Published: February 26, 2008
There was more than fun at the official auctions of the Florida United Numismatics (FUN) convention January 10‱3 when Heritage Auction Galleries from Dallas, Texas, mounted its second largest coin and currency auction ever, and two coins went over the $1 million mark. The million dollar coins were 1796 quarter eagles, one with stars and one without, and both were from the Madison collection. Additionally, three coins rose above $500,000, and dozens of coins in the auction rose above the $250,000 mark. The currency auction also had its share of standouts, including a record price for the most valuable obsolete note ever sold at auction, when a $5 Clark, Gruber & Co. note from Denver, Colo., realized $126,500.
Total prices realized from Heritage’s coin auctions exceeded $50 million, and another $10 million in rare currency, so the total prices realized exceeded $62 million.
“We are simply thrilled,” commented Heritage President Greg Rohan, “that two coins out of the incredible Madison collection each broke the $1 million mark †one was the Madison 1796 $2.50 with no stars, which realized $1,725,000. This coin, the single finest graded at PCGS, was simply the finest of the first quarter eagles. The other coin was from 1796 also, the $2.50 with stars, realized $1,006,250.”
“Before the currency auction,” said Heritage currency director Len Glazer, “it was recognized that the Clark, Gruber & Co., note was one of the most historic and important obsolete notes, from an issuer who also struck territorial gold coins in 1860 and 1861. As the Clark, Gruber & Co., notes were redeemable in their gold coins, very few notes survived. Only the $5 denomination was issued by this private bank and mint, and when the first notes were issued they were written up in The Rocky Mountain News of August 3, 1861. The preauction estimate of $50/70,000 was quickly surpassed in very spirited bidding, and the final $126,500 set a new auction record.”
Another record was set for the most valuable item of military payment currency at auction, the $115,000 for a newly discovered, unique Series 692 Specimen Book, which was unknown before its appearance at this auction.
Currency director Allen Mincho added, “Titled ‘Progressive Impressions, Composite Impressions, and Specimens of Military Payment Certificates Series 692,’ this collector’s dream contained nine, four-subject sheets of each denomination from the 5¢ through the $20, in every possible printing permutation, from an all serial number E00000000E complete specimen printing to progressive impressions of all parts of the face and back of every note in every denomination †a total of 288 gem uncirculated proof and specimen impressions.”
“Combining the Platinum Night, Signature and Final Session catalogs of US coins and currency,” Rohan continued, “more than 16,000 lots were offered by Heritage at the FUN convention, with more than 1,000 consignors participating and more than 7,000 bidders participating as well. It was the second largest sale Heritage has ever conducted.”
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium charged. Heritage Auction Galleries are at 3500 Maple Street, 17th floor. For more information, www.ha.com or 800-872-6467.
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