1942/1-D Mercury Dime PCGS MS66FB

Easily One of the Finest Survivors

Both the Philadelphia and Denver versions of the 1942/1 overdate Mercury dime are doubled die (or dual-hubbing-error) varieties, but the pickup points are different between the two. The 1942/1 Philadelphia shows a rather obvious (plain to a good pair of unaided eyes) 1 downstroke at the fore points of the 2. The 1942/1-D is considerably harder to spot, and the pickup point is a little notch of doubling at the bottom of the 4 in the date, rather than the 2. (There are signs of a 1 under the 2, but they are far fainter than on the 1942/1 Philadelphia variety.) This one is brilliant and quite pleasing. The PCGS population is 13 with 5 higher, though 4 of the latter are 66+ examples. In other words, only one MS67 has been recognized.

Offered at $40,500 delivered

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1821 Capped Head Quarter Eagle PCGS MS60

Rare Unc.

 It had been 13 years since the last quarter eagles were coined until this denomination was resumed again. Production remained low with 6,448 produced in 1821. And only 17,042 pieces were coined for the entire type! As John Dannreuther points out: “Besides the usual factors that remove coins from circulation–wear, loss, and so on–the early gold issues faced another factor that doomed many of them. Pre-1834 old coins were melted after the June 28, 1834 passage of the act reducing the weight of gold coins.” The 1821 quarter eagle is the first issue of this design, and the entire mintage is from a single die pair. Because so few business strikes were coined after the proofs, nearly all have reflective surfaces as on this coin. Its color is more yellow-gold, as opposed to the orange-gold seen in our images. More importantly, it looks much more appealing than expected for the assigned grade. The PCGS population is 2 with 11 higher.

Offered at $39,275 delivered

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1859 Liberty Double Eagle PCGS AU55

A Head Turner (or Turned)

In the early 1850s, substantial California Gold Rush bullion was shipped via Panama to the Philadelphia Mint for coining. The advent of the San Francisco Mint, and its emergence from growing pains, slowed the flood of West Coast bullion to a trickle by 1859. That year, Philadelphia struck only 43,597 double eagles, down from more than 2,000,000 pieces in 1851 and 1852. The few collectors of large denomination gold selected proofs, and the 1859 is nearly unobtainable in Mint State. Patience is required to locate any example, and when one appears in the marketplace, it is almost always in XF to AU grades. This particular example is noticeably more lustrous and attractive in hand.

Offered at $15,750 delivered

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1846 (Medium Date) Seated Liberty Half Dollar PCGS/CAC PR62

Extremely Rare

The 1846 half dollar displays two date sizes–Medium Date and Large Date. The two varieties are easily distinguished by inspection of the 4 in the date. The Medium Date 4 is connected between the lower serif of the crossbar and the base, whereas the Large Date 4 has a noticeable separation in this area. Almost all of the proof 1846 half dollars are of the Medium Date variety. The example offered here is lighter and its surfaces, noticeably more reflective, in-hand. The proof mintage is unknown. However, the number of survivors is low – probably less than two dozen. The PCGS population is only 2 with 9 higher.

Offered at $18,565 delivered

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1866 Motto Liberty Double Eagle PCGS MS63

Pop 1, One Graded Higher

The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added to the reverse of the double eagle design in 1866 and the Philadelphia Mint struck 698,775 coins with the new motif. The coins circulated heavily in the 19th century and few high-quality examples were saved by contemporary collectors. The issue is prized by type collectors today, as the first year of the Type Two design, but examples in MS62 condition are very rare, and finer coins are virtually unobtainable. In hand, the color of this coin tends a bit more towards yellow gold, as opposed to the orange-gold seen in our images. This is the only PCGS MS63, with a single (MS64) example graded higher.

Offered at $59,100 delivered

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1895 Morgan Dollar PCGS/CAC PR64+

Gorgeous Frosted

Before you read about 1895 Morgan dollars, please note that contrary to what our images show, this coin is deeply mirrored, nicely frosted and attractively toned. Pictures aren’t always “worth a thousand words”! Now please proceed…An unremarkable mintage of 880 proof Morgan dollars was accomplished at the Philadelphia Mint in 1895, with the coins delivered in four batches throughout the year. Records show a tiny business-strike mintage of 12,000 examples was also produced, but no regular-issue coins have ever turned up in any collection. The fate of the 1895 business-strike Morgan dollars is one of the greatest mysteries in American numismatics. Prominent researchers, from Q. David Bowers to Roger W. Burdette, have offered ingenious theories about the missing coins, but conclusive evidence remains elusive. One theory suggests the circulation-strike coins were never actually struck and the mintage figures represent some kind of clerical error in the records. Another theory indicates the coins were struck, but all were subsequently melted, perhaps under the provisions of the Pittman Act in 1918. Whatever the truth may be, no business-strike 1895 Morgan dollars are known to collectors today, leaving the small supply of proofs alone to satisfy collector demand. Accordingly, the 1895 Morgan dollar is the rarest, most sought-after issue in this incredibly popular series.

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Offered at $84,000 delivered

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1929 Indian Half Eagle PCGS MS65

None Graded Higher

Only the Philadelphia Mint coined gold in 1929, and production was focused on the double eagle denomination. The 1929 half eagle is, in terms of total population, the rarest Indian Head five in the series. Several hundred pieces survive, primarily in Mint State, since this issue never circulated. However, the PCGS population report shows only 12 at this grade level with NONE HIGHER. Nor has NGC graded any higher, either. In other words, an MS65 is as good as it gets for this date. This one is lustrous and attractive.

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Offered at $106, 400 delivered

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1884 Trade Dollar PCGS PR63

Truly Fabled Rarity

The 1884 Trade dollar is a coin that needs no introduction. Numismatists can quote the number of extant examples and probably relate one or two facts concerning the production and history of this issue. The true story is, however, not widely known. The reason for this is clear: popular numismatic references either state explicitly or strongly imply that this issue was created clandestinely by parties within the Mint, at night, and perhaps at a later date, for coin dealer William K. Idler. However, much of this traditional “wisdom” is erroneous. Archival research proves that the 1884 Trade dollar was struck officially, under the supervision of Mint officials, and recent findings suggest Idler was not the original owner/distributor of the coins.  According to the Fourteenth Annual Report of the Director of the Mint, page 126, there were 264 proof Trade dollars struck in 1884. These coins were delivered to the cashier on January 19. It seems likely that Superintendent Colonel A. Loudon Snowden acquired ten examples from this delivery by exchanging the equivalent amount of coin or bullion for them, a practice that was legal for Mint employees until the 1930s. Shortly thereafter, the Treasury Department sent orders to the Mint forbidding production of proof Trade dollars for sale to collectors and the remaining 254 coins were destroyed. Philadelphia Mint officials later denied any Trade dollars were struck in 1884 and their existence was largely unknown until the early 20th century.

Offered at $420,000 delivered

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1870-S Liberty Double Eagle PCGS MS62

Few are Finer

The 1870-S Liberty double eagle claims a substantial mintage of 982,000 pieces, but most of the coins were released into circulation, where they were either exported or worn down and melted for recoinage. The average survivor grades no better than VF or XF today, and the issue is a prime condition rarity in grades above MS61. The PCGS popualtion is only 17 with 3 higher. 

Offered at $18,250 delivered

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1868-S Liberty Double Eagle PCGS MS62

Only Two Graded Higher

Although more than 800,000 double eagles were struck at San Francisco in 1868, few pieces survive in Mint State. In fact, examples are scarce in MS60 and MS61, and anything finer is a major rarity. The PCGS population is a mere 8 with 2 higher, each of the latter being MS62+ examples.

Offered at $23950 delivered

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