1913 Liberty Nickel brings $3.73 million at Heritage Auctions January FUN U.S. Coin auction Part of Heritage Auctions' $53 million numismatic auctions week; Strength seen holding in U.S. Rare Coin market
at auction, including this one, over the past 15 years.
One of the FUN auction’s biggest surprises was the second million-dollar coin of Platinum Night, one of only two known 1874 Dana Bickford $10 Gold coins, this one Judd-1373, Pollock-1518, R.8, PR65 Deep Cameo PCGS. It far exceeded already lofty expectations to finally settle at $1,265,000.
"The Bickford pattern $10 gold piece, known to pattern collectors as Judd-1373, is one of the most celebrated issues in the U.S. pattern series," said Rohan. Not only is this just simply a beautiful work of art, it comes with a rich and mysterious history, all of which gives it an irresistible appeal."
Dana Bickford's proposal for an international coinage captured the attention of Mint officials and others in the mid-1870s, but the coin’s concept was too closely tied to international monetary values of the day, and their ever-shifting natures doomed the idea. Bickford's dream would fail in its time, but yielded some of America's greatest coin rarities and, oddly enough, is now seen to be well ahead of its time as more than a century would pass before his dream was at least partially realized by the euro.
Gold ingots are always a favorite feature of Heritage numismatic auctions, and never more so than when there's a shipwreck aspect to them. A Justh & Hunter Gold Ingot, 185.21 Ounces, fit the bill perfectly for a determined collector. The massive piece, the largest of several gold ingots in the auction, was part of the extraordinary S.S. Central America treasure, and quickly found its place at FUN with a $322,000 price realized.
A beautiful Near-Gem 1921 Saint-Gaudens $20 MS64 PCGS, second only to the 1933 in high-grade rarity, had discriminating collectors of Saint-Gaudens salivating over the prospect of adding this rarity to their collections, and as such the bidding quickly became heated before the $322,000 price was set, matching that of the 185.21 ounce Justh & Hunter Gold Ingot.
One of the most special moments of the evening came when a famous off-metal error rarity, a 1943 cent, struck on a bronze planchet, AU58 PCGS, proved its enduring mettle to the numismatic world when it brought home a $218,500 total, far exceeding the expectation that it could end up the night as a $100,000 coin.
"The 1943 copper cents, as they're known," said Rohan, "are among the misunderstood and mysterious error coins in all of American numismatics. To see the extent to which the price and stature of these coins have grown over the decades makes watching this particular highly-graded example surpass $200,000 very gratifying."
Further highlights include, but are not limited to:
Barber-Designed 1879 $4 Flowing Hair Stella, Judd-1635, PR67 Cameo NGC, tied for Finest Certified: Many numismatists have commented over the years on how outlandish a conception were the 1879 stellas, metric dollars, and metric goloid dollars. It is plausible to believe that all of the 1879 Flowing Hair coins were struck at one time and the mintage was incorrectly given as 15,