Do you know the reason for the low mintage of 1796-1797 Half Dollars? I am the Corresponding Secretary for the Massapequa Coin Club and wanted to add this fact to my newsletter.
Jim Matthews wrote:
Coins and Currency Featuring the Dr. Hesselgesser Collection of Bust
Dollars, Part I
It has been a while since a specialized collection of early dollars was
offered for sale at public auction. Perhaps the last major offering of early
dollars was in the April 2008 Heritage sale of the Queller early dollar
collection, over three years ago.
The May 29-30, 2011 Ira and Larry Goldberg's The Pre-Long Beach Auction of
United States Coins and Currency Featuring the Dr. Hesselgesser Collection
of Bust Dollars, Part I was not what could be considered the offering of an
extensive collection, but did include 47 Lots and over 40 different die
marriages of early silver dollars. Lots included a high grade 1794 silver
dollar, 1795 Flowing Hair Dollars with and without silver plug centers,
Flowing Hair and Draped Bust dollars in grades from Very Fine to MS64 and a
handful of better die marriages for the specialist.
I did not view the lots in person nor did I attend the sale. I have seen
most of the Lots in the past when they were displayed at ANA Conventions. I
have also viewed and studied the Hesselgesser early dollar collection on the
PCGS Registry (most of the specimens in the collection are photographed).
Here is a link to the Hesselgesser Registry Set:
For those of you who did not receive the sale catalog the catalog and prices
realized can be viewed online on the Goldberg website or by clicking on this
First, some general comments regarding the sale. Most of the Lots offered
(but not all of them) were duplicates from the extensive Hesselgesser
Collection. This information can be determined by viewing the collection on
the PCGS Registry. The early dollar Lots were all offered with no reserves.
Most of the dollars were graded by PCGS and a number also had CAC stickers.
Some of the coins were in the new PCGS secure plus holders. Pedigrees
beyond the Hesselgesser Collection were only occasionally noted by the
The 1794 Dollar, ex. Connecticut Historical Society sold for $575,000 on an
estimate of $500-600,000. Interestingly, $575,000 was exactly the most
recent Coin World Coin Values price for a 1794 Dollar.
A 1795 B-9, BB-13 Dollar in PCGS AU55 CAC realized $46,000. From the photo
it appeared to be a very nice example of this die marriage. This appears to
me to be a very strong price, especially given the obverse die clashing
(which is visible on most examples of B-9) which might not appeal to a Date
/ Major Type / Redbook collector. Was this Lot acquired by a die variety
A 1795 B-7, BB-18 Flowing Hair Dollar with silver plug center hammered for
$120,000 (!) It was graded PCGS AU58 CAC and was housed in a secure plus
holder. It was described by the cataloger as displaying "tremendous eye
Lot 874 is a coin I used to own, a 1795 B-10, BB-22 Dollar graded VF30, CAC
approved and in a secure plus holder. This coin has an extensive and
wonderful pedigree - if the new owner would like to learn the pedigree feel
free to contact me at wdperki(at)attglobal.net If only all 1795 Dollars in
VF looked like this specimen! It was called R-7 in the catalog but the
cataloger erroneously added that "probably no more than 25 to 50 are known."
I know of 12, maybe 13 specimens (depending upon if one of the known
examples is the same as the specimen Haseltine owned and sold in this 1881
Type Table Sale. This specimen realized $34,500. For comparison, two
examples of 1795 B-10 were last sold at public auctions in 2007 and 2008 and
realized in the $22-26K range (one was NGC VF-35 and the other NGC EF-40),
both strong prices at the time.
Lot 883 was a 1798 Small Eagle 13 Obverse Stars B-1, BB-82 Dollar in PCGS
AU58 CAC and secure plus holder. This Lot may be the highlight of the sale.
It was estimated at $70-80,000. Coin World Coin Values shows a price of
$25,000 in AU-50, with no prices listed beyond this grade. This Lot
hammered for $310,000, thus realized a whopping $365,500! Needless to say
at least two well healed bidders wanted this coin badly....
A 1798 B-19, BB-106 (R-5) Dollar cleaned with AU Details, PGCS Genuine
hammered for $2,100, or about the value of VF-20. In my book a nice AU50
should sell for at least $7-10K, thus you can see an example of the severe
discounting for problem coins in today's market. In contrast, a 1798 B-10,
BB-109, also R-5 in a PCGS AU50 secure plus holder realized a little over
What appears from the photo to be a very nice example the 1800 B-12, BB-184
Dollar in a PCGS AU55 secure plus holder hammered for $12,500.
Lastly, a nice circulated example of 1803 B-3, BB-256, a Rarity-6 in a PCGS
VF20 secure holder realized $6,900, approximately a 2 ½ - 3X premium over a
common 1803 dollar in VF-20.
In summary, it appears that choice and rare (including condition rarity)
coins with eye appeal did very well in this sale. What are your thoughts?
W. David Perkins
Brad Karoleff wrote:
The membership is encouraged to send nominations for the hall. You can nominate candidates for either the veteran (those who contributed before the advent of JRCS) or the modern (those who have been members of JRCS) categories. Please include any pertinent information about the nominee that you feel necessary. Nominees will then be voted on by the HOF committee and the inductees will be announced at the annual meeting at the ANA convention in Chicago this summer. Nominations will be accepted until June 30th. We look forward to seeing your nominations!
Please forward your nominations to me at bkaroleff(at)yahoo.com or to any of the members of the board.
Editor's note: You may also reply to jrnewsletter(at)jrcs.org if you wish to submit a nominee.