Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 13

Lot 1470

1893-S Morgan Dollar. PCGS graded MS-64. The rarest and most desired date in the entire Morgan Dollar series, save for the proof only 1895. No bags of mint state coins were found, and the few mint state coins survived simply by a matter of chance. PCGS has graded a total of just 25 in various mint state grades! Even in About Uncirculated grades this date is surprisingly rare. When one considers the countless date sets being assembled by collectors throughout the world, it doesn't take long to see that this is always going to be "the" classic date to own in as high a grade as one can afford. In a near gem grade as offered, PCGS has graded just 3 coins as MS-64, with 6 graded higher. This particular specimen has excellent flash and a hint of gold toning on both sides. The fields are slightly prooflike, and the coin dances with the familiar "spin" peculiar to Morgan silver dollars. At first glance, one would expect this to be another gem example of a common date, but when the magnitude of 1893-S settles in, one must look on this coin with the reverence that a great rarity deserves. Close examination confirms that the die line is present at the top of the T in LIBERTY, and apparently only a single obverse die was used to coin these, despite 10 obverses shipped to San Francisco that year. Most of the mint state examples turned up in a bag of 1894-S dollars, and these were discovered about 1952 in Great Falls, Montana. Here at the Goldberg's, we are always proud to offer our clients the finest rarities for their collections, and with this fantastic example of the classic 1893-S Morgan dollar, this tradition continues. After all, this is the great rarity of the most popular series in American numismatics.
Estimated Value $75,000-UP.

Lot 1002

1853 Liberty Seated Half Dollar. Arrows and rays. NGC graded Proof 65. Here is a spectacular specimen of this extremely rare and desirable one year type coin. It is instantly recognizable by a small planchet streak in the right wing of the eagle as the Eliasberg coin, plus this fact is announced on the NGC insert. Toned with champagne and light gold colors throughout over the deeply mirrored fields. Perhaps 10 were struck, and no doubt just a handful are known today. The current NGC Population Report shows 4 are graded by that service, 1 as PF-63; this coin as PF-65; and 2 as PF-66 and in addition 1 coin is listed as a Mint State Specimen-66 by NGC. PCGS has graded 5 examples as follows: 3 as PR-63, 1 as PR-64 and 1 as PR-65. Therefore, this coin is certainly one of the better ones known, and extremely important as a one year type coin, the only year the both arrows and rays were used to announce to the world that the silver content had been slightly reduced reflecting the wild swings in prices caused by the California Gold Rush and tons of gold coming to market. This caused the price of silver to actually rise relative to the price of gold, as the gold price fell. By 1852 virtually all silver coins had disappeared from circulation, and were in fact worth more than face value. The situation was so bad that silver coins could actually be taken from circulation and melted for a sizable profit. Therefore, very little silver was brought to the mints for coinage, and mintages fell. Congress acted by reducing the required amount of silver for half dimes through half dollars (the silver dollar for some reason left out of this adjustment, as few were coined anyway at that time). To identify these new lighter weight coins, the Mint added arrows at the date and rays around the eagle. These arrows and rays were added so the new coins wouldn't join the older ones in the melting pot, and thus the shortage of small silver coins in circulation could finally be corrected.
Research has shown that no 1853 proof sets were coined (see Bowers Eliasberg sale, lot 1956) and thus mintages of proofs were scattered and depended on orders. Needless to say, this is an extremely rare coin, and the opportunity to purchase one may not occur again for many years.
Extensive die file lines are visible on Liberty, around the eagle, and through the reverse legends, and these are detailed in the Eliasberg description of this same coin. A foremost rarity in any grade, and this stunning gem example will undoubtedly become the centerpiece of a most advanced connoisseurs collection.
Estimated Value $100,000 - 150,000.
From Bowers and Merena's Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, Part II, April 1997, Lot 1956, with no prior pedigree listed, although likely from the George H. Clapp collection and purchased from an unknown source by him.

Lot 1139

1794 Flowing Hair Dollar. PCGS graded EF-40. An excellent example of this rare date that boasts antique silver color and defect free surfaces. There are the usual adjustment marks around the rims of the reverse, with the heaviest left of the first S of STATES, and through the eagle's tail, perch, wreath and rim below. The surfaces show minor circulation hairlines, and both sides have dark toning specks, predominantly on the reverse as illustrated. For a 1794 dollar, this one is well struck, with all the stars visible, and all of the reverse lettering is present, but weak due to the strike and the adjustment marks. Liberty's hair retains good separation on all but the uppermost wave over her ear, which shows the expected wear. We note areas of golden tones around the rims, and there is a small planchet crack through the 1 in the date, starting at the rim left of the digit, up on the left side of the serif, crossing the 1 at the bottom third, into the right field to midway between the 17, then curling back towards the 1. Other identifying features are a small nick between the two upper left points of the sixth star, a spot on the upper inside point of the fourteenth star, and a long adjustment mark down the post of the second T of STATES. PCGS has graded 5 examples as EF-40, one as EF-45, two as AU-55, and six in various mint state grades above.
It is believed that all 1794 dollars were coined on October 15, 1794 from silver bullion deposited by David Rittenhouse, and all 1794 silver dollars coined on this date were delivered to David Rittenhouse (Breen and Collins, in their draft of the 1794 silver dollar manuscript). Thus, all 1794 silver dollars can trace their pedigree to David Rittenhouse, who passed them out to friends, many of whom kept them, others were spent and circulated. The silver bullion deposited by Rittenhouse varied greatly, and there were many gas bubbles in the silver ingots, which later caused laminations and planchets cracks, which plague approximately 30 percent of the 1794 dollar population (as seen here with the faint planchet crack through the 1 in the date).
The 1794 silver dollar is an American classic, it is the first year of issue of our monetary unit, was struck in extremely limited quantities, and the total known population is between 130 and 140 coins in all grades.
Estimated Value $60,000-UP.
After exhaustive searching, this specimen is not recorded in the unpublished Jack Collins and Walter Breen study on 1794 silver dollars, and it is not the specimen offered in July 1997 at the Heritage ANA, which is also PCGS graded EF-40. Apparently, this coin that has traded privately and is not recorded in any auction appearance that we could locate.

Lot 3339

1858 $10 Liberty. PCGS graded MS-64. A classic rarity in all grades, and this piece has long been known to be the Finest Known. Boasting full mint bloom, this coin possesses all the eye appeal of a common date gem, but when one realizes that this is an 1858, the magnitude of this phenomenal coin starts to come into focus. Mintages plunged to 2,521 for 1858, as the United States economy followed the direction of the sinking Central America ship downwards. Demand for coins fell, and production was greatly curtailed. Of the original mintage, most were spent, lost or melted. Today, with the benefit of decades of auction records and population reports, we can estimate that 20 to 30 are known in all grades. One other example has been certified by NGC as MS-61, with all other known coins of this date in circulated grades. At the very top of the grading scale resides this proud specimen, with no hint of any competition.
Although PCGS reports 3 known as MS-64, they are all this same coin, as is the NGC MS-64 reported. This coin was graded 14 years ago and the owner felt it should grade higher, and in the last few years had resubmitted it for grading. During this process, the reported number of MS-64 pieces has grown, and the inserts have been submitted to PCGS to properly reflect only 1 coin as MS-64, and we expect the future Population Reports to be adjusted accordingly.
Numismatically discovered in 1972, a man walked in to the offices of Manfra, Tordella and Brookes and sold the coin to Paul Nugget of that firm. The owner stated that the coin had been held in a small chamois pouch since the time it was struck. This coin was then sold to Frank Bohren, and after he passed away was offered in Auction '80 as lot 954 where it realized $115,000. Soon after that auction, the coin was obtained by Andy Lustig, who sold it to Warren Miller. Miller later sold his fabulous eagle collection through Heritage in October of 1995, where this was lot 6309.
Any collector who demands the absolute finest known coins would do well to purchase this famous rarity.
Estimated Value $65,000 - 85,000.
Purchased over the counter in 1972 by Manfra, Tordella & Brookes to Frank Bohren; Auction '80:954; unknown to Andy Lustig to Warren Miller privately, Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc., 10-5-1995: 6309.

Lot 2271

1920-S $20 St. Gaudens. PCGS graded MS-64. We are proud to present this extremely rare coin for auction. Throw away the mintage figures, of the 528,500 struck, perhaps 100 survive today in all grades. The rest were melted or otherwise lost. This date is so rare that Breen estimated the number to survive at 8-12 when he wrote his Encyclopedia. Today, with the advantage of the PCGS and NGC Population Reports we see that around 100 have been graded by both services, which no doubt include some duplication between them. Of those graded, this is one of the best, as PCGS reports only 7 this high, with a single coin graded higher! We note that this one is housed in the old style green insert holder. Well struck for the date, with full details on the devices, and just a minor scattering of ticks keeping this just out of the full gem class. Identifiable by a small mark near the ray left and below from the eagle's beak. Good luster and a wonderful example for the specialist to purchase for a date set.
Estimated Value $50,000 - 60,000.

Lot 454

1798 Draped Bust Dime. 98 over 97. 16 stars. . R-1. PCGS graded MS-65. This is the finest graded of the variety by PCGS! Toned with delicate gold hues on the obverse over frosty luster in the fields, and the reverse with a touch more gold, mostly at the periphery. Struck unevenly by the dies, as always, the central shield is slightly weak, and the second star on the obverse does not show the center as full as the others, and these diagnostics are seen on the few other high grade examples of this date. A curious die pair, the overdate feature is popular with the long tail of the 7 extending below the 8, and 13 stars are noted on the obverse. But wait, the reverse shows 16 stars! What was going on? Well, the Philadelphia Mint kept adding stars as new states joined the union. By 1796, there were 16 states, and hence 16 stars. Sometime in 1797-98 it was decided to go back to the original 13 stars, as the dies were becoming too crowded, plus most of the engravers could scarcely count up to 13, and sixteen was a big challenge for some. On the reverse, the stars are arranged in two rows of seven each, with two additional stars surrounding the eagle's head. The obverse die was not used to coin 1797 dimes, but was prepared and not used. Rather than toss it away, an 8 was engraved over the final 7, and coins were struck. The Philadelphia Mint prepared 4 reverse dies using the sixteen star pattern. Three of these dies were used to coin quarter eagles, which are the exact same size as dimes, and the other reverse was used to coin dimes. The dies used for the dimes all show rust and were poorly polished, and the obverse die was obviously lapped heavily before this one was coined, making the curls, stars and the Y of LIBERTY weaker than the surrounding details. An important opportunity for the dime specialist who demands gem condition, even on the early coins.
Estimated Value $25,000-UP.
No provenance known, although similar to the Eliasberg coin they appear to be different, and this is not the Numisma '95 example from Akers/Rarcoa/Stack's, nor is it the Suros coin from Superior.

Lot 1475

1895-O Morgan Dollar. PCGS graded MS-64. As a date, 1895-O is one the condition rarities of the Morgan silver dollar series. Unlike virtually every other date, no bag of these turned up in mint state. Hence very few were saved at the time of issue, and virtually the entire mintage circulated. PCGS, after 15 years of grading coins, has only graded a total of 103 in various mint state grades, most at the lower end of the grade range. Yet, here is a near gem for your set. The surfaces are white, with no signs of toning and the luster is full. As always for the date, there is minor weakness on the curl over Liberty's ear and on the breast, although all the feathers do show, they are not struck up to the fullest extent possible. PCGS has graded only 8 this high, with 7 graded higher, confirming the tremendous rarity of the date. As we know, the Morgan silver dollar series is one of the most popular dates sets collected. Most dates are available in any grade desired, but the key dates, such as the 1895-O have tremendous pricing pressure on them, as there are simply not enough coins to go around for the collectors desiring one. Careful review of the PCGS Population Report will confirm that 1895-O is one of the great rarities of the series, especially in high mint state grades. We heartily recommend purchasing this coin if you are a serious collector, as high grade examples are rarely offered. In searching through United States Small Cents-Silver Dollars, Significant Auction Records by Dannreuther & Garrett (a summary of all coins auctioned which brought more than $500) for the years 1995 through June 2000 we note that only one single example was offered that is PCGS graded MS-64, that in 1995. Needless to say, waiting for the next one could take another 7 years if this is the grade you desire.
Estimated Value $40,000 - 50,000.

Lot 1015

1859-S Liberty Seated Half Dollar. NGC graded MS-68. This spectacular coin came from the Eliasberg sale in April 1997. It is snowy white in color, and very frosty on the devices. The strike is sharp, with most of the stars showing all but the finest lines at the centers. Although 566,000 were coined, most were spent or lost during the Civil War, and very few have been found in mint state condition. This coin is the finest graded by NGC, and we note a similar MS-68 graded at PCGS, which in all probability is the "large S" example that was also offered in the Eliasberg sale. Quality such as this must be seen to be believed, and we recommend a few moments spent with this lot to all bidders who can view the sale.
Estimated Value $35,000-UP.
From John G. Mills collection, S.H. and H. Chapman, April 27-29, 1904; J. M. Clapp; John M. Clapp estate, 1942; to Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., Bowers and Merena Galleries, April 1997, lot 1980.

Lot 1881

1796 $2.50 Capped Bust. No stars on obverse. PCGS graded AU-53. A lovely example from the famous Harry Bass, Jr. Collection. The cameo obverse design was quickly abandoned as the devices wore after just limited circulation, this caused by the open fields. Once stars were added later in 1796, the central devices wore more slowly. On this particular coin the curls on Liberty show some definition, and as nearly always seen the E of LIBERTY is weak (as it was opposite the eagle's tail). On the reverse there is an old scrape across the eagle's breast, and a few other minor imperfections from circulation and handling. Perhaps 100 are known of the original 963 struck, and this one is likely in the top half or even higher. PCGS has graded 8 as such, with 44 as AU-55 and AU-58 combined, and only 3 graded as Mint State above.
An important type coin as these were only struck in the early part of 1796, and they are the first quarter eagles issued by the United States. Always in high demand by collectors.
Estimated Value $40,000 - 50,000.
From Bowers & Merena's Harry Bass, Jr., collection Sale, October 1999, lot 262; earlier from Glendening's sale of October, 1970, lot 884.

Lot 333

1795 Flowing Hair Half Dime. PCGS graded MS-65. This is certainly one of the finest known of this date, PCGS has graded 8 this high with just 5 graded higher, the better ones all MS-66. Well struck by the dies, but with localized weakness on a couple of the curls. We note satiny luster in the fields which combines with delicate blue and gold shades to present an old time type coin in wondrous condition.
Free of adjustment marks or any post mint problems, the surfaces are simply pristine in every way. Certainly one of the most important and valuable coins in the Benson Collection, and worthy of the finest collection of half dimes.
Although a common variety, few survive in full gem condition, and precious few survive even in mint state. As a variety, this die pairing also has the dubious distinction of being counterfeited by the spark erosion process. The counterfeits can be discovered by a telltale pit at the top of the 7 and are normally found in circulated grades. This coin is obviously an original, and has been held in Dr. Benson's collection for many decades.
Estimated Value $15,000 - 20,000.
Purchased by Dr. Benson on March 30, 1946 for $50.00 likely from Ira Reed or James Macallister.

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