Goldberg Coins and Collectibles



Sale 70

The September 2-5, 2012


$3.00 Gold
 
 
Lot Photo Description Realized
Lot 2043
1854. NGC graded AU-55. A nice frosty coin with a small reverse mark (PCGS # 7969) .
Estimated Value $1,250 - 1,300.
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Realized
$1,438
Lot 2044
1854 NGC graded Unc Details. Scratches on the face. Light golden toning. Quite lustrous and original otherwise. First year of issue (PCGS # 7969) .
Estimated Value $900 - 1,000.
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$1,150
Lot 2045
1854-O. NGC graded AU-55. Nice even golden toning. A nice strike. Only 24,000 struck of which merely 1,000 examples are estimated to have survived. A lovely specimen of this popular issue, desirable and remarkable as the only New Orleans coin of this denomination (PCGS # 7971) .

The $3 gold piece was authorized by the Act of February 21, 1853, a very important piece of legislation from a numismatic viewpoint, an act which also affected the silver coinage, namely the reduction in weight of the half dime, dime, quarter, and half dollar, and the addition of arrows alongside the date to indicate the new standard. Whether or not the $3 denomination was actually necessary or worthwhile has been a matter of debate among numismatists for well over a century. At the time of its introduction, 1854, the $3 had as a close companionthe long established $2.50 quarter eagle.
Estimated Value $8,000 - 9,000.
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Unsold
Lot 2046
1854-O. ANACS graded AU details, Net EF-40. Scratched. Only 1,000 examples are estimated to have survived of this elusive $3 issue. New Orleans struck $3 gold pieces only in 1854.
Estimated Value $1,600 - 1,700.
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Unsold
Lot 2047
1859. NGC graded MS-61. Only 15,558 minted of which merely 1,500 examples are estimated to have survived. Clearly superior to the vast majority of often-abraded Uncirculated pieces, this sleek lightly toned golden example has virtually no blemishes and benefits from the high production standards employed by the Mint during this decade. If one were to take a poll, we'd see that the strike is nonstandard for the issue in being sharp with the excellent metal flows on both sides into the deepest die recesses; in other words, a very bold strike. Pop 43; 63 finer. The reverse is rotated 10 degrees (PCGS # 7979) .
Estimated Value $2,700 - 2,800.
The Dandelion Collection.

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Realized
$2,990
Lot 2048
1860. NGC graded AU-58. CAC Approved. Light golden toning. Only 7,155 minted. A sparkling example of this scarce pre-Civil War issue. The luster is unbeatable for the grade with bare diminishment from what is seen on a fully Mint State coin; consistent too is the strike with is outstanding, being quite crisp. The lack of marks gives it the edge over others from this decade and so adds to the appeal (PCGS # 7980) .
Estimated Value $2,100 - 2,200.
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$2,818
Lot 2049
1862 PCGS graded Genuine. Altered Surfaces. Only 5,750 minted of which merely 650 examples are estimated to have survived. The reverse is 15 degrees rotated. Our grade is AU55 cleaned (PCGS # 7983) .
Estimated Value $1,000 - 1,050.
The Dandelion Collection.

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$1,495
Lot 2050
1867. NGC graded Proof 60 Cameo. Lightly toned. Only 50 minted. The elusive 1867 Three-Dollar gold piece has a limited mintage in both business strike and Proof formats. Federal records report that just 2,600 pieces were delivered for circulation, alongside only 50 specimens for sale to collectors. Survivors of the latter delivery are believed to number no more than 20 pieces, at least three of which are impaired per current PCGS and NGC population data.

Every bit the original look, this naturally toned Proof is awash in orange-gold shades that retain the mirror-finish fields when turned away from a light. The devices stand out with not only a well-contrasted satin texture, but also pleasingly sharp striking detail. Only a few handling marks are seen. Pop 1; 6 finer, 1 in 62, 1 in 63, 1 in 64, 2 in 66, 1 in 67 (PCGS # 88030) .

Historic Account: The $3 denomination was designed by James B. Longacre, who became chief engraver at the Mint in 1844, after the death of Christian Gobrecht. The obverse features the head of Liberty decked out as an Indian princess, facing left, wearing a decorative feathered headdress upon which is a band inscribed LIBERTY. The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds. (The same motif was later used on the Type III gold dollar 1856-1889.)

The reverse displays an "agricultural wreath" enclosing 3 DOLLARS and the date. The reverse wreath was later used on the Flying Eagle cents of 1856-1858. As is demonstrated, Longacre often replicated his own work.

The $3 design was continued without major change from beginning to the end, except that issues of the year 1854 alone have the word DOLLARS in smaller letters than do the pieces from 1855 to 1889. A trickle of Proofs were issued to collectors beginning in 1858. Between 1879 and 1889, the number of Proofs sold increased somewhat due to speculative interest at the time.
Estimated Value $8,000 - 9,000.
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Realized
$10,350
Lot 2051
1868. PCGS graded MS-64. Only 4,850 minted of which merely 1,250 examples are estimated to have survived. Lovely golden toning and fully prooflike. A brilliant, lustrous specimen with, as stated, a generous amount of Prooflike surface on both sides immediately draws attention. The strike is above average, but with some lightness on the high parts of the wreath bow. The reverse is quite sharp otherwise, not perfect, but close.

As a Mint State coin the present 1868 is a significant rarity per the accompanying census figures. Clearly, the word opportunity applies here. Pop 14; 7 finer, 5 in 65, 2 in 66 (PCGS # 7989) .

Historical Account: Among later Philadelphia Mint coins, mintages were very low, save for 41,800 struck in 1874 and 82,304 in 1878. Regarding these two higher-mintage dates, it is likely that thoughts of the resumption of payments of gold coins at par, which had not been done since December 28, 1861, would create a demand for $3 pieces. However, the experts at the Treasury Department were wrong, and no widespread interest ever developed.

Coinage reached an especially low point in 1873, when only a few hundred pieces seem to have been struck. Mint records are silent on circulating coinage of this year, and the best we can do is guess. A few years later, even fewer coins were made, with just 20 being struck in 1875 and only 45 in 1876, these being Proofs for collectors.

Beginning in 1879 and continuing to the end of the series in 1889, there was a modest investment and speculative interest by the public in $3 gold coins, and more Mint State pieces were saved than would have been the case otherwise. However, none are really common, as the low mintages indicate.
Estimated Value $11,000 - 12,000.
The Dandelion Collection.

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$10,638
Lot 2052
1870 NGC graded AU Details. Polished. Only 3,500 pieces struck (PCGS # 7991) .
Estimated Value $500 - 550.
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Realized
$920
Lot 2053
1874. NGC graded MS-63. A choice untoned coin. Collectors realize the 1874 is not rare as a date, at the MS63 level; certified by NGC, it emerges as admirably affordable for Type collecting purposes. 41,800 were made for circulation, and of this number estimates are that 2,500 to 3,000 exist in worn grades, plus a generous 1,750 to 2,250 in Mint State.

Today there is a significant market demand for Type coins. Whether or not the dates are basically or foundationally rare doesnt matter. Accordingly, we expect that the present frosty 1874 will attract a fair amount of attention when it is offered, as the opportunity to acquire such a specimen should be pounced upon when offered (PCGS # 7998) .
Estimated Value $3,500 - 3,700.
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$4,715
Lot 2054
1878. NGC graded MS-66. Only 25,000 examples are estimated to have survived. Lovely rich golden toning. A beautiful coin. The 1878 $3 is interesting among later issues in that 82,304 were coined. For many years, indeed since the waning days of December 1861, such pieces had not been available at par and did not circulate in the East or Midwest. Now, by congressional mandate, on January 1, 1879, all gold coins were to be exchangeable at par with Legal Tender notes and other paper money. Anticipating a rush, the Mint produced additional examples of certain denominations. Rumors swept through the financial community in December, to the effect that come January 1, the bank vaults would be completely cleaned out, this despite millions of dollars in gold being set aside for the purpose.

Par was achieved on December 17, 1878, nearly two weeks ahead of the legal mandate. In the end, there was no rush for gold at all. Customers of banks were content in the knowledge that if desired they could exchange paper for gold. However, by that time paper had become familiar in circulation, and the assurance that it was now backed fully by gold was enough. Paper (and demand deposits, checkbook money) continued to dominate in commerce, and after 1878 coins of any gold denomination were hardly ever seen except in certain areas of the West.

As to the 82,304 $3 pieces minted in this year, presumably many of them were paid out to banks, where at least some remained in vaults for years after, thereby accounting in part for the 8,000 to 10,000 Mint State pieces known today. Pop 34; 17 finer (PCGS # 8000) .
Estimated Value $15,000 - 16,000.
The Stocker Estate.

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$16,100
Lot 2055
1878. NGC graded AU-58. Only 25,000 examples are estimated to have survived (PCGS # 8000) .
Estimated Value $1,250 - 1,300.
Ex: The Stocker Estate.

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$1,495
Lot 2056
  1878. Sharpness of Extremely Fine. Attempted hole at 12 o'clock.
Estimated Value $200 - 250.
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Realized
$357
Lot 2057
1879. NGC graded MS-63 Prooflike. CAC Approved PQ. Sometimes the mysteries of the $3 series are beyond solution, and this is the case with the 1879. The mintage is officially posted at 3,000 coins, from which might be subtracted some pieces held back at the Mint and melted. Who knows? In any event the survival rate is much less than one would suppose for that figure, assuming that the true distribution of the 1879 is in the range of 800 to 1,000 pieces. Today we estimate that just a couple of hundred exist in all grades. Beyond that, among known Mint State pieces more than just a few have problems.

The present piece is exempt from such comments. There are some evidences of contact here and there and a bit of weakness, as struck, at the lower areas of the wreath involving the ribbon bow (as is often the case since this is a high point on the design). Overall, the appearance is quite beautiful. The strike is significantly above average on the obverse and the remainder of the reverse is also above average. Only the most attentive observer would even know that the tiny vertical lines separating the ribbon knot are lightly struck, as on the vast majority of other $3 gold coins. Eye appeal, rarity, and desirability meet in this one 1879 $3 gold piece. Certainly it will attract a great deal of attention when it crosses the block. Pop 4; 14 finer, 1 in 63 Star, 12 in 64, 1 in 65 Star (PCGS # 8001) .
Estimated Value $6,000 - 6,500.
The Dandelion Collection.

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Realized
$7,705
Lot 2058
1886. PCGS graded MS-62. Only 1,000 minted of which merely 550 examples are estimated to have survived. Nice prooflike fields. In terms of PCGS certification it doesn't get any better than this, fewer than 50 graded at or above this level! Both obverse and reverse are Prooflike with some evidence of mint luster, about par for the course for a typical low-mintage $3 from the 1880s. The striking is sound, significantly above average and among the finest that exists anywhere, with good detail on the hair and the visually rare leaf detail on the wreath. In any numismatic era the 1886 has been viewed as a great rarity. Pop 21; 13 finer, 1 in 62+, 6 in 63, 5 in 64, 1 in 65 (PCGS # 8008) .
Estimated Value $6,000 - 6,500.
The Dandelion Collection.

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Realized
$6,038






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