Central States Auction Raises $61M

Heritage Auctions' Central States Numismatic Society U.S. Coins Signature Auction raised $46,206,006 May 3-7 with 56 bids on one of two 1829 proof half eagles, which sold for a record $2.88 million.

The three events totaled $61,111,617, including Heritage's $9,164,164 CSNS World Coins Platinum Session and Signature Auction and the May 3-5 CSNS U.S. Currency Signature Auction's $5,741,447.

The top lot from The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Core Collection, Part III was a half eagle cataloged as Large Diameter, Large Date, BD-1, R.7, PF-66+ PCGS JD-1, R.8. Proceeds will benefit dozens of Dallas-based non-profits supported by the foundation, with an emphasis on early childhood education and literacy. Part III brought in over $18.15 million and took the top three spots. One of 30-plus records set in the tournament, the 1829 half eagle's $2.88 million result twice the previous $1.38 million mark.

“Pair the exceptional lots in these auctions with shrewd collectors looking to strengthen their collection with the best coins and bank notes, and these are the results you can expect,” said Heritage Auctions executive vice president Todd Imhof. More than 100 pieces at this auction were from the Bass Collection, a treasure trove of exceptional coins that raised $62.6 million for Dallas non-profits. We are thrilled with the results and the Dallas community will benefit from the proceeds.”

Another Bass Collection 1824/1 quarter eagle, cataloged as BD-1, R.5, PF-67 PCGS JD-1, R.8 as a Proof, sold for $1.74 million after more than three dozen bids. It is one of two confirmed specimens and the only proof in private hands and authenticated by either top grading service. The other is in the Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection, out of collectors' grasp.

After nearly three dozen bids, a 1908 eagle coin with Roman Finish and rated PF-65 PCGS CAC sold for $750,000, breaking the previous record of $7,500. One of two Roman Finish proof eagles, it may have been made by the Mint experimenting with proof gold coin finishes in the early years of Saint-Gaudens' new designs. Two similar double eagles were also made. Roger Burdette suggested that the double eagles of the same date and finish were “defective proofs produced while the medal department was striking the... proof double eagles for 1908.”

The highest-graded 1831 quarter eagle, BD-1, R.4, PF-67 Cameo PCGS JD-1, R.7 as a proof, sold for $630,000, breaking the $168,000. Quarter eagles struck before the Classic Head type in 1834 have few surviving examples, and the quantity is disputed. John W. Dannreuther lists 32 proofs, including nine for 1831; seven are in the Smithsonian.

The top non-Bass Collection coin was a $420,000 1801 half dollar – O-102, T-1, R.4, MS-64 NGC CAC. Most of the 100 coins from the 1801 O-102 die marriage are circulated. Only two Mint State instances are known to Heritage Auctions. Three or four Mint State 1801 O-101s may still exist, with the best graded MS-63 in recent auctions.

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