1877 Gilt Copper $50 'Half Union' coin leads Heritage's first-ever ANA show

Heritage Auctions will present the official auction of the American Numismatic Association's inaugural Fall National Money Show in Pittsburgh, PA, with floor sessions scheduled for October 13 and 14 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Highlights include a massive pattern for a $50 coin and some of the rarest Liberty quarter eagles and double eagles in existence.

"This is the first-ever fall National Money Show put on by the ANA, and Heritage is proud to be its Official Auctioneer," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage.

The 1877 Gilt Copper $50 'Half
Union' coin

"More than 200 consignors contributed to this auction, creating a wide variety of lots for show attendees to bid on and compete for against collectors from around the world."

The heavyweight of the auction - literally and figuratively - is a massive Judd-1547 pattern 1877 $50, or "half union," coin in gilt copper, PR63 NGC, CAC.

The half union of 1877 not only has the highest face value of any pattern available to collectors, it also comes with a colourful background.

"The Mint produced two patterns of this design in gold and a dozen or fewer in copper," said Rohan.

"The gold patterns caused a scandal when they were first exhibited by a private collector, and the debate was not resolved until the pieces were traded back to the Mint's cabinet. The copper patterns, some of which were gilt to resemble the gold patterns, are much sought-after by today's pattern enthusiasts."

An elite collection of Liberty quarter eagles, The Baltimore Collection, Part Two, contributes several highlights from within the series. Most prominent among them is an 1854-S quarter eagle, VF35 PCGS, pedigreed to the famous Norweb Collection.

Only 246 pieces were produced, all of which went into circulation, and only a dozen or so examples survive.

Most of the pieces in The Baltimore Collection, Part Two are business strikes, but the consignor made exceptions for a handful of proof-only dates, including an 1841 quarter eagle, PR55 NGC, a specimen of the early and enigmatic date that has been known as the "Little Princess" in collector circles since the mid-20th century.

Super rare: the 1854-O double eagle

Liberty double eagles represent yet another strength of this auction: The Rubic Collection is rich in New Orleans $20 coins, including the two rarest and most famous dates, the 1854-O double eagle, AU55 PCGS, from an issue that compounds a paltry mintage of 3,250 pieces with a survival rate that hovers around 1%.

Even rarer is the 1856-O double eagle, XF45 PCGS, CAC and the coin from The Rubic Collection is one of perhaps two dozen known.

"When it comes to collecting Liberty double eagles, three dates stand out: 1854-O, 1856-O, and 1870-CC," said Rohan. "To have two of them in the same auction is impressive, to say nothing of having a pair in the same collection."

Another Liberty double eagle highlight is an 1864 $20, PR65 {star} Ultra Cameo NGC. The largest of six pieces in a complete gold proof set of 1864, this double eagle from a mintage of just 50 proofs is one of perhaps 12 to 15 known survivors.


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