Collectors placed particular emphasis on acquiring high-grade Saint-Gaudens coinage in Heritage's $8.6 million Long Beach Signature US Coin Auction, February 5-6, at the Long Beach Convention Center. The auction saw a 94% sell-through rate by lot value and 97% sell-through rate by lot. All prices below include the 15% buyer's premium.
A 1921 Saint-Gaudens $20 MS62 NGC, the second rarest series issue in high grades, was the top lot of the auction, with collectors bidding the coin all the way up to $126,500. The coin is one of very few known and, as stated in the 2008 second edition of the David Akers Handbook of 20th Century United States Gold Coins, 1921 Saint-Gaudens $20s "that grade MS-63 or finer are offered only once in a very long while."
A Premium Gem 1907 $20 High Relief, Flat Rim MS66 PCGS, one of the most highly sought-after of the high relief flat rim varieties, realised the second highest price in the auction, challenging the six figure mark but coming up just short, as it finished the auction at $97,750. This coin is remarkable for many reasons, not least of which is that it purely represents the original designs of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, before his death in 1907, and not long time rival Samuel Barber's subsequent changes, which appeared on future gold coinage.
Always a highly anticipated item when it appears at auction, a 1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Octagonal MS63 PCGS, the last and greatest coin in the set, lived up to the billing by bringing $86,250 amidst spirited bidding, to round out the top trio of the Heritage Long Beach event.
A classic gold rarity, in the form of an 1885 $20 MS61 PCGS, CAC, one of only 751 pieces struck — ranking among the lowest production totals in the entire regular-issue series of US gold coinage — realised $80,500, while a 1920-S $20 MS62 PCGS, CAC, among the most elusive in the series, realised $80,500.
The auction has again demonstrated the current popularity for coins with collectors but it is not always necessary to take your chances at auction to find a rare coin worthy of investment.
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