Great rarities from Part Two of the New Orleans collection, highlighted by a gem 1880 Coiled Hair stella, led the way as the Heritage Auctions’ June 4-7, 2015 Long Beach US Coin auctionroared to a total of just over $17 million. All results from this official auction of the Long Beach Coin and Collectibles Expo include the 17.5% Buyer’s Premium.
Part Two of the New Orleans collection consisted of a mere four coins, but three of them would wind up at the very top of the highlights list for this auction. The 1880 Coiled Hair stella, or four dollar gold piece, is the rarest of the four Stella varieties. This collection featured the Neil-Trompeter example, certified PR65 by PCGS, and when the bidding was over the coin had sold for $1,116,250. A second rare stella, the 1880 Flowing Hair graded Proof-65 by NGC (4229), sold for $417,125.
The New Orleans collection concluded with two rare ten dollar gold eagles. The 1933, a melt rarity from the final year of US circulating gold coin production, was represented by a piece graded MS65 by PCGS (4322), which sold for $587,500. Finally, the BD-1 1798/7 9×4 stars eagle, representing the more available of the two 1798 varieties (both overdates), was exemplified by an NGC-graded MS62 coin (4276). Only one such coin has ever been certified in a higher grade by either of the two major grading services, and it grades only MS63. The New Orleans Collection example sold for $199,750 in the Long Beach auction.
This auction featured a number of outstanding coins outside of the New Orleans collection. A 1792 Half Disme graded MS64 by PCGS is notable for being the first federal issue struck after the passage of the Mint Act in 1792. These avidly-collected coins bring high prices in all grades, and this coin did not disappoint, selling for $329,000. A proof 1859 double eagle, graded PR63 Cameo by NGC, defines the concept “fresh to market”, having last been offered in 1962. Only nine examples are available in all grades, and this piece realized $223,250.