An 1861 Paquet Reverse Double Eagle, depicting a rare one-year type by Anthony C. Paquet, who redesigned the reverse of the Liberty double eagle for use on 1861-dated coinage, brought $1.645 million as the top lot in Heritage Auction
's Aug. 5, 7 and 9 American Numismatic Association U.S. Coins Signature Platinum Night Auction at the ANA World's Fair of Money in Chicago. The auction was just one of an unprecedented three Platinum Night events to including World & Ancient Coins ($10.5+ million) and Currency ($2.95+ million) Heritage held at the convention. The $49,375,539 million total of the three auctions is the highest total for an ANA auction in Heritage's history.
"We're all quite pleased with the prices realized in all of our ANA auctions," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions, "and with the response of the collectors all over the world that participated in the auctions. The numismatic market, from where we sit, continues to be quite healthy and we look forward to continued growth."
A 1792 half disme specimen-67 PCGS, the second-highest numerically graded example of this issue, with its status as a specimen only adding to its desirability, proved to be irresistible to collectors, as it realized $1.29+ million amidst spirited bidding. The 1792 half disme is well-known as the first circulating American coin to be struck under authority of the Mint Act of April 1792. Although not actually struck in the Mint, it is eagerly sought by collectors of federal coinage.
A rare 1797 Draped Bust half dollar MS65+ PCGS proved equally as popular with collectors on its way to realizing the same $1.29+ million total price realized at the 1792 half disme. With Small Eagle reverse, the 1797 Draped Bust half offered in Chicago is the finest CAC-endorsed 1796-1797 half known to exist.
Mint records show this coinage series was minted from silver bullion deposited by the Bank of the United States, deposits that are chiefly responsible for the coin's original mintage in the first place. The coin's peculiar low mintage and subsequent collector demand has been attributed to a greater demand for dollars at the time to a bout of yellow fever, which closed the mint for four months in late 1797.
A 1795 $10 13 Leaves MS65 PCGS, ex: Bass-Dannreuther flirted with the million dollar mark in the Platinum Night auction before settling at an impressive $881,250 final price realized. The coin is recognized as a truly superlative example of the first ever $10 gold piece released by the United States Mint. As such, it is arguably the most historically important United States gold coin ever issued. Heritage Auction Archives indicate that the company has offered only one example of this landmark issue in MS65 before, which realized $675,625 in 2013.
Another early Specimen strike offered in this auction, the Stickney-Clapp-Eliasberg 1796 quarter Specimen-66 PCGS, a coin in such serious demand that this particular example has only belonged to four collectors in the last 167 years, also realized $881,250 in the auction. As a one year type, 1796 quarters, as the only quarter issued in the 18thcentury and with a mintage of just more than 6,000 pieces are heavily in demand from collectors regardless of grade.
Further highlights include, but are not limited to:
1793 S-9 Wreath Cent, MS66+ Brown, an amazing specimen and the finest S-9 cent known to exist, proved very popular at $528,750.
1856-O Double Eagle, AU53, a spectacular New Orleans rarity among the finer-known examples, realized $425,938.
1793 1C Chain, AMERICA, S-2, B-2, High R.4, MS64 Brown PCGS Secure, the finest graded by PCGS, realized $411,250.
1793 S-13, B-20 Cent, AU55, one of just 300 surviving 1793 Liberty Cap cents in all grades, finished the auction with a final price realized of $329,000.