QUARTERLY REVIEW: WHAT’S UP WITH 1877 PROOF 20-CENT PIECES?John Feigenbaum · Dec 28, 2017
BY JOHN FEIGENBAUM, PUBLISHER & PATRICK IAN PEREZ, EDITOR
First, allow us to wish all of our readers a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! This is our third turn of the calendar since taking over at CDN Publishing and pricing the Quarterly sheets, and focusing on these detailed collector series, is among our favorite of all tasks.
This Quarterly I edition covers Colonials through Seated Quarters, including the small yet highly collectible series of Hawaiian coinage issues from 1847-1883. These limited issues are surprisingly often traded considering how brief the series. Of the 1883 issues, the quarter dollar is by far the most common, followed by the half dollar, silver dollar, and then the dime denomination. The other issues, including proof strikes, are far more esoteric, but covered here nonetheless. We encourage collectors of U.S. Barber coins or Morgan dollars to assemble a set of the 1883 Hawaii coinage as well to properly complete a collection from this era.
Table 1. 1877 20-Cent Prices Realized: June-September 2017
In researching price changes for this quarterly edition, we came across one very surprising issue. The scarce Proof-only 1877 20-cent piece (mintage 510 coins) has been skyrocketing in auction over the past 6 months. In May 2016, a PCGS Proof 63 coin sold at Heritage for an expected price of $4,230. In June of 2017, an NGC coin of similar quality realized an astounding $21,150 at a Stack’s Bowers sale. An anomaly you say? Yes, we see such outliers on a regular basis as we analyze auction results here at CDN. But this result is different. We counted seven examples to sell from June-September 2017, all realizing over $15,000 (see chart) and clearly folks are chasing this coin to new levels. This may be short lived or it may be long term but we are following the market on this coin and raised prices accordingly. We caution caveat emptor on this, and if you buy coins at today’s levels, you may be stuck holding the bag if/when the current buyers drop out. We will continue to watch this, but the 1877 20-cent piece is an ideal example of how a few buyers can alter the value landscape very quickly and dramatically.
The Publisher and managing partner at CDN Publishing, John Feigenbaum, has been a professional numismatist since 1979. Formerly president of David Lawrence Rare Coins, John has taken on Publishing and executive responsibilities for CDN Publishing. John has written for numerous trade publications and published "The Complete Guide to Washington Quarters" in 1991. In 2014, John received the PNG Abe Kosoff Founders Award for "his steadfast dedication to the entire numismatic community".more from John Feigenbaum