, about double the survival rate of 1795 dollars. To quote Jack Collins again, Not that the recipients treated their 1794s with due respect; over 10% of survivors were initialed, engraved, with names, or counterstamped; many of these were later repaired by burnishing--a cure worse than the disease. At least six--nearly 5% of the survivors--were holed and plugged. This particular coin shows none of those often-seen problems. There are no noticeable adjustment marks on either side. There is a bit of planchet roughness around stars 1 and 2, which can be used as a pedigree identifier in addition to the strong strike. Listed as Specimen Number 6 on the Condition Census as compiled by Martin Logies in The Flowing Hair Silver Dollars of 1794. Ex: Murdoch Collection (Spink & Son, July 1903), lot 835, where it brought 48 pounds or approximately $230; George H. Earle (Henry Chapman, 1912), lot 2667, where it realized $620; Colonel James W. Ellsworth, Wayte Raymond, and John Work Garrett (via private treaty in 1923, through Knoedler & Co.); William Cutler Atwater Collection (B. Max Mehl, 1946), lot 185; Dr. Charles A. Cass, Empire Collection (Stack's, 1957), lot 1678; unknown intermediary; Gibson-Groves Sale (Stack's, 1974), lot 75; Julian Leidman and Mike Brownlee to Harry Bass, Jr.; Bass I (Bowers and Merena, 5/99), lot 2021.

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-06-03
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[ Coins ] Territorial Gold 1855 $50 Kellogg & Co

[ Coins ] Territorial Gold 1855 $50 Kellogg & Co. Fifty Dollar PR64 PCGS. K-4, Breen-7921, High R.6. This is a remarkable example with extraordinary greenish-gold surfaces. Both sides have deeply mirrored fields with hints of satiny mint frost on the devices. All of the design elements on each side are especially sharp, including the hair details and stars on the obverse, and the feather and claw details on the reverse. A few faint hairlines and tiny contact marks are evident on each side, keeping this specimen out of the Gem grade level. A tiny planchet flake next to the right center of the final 5 in the date provides pedigree identification. Of all 13 pieces currently recorded, this example and the Garrett specimen have each been certified as PR64 by PCGS, and these two coins are the finest known examples. The obverse features a central motif of Liberty wearing a coronet, virtually identical to the U.S. double eagles of the time, except the coronet is inscribed KELLOGG & CO. rather than LIBERTY as on the federal issues. Around the circumference are placed 13 evenly spaced six-point stars, with 1855 below the bust. Frederick Gruner prepared the dies and he signed the obverse F. GRUNER on Liberty's bust truncation. The first 5 in the date is recut, as are stars 4, 6, and 10. Each of the 13 individual stars on the obverse were made by repeated punches from a single diamond-shaped punch. Not only is proof surface seen between the individual elements, but that space is on the same plane as the surrounding field. Equally important, the amount of field space between each element is variable from one star to the next The reverse design has an eagle and shield motif at the center, with a blank ribbon in its beak. The claws grasp a branch and three arrows, supporting a shield. The eagle is standing on a base that appears to be a field of grass. In the field above the eagle is a scroll

  • USAUSA
  • 2007-01-05
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Silver dollar, 1893-s, pcgs ms 65 cac

A stunning example. A full, remarkably sharp strike in every respect: the hairs over Libertys ear are well-delineated, and the eagles feathers are full; the beading is crisp and distinct. Struck from dies so fresh that the mint engravers original die polish striae can be seen under magnification. Apart from a faint pair of lines in front of Libertys profile, both the obverse and reverse fields and devices are effectively unblemished, even under significant magnification. A thin obverse die crack runs from the first U of UNUM through the first three stars on the obverse; on the reverse a similarly thin crack extends from the second T in STATES to the C of AMERICA. There is a halo of faint golden tone at the peripheries, but most noticeable on the obverse. The entire coin exhibits a lovely soft, satiny cream tone, with small clouds of blue in the obverse fields. A virtually un-improvable gem of the first water. ONE OF THE FINEST KNOWN EXAMPLES OF THE CLASSIC MORGAN DOLLAR RARITY. The 1893-S Morgan dollar is by virtue of its mintage, 100,000, the rarest regular issue coin in the series. It is undoubtedly the key to the Morgan dollar series, and is the one date that in high grade seems to elude even some of the best current registry sets. For example, of the current top ten PCGS registry sets, the finest two examples are graded MS 63 (and none of the other six enumerated on the website are above AU condition). It is one of only two Morgan dollars included in Jeff Garrett and Ron Guths, 100 Greatest U.S. Coins, 2008 (number 38). The full provenance of this coin is as yet unknown. It appears that its only appearance at auction was as part of the Antelope Valley Silver Dollar Collection (Bowers and Merena, 7-8 January 1993, lot 128). The collection was consigned to sale through the offices of Barry Stuppler of the Gold and Silver Emporium, Encino, California, sole representative of the owner (p.24). In mid-1992 John Highfills Encyclopedia described the Elliot Goodman Morgan Dollar Collection, which was begun in August 1990. It was assembled [u]nder the instructions of Antelope Valley Newspapers Inc. by Elliot Goodman, of Allstate Coin Co., Tuscon, Arizona. The aim was to assemble the worlds finest collection of Morgan dollars. The listing that followed (pp. 308-309) indicates that many of the goals were met, for the collection contained any number of extraordinary and finest known examples. A comparison of the listing in Highfill to the coins in the auction catalogue leaves no doubt that they were the same. However, the original listing in Highfill only cites an MS 63 example of the 1893-S. The sale catalogue, however, notes specifically that the appearance of two mint state 1893-S dollars in one collection was then unprecedented. This coin, therefore, must have entered the collection shortly before being consigned for sale. However, the catalogue description provided no information as to its prior ownership, and its characteristics do not match any of the descriptions of the superb examples provided by Wayne Miller (pp. 139-140). There have been few appearances of PCGS MS 65 examples of this classic rarity. Since this example was sold in 1993, the PCGS auction data indicate that there have been only two appearances of comparably graded examples. The Amon Carter example appeared in March 1995 in the Heritage Early Spring ANA sale, lot 5688 ($154,000), and most recently, the Eliasberg example (sold uncertified April, 1997, lot 2294 [$198,000]) was most recently sold by Legend Rare Coin Auctions, October, 2014, lot 290 (PCGS MS 65 CAC [$646,250]; according to the PCGS auction data the highest price on record). The most recent appearance of a mint state example was in January 2018 (PCGS MS 61 Secure, non CAC certified, $204,000 [Heritage]). Certificate number: 3147212 (Generation 3 holder). At the time it was certified PCGS had graded only three MS 65 examples of the date, and one finer (MS 67); the current census is five comparable examples, and a single example finer (MS 67). CAC has certified two examples at this grade, and a single MS 67. (02-18)

  • USAUSA
  • 2018-05-21
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Silver dollar, 1884-s, pcgs ms 67 cac

An absolutely spectacular coin. The strike is sharp, with rich detail evident on both sides from the centers to the borders. Fully lustrous, with splendid cartwheel effect. A vibrant coin, overlaid with a lovely light, creamy gold hue, which deepens subtly toward the area near the date. The surfaces are nearly perfect and unblemished regardless of how the light plays on them. An extraordinary coin in every sense. FORMERLY IN THE JACK LEE COLLECTION Although the 1884-S had a healthy mint run and 3,200,000 were produced, most appear to have found their way into circulation and the survival of mint state examples is low. Wayne Miller ranked the date as rarity 10 (of 12) in grades of MS 60, and at rarity 11 in MS 65. The most famous 1884-S is that which graced the George Bodway collection and was part of the PCGS Tour (see Highfill, 2017, p. 1233 for an illustration). In 1994, along with the entire Bodway collection, it was sold to Jack Lee, who amassed what is universally acknowledged as the finest collection of Morgan silver dollars ever assembled. The present coin has only recently been published in the new edition of Highfill (2017) as having been Jack Lee's finest example prior to his acquisition of the Bodway specimen. According to Lee's own listing (p. 482) it was the finest known example as of June 18, 1992. His own listing indicates that at that time he also owned yet another example graded PCGS MS 65 (ex-John Highfill and noted by Lee as the second finest known). This piece appears to have been acquired for this collection from Jefferson Coin and Bullion probably between 1994 and 1995. Graded by PCGS as MS 67 it is unique at the grade, with only the Bodway-Lee coin exceeding it in grade. The third finest example is a single PCGS MS 65 (possibly the Highfill-Lee coin noted above). PCGS records eleven examples as MS 64. NGC has graded a single coin as MS 66 and nothing finer. CAC has had two hundred and ninety-five submissions of the date, and has certified six examples as MS 64 nothing finer, except this coin, which is, again, unique at the grade. The combined auction data of PCGS and NGC record the highest graded and certified examples appearing at public sale being an NGC MS 65 (in an NGC 17 holder [circa 2004-2008]) which was sold at Heritage, January 2009, for $149,500; and a PCGS MS 64 Secure [CAC] (in a Generation 4.4 holder [circa 2010-2011]) by Legend Rare Coin Auctions, October 2014 for $164,500 [the record price for the date]). NOTHING APPROACHING THE CERTIFIED GRADE OF THE PRESENTLY OFFERED EXAMPLE IS RECORDED AS HAVING EVER APPEARED AT PUBLIC AUCTION. THIS IS THE SINGLE FINEST EXAMPLE CERTIFIED BY CAC. Certificate number: 4069761 (Generation 3.1 holder). PCGS cites one example at MS 65; one (this coin) at MS 67; and one finer (MS 68); the finest single example listed by NGC is graded MS 66. CAC records this coin as the finest it has certified, nothing else finer than MS 64 is cited. (02-18)

  • USAUSA
  • 2018-05-21
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[ Half Eagles ] [ COINS ] 67 PCGS 8421 1835 $5 1835 $5 PR67 PCGS

[ Half Eagles ] [ COINS ] 67 PCGS 8421 1835 $5 1835 $5 PR67 PCGS. Ex Pittman. Breen-6506, Third Head, McCloskey 2-C, R.7. Congress passed the Mint Act of June 28, 1834 in order to reduce the weight of all gold coins. The results were predictable with some estimates as high as 99+% of the old tenor gold coinage melted and turned into the new Kneass designed Classic gold of lower weight. This, of course, explains why pre-1834 gold coins are so rare in spite of their often- substantial mintages. But what is less understood is the scarcity of high grade Classic gold. In short, these pieces were victims of their own success. They were so popular with the public that they are generally not located above the Fine-XF grade levels. Even problem- free AU coins are difficult to locate, and Mint State pieces are very challenging for the advanced collector. Proofs are extremely rare and only offered when a major collection is dispersed. This coin is a good case in point. Only seven collectors have owned this proof since 1890. The Classic half eagle series is just beginning to be studied by die variety. This is somewhat surprising as each working obverse die required no less than 17 design elements (13 stars and the date) to be added by hand, plus 80-odd blows from a twin-pellet punch to make the border. The reverse dies were even more complicated with 22 letters and the numeral 5, plus the border, and the eagle punch. It is no wonder Mint personnel welcomed the next design (in 1839) whose entirety could be hubbed except for the date and mintmark. The Classic series is ripe for numismatic study, and what research that has been done to date indicates that the McCloskey 2-C variety is one of the rarest of the 33 varieties known in the entire series. There are eight different varieties for 1835 and only a few business strikes are known of the 2-C variant. The most easily recognizable characteristic of this variety is that the lowest leaf in the top pair of leaves on the olive branch nearly touches the left side of the U in UNITED. Additionally, the eagle has no tongue, there is no berry on the branch small arrowheads, the letters in LIBERTY are recut, the B is much lower than the I, there is a large 1 and a block 8 in the date, and slender leaves on the olive branch. Only three proofs are known of the 1835 and each is struck from the 2-C die pairing. Of the three specimens known, at one time John Pittman owned two of them with the third permanently residing in the Smithsonian. The fields are deeply mirrored and close examination shows a few light die striations that imparted the proof finish. Several guide lines can be seen in the area of the date, and there is a tiny lint mark in the right obverse field out from stars 11 and 12 and another on the reverse above the eagle's beak. Fully and completely struck on both sides, every nuance of detail is present on this amazing coin. There are few other defects present, just a few very light hairlines, but these are so light that they are not visible without a magnifier. In addition to being fully struck, the devices are also noticeably frosted giving the coin a pleasing contrast against the illimitable depth of reflectivity in the fields. This is another extremely rare opportunity to acquire a coin that most numismatists have never seen.Ex: Lorin G. Parmelee (New York Coin & Stamp Co., 6/25/1890), lot 1045; William H. Woodin; Waldo Newcomer; World's Greatest Collection (Kosoff), lot 385; Memorable ( Kosoff, 3/1/48), lot 334; Pittman I (Akers, 10/97), lot 937, where it brought $308,000.From The Gold Rush Collection.

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-01-13
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[ Colonials ] [ COINS ] 40 NGC 491 1742 DBLN Brasher Lima...

[ Colonials ] [ COINS ] 40 NGC 491 1742 DBLN Brasher Lima Doubloon 1742 DBLN Brasher Lima Style Doubloon. XF40 NGC. Lots 30011 through represent what is almost certainly the ultimate collection of coins related to Ephraim Brasher, the New York city gold and silversmith. Included are two colonial copper coins produced by John Bailey and punchlinked to the Brasher Doubloons, two gold coins from Brazil that each have an EB counterstamp, the important 1742-dated Lima Style Brasher Doubloon, the famous 1787 New York Style Brasher Doubloon with EB punched on the eagle's wing, and the unique 1787 New York Style Brasher Doubloon with EB punched on the eagle's breast. Perhaps the single most important entry into the history of the Brasher Doubloon ( specifically the Lima Style Doubloon), was published in the ANS Coinage of the Americas Conference series. Ephraim Brasher's 1786 Lima Style Doubloon was presented by Michael Hodder at the 1991 conference, and was published by the ANS in 1992 as part of Money of Pre-Federal America, edited by John M. Kleeberg. Walter Breen su ggested that the Lima Style Doubloons were produced after the New York Style pieces. In his Complete Encyclopedia, Breen noted: Most likely their unfamiliar design the New York Style Doubloons met with resistance, so that Brasher substituted another design, imitating the then common Philip V Lima Doubloons; he hallmarked these similarly. This statement would probably still be taken as the truth except for the report of Michael Hodder who noted that the EB punch appearing on the Lima Style Doubloons is in an earlier die state, meaning they had to be struck first. Regarding the Lima Style Doubloon, Hodder (p. 128) noted: Another gold coin type which bears an 'EB' counterstamp has been known for nearly a century, the so-called 'Lima Style' Doubloon. Apart from a few auction catalogue descriptions of indifferent usefulness, and a report by the American Numismatic Society published in 1915, even less of value has been written about this putative Brasher product. Today, a seemingly more impenetrable aura of mystery surrounds the Lima Style Doubloon than the more familiar New York Style type. It has attracted none of the public attention that has fastened upon the latter, and among serious collectors of early American coins little is known or understood about it. It has been proven that the Lima Style Doubloon is a genuine product of Ephraim Brasher, from his shop in New York. Hodder (p. 149) noted: The weights of the two known Lima Style Doubloons are essentially identical to the required weight of a Spanish colonial 8 Escudos piece called for by the Bank of New York and the New York City Chamber of Commerce in a notice dated 1786. An elemental analysis of a Lima Style Doubloon, two New York Style Doubloons, and the Smithsonian Doubloon was compared to a similar analysis of three 8 Escudos pieces from the mid-1740s. It is clear from analysis of the data, recorded by Hodder on page 143, that the Lima Style Doubloon and the New York Style pieces were virtually identical, and these pieces were considerably different than the prototype pieces, being the Spanish colonial gold coins of the 1740s. Also tested was a later date United States half eagle. All of the Brasher pieces had a similar alloy of approximately 6% silver and 3% copper, while the early 8 Escudos pieces were approximately 8% silver and 2% copper. The later date half eagle had approximately 2% silver and 8% copper. It can be concluded that the source of gold for the Brasher Doubloons was not earlier Spanish coinage, precluding the overstrike theory that has been discussed by some, and it was also not later United States gold, ruling out the possibility that they were productions of a later date. The source of gold was not standard U.S. gold or unrefined Spanish colonial gold, as Hodder pointed out. As Brasher was seeking a coinage contract from the State of New York, and as he produced the New York Style Doubloons as examples of his work, perhaps the Lima Style Doubloons represented a pattern coinage issue. As a neighbor and associate of George Washington, it is almost certain the two gentlemen discussed a State coinage, or perhaps even a National coinage. Perhaps Brasher quickly prepared dies and struck a few of these Lima Style Doubloons as samples of his work without regard to the actual coinage design. In the absence of original written documentation, we will not know for sure, but this pattern theory seems likely. Another possibility came from B.G. Johnson of the St. Louis Stamp and Coin Company, who wrote to B. Max Mehl prior to the sale of the Ten Eyck coin: The Brasher Doubloon arrived today, and I have looked it over carefully, and have no hesitancy whatever in pronouncing it genuine and of that period. It was quite likely struck for the West Indian trade. In those days, sugar, rum, etc. being imported from the West Indies and generally paid for in Spanish or Portuguese gold. In all probability there was a shortage of this gold of regular coinage, and these pieces were struck to make up the deficiency. I would guess that the piece was struck before the other Doubloon, probably at the very close of the Revolution. It is an extremely interesting coin, and by rights should be included in the American private gold series. There can have been no other object in striking this coin in good gold except for to circulate as a medium of exchange. Brasher was a goldsmith, and probably struck these off for his customers when he could not supply them with Doubloons. Goldsmiths in those days operated to a certain extent as bankers and as money changers. Johnson was correct that these were struck before the New York Style Doubloons, and suggested that they were specifically produced as trade pieces in exchange for the import of goods. Perhaps the Lima Style Doubloons were the original American trade coins, long before the trade dollars of the 1870s. Certainly, these Lima Style Doubloons should be considered part of the American colonial series, and also part of the private gold series, desirable to two different classes of collectors today.Obverse and reverse design Obverse: Two pillars with fleur-de-lis above and waves below, divided by two vertical lines into nine sections with L 8 V above, P V A central, and 7 4 2 below. All is enclosed in a beaded border with BRASHER in small letters between bottom beads and waves. Lettering around is absent on this example, the outer portions clipped or filed away. Although not visible on this specimen, the obverse legend reads: o PHILIP o V o D o G o H o REX ANO 1786. Between G and H are small letters NY, identifying Brasher's place of residence. Reverse: A Jerusalem cross divides the die into four quadrants. Rough engraved castles appear in the northwest and southeast quadrants, lions in the opposing quadrants EB hallmark of Ephraim Brasher appears at the center of the cross. As the hal

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-01-13
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[ Four Dollar Gold Pieces ] [ COINS ] 67 NGC 88058 1879 $4 1879 $4 Coiled Hair

[ Four Dollar Gold Pieces ] [ COINS ] 67 NGC 88058 1879 $4 1879 $4 Coiled Hair, Judd-1638, Pollock-1838, R.6. PR67 Cameo NGC. The Morgan Design. Reeded Edge. One of the very finest known of this ever popular and elusive issue. The surfaces are very bright and reflective in the fields, while the devices are thick with frost. For the collector, the quality of the coin is always a paramount issue, and this particular specimen is simply stunning for the quality and for the excellent contrast. Examination with a 10X loupe finds little evidence of handling, and anything noted is extremely faint. There is a very thin broken scratch hidden in Liberty's hair behind her temple which runs horizontal to the right and ends above Liberty's ear. Another extremely faint line extends down the back of Liberty's head right of her ear and can only be seen at certain angles and with a strong loupe and light. The fields and balance of the obverse are essentially the quality as the day they were coined. We note a minute planchet flake in the field between the serif of the G and Liberty's mouth, and a very short lint mark in the field betwee n her bun and the A close to the rim. Morgan might have hand cut the letters of LIBERTY in the crown, as they are awkward in appearance and we suspect no die punches would be available that would both decrease in size in a uniform fashion as well as shrink toward the right side on each letter, fitting the angular shape of Liberty's crown. This particular coin shows this feature clearly as the coin has a sharp strike and none of the striation lines seen on the other specimen in this sale from this same die pairing. Numerous minor repunchings are seen on the obverse inscription, notably the central serif of the 3, the first S, the serif of both 7s, the A and stars eleven and twelve. The reverse shows the post of the D well above the final placement, and this repunched feature is present on all Stellas, as they were struck with the same reverse die. One very short lint mark is found on the reverse which hangs down from the O in GLORIA down to the lower right. The star dentils are sharp on this particular coin, including those on the lower arms, an area which is often found poorly struck on these coins. The combined NGC and PCGS population reports show a total of five coins graded this high, although the one PCGS coin is not a Cameo. The other four NGC coins (including the present coin) are all Cameo examples. No Ultra Cameo coins have been graded by NGC and no Deep Cameo coins have been graded by PCGS of this issue. One can only conclude that the present specimen is tied for the finest seen with three other coins of this enormously popular issue. The following is the census of this issue by Mark Borckardt.1.Garrett Specimen. Choice Brilliant Proof. Ex: Bangs & Co., 1/6/1882; John Work Garrett; John Hopkins University; Bowers and Ruddy 11/1979: 431 $115,000; Auction '80: 385 $175,000; Superior, 5/1987: 2444 $165,000. Identifiable by: The obverse has a spot above the 8 and others inside the loops of this digit. Other spots are in front of the neck and between star 1 and the dentils. There is also a toning spot in the hair below Y of LIBERTY. The reverse has a spot inside the dentils between F and A. There is a spot on the top right serif of the second L in STELLA.2. Neil Specimen Gem Brilliant Proof. B. Max Mehl, 6/1947: 2603 sold as part of a set for $3,850; Grant Pierce; Stack's, 8/1976: 2920 sold as part of a set for $225,000. Identified by a spot midway between the 9 and the bust truncation, left of center over the 9.3. Kern Specimen. Gem Brilliant Proof. Ex: B. Max Mehl, 1950: 243 sold as part of a set for $4,100; Amon Carter, Sr.; Amon Carter, Jr.; Stack's, 1/1984: 632 $88,000. The plate in the Carter catalog suggests a very minor toning spot on the obverse rim below the right side of the 8. Otherwise, no pedigree markers are apparent.4. DiBello Specimen. Brilliant Proof. Stack's, 5/1970: 796. The plate suggests a small spot attached to the side of the star above E in ONE. This may be a printing defect and not a spot on the coin. The obverse appears to have a small spot between the hair and C. A faint toning area appears over the left side of the 9.5. Champa Specimen. Proof-63 (NGC). Bowers and Ruddy, 5/1972: 521 $29,000 Sotheby's, 9/1982: 250 $61,600; Stack's, 10/27/1983: 57 $74,800; Bowers and Merena 8/1995: 307 $137,500; Heritage 9/1998: 7105. The obverse has several small spots including: between star 1 and the rim, in the field right of the junction of the hair and neck, and two others right of the hair and bun. A small lint mark, resembling the numeral 6, is located behind the hair bun below R. The reverse has a spot just inside the dentils at 4:30 and others at the base of D and L in DOL. (This coin is offered in the present sale as a separate lot).6 Trompeter Specimen. Gem Brilliant Proof. Superior, 10/1974: 133 $105, 000; Stack's, 6/1978: 828 $90,000; Ed Trompeter Collection; Superior, 2/1992: 134 $198,000; Stack's, 10/1995: 1547 $220,000. The obverse has a minute spot below the right foot of M. The reverse has a vertical line-like impairment from the edge of the star over D of DOL.7.The Present Specimen, Western Collection Specimen. Gem Brilliant Proof. Stack's, 12/1981: 1137 $80,000. The obverse has a spot between the eye and 3. The reverse has small spots over the star and beneath N and M of UNUM.8. Eliasberg Specimen. Proof-67. Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Louis E. Eliasberg, Jr.; Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982: 317 $101,750; Superior, 1/1985: 1766 $95,000; Superior 10/1991: 3389 The obverse has a spot just above the hair below star 6. The reverse has a spot on the rim below U of FOUR and another on the star between the E of ONE and first L of STELLA.9. Memorable Specimen. Proof-65 (PCGS). Numismatic Gallery, Memorable Collection (J.F. Bell), 3/1948: 280; Bowers and Merena, 7/28/1997: 359 $231,000; Spectrum Numismatics. Illustrated in Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins 1722-1989. The obverse has a spot centered vertically below star 1, another between the digit 6 and throat but closer to the throat, and below the left side of G in GRAMS. The reverse has a spot at the dentil tips below the left edge of O in DOL.10. Smithsonian Specimen. National Numismatic Collection, Smithsonian Institution.11. Lilly Specimen. Smithsonian Institution.12. Texas Specimen. Dr. Wilkison Collection; Texas Collection.13. Stack's Specimen. Stack's FPL Summer 1997 offered as part of a four piece set for $875,000 The obverse has an oblong spot between star 2 and the rim. From The Gold Rush Collection.

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-01-13
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[ Numismatic Coins ] 64 PCGS 6226 1838-O O 50C 1838-O 50C Capped Bust

[ Numismatic Coins ] 64 PCGS 6226 1838-O O 50C 1838-O 50C Capped Bust, Reeded Edge. PR64 BM PCGS. The BM designation is for Branch Mint, signifying that PCGS recognizes this coin as a Proof strike. This half dollar issue ranks among the most famous of all American coinage rarities. The inclusion of an example in a collection enshrines the owner among the ranks of American numismatics. The New Orleans Mint was established by legislation dated March 3, 1835, along with two other branch mints, in Charlotte, North Carolina and Dahlonega, Georgia. The original Mint Act specified: That branches of the mint of the United States shall be established as follows: one branch at the city of New Orleans for the coinage of gold and silver; one branch at the town of Charlotte, in Mecklinburg county, in the state of North Carolina, for the coinage of gold only; and one branch at or near Dahlonega, in Lumpkin county, in the state of Georgia, also for the coinage of gold only. And for the purpose of purchasing sites, erecting suitable buildings, and completing the necessary combinations of machinery for the several branches aforesaid, the following sums, to be paid out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated shall be, and hereby are, appropriated: for the branch at New Orleans the sum of two hundred thousand dollars; for the branch at Charlotte, fifty thousand dollars; for the branch at Dahlonega, fifty thousand dollars. The legislation further stipulated that the Superintendent of the New Orleans Mint was to receive a salary of $2,500 while those of Charlotte and Dahlonega would receive a salary of just $2,000. It was likely assumed that the New Orleans Mint, which was to produce both silver and gold coinage, would have considerably more business to conduct. Based on appropriations for construction, the New Orleans building was expected to be larger in physical size as well. It was not until 1838 that the New Orleans Mint was actually ready for operations. The first coins produced were dimes, with only a handful of pieces produced before the small press broke. After another run of a few thousand coins, this press broke again, and it was not until July that the next mintage of dimes was accomplished. It is generally considered the case that half dimes and dimes were the only coins actually struck in New Orleans during the year, although the half dimes may not have been struck until 1839. Although two pairs of dies were received in New Orleans during the year, it was not until early 1839 that the 1838-O half dollars were actually minted. These coins were probably struck in the first quarter of the new year. Walter Breen has suggested that they were coined in January while R.W. Julian believes that they were not minted until March. Production of 1838-O half dollars was limited to approximately 20 coins. There is 19th century evidence of the total production. In June 1894, the Friesner Collection specimen was accompanied by a note that stated Rufus Tyler, Coiner of the New Orleans branch mint struck not more than 20 pieces. A decade earlier, Edouard Frossard, cataloger of the Friesner Collection, stated in the catalog of his own collection that the 1838- O half dollars were actually struck in Philadelphia as die trials. More recently, additional references have come to light that suggest these coins were produced as press trials to make sure the larger coining press was operating properly. New half dollar dies dated 1839 were received in New Orleans, and the assumption has been made that Rufus Tyler used the earlier dated dies to test the new press, for fear of breaking the dies bearing the 1839 date. Coinage of the 1839-O half dollars began in early April, thus accounting for Julian's belief that the 1838-O half dollars were coined in March 1839. It is known that the 1838-O obverse dies were defaced in June 1839, limiting the time of production to no later than that month. The 1838-O Half Dollar was coined at or near the date on the coin, thus it is comparable to such rarities as the 1894-S Dime and 1870-S Silver Dollar. The exact number of surviving 1838-O Half Dollars is not specifically known, but it is generally believe to be in the vicinity of a dozen different coins, approximately the same number as the '94-S Dime and the '70-S Dollar. The example that we are offering today is a pleasing Proof of Choice quality. Every detail is complete and fully defined, including hair curls and star centrils on the obverse, as well as individual feather details and leaf veins on the reverse. The fields have moderate reflectivity, similar to all of the known 1838-O Half Dollars The central obverse and reverse have pale golden-yellow color with pale blue and iridescent toning near the borders. The surfaces have a few minor blemishes, including small abrasions and tiny scratches, and it is these few marks that keep this from Gem quality. Because there is still a great deal to learn in numismatics, we pose the following question: If these coins were the first half dollars struck in New Orleans, and they were produced in early 1839 to test a new coinage press, why does the reverse die have several die cracks? There is no evidence of die cracks or other die damage on the obverse. The reverse however, has the following: a jagged die crack from a dentil to the center of the lower left leaf and continuing to the inside of the wing left of the leaves, another from the tip of the lower right leaf through the centers of HA to the lower left base of L, a faint crack from the base of I in AMERICA to the wing below C, a crack from the right upright of this letter to the left side of C, and another from the crossbar of E in AMERICA to the upright of R. Very faint vertical and diagonal die lines appear in the field below the eagle's beak, left of the neck. Of course, it would be a thoroughly delightful situation if this same reverse die, in an earlier die state, could be found on an 1839-O Half Dollar. On the otherhand, it is possible that these cracks developed during the limited production of the 1838-O coins. When Jules Reiver published his notes on the Reeded Edge Half Dollars in 1988, he described 1839-O variety JR-1 as follows: Obverse. Heavy point up to right from band over I, with a curved crack into cap from this point. O doubled at bottom and lower left. Buildup under most stars. Reverse. Perfect. Reiver continued to describe several later die states with reverse cracks, each matching those found on this 1838-O half dollar. Eight different examples of the 1839-O variety in the Reiver Collection, all from this same reverse die, are all in later die states with the die cracks more advanced. Although Jules described the earliest state as being from a perfect reverse die he did not have any such pieces in his collection. The following roster of known specimens is not necessarily complete, although it is believed accurate. The names of each specimen are t

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-06-03
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[ USA - COINS ] 1933 Superb Gem Brilliant Uncirculated

[ USA - COINS ] 1933 Superb Gem Brilliant Uncirculated. Almost certainly the finest known example of this last date of $10 coinage, this totally satisfying example offers smooth, magnificent amber- glowing mint frost enriching a meticulous strike. Lustre and strike are both finer than those of typical 1933?s described by gold coin researcher David W. Akers. The digit ?1? in the date is only marginally less sharp than the ?933?, and the richly lustrous surfaces are free of the copper spots cited by Akers. Close study under magnification reveals two minute tics on Liberty?s jaw, one over the ?P? of PLURIBUS that keep this exciting super-Gem from an even higher grade. There was never any question of legality for the Gold Eagles of 1933, as a small number was lawfully released. U.S. Mint records record six shipments of 1933 Eagles made between Jan.19, 1933 and March 3, comprising 312,500 pieces. The first batch was delivered on Jan. 19, 1933 with 100 reserved and shipped to the Treasurer of the U.S. for departmental assay. A total of 313 Eagles were sent for examination and testing by the U.S. Assay Commission which met on February 14 and 15, 1934. Nearly the entire 1933 mintage was subsequently remelted, pursuant to President Franklin D. Roosevelt?s orders suspending coinage and circulation of gold. The Eagles not destroyed after the Assay Commission meeting of 1934 were returned to the U.S. Mint Cashier?s Department, headed by Cashier George A. McCann, later a key figure in the controversy over the escape of the 1933 Double Eagles through Philadelphia jeweler Israel Switt (see below). In his 1980 United States Gold Coins, an Analysis of Auction Records, Volume V, Eagles, researcher David W. Akers estimated the total number of 1933 Eagles extant at 30 to 40, tracing only 20 auction appearances between 1944 and 1978. Akers? 1988 Handbook of 20th Century United States Gold Coins reduced his estimate of survivors to 30-34 pieces, stating ?I do not know of any Superb (MS-67) examples, but the Delp, Bareford, Kruthoffer, Eliasberg and Stack?s October Sale specimens were all gems, and the Einstein Collection coin was very close.? The late Walter Breen wrote ?About 1952, a small hoard, possibly 20-30 in all, probably the majority of the coins issued, showed up on the East Coast. (I studied eight of them on a single tray in 1953: gem mint-state beauties).? The Jeff Garrett-John Dannreuther The Official Red Book of Auction Records, 1994-2003, U.S. Gold Coinage, records only eight appearances of this date, ranging from the Brilliant Uncirculated examples in Stack?s The population reports of major third-party grading services underscore the remarkable rarity of this date in any grade. Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) has graded ten pieces: two in MS-63, five in MS-64, two in MS- 65, and only one in MS66! Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) reports 21: one in MS-62; two in MS-63; 12 in MS-64 and six in MS-65. No coin has been assigned a higher grade by either service, and no known unincapsulated example equals or exceeds the present offering, whose appearance offers an historic opportunity for today?s collectors. NGC MS66. (SEE COLOR PLATE)

  • USAUSA
  • 2004-10-15
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Twenty-Eight Gold Medallions (a set of 24 + a set of 4)

Each medallion is based after a ceramic created by Pablo Picasso and executed in gold by François Hugo and Pierre Hugo after 1967 in a numbered edition of 20 plus 2 exemplaires d'artiste and 2 exemplaires d'auteur; stamped with Picasso's signature, the edition number and the French assay mark for gold on the chain ring and the Francois Hugo series number on the reverse. Set of 24 medallions: i. Dormeur--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1398 on the reverse; diameter: 5 cm, 2 in. ii. Visage aux feuilles--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1403 on the reverse; diameter: 5 cm, 2 in. iii. Faune cavalier--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1406 on the reverse; diameter: 5.1 cm, 2 in. iv. Visage aux mains--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1407 on the reverse; diameter: 5.1 cm, 2 in. v. Visage tourmenté--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1408 on the reverse; diameter: 5 cm, 2 in. vi. Visage de faune--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1409 on the reverse; diameter: 5.5 cm, 2 1/8  in.vii. Joueur de flute et cavaliers--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1410 on the reverse; diameter: 5.4 cm, 2 1/8  in. viii. Poissons--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1411 on the reverse; diameter: 5.2 cm, 2 in.ix. Profil de Jacqueline--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1412 on the reverse; diameter: 5.5 cm, 2 1/8  in. x. Taureau--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1413 on the reverse; diameter: 5.1 cm, 2 in. xi. Visage larvé--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1424 on the reverse; diameter: 5 cm, 2 in. xii. Visage en forme d'horloge--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1425 on the reverse; diameter: 5.2 cm, 2 in. xiii. Visage géométrique aux traits--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1426 on the reverse; diameter: 5.4 cm, 2 1/8  in.xiv. Horloge à la langue--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1427 on the reverse; diameter: 5 cm, 2 in.xv. Jacqueline au chevalet--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1428 on the reverse; diameter: 5 cm, 2 in. xvi. Tête au masque--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1434 on the reverse; diameter: 5.2 cm, 2 in. xvii. Visage dans un carré--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1435 on the reverse; diameter: 5 cm, 2 in. xviii. Tête en forme d'horloge--signed and numbered 3/20 and 1436 on the reverse; diameter: 5 cm, 2 in. xix. Vallauris--signed and numbered 3/20 and 1437 on the reverse; 5 cm, 2 in. xx. Visage au carton ondulé--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1438 on the reverse; diameter: 5 cm, 2 in. xxi. Centaure--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1439 on the reverse; diameter: 5 cm, 2 in. xxii. Visage aux taches--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1440 on the reverse; diameter: 5 cm, 2 in. xxiii. Joie de vivre--signed and numbered 5/20 and 1441 on the reverse; diameter: 5 cm, 2 in. xxiv. Visage géométrique--signed and numbered 17/20 and 1442 on the reverse; diameter: 5 cm, 2 in.  Set of 4 medallions:xxv. Trèfle--signed, numbered 5/20 and 1683/1713 on the reverse; 4.5 by 5.3 cm, 1 3/4  by 2 1/8  in. xxvi. Rond--signed, numbered 5/20 and 1678/1770 on the reverse; 5 by 5 cm, 2 by 2 in. xxvii. Poisson--signed, numbered 5/20 and 1691/1712 on the reverse; 5.3 by 4.1 cm, 2 1/8  by 1 5/8  in. xxviii. Médaillon ovale--signed, numbered 5/20 and 1682/1711 on the reverse; 5.3 by 3.2 cm, 2 1/8  by 1 1/4  in.  Pablo Picasso Painter, Sculptor, Ceramicist Pablo Picasso is undoubtedly one of the most important artists of the 20th century, and the influences of his versatile works and career as a painter, sculptor, ceramicist, and even stage designer are crucial to the development of modern art. An integral part of his artistic output, Picasso's medallions and plates are testament to the artist's prowess in the medium of plastic arts which were introduced to the artist in 1946 when Picasso visited the annual potters' exhibition in Vallauris, France a centre for the production of pottery dating back to the Roman era. The visit incited a life-long passion for and dedication to ceramics working alongside Suzanne and Georges Ramié of the Madoura workshop. Most of Picasso's pottery were designed by the artist then subsequently cast into gold or silver by François Hugo and his son Pierre Hugo who were one of the most accomplished gold- and silversmiths in France in the second half of the twentieth century. The motifs found on the silver plates and gold medallions are drawn from sources that have inspired Picasso throughout his artistic career. In Profil de Jacqueline, the sitter is Picasso's last love affair and wife Jacqueline Roque whose portraits are promptly featured in many of the artist's best paintings. The imagery found on Joie de vivre is meanwhile a tribute to Modernist master Henri Matisse whose death in 1954 greatly affected Picasso. The ornamental forms, fluid lines and composition of dancers in a circle on the plate recall Matisse's most famed painting La Danse from 1909. Bulls, horses and Minotaurs make up another prevalent theme in Picasso's oeuvre. Since a young age, the artist often attended bullfights in his native country of Spain and continued to do so often throughout France. The vigour and power of these animals and violent events are well captured in the dynamic composition found in Centaure. Motifs from Picasso's muses, his fascination with bullfights and his admiration for Matisse are promptly featured throughout the full set of twenty-eight medallions as well. Upon seeing the silver plates, Picasso's wife at the time, Jacqueline, suggested that he make some in the form of jewellery for a girl to wear. The inspiration eventually materialised, with Picasso making twenty-four medallions using designs from the silver plates and four more from other compotiers. The technique remained the same, however a hook was added to the back of the medallions so that they could be easily turned into necklace pendants to be worn as artist's jewels on the body. The present lot presents a rare opportunity for a collector to acquire the entire set at once. Like the silver plates, the medallions were often casted on demand or given off individually to the artist's friends as gifts. It took the present owner several years of patient collecting to assemble the complete set of medallions. All works are accompanied by certificates of authenticity issued and signed by François Hugo (24 medallions) and Pierre Hugo (4 medallions).

  • HKGHong Kong SAR China
  • 2017-01-19
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[ U.S. Coins - Proof Trade Dollars ] " 1884 T$1 PR65 PCGS

[ U.S. Coins - Proof Trade Dollars ] " 1884 T$1 PR65 PCGS. One of only 10 specimens known. This is the Clint Hestor ""Menjou""- Baldenhofer-Wolfson-French coin, and one of the finer examples known. The obverse and reverse are brilliant white with just a trace of dark toning near the devices visible with a loupe. On the obverse we note a curling lint mark low and left of star three, touching the lower left point and curving up toward the rim above the outer point of that star in the general shape of a question mark. There are also three tiny nicks near the inside point of the eleventh star. For further plate matching, the reverse has a tiny graze in the field left of the U in UNITED and a minute speck in the field below the E of AMERICA. All in all, this is a beautiful coin which is stark white save for a hint of dark gold as noted along the left wing of the eagle. The fields, devices and surfaces are wonderfully clean for the grade, and this coin has all the appeal one would expect for a Gem Proof were it a common date. Although the 1884 Trade dollar is hardly a common date. The idea of having a competing coin to circulate in the orient was hatched during the early 1870s. At first, patterns were coined of ""commercial dollars"" which were to serve this purpose. Other countries produced their own silver coins for overseas trade, and America had not addressed this important issue. Compared with regular issue silver dollars then current, the new silver content was increased slightly to 420 grains in order for them to compete with other foreign coins then in circulation as trade coins. By the time 1873 rolled around, Congress decided to call their new coin a ""Trade dollar"" and the appropriate legislation was passed. Coinage began in earnest, and it is worth stating that the western mints were the primary benefactors of this new coin. Both the Carson City and San Francisco Mint churned out millions of the new Trade dollars, many for export overseas to the orient (those mints being much closer to this important trade region than the Philadelphia Mint). Many of the coins sent overseas received ""chop marks"", or merchant punches showing who accepted them in trade. In addition to those Trade dollars sent overseas, a number circulated in America. In fact, the heavier Trade dollars were preferred to the earlier Seated dollars as they contained more silver. This fact was important and fruitful for Trade dollars, until later in 1875 and 1876 when the price of silver fell to levels well below face value. From the beginning in 1873 Trade dollars were legal tender and thus circulated freely through the United States. In 1876 the market value for silver had fallen so precipitously that silver could be purchased on the open market for nearly a ten percent discount and then turned over to the mints for coinage. Such a spread is hard to beat, and anyone paying attention had a virtual license to coin money. All the silver that could be purchased was no doubt gathered up, sent to the mints, coined into Trade dollars, and all for a tidy profit of nearly ten percent. Congress rose to the challenge and demonitized the Trade dollar, thus closing the doors to this market abuse. Back to the old monopolistic ways of insiders and mine owners demanding special favors. For soon, the Sherman Silver Act would be passed in February 1878, and the mine owners of the Nevada Mother Load would continue dancing in the streets of Carson City. The trough of silver could be filled for decades from the mines, and the Federal government would shell out billions to the mine owners monopoly. With the passage of the Sherman Act and the demonetization of the Trade dollar, demand fell for this issue, and business strikes halted as 1878 drew to a close. Nothing was done to officially kill the coin, so when 1879 rolled around, the normal orders from proofs were filled for collectors with new Trade dollars from 1879. This trend continued through 1883, with proofs being coined in sufficient numbers to satisfy demand. Something changed in 1884, and serious inside dealings took place. No 1884 Trade dollar proofs were coined for the public, but 10 pieces were coined for special interests very quietly. In 1885 another 5 pieces were coined, and these were apparently the last Trade dollars struck at the Philadelphia Mint. Obtaining one of these has always been a great challenge, and years may go by between offerings. The present example is apparently the fourth finest known of the ten produced, and is the only PR65 reported by either grading service. The Condition Census for this coin is as follows: 1). Dunham Specimen. Proof-66. Mint official; William K. Idler; Captain John W. Haseltine and Stephen K. Nagy; Unknown intermediaries; William Forrester Dunham; B. Max Mehl's Dunham Sale ( 1941), lot 1150; Floyd T. Starr; Stack's Starr Sale (October, 1992), lot 844; Jay Parrino; Proof-66 (NGC). 2). Atwater Specimen. Proof-66. Mint official; William K. Idler; Captain John W. Haseltine and Stephen K. Nagy; Unknown intermediaries; William Cutler Atwater; Mehl's Brand Sale (1946), lot 377; Louis E. Eliasberg; Bowers and Merena Galleries April 1997), lot 997. 3). Newcomer Specimen. Proof-66. Mint official; William K. Idler; Captain John W. Haseltine and Stephen K. Nagy; Unknown intermediaries; Waldo C. Newcomer; B. Max Mehl (1931) Fixed price list; Morgenthau & Company Newcomer Sale (May, 1935), lot 431; Col. E.H.R. Green; Burdette G. Johnson circa 1943; Jack V. Roe; B. Max Mehl Kern sale (May, 1950), lot 896; Amon G. Carter; Amon Carter, Jr.; Stack's Carter Collection (January, 1984), lot 440. Believed to be PCGS PR66, that or coin #1 or 2 above crossed from NGC to PCGS. 4). The Present coin, PCGS PR65. Mint official; William K. Idler; Captain John W. Haseltine and Stephen K. Nagy; Unknown intermediaries; Clint Hester; Numismatic Gallery's Menjou Sale (June, 1950), lot 2040; Benjamin Stack; W.G. Baldenhofer; Stack's Farish Baldenhofer Sale ( November, 1955), lot 1039; Stack's Fairbanks Sale (Ben Koenig) ( December, 1960), lot 698; Stack's Samuel Wolfson Sale, (May, 1963), lot 1541; Jack Klausen; Joel Rettew; Quality Sales Corporation, Carlson-Shipley Sale, (November, 1976), lot 426; Bowers and Merena's Arnold-Romisa Sale (September, 1984), lot 2342; John N. Rowe, III; L.R French, Jr.; Stack's French Sale (January, 1989), lot 201; Anthony Terranova; Larry Whitlow; Jay Parrino; to the current consignor. 5). Stack's-Rettew Specimen. Proof-63. Mint official; William K. Idler; Captain John W. Haseltine and Stephen K. Nagy; Unknown intermediaries; Private collection (late 1940s); ANA Sale, Stack's (August, 1976), lot 723; Joel D. Rettew; Heritage Early Spring 96 ANA Sale, (March, 1996), lot 6513; Jeff Garrett. 6). Sprinkle Specimen. Proof-63. Mint official William K. Idler; Captain John W. Haseltine and Stephen K. Nagy; Unknown intermediaries; Virgil M. Brand; Colonel E. H. R. Green; Burdette G. Johnson; James Kelly;Ë"

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-11-04
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[ COINS ] High Relief Double Eagles 1907 $20 High Relief

[ COINS ] High Relief Double Eagles 1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim MS69 PCGS. As we wrote in the introductory section to the 1907 High Relief, this issue was a revision of Saint-Gaudens' Ultra High Relief double eagle, as the latter proved impractical for circulation strikes because it required seven blows from a 150-ton medal press to fully articulate the design. The High Relief could be struck after just three blows of the medal press. Over 12,000 High Relief twenties were struck by the end of December, 1907. As we also pointed out earlier, a so-called Wire Rim protruded around the outer extremity in the coins, which resulted from excessive metal flow between the die face and collar during the striking process. Unlike today's collectors who consider the Wire Rim to be a highly collectible variety, Mint officials considered it to be a striking deficiency. This flaw in the striking process was corrected around mid-December, and subsequent High Relief double eagles possessed what became known as a Flat Rim. The High Relief Wire Rim example we offer in the present lot is a supremely preserved, satiny gem of this highly regarded Saint-Gaudens issue. The execution of this design in high relief has, to date, been the ultimate achievement of the coiner's art -a fact widely recognized and reflected in the price of these coins. The design elements on this coin are very well defined, indeed better that what might be expected for the issue. Despite multiple blows, the typical High Relief Wire Rim specimen may display weakness on the stars, on the Liberty and eagle motifs, and the on the tops of the letters. The present Morse coin reveals strong definition in most of these areas. Only small portions of the Capitol building and the eagle's wing feathers exhibit minor softness. A pleasing yellow-gold patina bathes each side, both of which have managed to escape any signs of post-striking impairments, and the radiant, satiny luster has a gleam that is unique to High Reliefs. The overall effect is one of originality and three-dimensionality, giving this spectacular piece more of a look of a medal than a circulating coin. A minute alloy spot beneath the eagle's neck identifies the coin. The Wire Rim feature is uncharacteristically present around virtually the entire obverse, and around a good portion of the reverse. Population: 1 in 69, 0 finer ( 9/05). Ex: Trompeter Collection; Heritage private sale, 1999. From The Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage.(#9135)(Registry values: N1)

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-11-04
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[ U.S. Coins - Morgan Dollars ] " 1895-O $1 MS67 PCGS

[ U.S. Coins - Morgan Dollars ] " 1895-O $1 MS67 PCGS. Offered by Superior Galleries in January 1986, with the following commentary: ""A 'wonder' coin! Excellent luster with virtually no bag marks. Unequivocally the Finest Known specimen. Miller states that the only other specimen near to this one was the piece he purchased in 1970 from the Hardenburg Collection which was Prooflike but did not have the overall 'pizzazz' this coin possesses. Wayne Miller turned down $100,000 for this coin a few years ago. The 1895-O Dollar is one of the most amazing coins in this fabulous collection and is certainly worthy of a new record price."" Today, these comments seem equally applicable. Current certification service data suggests just how elusive these coins are in Gem condition. PCGS and NGC have graded a total of 10 examples in all grades of MS65 or finer, including one MS66 example at each service as well as this solitary MS67 grade Superb Gem dollar. This is the only coin to receive the MS67 grade to date. In the context of typical 1895-O Morgan Dollars, this example is an amazing exception. This example is plated in Wayne Miller's Textbook. In that reference, he wrote: ""The typical 1895-O is poorly struck, with dull luster and many bagmarks. Full strikes are obtainable, but are almost invariably heavily abraded and/or lackluster. This date is excessively rare in gem uncirculated condition."" In his Silver Dollar Encyclopedia, Dave Bowers expanded upon this discussion: ""During this period, the coiners at the New Orleans Mint had a job to do: to coin as many silver dollars as possible in the least amount of time. To say that their workmanship was shoddy would be an understatement; from a numismatic viewpoint, it was terrible. Knowing that most of these silver dollars were not wanted in the channels of commerce and would simply go into bulk storage after they were minted, the workers had little incentive to create an attractive product. To churn out a stream of Morgan dollars with as little attention to the presses as possible, the coiners spaced the dies slightly too far apart, thus minimizing die wear and breakage. The result was as stated: terrible-looking coins."" These production shortcuts actually suggested that the workers had considerable downtime, as the entire mintage was just 450,000 coins, or less than 2,000 coins per day. Prior to the 1950s, few Mint State coins were known to exist, and nearly every collection, even some quite famous collections, contained circulated coins. Sometime in the 1950s, an extremely small quantity of pieces were released from the Treasury, the number of coins estimated to be between a few dozen and a couple hundred. Apparently there were none available in the Treasury during the early 1960s. Either they all went into circulation, or they were melted under provisions of the 1918 Pittman Act. This Superb Gem is simply an incredible coin, quality that really shouldn't exist. Fully brilliant silver surfaces have remarkable luster, frosty devices with satiny fields. The reverse is slightly prooflike. It is an especially well struck example with nearly full detail on both sides, save for the hair strands above Liberty's ear, which are slightly merged. Ex: Wayne Miller, acquired in January 1975 for $5,500 ( Superior, 1/1986), lot 1310; Jack Lee 1; Jack Lee 2. From The Jack Lee Collection, III "

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-11-04
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* Note that the price doesn’t correlate with today’s value, but only relates to the actual end price at the time of the purchase.

Coins & Banknotes

Here, you will find collectible coins and banknotes, including historical coins and rare types of currency.