1866 $20 gold coin saves Indiana church, sets world record
DALLAS (May 4, 2017) – An Indiana church’s rare, 19th-century gold coin featuring one of the earliest uses of the motto In God We Trust on a U.S. coin, was sold for $517,000 amid spirited bidding to take top lot honors in Heritage Auctions’ Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS) auctions which were held April 26 through May 2. The auctions claimed a combined $32,576,612 across U.S. Coins, World Currency and U.S. Currency.
“The coin market is showing signs of increasing strength, and our Platinum night drew premier bids across the board,” said Jim Halperin, Heritage Auctions Co-founder. “We were delighted to assist our hundreds of consignors and also save an entire congregation’s church in the process.”
The 1866 $20 With Motto, PR65 Cameo NGC. Gold CAC was donated earlier this year to the GracePoint Church in Valparaiso, Indiana, to help the congregation get its own church building. The coin – one of just 10 known to exist – sold for $517,000, taking top lot honors across seven days of bidding and setting a world record for this issue.
The anonymous donor is a widow whose husband purchased the coin in 1993. She told church pastor Ben Lamb that the coin survived an attempted theft at her home four years ago. The coin was offered during Heritage Auctions’ marquee Platinum Night auction Thursday, April 27.
Several notable collections were sold at CSNS, including the Siegel Collection, with its focus on American silver dollars; Part II of the Hutchinson Collection; the Mesquite Collection of gold coins; and the Terry Brand estate.
U.S. COINS – $22,841,622; 98 percent sold by value, 99 percent sold by lot
A stunning 1828/7 $5 BD-2, Unique as a Variety, MS63 NGC, the only one of its kind known to exist, sold for $223,250 following 14 bids. From Part II of the Hutchinson Collection, the early gold is an attractive select overdate specimen with pleasing antique-gold surfaces that show highlights of copper patina around the devices. An 1895 $1 PR67 Deep Cameo PCGS ended at $199,750, a Morgan Dollar rarity among the estimated 880 Proofs struck.
One of an estimated 20 to 25 1797 $5 gold coins with the small eagle reverse, 16 stars obverse known to exist sold for $176,250. The 1797 $5 Small Eagle, 16 Stars AU53 PCGS, CAC, offers incredible eye appeal with unmistakably original reddish-gold and olive tones color the recesses, yielding to lighter orange-gold shadings over the exposed regions.
U.S. Currency – $8,728,081; 95 percent sold by value, 96 percent by lot
Top lot honors were claimed by obscure and unique notes from California banks.
A $50 Original National Gold Bank Note from San Jose, California, hit $376,000. From the Eureka Collection of National Gold Bank Notes, this is one of only seven $50 National Gold Bank notes listed in the census, and the only example from outside of San Francisco. A $100 Original National Gold Bank Note Fr. 1164 The First National Gold Bank from Santa Barbara, California, sold for $282,000 as the sole surviving specimen from this bank.
A $100 Original National Gold Bank Note Fr. 1165 The First National Gold Bank from Petaluma, California, realized $246,750 as one of two known and the only example available to collectors in more than 40 years; and a $100 Original National Gold Bank Note Fr. 1166 The Union National Gold Bank for Oakland, California, which brought $235,000, is unique for the bank.
World Currency – $1,006,909; 79 percent sold by value, 88.3 percent sold by lot
A Palestine Currency Board £50 30.9.1929 Pick 10bs Specimen, a rarity in this high denomination, sold for $70,500; a Banco de Espana 100 Pesetas 11.3.1938 Pick 90 from Spain reached $19,975 and a St. John’s, NF – Newfoundland Government Cash Note 40¢ 1909 sold for $17,625 as one of the most desirable small change notes from the region’s various issues.
Selling for $14,687, a “like new” China Empire Ming Dynasty 1 Kuan ND (1368-99) is the highest-graded specimen ever handled by Heritage. Another rare, high-grade “Greece” Overprint Great Britain British Military Authority £1 ND (1943-45) second desirable fabled experimental World War II note of the “Greece” overprinted variety – one of just 25 ever prepared.
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