$13 Million Is the Total for the "Thanksgiving Trio"

GreatCollections bought the greatest 1913 Liberty Head nickel, PCGS MS-66 CAC, along with high-grade 1894-S dime and 1804 silver dollar in a three-coin $13.35 million sale on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25. To encourage the owner to sell, each coin set a record price and collectively constitute a 23% premium over the PCGS Price Guide value of $10.85 million, according to GreatCollections.

The 1913 Liberty Head nickel, one of the most sought-after in American numismatics, has just five known examples. Two are in permanent museum collections, including the Smithsonian, leaving three for public ownership. This PCGS MS-66 with CAC approval is the finest known and was a highlight of the Eliasberg Collection. Last auctioned for $4.56 million in 2018.

The Eliasberg Collection holds one of nine 1894-S Proof Barber dimes. “Of the 1894-S dimes I have seen or handled over the years, the Eliasberg specimen is my favorite,” remarked CAC founder John Albanese. “Although not the highest graded example of this famous rarity, it has the strongest, most collector-friendly eye appeal.”

The James Dexter 1804 silver dollar from the Pogue Collection is the third “Big Three” piece. In 1885, 15 1804 silver dollars were named the “King of Coins,” and this one is tied for third best by PCGS with a PF-65 grade. It went for $990,000 in a 1989 auction, but the Dexter 1804 dollar would be the first million-dollar coin.

Famous collector Bruce Morelan, a Legend Numismatics partner, bought the coins separately over four years. These three U.S. coin rarities have been called the “Big Three” and “Holy Trinity” for decades. Few collectors have possessed all three in the past century, notably Louis Eliasberg, Col. E.H.R. Green, Dr. Jerry Buss, and Morelan.

This record-breaking deal was consummated in less than 24 hours, after a 10-minute conversation with Laura on the day before Thanksgiving,” stated GreatCollections president Ian Russell. "Like other collectibles, the coin market is building on the momentum of the past year, and this transaction shows the depth and liquidity of seven-figure numismatic rarities."

Legend Numismatics founder Sperber remarked, “While I'm sad to see the ‘Big Three’ leave the Legend family, I know Ian will take care of them. My first time handling the Eliasberg 1913 nickel in 2005 was when I bought it for $4.15 million, the second highest coin price ever.

Great Collections bought another 1804 silver dollar in 2021. The best Pogue Collection sample sold for $7,680,000 at an August American Numismatic Association auction to GreatCollections. The fifth-highest auction price for a coin.

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