Top 10 Biggest Rare Coin Auctions of 2014
The ten most valuable rare coins that crossed the auction block in 2014.
10) 1797 Half Dollar
Just 2,984 1797 Half Dollars were ever struck, using silver deposited by the United States Government. Of the surviving coins, this example (the Norweb Specimen) is the second-finest known, graded PCGS Secure Mint State 65. It sold at Heritage in August for $1,292,500.
9) 1927-D Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle
The 1927-D Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle is the rarest regular-issue 20th Century American coin, with just seven examples available to collectors (and a further six hidden in museum collections or merely rumoured to exist). This particular coin, graded PCGS Mint State 63, sold at Heritage in March for $1,292,500.
8) 1776 Silver Continental Dollar
Just four 1776 silver Continental Currency dollars are known to exist, two of the Newman 3-D variety and two in the Newman 1-C variety. This example, the finest known graded MS63, was offered at public auction in May for the first time in over 100 years. It sold at Heritage for $1,410,000.
7) 1792 Silver Center Cent
The 1792 Silver Center Cent was the first coin produced inside the walls of the First United States Mint. Described as "one of the most significant and historically important coins ever struck at the Philadelphia Mint", just over a dozen examples known to have survived. This specimen, graded MS63+ Brown NGC, sold at Heritage in May for $1,410,000.
6) 1861 'Paquet Reverse' Double Eagle
Since they were struck in 1861, just two examples of the 1861 'Paquet Reverse' Double Eagle coins have been positively identified. It is the fourth rarest regular issue United States coin, described as "one of the most important issues in the entire scope of U.S. numismatic history". This coin, graded MS61 PCGS and known as the Dallas Bank specimen, sold at Heritage in August for $1,645,000.
5) 1804 Draped Bust Dollar
(Image: Stack's Bowers Galleries)
Described by famed collector B. Max Mehl as "The King of American Coins", the 1804 Draped Bust Dollar is one of the most sought-after in US numismatics. Just 15 examples are known to exist, including the Class III type Berg-Garrett specimen graded NGC Proof 63. It appeared at auction for the first time in 28 years in August, when it sold at Stack's Bowers Galleries for $1,880,000 .
4) 1792 Silver Center Cent
The second 1792 Silver Center Cent in the top 10 is the Norweb specimen, the second-finest known graded High R.6, MS64 Brown PCGS Secure. With a continuous ownership history dating back to the 19th century, this "classic American rarity" sold at Heritage in August for $1,997,500 (to its owner, who re-purchased it with a bid at the last minute).
3) 1927-D Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle
The second 1927-D Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle to sell at auction this year was this NGC Mint State 66 specimen, described as "the rarest, most famous, and most desirable collectible regular issue United States gold coin of the Twentieth Century". With just one finer known example, the coin sold at Heritage in January for $1,997,500.
2) 1913 Liberty Head nickel
Just five 1913 Liberty Head nickels are believed to exist, and its rarity and value has earned it the title "King of 20th Century Coins". This example, known as the Olsen specimen, is the second-highest graded (NGC Proof 64) and once starred in an episode of TV show Hawaii Five-O entitled 'The $100,000 Nickel". It sold at Heritage in January for $3,290,000.
1) 1787 Brasher Doubloon
Described as "the most important and valuable coin in the world", and an "iconic numismatic treasure", just seven examples of this early American gold coin are known to exist. Bearing silversmith Ephraim Brasher's 'EB' punchmark on the eagle's wing, and graded NGC Mint State 63 – making it the finest known example – the coin sold at Heritage in January for $4,582,500.
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