Published: May 17, 2022
DALLAS – A Justh & Hunter gold ingot sold for $1.32 million and an 1863 Liberty Double Eagle, PR65+ Cameo from the Bob R. Simpson collection closed at $1.02 million to lead Heritage Auctions’ Central States US Coins Signature® auction to $42,279,919 in total sales May 4-8. This was one of three Heritage Auctions Central States events: the World Coins & Ancient Coins Platinum Session and Signature® auction totaled $14,449,912, while the US Currency Signature® auction accounted for $8,880,557. Together, the events, which combined to attract more than 12,100 bidders, soared to $65,610,388 in total sales, setting a record by a wide margin for any Central States auction.
The Justh & Hunter ingot was one of two ingots in the auction; a Henry Hentsch Gold ingot, weighing 238.84 ounces, closed at $540,000. The ingots were thought to be lost forever with the 1857 sinking of the SS Central America during a Category 2 hurricane. More than a century later, in 1988, the recovery of the gold was organized by ocean engineer Tommy Thompson, whose crew spent the next four summers recovering roughly two tons of the lost gold. Both ingots sold in this auction were part of Thompson’s first haul from the ocean floor.
An 1863 Liberty Double Eagle from the Bob R. Simpson collection more than doubled the previous auction record. Simpson’s collection has been ranked by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) as one of the best amassed. This coin is from a reported mintage of just 30 specimens and is exceptionally rare: both John Dannreuther and PCGS CoinFacts estimate no more than ten to 12 proofs survive in all grades. Two are in the National Numismatic collection at the Smithsonian Institution and another is in the collection of the American Numismatic Society. The Simpson example offered in this auction is the finest known of this acclaimed Nineteenth Century rarity.
In addition to the two lots that brought seven-figure results, the auction included three more lots that topped $500,000 and an additional 59 that brought in winning bids of more than $100,000.
Also from the Simpson collection was a 1915 S-Less Pan-Pac half in gold, PR64, which drew a record bid of $750,000. This magnificent coin is one of the rarest issues in the US pattern series, one of just two examples known. It is struck on a cut-down Saint-Gaudens double eagle. Eric Newman’s handwritten notes state that “Colonel” Edward Howard Robinson Green owned both known gold specimens, four of the silver examples and three of the copper pieces. These extremely rare patterns were clearly clandestine strikes, produced at the Philadelphia Mint before mintmark punches were applied to the working dies.
The May 5-7 sales included 18 lots that sold for more than $100,000 and 37 that reached at least $50,000. It featured selections from the Regent collection, a trove that is among the finest assemblages of Australian rarities to reach the market in years, if not ever. The Regent collection enjoyed enormous success, claiming the top two results in the sale and four of the top five.
The finest of just six known examples of the George V gold sovereign 1920-S MS64+ NGC, led the event at $552,000. This specimen is from an issue that initially was underappreciated as a rarity, due to its mintage of 360,180; all from 1920-dated dies and struck between January and June 1920. It was suggested that the small handful of surviving examples was commissioned by prominent Sydney citizen Jacob Garrard from the Mint for distribution to his seven children to celebrate his golden wedding anniversary, but contemporary documentation records no formal order from Garrard, meaning he likely obtained them from the Commonwealth Bank to which the Sydney Mint delivered newly struck Sovereigns during the 1920s. Therefore, the 1920-S represents what is perhaps the paramount rarity of the regular circulation Sovereign series, rather than a private order. This representative was held by Garrard’s descendants for the last 100-plus years and represents a fresh addition to the known census not previously available for public auction.
The auction also included rare paper bills from prominent private collections. “United States banknotes continue to see widespread strength across nearly every category, and problem-free notes in high grade in all categories lead the market,” Heritage’s vice president of currency Dustin Johnston said. “The trend of new and veteran collectors targeting high-denomination notes showed no slowing.”
Heritage’s next live Currency Showcase auction of the LII Collection will be conducted on June 12.
All prices include buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For information, 214-409-3500 or www.ha.com.
November 22, 2022
November 22, 2022
November 22, 2022
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