December Heritage Sale: Capped Bust Quarter Top Coin

The finest-certified 1815 Capped Bust quarter (B-1, CACG-certified MS-67) sold for $126,000 to lead Heritage's U.S. Coins Signature Auction to $5,654,911 Dec. 14-17. Nearly three dozen bids were received.

According to Heritage Auctions senior vice president Todd Imhof, the 1815 quarters were John Reich's first Capped Bust design for the denomination. “His designs on half dollars (1807) and dimes (1809) preceded his Capped Bust quarters design. This is the best-known example.”

Numismatic Guaranty Company claims one other MS-67 example, but Heritage ranks it second to this one, which came from the collection of “Colonel” E.H.R. Green, a London-born millionaire who was close friends with President William McKinley and one of the world's most esteemed coin collectors.

A 1927-S Saint-Gaudens double eagle, graded MS-64, reached six figures in the sold-out event. This coin has always been popular and was regarded to be the fourth-rarest in the 1940s, behind the 1924-D, 1926-S, and 1926-D. This transaction brought $108,000.

Some 1927-S double eagles were traded abroad, making them unobtainable during the 1933 Gold Recall. Coin dealers repatriated many exported Saint-Gaudens double eagles from European and Latin American banks in the 1950s as international trade restarted. Few 1927-S double eagles were ever owned abroad.

An 1853-D Liberty half eagle graded MS-64+ by PCGS, CAC, sold for a record $90,000, surpassing the previous record of $86,500. Southern gold collectors prized it for type purposes. The most accessible Dahlonega Mint half eagle is tied with another MS-64+ sample at PCGS for best certification.

A 1915-S Panama-Pacific round $50 coin rated MS-63+ sold for $78,000 after over 30 bids. “King of the Pan-Pac Commemoratives,” this coin and the octagonal $50 gold are the 1915 series' crown jewels. Round Pan-Pac $50s like this Mercury Rising Collection sample are popular in any grade.

After three dozen bids, an 1864-S $10 graded XF-40 sold for $57,600. The rarest S-Mint $10 and second-rarest Liberty $10, it had an original mintage of 2,500 pieces, which diminished after being released into circulation and circulated significantly in the western US hard-money economy. PCGS CoinFacts believes 22-26 specimens of all grades remain.

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