News-Antique.com - Aug 18,2009 - DALLAS, TX -- An 1880 $4 Coiled Hair stella, Judd-1660, Pollock-1860, Low R.7, PR62 NGC – a gorgeous example of the timeless design of George Morgan – realized $546,250 at Heritage Auction Galleries' July 31-Aug.2 Los Angeles U.S. Coin Auction, leading the almost $25 million event. All prices include 15% Buyer's Premium.
"We're certainly pleased with the outcome of this auction," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage. "Our three day event was a blockbuster. It brought in more than the top grossing movie of the weekend, which earned a little more than $22 million total. If you factor in that we did it with almost 4,000 bidders, and sold more than 90% of all lots, the figure is even more impressive."
In past auctions Heritage has only been able to account for eight different examples of the 1880 $4 Coiled Hair stella, but the firm has recently established that the Dallas Bank Collection example makes a ninth distinct survivor. It was believed for many years that just 10 pieces were struck, but it is more likely that 20 pieces were originally coined, which all goes to show that, like the 1879 Coiled Hair and 1880 Flowing Hair coins, the 1880 Coiled Hair is a major rarity from an extremely small mintage.
"The more than half million dollar price tag attests not only to the rarity of this great coin," said Rohan. "It also speaks to the undiminished popularity and lasting beauty of Morgan's artistry."
The number two and three lots in the auction – a spectacular MS65 1933 $10, the Morse-O'Neal example of the 'Last Collectible Classic U.S. Gold Issue,' and an 1856-O $20 AU58 NGC, one of the finest known examples – both brought $460,000 from the enthusiastic Los Angeles buyers.
The 1933 $10 is among the most notable rarities of the 20th Century U.S. Mint Gold Series, having survived President Franklin Roosevelt's early 1933 order halting the release of gold coins from the Mint, and recalling gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates, which was made in an effort to halt the downward economic spiral created by The Great Depression. The near-Mint 1856-O $20 is one of the few remaining examples of a mintage that was small to begin with, only 2,250 pieces; it is easily the rarest double eagle from the New Orleans Mint, and ranks alongside the 1854-O and 1870-CC issues as the rarest business strike Liberty $20s.
A true first year of issue super gold rarity, a 1795 $5 Small Eagle S over D MS65 Prooflike NGC, was the subject of much admiration and fierce floor bidding in Los Angeles as it soared to a $345,000 price tag.
"This stunning beauty ranks among the finest Heritage has ever handled," said Rohan. "In fact, it's the only Gem example of this early issue that has appeared in any of our auctions since 1993, being a reappearance of lot 3135 in our January 2008 FUN Sale. It's also the finest Prooflike example that has ever been certified."