Archive for June, 2011

Early Dollars in PCGS AU58 are scarce!

Posted on June 17, 2011 by 1 Comment

1798 13 Star Small Eagle PCGS AU58The recent sale of some of Dr. Hesselgesser’s early dollars got me thinking. Have you ever thought about how difficult it is to find early dollars in PCGS AU58? PCGS AU58 early dollars are exceptionally scarce. They are extremely difficult to make and can be quite rare and valuable.

I sold a lot of early dollars when I was a dealer. It was very seldom indeed that I could locate a PCGS AU58 example of any date (the 1799 is by far the most common). I was known for dealing in early type so I got “first shot” at numerous collections of early dollars. Still there were very, very few coins that graded PCGS AU58. Over a 7 year period of being an aggressive high buyer, I was only able to locate around 3 dozen examples. It takes quite a coin to make it to that level in PCGS’ opinion. Like most of us, I learned the hard way just how discriminating PCGS was compared to other grading services.

I helped build several early dollar collections. I was always overjoyed when I was able to help a good client fill a hole with a PCGS AU58 coin. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really nice AU55 coins out there that we often had to settle for. An AU55 is a very choice AU, but doesn’t quite have everything that an AU58 coin does.

Check out the population reports. After 25 years PCGS has graded only 65 Flowing Hair dollars, 51 Small Eagle dollars and 227 Large Eagle dollars in AU58. The numbers may be a bit high because so many people try to get their PCGS AU58 coins upgraded, either by PCGS or another grading company. Some of my best scores were when I could by a PCGS AU58 coin from a crack-out dealer before they resubmitted it hoping for mint state. By far the most common date is the 1799 which PCGS reports having graded 96 in AU58 (counting the overdate).

When Dr. Hesselgesser’s coin were offered in auction it was quite a thrill for me. For starters the opening lot was the only known PCGS AU58 example of 1794. This coin was previously part of the Connecticut Historical Society. That was soon followed by the only known 1795 FH Silver Plug in AU58 (that came from me). A dynamite rarity soon followed: the 1798 13 Star Small Eagle in AU58! When he purchased that coin from me it was the single AU58 and the finest known. Now the pop says 3 with one finer.

There were a few other PCGS AU58 dollars offered in the auction that were part of the Dr H collection including a 1798 LE, a 1799, and an 1801. These coins represent just the tip of the iceberg of the good doctor’s collection but would take an immense amount of work and luck to replace.

So think about it. The next time you see a PCGS AU58 early dollar be sure to examine it closely. You will be holding a truly rare and significant coin!

Filed Under: News

Unsung Rarities

Posted on June 14, 2011 by No Comments

1828 over 7 Half Eagle large

Image courtesy of David Akers/Paramount

I want to tell you about the 1828/7 Half Eagle, one of the rarest US coins, but one which is essentially off the radar.  It’s rarer than an 1804 Silver Dollar, an 1894-S Dime, a Brasher Doubloon, and many more recognized rarities, yet it doesn’t even show up on the list of the 100 Greatest U.S. Coins.

Perhaps the rarity of the 1828/7 Half Eagle is its problem.  After all, if it never shows up on the market, how can anyone even know about it?  For instance, the last time an 1828/7 Half Eagle appeared on the market was 1999, over ten years ago.  Today, we hear about all the coins that sell for over a million dollars, but how can we even value a coin that has been AWOL for more than a decade?

When researching the 1828/7 Half Eagle, I could only find five different examples and one of those is the unique BD-2 (Bass-Dannreuther 1-A, illustrated above).

What rarities can you think of that are relatively unknown?

Filed Under: News

PCGS eZine Survey – Win a free Coin!

Posted on June 7, 2011 by 95 Comments

Many of you already receive the PCGS Newsletter also known as the PCGS eZine.

In every issue, we randomly give away a coin to one of our subscribers. And in every newsletter we also have a survey at the bottom of the newsletter. In this issue, we will give out a PCGS-encapsulated 1854 Large Cent to the best Survey question submitted to us so that we can use in the next PCGS eZine.

All you need to do is submit a coin-related survey question for us to post in the next eZine. Anyone can submit a suggestion for our survey; it just has to be a question that requires a “Yes” or “No” answer. Example – Do you own one or more PCGS-graded coins? Our subscribers would then answer “Yes” or “No.”

Submit your suggestion here on the PCGS Blog  (under “COMMENTS” above this page).

If we use your survey suggestion for the next eZine, we will send you a FREE PCGS-encapsulated 1834 Large Cent. (Any other survey suggestions we use will be subsequently credited to the people who submitted them.)

1c 1854

Filed Under: News