1851 Humbert $50 Variety Pair NGC MS61

Who Wants to Get “Slugged”?

To begin with, the importance of the 1851 $50 gold coins can scarcely be overemphasized. Ask any advanced collector of Territorial gold to name the most significant and memorable coinage design from the early California Gold Rush period, and the Humbert-U.S. Assay Office octagonal $50’s will likely be the first named. For many years, the 1851-52 Humbert-Assay Office fifties remained the only large octagonal gold coins struck under the auspices of the United States (in this case – provisional) Mint.  Although later, California private coiners struck round $50 coins. The importance of these coins is such that even well-circulated examples are bid up to high levels by enthusiasts eager to lay hands on these colorful mementos of the Wild West, the Gold Rush, and the famous “Forty-Niners” who rushed to seek their fortunes in the fields of gold in 1848-49.

Or buy the pair for $270,000

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1908 Indian Quarter Eagle PCGS PR66

First Year Matte Proof

With the new coinage designs of 1907 and 1908, the mint recognized these coins could not be produced by the conventional brilliant proofing method. Their solution was to sandblast the coins, producing a matte surface; a finish that had been applied to some mint medals for decades. However, the mint’s main customers for proofs were coin collectors, and collectors were generally not familiar with the matte proofing technique or appearance. The result was general dislike by the collecting community and dwindling sales for proof gold until the final year in 1915. There were 236 proof quarter eagles produced, and it is estimated that 100 to 120 pieces are extant today. The sandblast surfaces on this piece exhibit the khaki-brown color this date is known for. The PCGS population is 18 with 11 higher. 

Offered at $34,500 delivered

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1878 Liberty Eagle PCGS MS64+

Just 1 Graded Higher

When one just looks at the mintage of 73,700 pieces, the 1878 would appear to be moderately scarce, but nothing would tip off the collector to just how rare it actually is in higher grades. Our records show that we’ve auctioned only six MS64/64+ examples in the past ten years, attesting to the issue’s extreme rarity at this grade level. This one is particularly well struck. The PCGS population is just 3 with 1 higher.

Offered at $13,500 delivered

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(800) 257.3253
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Nero Gold and Silver Duo!

AD 54 – 68

Gold Aureus
NGC XF / Strike 4/5
Surface 4/5

Silver Hemidrachm
NGC AU /Strike 4/5
Surface 3/5

Nero’s Principate

Though normally associated with hedonistic excess and debauchery, Nero’s first years were actually a relatively peaceful time in the empire. Nero began his rule at the tender age of 17 with much promise – his mother Agrippina Jr. was regent at first, until he began to assert his independence the following year. With the government largely in the hands of capable administrators like Seneca and Burrus, Rome enjoyed peace and prosperity for the first five years of Nero’s reign. Things began to take a turn south for his reign, however, with his involvement in the murder of his mother in 59 and the subsequent shedding of his key advisors Seneca and Burrus in 62 AD. He also divorced and executed his wife Claudia Octavia in that fateful year. So, at the age of 25, Nero had reconstructed his life, shedding moderating influences on his activities – he was now able to pursue his interests in acting, carousing, various persecutions, chariot racing and random sexual adventures – in short, he was becoming the Nero we all know and love.

Probably most shocking to the populace, however, was the Great Fire of 64 AD, where it was thought that Nero had started it to clear out large portions of prime Rome real estate to build his ostentatious palace. With much of Rome destroyed and his grand palace usurping the dwindling financial resources of the empire, conspiracies began to form against the emperor. His stage antics, poetry readings and singing and dancing had never been particularly well received by the populace, anyway, who not only viewed his talents as marginal, but also saw them as not dignified for an emperor.

Nero embarked on a “Grand Tour” of Greece in AD 67, where he participated in the Pythian, Nemean and Olympic Games – as Vagi notes, Nero was declared victor in the latter, even though he fell out of his chariot mid-way through the race!

With Imperial finances stretched to the limit with Nero’s excesses, the populace finally had enough and forced Nero to flee to his country villa on the outskirts of Rome. On June 9 of 68, surrounded by hostile soldiers, Nero uttered the famous dictum, “what a great artist we are losing”, and died in a murder/suicide situation. Not long afterwards, Rome descended into civil war.

Always conscious of his artistic portrayals on the coinage, Nero took special efforts to ensure favorable images and favorite musical themes, such as him playing the lyre. The austere portraits of his predecessors gave way to naturalistic poses and a realism previously unseen

An Extremely Fine aureus and an AU hemidrachm are on offer here today, providing splendid examples of his portraiture and reflecting the high artistry of his coinage in general.

Offered at $9,550 delivered

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1828 Capped Bust Half Eagle PCGS XF Details, Repaired

Excessively Rare

Any offering of an 1828-dated half eagle is a remarkable occurrence. The two non-overdate 1828 variants, BD-3 and BD-4, are R.8 (3-4 known) and High R.6 (12 to 15 known). This BD-4 example shows the date closely spaced and centered in the field between the rim and bust. Star 1 is quite close to the bust, and one of its points virtually touches the dentils. The reverse, shared between the BD-3 and BD-4, shows the last S in STATES centered over the US of PLURIBUS, and the top of the 5 in the denomination is slightly higher than the D. The surfaces look uniformly porous on each side. This is, no doubt, the result of whatever repair was made to improve the former appearance of this great rarity. In hand, the color is lighter and – more yellow-gold in hue. We haven’t offered one for sale in any grade since 2014. Listed in XF (problem-free) at $75,000 in the PCGS price guide.

Offered at $29,900 delivered

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(800) 257.3253
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Major Credit Cards Accepted, add 3.5%
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1922-S Peace Dollar PCGS MS66

Just 1 Graded Higher

The San Francisco issue is the scarcest of the three 1922 Peace dollars, especially in Mint State. The fact that its mintage of nearly 17.5 million pieces exceeds that of the 1922-D by more than 1.5 million pieces is a non-factor. Throughout the Peace dollar series there is an unbroken rule that for each year this denomination was coined, the San Francisco issue is rarer in Gem or better grades than either the Philadelphia or Denver counterparts. Mintage totals play no part in this. Many researchers suggest the lower survival rate of S-mint dollars in high grade is due to more active circulation on the West Coast, and in some cases bags of Uncirculated coins still in government vaults were just moved more frequently, reducing the grades of the coins contained. The PCGS population is only 19 with 1 higher, the latter being an MS66+ example. This one is extremely lustrous and semi-prooflike in appearance.

Offered at $25,875 delivered

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Major Credit Cards Accepted, add 3.5%
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1879-O Morgan Dollar NGC MS66

Tied for Highest Graded 

After an intermission of nearly two decades since the Mint closed in 1861, New Orleans resumed coinage production in 1879, following terms of the Bland-Allison Act that Congress passed a year earlier. The year 1879 saw the production of 2,325 double eagles, the only coins of the Type Three design that were minted in Louisiana. The facility also coined 2,887,000 silver dollars. Other denominations were added in later years through 1909 when that Mint was permanently closed. Mint State 1879-O Morgan dollars are not particularly rare, although Gems are elusive and finer examples are rarely encountered. In hand, this specimen is lighter and brighter than seen in our images. The NGC population is only 11 with not a single representative graded higher.

Offered at $9,200 delivered

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(800) 257.3253
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Major Credit Cards Accepted, add 3.5%
Offer subject to availability.

1934-S Peace Dollar NGC MS67

The ONLY One, None Graded Higher

The San Francisco Mint was tasked to strike Peace dollars on October 26, 1934, leaving just over one month to complete production for the year. Understandably, only a small mintage of 1.1 million pieces was accomplished. Relatively few examples were saved for numismatic purposes in the 1930s, as collectors failed to appreciate the elusive nature of the issue. As a result, the 1934-S is famously the scarcest Peace dollar in Mint State, overall. The bulk of the survivors are in the MS62 to MS64 grade range, with gems being much more elusive, and higher-grade coins, rare. This is the only MS67 (with none higher) at either NGC or PCGS. In hand, this beast is lighter, more lustrous and more eye-appealing than seen in our images.

Offered at $115,000 delivered

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1925 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle PCGS/CAC MS66+

Highest Graded 1925 DDR

Close examination reveals slight reverse doubling along the lower edge of the eagle and among letters of the motto, IN GOD WE TRUST. Die doubling of similar strength in a 20th century copper, nickel, or silver series might secure a Guide Book listing, but double eagles are currently collected principally by type or issue.

Offered at $7,400 delivered

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(800) 257.3253
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Major Credit Cards Accepted, add 3.5%
Offer subject to availability.

1912-S Indian Eagle PCGS MS65

Rare and Highly Attractive Gem

As an issue overall, the 1912-S is positioned in the middle of the 32 issues in the ten-dollar Indian series, but it is in Uncirculated grades that it is best known. Few were set aside in mint condition, and of the ones that were most are not better than MS62. At the Gem level, the 1912-S is a stand-up-and-take-notice rarity. This particular representative boasts lovely orange-gold color and silky-smooth surfaces. The PCGS population is just 15 with 2 higher.

Offered at $32,800 delivered

We do business the old fashioned way, we speak with you. Give us a call for price indications and to lock trades.

(800) 257.3253
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Price is based on payment via ACH, Bank Wire Transfer or Personal Check.
Major Credit Cards Accepted, add 3.5%
Offer subject to availability.