1926-S Buffalo Nickel NGC MS65

Apart from the various varieties such as the 1916 Doubled Die, the 1918/7-D, et cetera, the greatest condition rarity among regular issues in the Buffalo nickel series is the 1926-S. This date is famous for its low (for the series) mintage of 970,000 pieces, the only production total that does not breach the seven-figure barrier. Survivors bring a premium even in low circulated grades. Mint State examples are actively traded due to the “conditional key” status of the issue, although these are primarily in the MS63 to MS64 range. At the Gem grade level, the availability of this issue plummets, and finer pieces are prohibitively rare. As is so often the case, this coin is much more lustrous than seen in our images. The NGC population report shows just 10 at this grade level with 6 higher.

Offered at $54,900 delivered

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1913-S Indian Eagle NGC MS64+ CAC

San Fran $10 Indian Rarity

The 1913-S Indian eagle claims a low production total of 66,000 pieces and few high-quality specimens were saved by contemporary collectors. Most of the coins were released into circulation at the time of issue, where they circulated heavily in both domestic and foreign trade. As a result, most examples seen today are in circulated grades, in the VF-AU grade range. In his Indian Gold Coins of the 20th Century, Mike Fuljenz notes: “The 1913-S Eagle is regarded as one of the great condition rarities in all of the 20th century U.S. gold series. It is moderately scarce even in circulated grades and the small numbers of Uncirculated pieces that exist consist mainly of MS60 to MS62 pieces. Only three examples have been graded higher by NGC. In MS63, this date is rare and it is very rare in MS64.”

Offered at $55,900 delivered

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1929 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle PCGS MS65

Saint Rarity

The year 1929 marks a distinct line of demarcation in the Saint-Gaudens double eagle series between common and rare. The 1928 Philadelphia twenty is a well-known and popular type issue that is well-produced and generally available in high grades. On the other hand, each later-date Saint-Gaudens double eagle, beginning with the 1929 and continuing through the series’ end in 1933, is a major rarity. Excluding the uncollectible 1933s, the five issues that usher in the series’ end comprise the 1929, the 1930-S, the 1931 and 1931-D, and the 1932. Of those five issues, the 1929, while still quite rare in an absolute sense, is the most available overall. Most examples of the 1929, however, are confined to the lower Mint State grades, and in Gem and finer condition, the issue takes a sudden leap upward, becoming rarer than the 1931 and 1932 issues. Only six have been graded higher by PCGS.

Offered at $67,200 delivered

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1860-O Liberty Double Eagle NGC AU53

Offered at $60,375 delivered

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1838 Capped Bust Half Dollar NGC MS65

Tough Gem

From a mintage of 3.5 million pieces, there are 16 die varieties known for the 1838 Reeded Edge half dollar. This is a very short-lived type and survivors at this grade level are scarce. This particular example is extremely well struck and unlike so many others, appears undipped, with original looking steel grey patina on each side. The NGC population stands at 18 with 5 higher.

Offered at $10,900 delivered

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1852-O Liberty Eagle PCGS AU58

Lustrous, Semi-PL

With their energies directed mostly toward the production of double eagles, New Orleans Mint officials struck a paltry 18,000 ten-dollar gold coins in 1852. In 2006, Doug Winter, who called this issue “one of the rarest No Motto eagles,” estimated 80 to 90 coins survived in all, including two to four Uncirculated coins. Today, NGC shows two in Mint State (one in MS60 and one in MS61) on their population report, while PCGS shows one in MS60, with none higher. The PCGS population is only 4 with 3 higher (two AU58+’s and the aforementioned MS60).

Offered at $26,900 delivered

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1874-CC Trade Dollar PCGS MS64

A Virtually White Blazer

Nearly the entire mintage of 1.3 million 1874-CC Trade dollars was exported to East Asia, where the coins could still be found in circulation as recently as the 1940s. This is the most commonly encountered issue with chop marks, yet it is one of the most elusive dates in high Mint State grades. Near-Gems are rare and Gems are extremely rare, as few coins were saved for numismatic purposes. Considerably more lustrous and flashier when viewed in hand. Only eight have been graded higher at PCGS, half of those being MS64+ representatives. 

Offered at $17,250 delivered

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1852 Small Head Wass, Molitor & Co. $5 NGC VF30

A “Small Head”

Wass, Molitor & Co. was one of the best-respected assaying and coining firms in San Francisco during the early years of the California Gold Rush. These gold pieces were welcome sights in circulation at a time when coinage was sorely lacking. This is an example of the rare 1852 Small Head variety modeled after the federal half eagle. Differences are most notable on the coronet (“W.M. & Co.”) and reverse legend. The NGC population report shows only two in VF with none higher.

Offered at $21,290 delivered

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1857-S S.S.C.A. Liberty Double Eagle PCGS/CAC MS65

It’s “Spiked” – Boxed Gem

Spiked Shield variety, boxed with pinch of gold. Shipwreck? – check! Gem quality coin? – check! Strong demand? – check! The sinking of the S.S. Central America off the coast of Carolina in September 1857 and its discovery in the late 1980s/early 1990s accounts for the recovery of more than 5,000 1857-S No Motto $20’s. The issue is widely available in high grades and enjoys tremendous popularity among type collector for that reason.

Offered at $13,455 delivered

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