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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1929 Indian Half Eagle PCGS MS64

Last Year-Of-Issue Rarity

The Indian Head half eagle series was short-lived. Yet, it comprised a number of highly elusive dates, none more so than the 1929. Although the 1909-O is perhaps more recognizable to the uninitiated thanks to its low mintage of 34,200 coins, the 1929 is rarer in the absolute sense with a survival rate approximately 50% lower than its New Orleans counterpart. The Mint struck 662,000 five-dollar gold pieces that year, but nearly the entire mintage was held in reserve and eventually melted after the Gold Recall of 1933. Coins that avoided the melting pot are apt to be found in AU to Uncirculated condition, generally MS61 to MS63.

Offered at $35,750 delivered

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1851 Humbert $50 PCGS MS63

Spectacular Choice Unc.

Lettered edge, 880 Thous. The octagonal ingots or “slugs” first produced in 1851 by the firm of Moffat & Co., operating as the United State Assay Office of Gold in San Francisco, rank among the most iconic coins ever issued in this country. Octagonal fifties were struck in 1851 and 1852 only. Several varieties exist, including those in 880 and 887 pure gold, with lettered and reeded edges, and with and without 50 at the central reverse, among other differences. The vast majority of survivors of these and similar Humbert fifties are found in grades ranging from VF to high AU. Mint State examples are significantly rarer. The PCGS population is only 2 with 2 higher, the latter both being MS63+ representatives. This particular example is highly lustrous and features a flashy, semi-prooflike obverse.

Offered at $302,500 delivered

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1922-S Peace Dollar PCGS MS66

Only 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. This Gem is noticeably brighter when viewed up close and personal. The PCGS population is just 20 with a single (MS66+) example graded higher.

Offered at $22,900 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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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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