Rare U.S. coins expected to fetch up to $27 million at New York auction

Reuters News
Posted: May 24, 2016 4:17 PM

By Gina Cherelus

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two legendary U.S. coins, one of them more than 200 years old, were expected to bring a total as high as $27 million when they hit the auction block on Tuesday in New York City, according to Sotheby's.

An 1822 Capped Head Left Half Eagle, estimated to sell for $8 million to $12 million, and an 1804 Draped Bust Silver Dollar, are estimated to sell for $10 million to $15 million. They are highlights of the fourth coin auction series of the D. Brent Pogue Collection, which is working in collaboration with the auction house and Stack's Bowers Galleries.

The Pogue Collection, which in recent years has become the most valuable auction series in history, earning nearly $70 million in sales, was displayed ahead of the 7 p.m. ET auction at Sotheby's headquarters in New York.

The collection focuses on non-machine manufactured currency made from 1793 to the 1830s, said David Tripp, Sotheby's worldwide senior numismatic consultant.

"All the coins in the Pogue collection were struck and produced in these early years when things were really handmade and so there are all sorts of peculiarities," Tripp told Reuters TV.

The 1804 Silver Dollar, originally owned by the Sultan of Muscat in 1835 and then by the Childs Family Collection for more than 50 years, was purchased by D. Brent Pogue in 1999 for $4 million.

One of the five most valuable coins in the world, the silver dollar features blue and gold tones and a portrait of America's Lady Liberty staring skyward, with stars bordering the coin's edges.

It is in such good condition that it has been given a Proof-68 grade by the Professional Coin Grading Service. That is one of the highest standards on the PCGS grading scale.

The Pogue Collection acquired the 1822 Half Eagle coin in 1982 from the Eliasberg Collection. Before that, the coin was unobtainable for decades.

Tuesday's auction marks the second time in over a century that collectors have a chance to compete for the rare amber-colored coin, which also features Lady Liberty, this time donning a cape with "LIBERTY" printed on its side.

The Pogue series at auction includes a total of 63 rare coins, including notable Reeded Edge half dollars and Gobrecht silver dollars.

"They purchased not only the rarest but the finest examples known," Tripp said. "Many of these, as you can see, they look like they were made yesterday, even though they've stood the test of time."

(Additional reporting by Roselle Chen; Editing by Dan Grebler)