The 1909-O Indian half eagle, MS66 PCGS, the Mitchelson-Clapp-Eliasberg-Price example - the single finest known example of the last New Orleans gold coin, designated by legendary numismatist David Akers as "The Coin" - and the newly identified 1907 Rolled Edge Eagle, PR67, The Frank A. Leach Specimen, probably the single finest example extant and possibly a trial piece, will have the rapt attention of numismatists worldwide when they anchor the Thursday, Jan. 6 Platinum Night session of Heritage
's FUN Signature(r) U.S. Coin Auction in Tampa, FL.
"These two coins represent just about the ultimate prize in U.S. numismatics, minus a few coins like the 1804 $1 and the 1913 Liberty nickel," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage auctions. "With both of them on the Platinum Night bill in Tampa, we can be assured of some fireworks."
The O'Neal specimen of the 1909-O Indian half eagle, from The Jim O'Neal Collection of $5 Indians, is the only Indian Head gold coin ever minted in New Orleans and the rarest issue in the set. It has an unimpeachable provenance from J.C. Mitchelson to John H. Clapp to Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. and on to Dr. Thaine B. Price before reaching O'Neal. The Clapp Notebook, in which he recorded acquisitions of coins in his collection, indicates that Mitchelson sold the coin to Clapp in June 1909. That means that Mitchelson almost certainly ordered the coin directly from the Mint, and given that the 1909-O half eagles were coined in February or March 1909, this piece may well have been among the first coins minted.
The 1907 Rolled Edge eagle, PR67 Satin NGC, is one of five gold coins, all once belonging to Mint Director Frank A. Leach and his son Abraham Leach, making their collecting debut in the auction as The Colonel George M. Monroe Collection. This satin finish proof 1907 With Periods Rolled Edge eagle is a monumental coin that ranks among the most important individual specimens in 20th century American numismatics and Heritage specialists have had no hesitation in calling the Leach specimen the single finest example of the 1907 Rolled Edge $10 known today.
"Looking down the line of this auction there are famous rarities as far as the eye can see," said Rohan. "We've searched far and wide to find the best examples of various coinage in response to collector demand. I believe we can safely say that most every level of numismatist will be satisfied with the diverse offerings."
A 1933 eagle, MS65 NGC, a new coin in the known census of these treasured issues, and certainly a world-class rarity, follows the top two coins in the auction and should garner more than its fair share of attention from willing buyers. Nearly all of the accepted mintage figure for the 1933 gold eagles (312,500 coins) was melted down, making the emergence of this specimen all the more remarkable and desirable.
In addition to the O'Neal 1909-O half eagle, important earlier New Orleans gold provides several more highlights. The single finest known New Orleans double eagle, an 1852-O example graded MS65 NGC, a coin that has been off the market for decades, shows up next in the Platinum Night offerings and has already been creating a buzz with erudite collectors. The most famous New Orleans double eagle rarity, an 1856-O XF40 NGC, affords collectors a chance to acquire an example of this much sought-after coin. The issue recently returned to prominence a newly discovered specimen consigned the heirs of James Bullock garnered $345,000 in Heritage's September Long Beach Auction.
Collectors of early American numismatics are sure to thrill to the presence of two important late 18th Century coins at Platinum Night, the first being the famous 1795 S-79 Reeded Edge cent, Fine Details, The Newcomb-Hines-Sheldon Specimen, last publicly offered in 1977 - the most coveted of all Sheldon numbered large cents - and an amazing Gem Proof like 1795 Small Eagle half eagle, BD-6, R.5, with blundered obverse and reverse, certainly among the early Mint's most interesting issues, that will appeal equally to collectors of early issue American gold.
A Gem 1804 bust quarter, the single finest certified, B-1, Ex: Colonel Green, Jerome Kern, an important quarter from only the second year of the production of the denomination, has proven a popular and important early entry into the FUN auction, while four coins from the featured Allgood Collection - an 1827 50C Square Base 2 Fine 15 PCGS. CAC. O-148, High R.6, an 1823 50C Genuine PCGS. O-113, Low R.7, an 1815/2 50C AU53 PCGS. CAC. O-101a, R.3, and an 1831 50C AU53 NGC. O-120, R.6 - all offer attractive examples of prime Bust half dollars for collectors looking to add to their holdings.
Further highlights include, but are not limited to:
Stunning 1799 No Berries silver dollar, B-11, BB-161, MS66 PCGS, possibly the finest 1799 dollar known.
1911-D half eagle, MS65+ PCGS, the finest example certified of this major 20th century rarity.
1795 eagle, 13 Leaves, BD-1, MS64, an important representative bearing the first date for this gold denomination.
1854-O double eagle, AU55 PCGS, one of the finest known examples of this legendary rarity.
1907 High Relief, Flat Rim, double eagle, MS67+, the Frank A. Leach Specimen.