Archive by Author

“Two bits” US quarter design proposed

21 Sep

Could the two bits return to circulation? A Spanish colonial influenced design for the 2019 Texas San Antonio Missions America the Beautiful quarter was recommended by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) on Sept. 19.

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The CCAC-recommended design for the 2019 San Antonio Missions America the Beautiful quarter.

The reverse design is based heavily on Spanish colonial cob reales which circulated widely in North and South America. It was not uncommon to see reales circulating in the American colonies. The adage “two bits” descends from the 2 reales or 2 “bits” of an 8 reales, a denomination that traded at par with a US quarter dollar.

The CCAC-recommended design features a Spanish colonial-style cross in the center. In the four quadrants, there is a mission bell tower in the upper left, a heraldic lion in the upper right, wheat in the lower left and waves in the lower right.

The mission tower and the lion are very similar to the castles and lions found on Spanish colonial cobs, both in design and in placement. The bushel of wheat and waves are modern additions that symbolize the crops grown by the missions using water from the San Antonio River.

Around the design is a raised rim with the legends reading, “SAN ANTONIO MISSIONS,” “TEXAS,” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” in addition to the date, 2019. The obverse design will be the standard Washington quarter design, shared across all America the Beautiful quarters.

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Reverse of a Mexico City, Mexico cob 2 reales.

Fifteen concepts for the San Antonio Missions quarter were submitted for review. Most featured different views of a mission. Three featured a Spanish colonial cross: the CCAC recommended design, one with the tower and wheat positions swapped as well as a fish leaping out of water and one with the cross extending to the rims.

The San Antonio Missions quarter is one of five new designs set to release in 2019. Quarters commemorating Massachusetts’ Lowell National Historical Park, Commonwealth of North Mariana Islands’ American Memorial Park, Guam’s War in the Pacific National Historical Park and Idaho’s Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness will appear throughout the year. The CCAC discussed 64 total depictions for the five quarter designs.

The designs viewed by the CCAC were also considered by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA). The CFA’s suggestions were not available at press time. Once both groups have selected designs, they will be sent to Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin for approval in early 2018.

In 2019, the United States Mint will strike the five quarter designs throughout the year. The San Antonio Missions quarter is expected to release in late August. If the CCAC-recommended design is chosen, Americans will once again find two bits in their pocket change.

How to grade coins: lessons from ANA’s Summer Seminar

12 Jul

Grading coins can be a difficult task. The difference between an AU-58 coin and an MS-62 coin can mean very little in terms of wear but matter greatly in value. If the coin isn’t under the right light or the grader isn’t experienced with the series, money could be left on the table. It’s for this reason that the American Numismatic Association (ANA) provides three grading courses at their annual Summer Seminar.

I recently attended the 2017 Summer Seminar from June 17 to 29 held at the Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colo. The seminar offers a variety of courses on numismatic topics; everything from identifying counterfeits to grading coins. In addition, there are opportunities to meet with fellow numismatists, attend mini-seminars and visit some of Colorado’s sites.

I enrolled in the Grading United States Coins, Part 2 and Advanced United States Coin Grading and Problem Coins courses after testing out of the Coin Grading 1. Coin Grading 2 was held the first week of the seminar. It was taught by Steve Feltner of Americana Rare Coins, John Shuch of NGC, and David McCarthy of Kagin’s. Advanced Coin Grading went on the second week of the seminar and was taught by Charles Browne of Charles Browne Numismatic Consulting, Ken Park of The KMJ Group, Don Ketterling of D.H. Ketterling Consulting, and Bill Shamhart of Numismatic Americana, Inc.

The course involved multiple rounds of grading coins. We would grade a coin while timed and pass it to the next student while receiving another one in turn. Timing, as the instructors stated, is important because you can’t spend all day on one coin and people have a tendency to second guess themselves. We began with a minute per coin in Coin Grading 2 and went down to 30 seconds in Advanced Coin Grading.

The coins we graded were typically US coins and most were Mint State. Why Mint State? Because most people have difficulty with identifying a Mint State coin and the differences between Mint State grades are minute.

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The Practical Book of Cobs on sale at the American Numismatic Association headquarters.

When grading a Mint State coin, two of the most helpful pieces of advice I have ever heard were picked up in the classes. The first is “grade down from MS-70 rather than grade up for MS-60.” Graders with minimal experience in a particular coin series have a tendency to focus on marks and award lower grades than expected. As someone who has a tendency to be conservative when grading, this helped me to give coins the MS-64s or -65s they deserved rather than the MS-63s I would award them.

The other piece of advice that matters most to me is to “use light to your advantage.” Lighting while grading is a big factor. A dark room is necessary. Graders should use incandescent bulbs in adjustable lamps that they can get the coin as close to as possible. Rotating the coin all around is necessary to pick up the marks and lines that may affect the grade.

I also learned an interesting technique to use on AU-58 coins that appear to be Mint State. By holding the coin vertically and moving it away from the light source, I could see areas of wear take on a darker tone than the rest of the coin. Bringing it back into the light and taking a closer look revealed the marks and smooth patches that wear leaves.

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The author, Connor Falk, holds up a very rare 1943 Lincoln Wheat cent graded PCGS XF45 CAC.

Another helpful technique I learned was to grade based on my first look at the coin. If I looked at a coin for too long or took a second look, I had a tendency to second guess my grade. Marks that seemed minimal before were more serious now that I knew where they were. Graders should also take care not to fall into the trap of “counting” marks.

Lastly, another key phrase I heard in the classes was that the “reverse of a coin never helps and always hurts.” This means that a coin with a MS-67 reverse but an MS-64 obverse is going to get an MS-64 grade. Likewise, a coin with an MS-67 obverse but an MS-64 reverse will trend around MS-65. Almost all of the coin’s grade derives from the obverse since it is the side of the coin that people see first but a bad reverse can bring a grade down.

While most of my time was spent grading, I also got the chance to visit Colorado. Some fellow numismatists and I went to a Rockies-Diamondbacks game in Denver, an arcade in Manitou Springs, and the local coin show in Colorado Springs.

The Colorado Springs coin show was a welcomed respite in between the two weeks of classes. Roughly 50 dealers had booths at the show and offered the range of numismatics. I sold quite a bit of Spanish colonial coinage we had in inventory and bought a little bit. One coin I brought back with me is a nice NGC certified 1853-O Arrows and Rays Seated Liberty half dollar from the SS Republic shipwreck. It has very minimal corrosion and some nice toning throughout. It’ll be up on the Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC online store soon.

I highly recommend attending the ANA’s Summer Seminar and taking the coin grading courses. Quite a few numismatists have taken the grading classes multiple times to hone their grading skills. Even Ken Bressett, editor of the Red Book, stopped by my Coin Grading 2 class to adjust his grading scale. The classes provide a great environment for knowledgeable instructors to teach numismatists the techniques needed to accurately grade coins. Having those skills could pay dividends when it comes to buying a raw coin, sending it in for grading and getting back a coin that you can then resell for a profit.

Shipwreck artifacts and coins top Sedwick auction

12 May

Strong collector demand provoked intense bidding and high prices for both shipwreck and non-shipwreck items in Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s May 3-4 auction. The 2,086 lot auction realized $1.725 million in winning bids. All prices listed include a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium.

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A gold and red-coral rosary recovered from the Atocha that sold for $85,187.

A gold and red-coral rosary recovered from the shipwreck of the Atocha, which sank in 1622 west of Key West, Florida, greatly surpassed its $25,000-up estimate to sell for $85,187. The rosary, in the sale as lot 2020, has been well publicized since its discovery in 1973, having appeared in the June 1976 issue of National Geographic and offered in a 1988 Christie’s auction.

Atocha bar

A 83 troy pound, 7.52 troy ounce silver bar from the Atocha was purchased for $64,883.

Another Atocha relic in the sale was lot 319, an 83 troy pound, 7.52 troy ounce silver bar that went for $64,883 on a $35,000-up estimate.

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A Bogota gold escudo from the 1715 Fleet and donated to the Salvation Army sold for $3,819.

Hundreds of shipwreck coins appeared in the sale as well. One of the most viewed items in the sale was lot 46, a Bogota gold escudo recovered from the shipwrecked 1715 Fleet and famously donated to the Salvation Army red kettle campaign during the 2016 holiday season. It flew by its $2,000-$3,000 estimate and sold for $3,819.

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A MS-64 1837 Cuzco, Peru, gold 8 escudos hammered at $38,775.

Many non-shipwreck pieces saw high prices and, in some instances, record breaking prices. Lot 203, a Cuzco, Peru, 1837 gold 8 escudos graded NGC MS 64 went for $38,775. It was estimated at $20,000-$30,000.

Panama coins and paper money saw spirited bidding in the auction. A rare Panama 1930 matte proof set consisting of the half-, quarter- and tenth-balboas pedigreed to the Richard Stuart collection was offered as lot 1648. The set sold for $18,800, well past its $2,000-$3,000 estimate. Likewise, a Panama (then a state in Colombia) 1869 3 pesos banknote graded PMG VF 25 realized $3,055 on a $1,500-$2,250 estimate.

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This Sovereign State of Panama 3 pesos note from 1869 graded PMG VF 35 realized $3,055.

Other top lots include:

  • Lot 24, a Lima 1697/66H cob 4 escudos from the 1715 Fleet graded NGC MS 63 sold for $31,725.
  • Lot 3, a 1713 Mexico gold 8 escudos from the 1715 Fleet graded NGC MS 66 sold for $28,200.
  • Lot 556, a Mexico cob 4 reales from the pirate ship Whydah sold for $16,450.
  • Lot 320, a 35 troy pound, 1.81 troy ounce silver bar from the Maravillas shipwreck sold for $15,275.
  • Lot 1666, a Paraguay white-metal pattern 10 reales (ca. 1861-67) graded NGC MS 61 sold for $15,862.
  • Lot 1644, a Panama copper-nickel 1918 2-1/2 centesimos pedigreed to the Richard Stuart collection and graded NGC MS 63 sold for $13,512.

Full auction results can be viewed online at auction.sedwickcoins.com. Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC is currently accepting consignments for their Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction #22 to be held Nov. 1-3, 2017. For more details, please contact Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC at office@sedwickcoins.com.

Red Kettle-donated gold shipwreck coin to be auctioned

13 Apr

A 300-year-old Spanish colonial gold coin recovered from a 1715 Plate Fleet shipwreck and donated during the Salvation Army’s 2016 Holiday Red Kettle campaign will be auctioned on May 3, 2017.

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The Bogota cob 1 escudo recovered from the 1715 Fleet and donated to the Salvation Army in December of 2016.

The coin will appear as lot 46 in Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction #21, held May 3-4 online at auction.sedwickcoins.com. The lot is estimated at $2,000 to $3,000. The Salvation Army will receive the full final hammer price from the sale.

Also included with the coin is a letter on its provenance from Lt. Jonathan Needham, corps officer of the Salvation Army of Vero Beach, as well as the case the coin was donated in.

The gold escudo was anonymously handed to volunteer bell ringer Jim Bessey on Dec. 23, 2016 outside of a Sebastian, Fla. Walmart store. The donation made national news as one of the more interesting pieces given to the Salvation Army during the holiday season.

The donated coin was minted at the Spanish colonial mint in Bogota, Colombia sometime between 1700 and 1715 as a posthumous issue of King Charles II (1661-1700).

In 1715, the escudo, along with many others, was shipped aboard the 1715 Plate Fleet, one of the largest treasure fleets of its time. Several ships from the fleet sank during a storm off the east coast of Florida. Much of the treasure remained on the ocean floor until modern day salvage operations recovered many coins and artifacts, which are in demand on the collectibles market.

Bidders can register for the auction at auction.sedwickcoins.com. The auction catalog is available for ordering at www.sedwickcoins.com. For more details, please contact Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC at office@sedwickcoins.com.

Rarities, shipwreck notes in Sedwick sale

6 Apr

Rare U.S., world and even shipwreck recovered bank notes will appear in Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction 21. The sale will be held live online on May 3-4 at auction.sedwickcoins.com.

The U.S. paper money section contains federal and obsolete issues in addition to Texas, Confederate and Philippine notes. The top U.S. piece is lot 1782, an 1882 $20 gold certificate graded PCGS Apparent Gem New 65, estimated at $7,500 to $11,000. The note features then recently assassinated President Garfield on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse clutching electric bolts over the ocean, symbolizing the transatlantic telegraph lines of the time.

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A 1882 $20 gold certificate graded PCGS Gem New 65 Apparent, estimated at $7,500 to $11,000.

The world paper money section features a key Puerto Rican note: lot 1994, a 1909 Banco de Puerto Rico $5 graded PCGS Fine 12 and pedigreed to the Eric P. Newman collection. Newman collected Puerto Rican currency because of their close ties to U.S. history and this example, authorized just after the Spanish-American War, fits the bill. The note has an estimate of $2,000 and up.

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A 1909 Banco de Puerto Rico $5 graded PCGS Fine 12 and pedigreed to the Eric P. Newman collection, estimated at $2,000 and up.

A high grade 1922 Canadian La Banque Nationale specimen set will also appear in the sale as lot 1845. The set features all five denominations certified by PMG in grades ranging from UNC 62 to 66 and has a $2,000 to $3,000 estimate.

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A 1936 Costa Rican 2 colones “Mona Lisa” note graded PCGS VF 30, estimated at $1,750 to $2,500.

Other important lots in the sale include:

  • Lot 1786, a series 1935E $1 silver certificate “star note” graded PCGS Grade A recovered from the Andrea Doria, sunk in 1956 off Massachusetts, estimated at $500 to $750.
  • Lot 653, three British India 10 rupees recovered from the SS Camberwell, sunk in 1917 by a German mine off the Isle of Wight, England, estimated at $100 to $150.
  • Lot 1869, a 1936 Costa Rican 2 colones “Mona Lisa” note graded PCGS VF 30, estimated at $1,750 to $2,500.
  • Lot 1819, a series 1912 Philippines 50 pesos graded PCGS VF 35 Net – Toning, estimated at $1,400 to $2,100.
  • Lot 1965, a complete set of eight high grade Mexican Banco Yucateco specimens graded by PMG, estimated at $3,000 to $4,500.
  • Lot 1844, a set of five 1929 Bulgarian specimens from 200 levas to 5,000, estimated at $3,000 to $4,000.

Bidders can register for the auction at auction.sedwickcoins.com. The auction catalog is available for ordering at www.sedwickcoins.com. For more details, please contact Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC at office@sedwickcoins.com.

Shipwreck silver ingots and gold coins highlight Sedwick’s Treasure Auction

15 Mar

A massive 83 troy-pound, 7.52 troy-ounce silver bar recovered from the shipwreck of the Atocha and estimated at $35,000-up is just one of many treasures to appear in Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction 21. The online live auction will be held May 3-4 at www.auction.sedwickcoins.com. Lots can be previewed on the site in the first week of April.

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An 83 troy-pound, 7.52 troy-ounce silver bar from the Atocha

The large silver bar comes from one of the richest Spanish treasure galleons lost at sea, the Atocha, which sank in 1622 west of Key West, Florida. One month after sinking, a hurricane scattered the wreck, preventing the Spanish authorities from recovering its treasure. However, modern salvage operations conducted by Mel Fisher in the 1970s uncovered approximately 1,000 silver ingots and over 100,000 shield-type cobs. Coins from the Atocha will be offered in the Sedwick auction as well.

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A gold and red-coral rosary recovered from the Atocha, photo credit to Carol Tedesco, Key West, FL

Another treasure find from the Atocha appearing in the auction is a gold and red-coral rosary. The rosary was featured in the June 1976 issue of National Geographic Magazine and is pedigreed to a 1988 Christie’s auction. The rosary is estimated at $25,000-up.

Other top lots include:

  • A 1713 Mexico gold 8 escudo from the 1715 Fleet, graded NGC MS 66, estimated at $15,000-up

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    An MS 66 1713 Mexico gold 8 escudos from the 1715 Fleet

  • An NGC-graded denomination set of gold Lima escudos dated 1710 recovered from the 1715 Fleet, estimated at $30,000 to $50,000 total
  • A Bogota gold 1 escudo recovered from the 1715 Fleet and famously placed in a Salvation Army red kettle during the 2016 holiday season, estimated at $2,000 to $3,000
  • An 1837 Cuzco gold 8 escudos, graded NGC MS 64 and tied for finest known, estimated at $20,000 to $30,000

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    An MS 64 1837 Cuzco gold 8 escudos

  • A 35 troy-pound, 1.81 troy-ounce silver bar from the Maravillas shipwreck of 1656, estimated at $10,000 to $15,000
  • Four silver bars recovered from the “Tumbaga Wreck” (ca. 1528)
  • Over 200 Central American coins pedigreed to the Richard Stuart Collection
  • An 1882 $20 Gold Certificate, graded PCGS UNC 65 – Repaired Edge Tear, estimated $8,000 to $12,000

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    A PCGS Gem New 65 Apparent – Repaired Edge Tear at Top Right 1882 $20 Gold Certificate

  • Around 200 lots of U.S. and world bank notes
  • More than 30 lots of natural gold nuggets

Bidders can register for the auction at www.auction.sedwickcoins.com in early April. The printed catalog will also be available early April at www.sedwickcoins.com. For more details, please contact Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC at office@sedwickcoins.com.

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Good sales, buyer buzz at FUN Show

10 Jan

There was a notable buzz at the recent Florida United Numismatists (FUN) coin show held Jan. 5-8 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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A young collector, Jacquelyn Proctor, reviews our selection of shipwreck coins.

The show was busy, especially on Thursday, where sales and purchases were made all the way up to closing time, said Daniel Sedwick.

“We experienced a large volume of sales despite the incident at the Fort Lauderdale Airport on Friday,” he said. “We bought and sold well across all world coin sectors and paper money.”

Other dealers commented on the increase in motivated buyers, saying collector confidence in the economy and the numismatics market was on the rise.

The show’s timing also mattered, said Augi Garcia.

“The fact that the New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC) and the FUN show are not conflicting for the first time in several years gave a new air to the show,” he said. “Overseas dealers that only go to NYINC were at FUN this time and making purchases.”

Areas of particular collector interest include shipwreck coins. Coins recovered from the 1715 Plate Fleet did well due to the historical connection between Florida and the Fleet. Our friends with the 1715 Fleet Society were in attendance and hosted a group dinner which we attended on Thursday night.

Gold cobs were hot but new supplies from Europe allowed us to refill our inventory. Expect to see them on our online store soon.

A number of bank notes sold, and we purchased many more at the show. A number of Latin American reverse proofs from the American Bank Note Company are new additions to our inventory.

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Ben Costello, the 1715 Fleet Society director, spoke at the group’s dinner.

Many interesting consignments came in during the show for our Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction #21. We obtained many fascinating shipwreck coins and artifacts during the show, but can always use more. If you’d like to consign to the next auction, please email us at office@sedwickcoins.com or call us at 407-975-3325.

In a closing note, our thoughts go out to all those affected by the shooting incident at the Fort Lauderdale Airport. Special thanks to the Broward County Police and Sheriff’s Departments for providing security and presence in the area.

Our next trip will take us to the NYINC show on Jan. 12-15 in New York, followed by the Treasure Coast Coin Show on Jan. 14-15 in Vero Beach, Fla., and the Long Beach Expo on Feb. 16-18 in Long Beach, Calif. We hope to see you there!

Sunken luxury: the loss of the SS Andrea Doria

3 Jan

The SS Andrea Doria name invokes tragedy now, but at the time of construction, she represented the hopes of Italian recovery after World War II. Construction began in 1950 with the ship launching in June 16, 1951. In terms of size, she was 697 feet long with a 90 feet beam and had a total tonnage of 29,100 tons. When fully furnished, she represented a source of Italian pride by being one of the finest ships on the Atlantic Ocean at the time. Even her namesake, the 16th-century Genoese admiral Andrea Doria, invokes a sense of Italian maritime power.

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The SS Andrea Doria at sea.

During her three years of service from 1953 to 1956, she had many transatlantic voyages and became popular with passengers for her luxury accommodations and quick speed. Passengers had every form of entertainment at their disposal, from movie to swimming pools, orchestras to modern artworks and mosaics. A lot of money and wealth went into the Andrea Doria, both in terms of construction and her passengers.

On the night of July 25, 1956, the Andrea Doria was on the final leg of a voyage, destined for New York City the following day. Travelling through heavy fog, the bridge officers noted a radar blip ahead. Despite taking evasive maneuvers, the distance between the two ships was too little for any meaningful actions. Out of the fog, the bow of the MS Stockholm, a Swedish American Line passenger liner, plowed into the Andrea Doria’s starboard side, leaving a gaping hole. However, safety measures kept the Andrea Doria afloat for 11 hours, long enough for the survivors to evacuate. All together, 46 people died aboard the Andrea Doria while 6 crew members of the Stockholm were killed, most during the collision itself.

The below newsreel shows images of the doomed ship in the early hours of July 26, 1956. Divers descended upon the wreck just a day after its sinking to find it lying on its starboard side at a depth of about 250 feet, far too deep for recreational diving.

Divers descended upon the wreck just a day after its sinking to find it lying on its starboard side at a depth of about 250 feet, far too deep for recreational diving. Since then, through advances in diving equipment, technical divers are able to reach the wreck.

In 1981, adventurer Peter Gimbel, his wife Elga and a salvage team uncovered the Bank of Rome safe held onboard the ship. When the safe was opened in 1984, thousands of American $1 silver certificates, hundreds of Italian bank notes as well as American Express checks were found, still preserved despite decades of submersion. The Gimbels carefully preserved and encased the banknotes in protective Lucite holders before offering them on the numismatic market. Many silver certificates and Italian lira have since been graded by PCGS Currency according to shipwreck grading standards.

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An example of a Andrea Doria recovered $1 silver certificate.

As the leading shipwreck coin and artifact dealer, Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC has a number of $1 silver certificates recovered from the SS Andrea Doria for sale. All notes are graded “A” by PCGS Currency, meaning they are almost entirely intact (despite 30 years of saltwater immersion), with prices dependent upon the eye appeal of the note. They come in a blue case along with a DVD of their recovery by the Gimbels and their crew. To view these notes, please click on the picture below and navigate to the Andrea Doria listing:

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Today, heavy currents, silt clouds and the depth still make the Andrea Doria a difficult wreck to dive, earning it the nickname “the Mount Everest of wreck diving.” Regardless, the allure of the ship’s luxury and artifacts still on board bring divers back again and again. For many, a dive to the SS Andrea Doria will never happen. By buying these silver certificates, anyone can own a piece of history from a ship that launched with so much promise only to become a modern tragedy.

Gallery

A relative to the Confederate half dollar? 6 U.S. highlights in Treasure Auction 20

28 Oct

While Spanish colonial and shipwreck coins make up much of our November auction, a number of other collecting areas are well represented. We’ve already taken a look at paper money, so let’s turn to U.S. rarities coming up for auction.

Lot 1401 – 1890-CC Coronet Head double eagle – Est. $2,000 – 3,000

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As the highest denomination struck by the famous Carson City Mint, their double eagles were never struck in great numbers. Mintages barely topped 100,000 between 1874 and 1876. By the time this 1890-CC double eagle was struck, the mint had only three years left before closing in 1893. Still, the fact that 91,209 were minted in 1890 is impressive and makes this example an in-demand, yet affordable piece for the Carson City type set collector.

Lot 1414 – 1844-D Coronet Head double eagle – Est. $1,500 – 2,250

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The former Dahlonega Mint building in 1877 or 1878.

This 1844-D half eagle was struck in the better years of the Dahlonega Mint, where mintages of the half eagle approached 100,000 coins from 1843 to 1845. In 1844, 88,982 Dahlonega half eagles were made, making it, like the above lot, attractive yet affordable for the Dahlonega type collector or for someone who just wants to own one. The typical bag marks and scratches are noted in the fields, with wear evident yet not enough to knock it down to Very Fine as the coin still has a full Liberty headband.

Lot 1429 – 1914 Indian Head quarter eagle – Est. $1,500 – 2,250

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Some rarities take the form of gorgeous, high grade examples, such as this 1914 quarter eagle. NGC certified it as MS-63, putting it ahead of many others in uncirculated grades. Only light bagmarks are noted in the fields with some planchet adjustment lines in the headdress and light toning throughout.

Lot 1436 – 1846 Seated Liberty silver dollar – Est. $900 – 1,350

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This AU-55 1846 Seated Liberty dollar is perfect for a U.S. type set collector. Only light even wear is visible on the high points. The fields and some areas of the design are darkly toned with lighter toning around the stars, dress folds, and eagle’s wings. Overall, a nice, lightly circulated example with a well-centered strike.

Lot 1437 – Set of three New Orleans-minted half dollars from the SS Republic – Est. $1,500 – 2,250

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This set represents two important events to U.S. coin collectors: the beginning of the Civil War in 1861 and the sinking of the SS Republic in 1865.

Upon the election of Abraham Lincoln on Nov. 6, 1860, Southern states began to secede, with Louisiana seceding Jan. 26, 1861 before joining the Confederate States of America on March 21, 1861. It was during that time the New Orleans Mint continued striking Seated Liberty half dollars under all three governments: U.S., State of Louisiana, and Confederate. Through die diagnostics, all three issues can be identified, while in this set, the U.S. issue is denoted with an 1860-O half dollar.  The 1861-O Confederate issued half dollar in the set, noted for the die crack on the obverse above Liberty’s face, shares the same obverse die as the four known Confederate half dollars bearing the words “Confederate States of America” above the eagle on the reverse.

Furthermore, all three coins were recovered from the SS Republic, a ship that sank with many U.S. coins onboard, both silver and gold, on Oct. 25, 1865. Since the wreck’s discovery in 2003, some U.S., State of Louisiana, and Confederate issued Seated Liberty half dollars have been found and packaged into attractive sets like this, where coin collectors, Civil War historians and shipwreck researchers can appreciate these historical coins.

Lot 1439 – 1909-S Indian Head cent – Est. $700 – 1,000

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This is a beautiful 1909-S cent, a rare, key and final date to the long-lived (1859-1909) Indian Head cent series. Certified by NGC as AU-58 Brown, this piece has lovely chocolate brown toning throughout with choice wood-grain toning on the obverse and only light wear on the high parts of the design.

For more U.S. coins appearing in our November auction, visit the Session Four page here, up for sale on Sunday, Nov. 13 and Session Five (internet-only) page here, hammering on Monday, Nov. 14.

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