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Early American regulated $15 gold coin sells for $152,750

18 May

A unique, early American regulated $15 gold coin marked by Boston goldsmith Joseph Edwards, Jr. drew intense bidding during Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, US Coin & Paper Money Auction 23, held online May 15-16, 2018.

The coin’s rarity stems from a small IE countermark on a plug in what was once a Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos dated 1741V. The NGC slab label denoted the coin’s grade of XF 40 as well as its unique association with Joseph Edwards, Jr. The coin, accompanied by an article on its history and pedigree to the Julius Brown sale of 1911, sold for $152,750 on a $100,000 and up estimate.

regulated

Lot 83 – USA, regulated $15, Joseph Edwards plug and countermark (Boston, ca. 1780) on a Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos, 1741V, extremely rare, NGC XF 40, ex-Brown (Chapman, 1911).

Daniel Sedwick, president of Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, said the regulated $15 gold coin first appeared on the market in the 1911 sale, where the significance of the regulation mark went unnoticed. The coin sold for just $19 then.

“It was especially rewarding to see an exceptional result on lot 83, the first gold cob 8 escudos known to be regulated to a $15 standard with the mark of Joseph Edwards, Jr,” he said. “A record number of bidders propelled prices to strong levels in many areas, but particularly in gold cobs and shipwreck ingots, our specialties.”

Overall, the auction featured 2,001 lots and realized $1.65 million. All prices listed include a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium.

Lima

Lot 18, an NGC-graded MS 62 Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos dated 1712M from the 1715 Fleet which sank off of the east coast of Florida.

The majority of top-selling gold cobs were those recovered from the 1715 Fleet, which sank off the east coast of Florida. Lot 18, an NGC-graded MS 62 Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos dated 1712M sold for $25,850 on a $12,500 to $20,000 estimate. Another high performer was an NGC-graded MS 61 Mexico City, Mexico, cob 8 escudos dated 1715J (lot 6) that went for $18,800 on a $10,000 to $15,000 estimate.

Shipwreck ingots attracted interest as a trio of Atocha (1622) silver “loaf” bars (lots 243-245) in Class Factors 0.7, 0.9 and 1.0 (the highest quality) sold for $30,000, $32,500, and $48,500 respectively. Another Atocha ingot, a cylindrical “piña” ingot (lot 246), brought in $30,550 while a half-cut gold finger bar (lot 238) from the “Golden Fleece wreck” sold for $31,725.

Atocha

Lot 243, a Class Factor 1.0 silver bar weighing 88 troy pounds, 3.84 troy ounces found in the Atocha shipwreck.

Agustín García-Barneche, vice president of Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, was equally enthusiastic for shipwreck coins as well as world gold and silver coins.

“Our spring auction resulted in energetic bidder competition, especially in our Shipwreck and Latin America coin sections,” he said. “We positioned our company in a market that allows us to reach and attract consignors and bidders of Latin American numismatics.”

Latin American coin highlights in the World Gold Coins section included an NGC-graded XF details Costa Rican 8 escudos dated 1828F (lot 152) sold for $10,575 on a $8,000 to $12,000 estimate. In World Silver Coins, a Costa Rican 8 reales with an 1846JB 2-reales counterstamp and a “8” countermark on a Guatemala cob 8 reales (lot 1143) sold for $8,225 on a $7,000 to $10,000 estimate. Another rarity sold was a Mexico City, Mexico, pillar 8 reales dated 1733MF and graded NGC AU 53 (lot 1319) which blazed past its $2,000 to $3,000 estimate to reach $4,406.

Other top lots include:

  • Lot 1, a Mexico City, Mexico cob 8 escudos, undated but with visible assayer’s mark J from the 1715 Fleet graded NGC MS 61 sold for $10,869.
  • Lot 5, a Mexico City, Mexico 1714J cob 8 escudos from the 1715 Fleet graded NGC MS 63 sold for $10,810.
  • Lot 15, a Lima, Peru 1711M cob 8 escudos from the 1715 Fleet sold for $20,562.
  • Lot 194, a Mexico City, Mexico 1823JM Iturbide 8 escudos plated in James Bevill’s book The Paper Republic (2009) sold for $7,050.
  • Lot 242, a silver “tumbaga” bar weighing 2,801 grams from the “Tumbaga” wreck (ca. 1528) sold for $9,400.
  • Lot 466, a large clump of encrusted cob 8 reales weighing 1,266 grams from the 1715 Fleet sold for $6,462.
  • Lot 470, a Mexico City, Mexico cob 4 reales from the Whydah (1717) sold for $13,630.
  • Lot 608, an 1856-S Liberty Head double eagle graded NGC UNC details / sea salvaged from the “Fort Capron treasure” (1857) sold for $3,819.
  • Lot 878, a Potosi, Bolivia 1666E cob 8 reales Royal sold for $10,575.
  • Lot 989, a Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic enriched billon 11 maravedis sold for $8,225.
  • Lot 1568, a San Juan, Puerto Rico, Banco Español 20 pesos specimen (ca. 1889) graded PMG Gem UNC 65 EPQ sold for $1,410.
  • Lot 1599, a small, 7” piece of gold “olive blossom” chain from the 1715 Fleet sold for $4,759.

Full auction results can be viewed online at auction.sedwickcoins.com. Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC is accepting consignments for their Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction 24 through Aug. 20, 2018. The sale will be held at the Disney Springs Doubletree in Orlando, Florida on Nov. 1-3, 2018. For more details, please contact Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC by email at office@sedwickcoins.com.

Sedwick’s Treasure Auction 23 to feature PCGS-graded coins

10 May

A wide variety of rarities graded by PCGS are set to draw heavy bidding during Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction 23 to be held live online on May 15 and 16, 2018.

PCGS-graded coins

24_4

Lot 24: a Lima, Peru, cob 2 escudos, struck during the reign of King Philip V of Spain and lost while en route to Spain while aboard a vessel in the 1715 Fleet.

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

Sedwick’s Auction 23 to feature NGC-graded coins and PMG-graded notes

24 Apr

A wide variety of rarities, both NGC-graded coins and PMG-graded notes, are set to draw heavy bidding during Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction 23 to be held live online on May 15 and 16, 2018.

NGC-graded coins

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Lot 2 – Mexico City, Mexico, cob 8 escudos, (17)14J, Royal obverse die, encapsulated NGC MS 61, ex-1715 Fleet.

regulated

Lot 83 – USA, regulated $15, Joseph Edwards plug and countermark (Boston, ca. 1780) on a Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos, 1741V, extremely rare, NGC XF 40, ex-Brown (Chapman, 1911).

PMG-graded notes

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Lot 112 – USA, Continental Currency, $35, Jan. 14, 1779, serial 169644, PMG AU 53 EPQ.

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Lot 1561 – Lima, Peru, Banco Central, 100 soles, (1935) overprint on Banco de Reserva, 10 libras, 12-4-1922, series AI, serial 079433, PMG VF 30.

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Lot 1568 – San Juan, Puerto Rico, Banco Espanol, 20 pesos specimen, ND (ca. 1889), series C, PMG Gem UNC 65 EPQ, finest and only known example in PMG census.

Interested bidders can visit auction.sedwickcoins.com to view all the lots in the sale as well as place bids. The online auction will go live at 10 AM EST on May 15, 2018.

Historical regulated $15 gold coin to appear in Sedwick auction

13 Mar

In the early years of the United States of America, a lack of gold coinage forced citizens to utilize an unusual but practical source. Known as regulated gold, these were foreign gold coins adjusted by respected goldsmiths to weights compatible with US dollars. One such piece, an NGC-graded XF 40 Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos dated 1741 struck during the reign of Philip V of Spain and regulated by Boston goldsmith Joseph Edwards, Jr. (1737-1783) to $15 in circulating value, will cross the auction block in Daniel Frank Sedwick’s Treasure Auction 23. The sale will be held online at auction.sedwickcoins.com on May 15-16, 2018. The auction firm’s estimate for this coin is $100,000 and up.

regulated

An NGC-graded XF 40 $15 regulated gold piece made from a Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos dated 1741 by Boston goldsmith Joseph Edwards, Jr., ca. late 1700s.

“This is a very important piece for both the Spanish colonial coin collector as well as the US collector,” said company president Daniel Sedwick. “Never before have we offered such a significant gold coin; the dual-nation history it represents goes far beyond a simple countermark.”

The lot represents the only known gold piece regulated by Joseph Edwards, Jr. Edwards was a third-generation goldsmith from a prominent Boston family. He learned his craft from one of his uncles, Thomas or Samuel, and became a prosperous metalworker himself. The coin is also unique with a US dollar-denominated regulation on a Spanish colonial 8 escudos cob. Furthermore, it is pedigreed to the Julius L. Brown collection and was sold in the S.H. Chapman auction of 1911 as lot 343.

Also appearing in Sedwick’s auction is a group of ingots recovered from seven different shipwrecks. The top ingot lots are three large silver bars recovered from the Atocha, sunk in 1622 in the Gulf of Mexico. The finest one is a Class Factor 1.0-graded bar (the highest grade attainable for bars from the wreck) weighing in at 88 troy pounds, 3.84 troy ounces and dated 1621. It has an estimate of $30,000 and up. The other two large bars, with Class Factors 0.7 and 0.9, are estimated at $20,000 to $30,000 each. Another Atocha ingot of note in this auction is a rare cylindrical “piña” weighing 4,312 grams, estimated at $15,000 and up.

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Tax stamps in the name of King Philip III of Spain and fineness markings can be seen on the top of this unique “piña” ingot from the Atocha (1622).

Other top lots include:

  • A Lima, Peru, gold cob 8 escudos dated 1712 recovered from the 1715 Fleet and graded by NGC as MS 62, estimated at $12,500.
  • Half of a gold “finger” bar weighing 439 grams recovered from the “Golden Fleece wreck,” sunk ca. 1550 in the northern Caribbean, estimated at $17,500 and up.
  • A Costa Rica 8 reales 1846JB counterstamp on a Guatemala cob 8 reales dated 1739, estimated at $7,000 to $10,000.
  • An 1856-S Coronet Head Liberty $20 graded by NGC as UNC Details / sea salvaged from the “Fort Capron treasure,” estimated at $3,000 to $4,500.
  • A Puerto Rico 20 pesos specimen bank note circa 1889 graded by PMG as Gem UNC 65 EPQ (the finest and only known example in the PMG census), estimated at $1,500 and up.
  • Selections from the Richard Stuart collection mainly focusing on Honduras and Nicaragua provisional issues.
  • The James Bevill collection of Mexican coins and paper money, including several plated in his Texas history book The Paper Republic.
  • The Ricardo Muñiz collection of Mexico City, Mexico, pillar 1 reales.

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

FUN Wrap Up and Coins Weekly

9 Jan

While the weather gods weren’t smiling upon us benevolently with our famous Florida warm winter weather, the temperature was blistering inside the Florida United Numismatists (aka FUN) 2018 winter show in Tampa. We had brisk sales and collected consignments for our next Sedwick Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction #23 on May 15-16, 2018. It looks like buyers and collectors are optimistic. We are too!

2018 FUN Show

Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC booth at the 2018 FUN show in Tampa 

At the show, I was fortunate enough to renew my acquaintance with Ursula Kampmann, founder of CoinsWeekly, a popular online newsletter for the trade. Aside from that newsletter, she is launching companion newsletter called AuctionsWeekly which will list every Friday ”all auctions that will take place during the following week as well as just published fixed price lists.” What a great way to keep up with all the auctions that take place around the world, especially during very busy auction times! You can subscribe here: https://www.coinsweekly.com/en/Subscribe-to-CoinsWeekly-Newsletter/37. You’ll see us listed as time gets closer to our next auction.

Cori and Uschi at January 2018 FUN Show

Cori Downing, left, with Ursula Kampmann, right

By the way, if you’re in the New York City area, find us at our table at the New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC) January 11-14 now held in the Empire State Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt, located at 109 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10022, between Park and Lexington Avenues. We hope to see you there!

nyinc-logo

Happy Holidays and New Year’s Resolutions 2017

21 Dec

by Cori Sedwick Downing

With a very successful Sedwick Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction #22 in the history books and consignments for #23 starting to trickle in, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on our hobby and tell you trends we see for 2018.

First, let’s start with a homily that was often repeated by my father, Frank Sedwick, during his years as a coin dealer: “If you want to sell, the time to sell is when you have a willing buyer.” That seems like good advice, but more often than not, we twist that tidbit of wisdom to read, “If you want to sell and someone wants to buy, perhaps you’re not asking enough.” Frank would counter with, “There is always a willing buyer when the price is right.” So, what’s the right price? Mostly it’s a matter of demand. The right price depends on who wants/needs something at that moment. The right price could also depend on the price of silver or gold, and we all know how that fluctuates.

As a hobbyist, your New Year’s resolutions should include spending some time with your hard-earned collection to determine which coins you need to upgrade and which you’ve got duplicates of. Consider putting your duplicates at auction or private sale and hope to make enough money to afford any upgrades that might be available.

What does our crystal ball say?

We’ve seen a fair amount of what we call “grade inflation” among encapsulated coins. crystalball_coinThere’s more “mint state” material circulating than we’ve seen in the past. The old AU 58 becomes the new MS 61. This happens in many fields—not just coins—and eventually the market adjusts. The take-home lesson is to look at the COIN and not the SLAB.

Another trend that we’ve noted is that more and more collectors of US coins are transitioning to collecting world coins. By comparison, world coins are a bargain! The material is also fresh to them as opposed to the same old retread US coins. There’s no reason to believe that this influx of buyers won’t continue. This is not only valid for the Latin American market, where we see the trend auction after auction but also for mainland Spanish coins that finally seem to have found their way into the US collectors field.

A continuing trend is that quality trumps rarity. Even when a coin is unique or very rare, if its quality or grading is low, it may fetch less at auction than a coin of lesser rarity but higher quality.

One more comment regarding the market for 2018 (at least in our field): we have noticed a big interest in Latin American military decorations, medals and tokens. They are now eligible for grading and better understood thanks to several works published in recent years. Their price has made them affordable in the past but the feeding frenzy has begun and they may not be so affordable in the future.

In the end, a wise collector learns as much as he or she can and applies good sense to investing. Don’t buy something for the sake of having it; buy it because you like it. That way you can always examine your coin collection with a smile and most likely you will hold it for a longer time increasing the chances of eventually the value also going up.

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones from the team at Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC—Daniel, Augi, Cori, Connor, and Michelle.

You can find us in the New Year at these shows:

          (Consignment deadline for Auction 23, February 25 )

Upcoming Treasure Auction 22: Important 1715 Fleet Artifacts

21 Oct

Today we will cover some of the most important artifacts from the 1715 Fleet you can find in our upcoming auction. These pieces are important for either their rarity, their quality, their provenance or all of the above

Lot 1473: Gold-and-pearl “Madonna” brooch, large and ornate, from the 1715 Fleet, plated in Dreamweaver. 59.79 grams, about 3-1/2″ x 2-1/4″. A large and very ornate pendant of an articulated type known as a “venera,” featuring a crowned female over an angel face superimposed over an upward-facing crescent moon (topped with small posts, one of which still bears a pearl), all in a central open oval surrounded by twenty-two sunrays tipped with pearls, fastened to a frame of alternating large and small five-point ornaments with more pearls on top (on loose posts fastened with Y-backs) and on ends, with small loop at bottom, that whole piece suspended from a moving “crown” of similar ornaments encrusted with more pearls, the back showing a large horizontal ring for wearing as a brooch or pendant. This piece has popularly been referred to as the “Madonna” brooch, but more accurately the central figure appears to be Our Lady of Guadalupe (similar to the medallion from the 1733 Fleet plated on pages 158-9 of Weller’s Galleon Alley book of 2001). The pearls (fifty-two remaining) are all a bit worn and quite a few are missing, but more egregious is the absence of eleven gemstones (presumably emeralds) from now-empty sockets that show traces of light encrustation (hence they were lost or removed before salvage), although it is possible the gems were to be added later when this relic made it to Spain. The gold itself is all intact and visibly high grade. Clearly a museum piece, one of the most important 1715-Fleet artifacts we have ever offered, reportedly recovered by John Berrier and Duke Long in 1989. From the “Rio Mar” site, with Fisher photo-certificate #1611 and photocopy of a hand-drawing by K. Amundson, and featured in color photo on page 193 of Dreamweaver (1996), by Bob “Frogfoot” Weller.  Direct link

Lot 1474: Matched pair of gold-and-pearl earrings from the 1715 Fleet. 7.09 grams total, each about 2-1/4″ long. Nearly identical earrings, made with hoop of gold at top, quatrefoil ornament with pearls on posts below that in middle and the bottom piece a pearl-strung straight wire with trefoil at top and ring at bottom, each with eleven pearls total, all very small and worn but none missing, an intact pair that can still be worn and matches the previous lot (“Madonna” brooch) in style, possibly from the same ship of the 1715 Fleet but reportedly found farther up the coast. With Fisher photo-certificate #41562 (showing both earrings) and original yellow-plastic tags #41562 and 41563. Direct Link

Lot 1476: Gold chain, 66.54 grams, 24 inches long, heavy-braid links with original clasp, from the 1715 Fleet. Thick links of boxlike braiding somewhat tightly spaced to make a very ductile chain, completely intact with ring at one end and Y-shaped piece at other end (connected with oblong jumper) for fastening to the ring, eminently wearable and attractive. With Queens Jewels LLC photo-certificate #F040982 (tag #75905). Direct Link

Lot 1484: Ornate silver shaker (pounce box) from the 1715 Fleet. 313 grams, 2-3/4″ cube. Unlike gold, very few shipwreck silver artifacts are solid enough to emerge from conservation as bright and beautiful and functional as they day they were made, but this is one of those rare relics, with every finely engraved detail in the (separate) lid and embossed design on the side intact and unblemished, just a tiny corner-chip in the lid and verdigris in one corner of the plain inside of the box, the lid designed with eighteen small holes in a floral pattern in a concave circle on the top for sprinkling a fine powder (pounce) over fresh manuscripts to prevent the ink from spreading. With Queens Jewels LLC photo-certificate #F040818 (tag #77225). Direct  Link

 Lot 1482: Gold-and-emerald ring, size 7-1/4, from the 1715 Fleet. 5.05 grams. Very solid and intact ring with rectangular, table-cut emerald of decent translucence and color in a scallop-base frame, the ring itself with straight sides, high-karat gold. From the “Cabin wreck” site, found on the beach in 1985, with a photo-certificate from salvager Carl Lazzeri and another from Daniel Frank Sedwick. Direct Link

Related Important Item:

Lot 1460: Unique set of newspapers with accounts on the sinking and salvage of the Spanish 1715 Treasure Fleet, consisting of four issues of The Post Boy (London) from 1715-16.

Four very rare, complete issues of The Post Boy, a major London newspaper, from November 19, December 8 and 19, 1715 and July 3, 1716, each issue a single 14” x 8” sheet (“broadsheet”) of high-quality rag stock printed on both sides, and in Fine to Very Fine condition. In all probability these papers are the only ones in private hands.

These four historic newspapers provide accounts of the legendary disaster and Spain’s frantic attempts to recover the hundreds of millions of dollars of gold and silver coins and precious jewels carried by eleven Spanish galleons, accompanied by a French warship that was the only ship to escape the hurricane on July 30, 1715, as the treasure-laden Fleet attempted to sail from Cuba to Spain. Hundreds of seamen and passengers drowned in the vicious storm with the survivors going to St. Augustine or Havana. Although much of the treasure was salvaged over the next few years—and present-day salvors have uncovered millions of dollars in coins and jewels—more treasure remains unclaimed in the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of Florida. Several whole ships have yet to be found.

The first report of the disaster in the November 19, 1715 issue reads: “Letters from the Havana, of the 17th of September, advise that the Flotilla, consisting of Ten Ships, met with such a violent Storm, upon the 31st of July, that they were forced to run ashoar upon the Coasts of Florida, 50 Leagues from Cape S. Augustin, and 20 from Cape Canaveral; and that only one Ship, v.z. the Flying-Hart, escaped: That upon this News, several Ships were immediately sent from the Havana to fish up the Gold and Silver; that good Part of it was already recover’d and particularly that on board the Urza de Lima; and that it was hoped, most of the rest would likewise be got up. They add, that 4 or 500 Men were drown’d, and among them several Passengers. This News was brought to Rochelle by the S. Francis, whose Cargo is very rich, consisting of 500000 Pieces of Eight besides Merchandizes.”

Further details from the December 8 issue are more positive (possibly to buoy public opinion on the disaster). Some of the reporting stated: “We have receiv’d better News concerning the Flota of New Spain…that only two Ships of it were cast away; Some others were indeed run aground upon the Coast of Florida; but all the Gold and Silver, and most of the Merchandizes were taken out of them.” The King then sent four ships to Florida, “…and shall take on board those of the Flota, which amount to 12 Millions of Crowns in Gold and Silver only.”

From the December 17, 1715 issue came the following: “Letters from Cadiz, of the 28th past, say, that all possible Diligence is used in fitting out the Men of War, which are to go and take on board the Cargoes of the Galleons run aground upon the Coast of Florida. By a Vessel arrived from thence they heard, that the Galleons could not be put a float again; but the Chests of Gold and Silver had been all taken up, and great part of the Merchandizes; so that only the Cochineal will be lost.”

Finally, after just over six months of salvage attempts, the July 3, 1716 issue reported the following gleaned from letters from Havanna at the end of March: “…they had recover’d out of the Capitana, a thousand Chests of Silver, and seven hundred and fifty out of the Admirante (Almiranta), but no Merchandizes out of those two Ships, whereas all those of the Urca de Lima had been fish’d up; that some English Barques being come in Sight of Palmaer, five (Spanish) Barques were fitted out at the Havana to observe them; that nevertheless the English seiz’d some Part of the Plate above specify’d whereupon a Deputy was order’d from the Havana to the Governor of Jamaica to complain of that proceeding….”

These newspapers represent highly important accounts of the disaster and the subsequent attempts to salvage the enormous treasure Spain and other European countries were counting on for their economies. In our time, ironically, these newspapers are vastly rarer than the treasure itself! Direct Link

 

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