1788 New Jersey Copper Leads Mike Coltrane Collection Above $2.4 Million

An enormous result for 86-lot event rich with 18th– and 19th-century offerings

1788 New Jersey Copper, Head Left
1788 New Jersey Copper, Head Left. This is the only Mint State Head Left copper known.

A 1788 New Jersey Copper, MS63 Brown sold for $192,000 to lead Heritage Auctions’ Estate of Mike Coltrane Collection of U.S. Coins Signature® Auction to $2,445,498 Nov. 2.

The event’s top lot is the finest known Maris 50-f and the only Mint State Head Left Copper.

“Mike Coltrane was a long-time student of numismatics, and a delightful person, a true gentleman of the highest ethics,” says Jim Halperin, Co-Founder of Heritage Auctions. “His father was a banker, and Mike’s interest in collecting coins and currency dates all the way back to his childhood.”

A 1793 C-3, B-3 Half Cent, MS64+ Brown, CAC drew 43 bids before selling for $180,000. Once a part of the Donald G. Patrick Collection, it is one of seven lots in the auction that reached six figures.

Achieving the same $180,000 result was a prime example of the Augustus Humbert United States Assay Office fifties that are icons of American coinage, a beautiful, octagonal 1852 Assay Office Fifty Dollar, AU55+, CAC. They originally were introduced in 1851, and various iterations of the octagonal design were manufactured through 1852.

A 1794 Half Cent, MS64 Red and Brown, CAC, the second- or third-finest known example, reached $168,000. The Breen-Hanson Condition Census, now nearly three decades old, includes 11 examples from this die pair that grade Uncirculated – just six of which have a recorded provenance that ends 60 or more years ago.

A 1797 C-1, B-1 Half Cent, MS65 Brown, CAC, arguably the finest surviving example from these dies and immediately identifiable by the misplaced “1” that is too close to the bust, drew a winning bid of $144,000.

One of the most memorable and important Colonials that once was a part of the collection of Eric P. Newman, a 1792 Washington President Cent, XF40, CAC closed at $132,000. Featuring the “T” below Washington’s shoulder, this is a singular piece that holds considerable historical significance. There are two major types of the Washington President cents distinguished by their reverses, featuring either the eagle and 13 stars that appear on this example or the General of the American Armies.

Also reaching $132,000 was a 1792 Washington President Cent, XF40, CAC.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

A 1861-D Gold Dollar, AU50, Gold CAC: $90,000

An 1853 Assay Office Twenty Dollar, MS61, CAC: $78,000

An 1808 Close 5D Half Eagle, MS64+, CAC: $70,800

A 1795 Small Eagle Five Dollar, AU55: $66,000

A 1792 Getz Pattern Cent, AU53: $50,400

Complete results can be found at ha.com/1350.

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam, Brussels and Hong Kong.