Published: January 10, 2023
DALLAS — An 1870-S three dollar gold coin, SP50, sold for a record $5.52 million, and three other coins reached seven figures leading Heritage Auctions’ The Bass Collection, Part II US Coins Signature Auction to a $24,022,741 total on January 5. The auction was successful by any metric: of the 103 offered lots, 30 established new records. The event was the second installment of the collection of Harry W. Bass; proceeds from the auction will benefit the dozens of Dallas-based nonprofits supported by the Harry W. Bass Jr Foundation, with a particular emphasis on early childhood education and literacy in Dallas. Part I reached $20,459,645 on September 29.
“These coins were very special to Harry, and I hope the buyers appreciate them as much as he did,” says F. David Calhoun, executive director of the foundation. “They’re not just commodities, as every coin was special to Harry, as evidenced by the extraordinary collection of US gold rarities he assembled. And, of course, the more money raised from the auctions of these coins, the better because that means we can help more people.
The event’s top lot, which drew 73 bids, crushed the previous world record of $687,500 and is among the rarest and most enigmatic coins in the United States federal series. Reliable reports suggest that a second example, housed in a ceremonial casket, was placed under the cornerstone of the Second San Francisco Mint in 1870, but the example offered in this auction is the only known example. Assuming the reports of that second example are accurate, that coin would be forever out of reach to collectors, meaning that for all intents and purposes, the example sold in this auction is unique.
Prices quoted with buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. Heritage’s Modern World Coins Showcase Auction will occur on January 29. For more information, 214-528-3500 or www.coins.ha.com.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm