Heritage's Summer FUN rare coin auction makes $11.2m in Orlando
The sale featured a 1797 16 Stars Eagle and one of the last attempts at a Mormon currency
Rare and high quality gold coins dominated the results in Heritage's recent 2011 July Orlando Summer FUN Signature US Coin Auction. Overall, the prices realized in this auction approached $11.3m, including Buyer's Premium.
Top honours, as we've reported, went to a 1797 16 Stars Half Eagle, graded AU53 by NGC. This coin's die marriage, BD-3, is the most plentiful variety of the four known for the date, but in this case 'plentiful' means that there are only 20-25 pieces known.
Under heavy competition, this rarity brought $132,250 when the hammer fell. But there were a number of other highlights.
Notably, there was an 1860 Mormon five dollar piece, graded AU50 by PCGS which brought $80,500 to its happy consignor.
The discovery of gold in Colorado in 1858 had prompted this final attempt at a Mormon coinage in Utah. Brigham Young sponsored the coinage, which was accomplished by J.M. Barlow and Douglas Brown, at a mint established in Barlow's jewelry store.
The last gold coin issued in the Mormon territory, this historically significant territorial gold coin bears the obverse inscription "HOLINESS TO THE LORD" in the Deseret alphabet, one of the few examples of that script to survive today.
The third highlight was a spectacular Gem proof 1901 double eagle with dramatic, gold-on-black cameo contrast realized $77,625 when it crossed the auction block.
From a tiny mintage of only 96 proofs, this beautiful coin is believed to be one of only 40-50 still in existence, including many that have been mishandled over the intervening years.
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