Incredibly Fresh Millholland Collection, Part 4: Coins under $5,000

Contributor Greg Reynolds reviews coins from the Millholland Collection that flew under the radar and cost the winning bidders less than $5,000 for some great pieces.

by Greg Reynolds | Published on May 30, 2023

The Millholland Collection was auctioned by Stack’s Bowers in March. In part 1 , I introduced this collection and discussed its importance. In part 2 , I focused on Liberty Seated quarters. The topic of part 3 was Liberty Seated dollars, perhaps the highlight of this collection. Here in part 4, the focus is on particularly appealing nineteenth century coins that cost less than $5,000 each.

On March 22, Stack’s Bowers auctioned the Millholland Collection 1820 large cent for $3,120, a great coin! The CPG-CAC medium retail price estimate for a CAC approved MS65-Brown 1820 large cent is or was $2,380. I was not surprised that this coin brought a premium. Before the auction, I advised a prospective buyer that a price as high as $2,800 would be sensible. It may, however, upgrade. Certainly a Red Brown designation by PCGS is a realistic possibility, which is more valuable than its current Brown color designation by PCGS. An upgrade to MS66 is a possibility, too. Even so, the $3,120 result was aggressive.

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1820 Large Cent, PCGS/CAC MS65BN

CPG values are estimates of medium retail prices. In auctions, though, many coins will realize prices around the wholesale/retail border and some will bring amounts that are way above respective medium retail levels. Typically, CPG-CAC value estimates are substantially higher than the CPG estimates for PCGS or NGC graded coins that do not have CAC stickers.

The CAC approved, PCGS certified MS65RB 1869 Two Cent piece was one of my favorite copper coins in this whole auction. In the U.S., bronze coins were specified to be 95% copper, with the balance being tin and zinc. This coin has much natural red color, is technically impressive and is more than very attractive. The mottled toning is even and cool!

On December 15, 2022, Heritage sold a different PCGS certified MS65RB and CAC approved, 1869 Two Cent piece for $990. The Greysheet-CAC bid estimate was $1,100. The CPG-CAC medium retail estimate was $1,380.

The $2,280 result for this Millholland Collection 1869 Two Cent piece was very strong. I wonder if at least two grading-wholesalers were figuring this coin as a candidate for an upgrade. It is certainly possible, though, that at least two collector-bidders were enamored by this particular coin and were willing to pay a large premium for it. Also, bidders sometimes contract auction fever.

The Millholland Collection contained a rather impressive group of Three Cent Silvers. The CAC approved, PCGS graded MS65 1852 is more than very attractive, lustrous and technically impressive. I graded it as MS66 and I doubt that I am the only one who did so. Indeed, the $2,280 result is consistent with a retail value for an MS66 + grade 1852 Three Cent Silver.

The Millholland 1853 Three Cent Silver has more of a “dipped” look than most other coins in this collection. Even so, few experts, if any, would doubt the assigned MS66 grade, and the deserved CAC sticker. This 1853 is very brilliant and almost flawless in a technical sense. The mint-caused imperfections actually add to the distinctiveness and personality of this coin. Clash marks, die breaks and disordered luster are all entertaining.

The $2,640 result was strong, but not that strong. The Greysheet-CAC, $1,000, and CPG-CAC, $1,250, value estimates are just too low. Other CAC approved MS66 grade 1853 Three Cent Silvers have sold for far more than $1,250. The $2,640 result for this coin was a fair collector price.

A PCGS certified Proof-65 1868 Three Cent Silver commanded attention. The green tones on both sides are appealing. The creamy stars on the reverse contrast well with the fields. The obverse is bright and cool. The $1,320 result was moderate. I would have been glad to recommend it for that amount.

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1868 Three Cent Silver, PCGS PR65

A CAC approved, PCGS graded MS65 1856 ‘Small Date’ was one of the more impressive dimes in the Millholland Collection. The green, orange-russet, brown-russet and red colors on the obverse are exceptional. The colors on the reverse are more subtle. A contact mark near Miss Liberty’s elbow is noticeable and should be mentioned, though is consistent with the assigned grade. Eye appeal, surface quality and technical factors are all included in a grading equation.

This coin is more appealing than the CAC approved MS65 grade 1856 dime that Heritage auctioned in May 2022 for $2,160. Before the auction, the CPG-CAC medium retail price estimate was $2,550. The auction result was $2,520, fair for sure.

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1864 Liberty Seated Dime, PCGS/CAC PR65

Before the auction, I told a prospective buyer that a medium retail price for the Millholland Collection, CAC approved, PCGS certified Proof-65 1864 dime would be around $1,550, though this particular coin could certainly bring significantly more. Sure enough it did, $1,800, and this result is very much understandable. This is a really neat coin.

A CAC approved Proof-65 1883 half dollar realized $3,360, a very strong price. I saw this coin once at the January 2023 FUN Convention, under improper lighting. Somehow, I forgot to view it again prior to the auction. It was apparent, though, that this coin has more eye appeal than most Liberty Seated halves that are certified as Proof-65. Crisscrossing hairlines are significant, yet Proof half dollars that are graded 66 or even 67 may have some hairlines.

The colorful toning and contrasting light design elements contribute to the overall attractiveness of this 1883 half dollar. It is pretty!

There were many appealing coins in the Millholland Collection and others that were not appealing. On the whole, though, it was educational and fascinating, a serious and extensive coin collection that remained intact from 1894 to 2022.

Copyright ©2023 Greg Reynolds

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Source: Greg Reynolds

Greg Reynolds image More than 750 of Greg Reynolds’ articles about coins and related items have appeared in ten different publications. Reynolds has closely examined a tremendous number of rare, or conditionally rare, vintage U.S., British and Latin American coins. Furthermore, he has attended dozens of major coin auctions, including those of Eliasberg, Pittman, Newman, Gardner and Pogue Family. From the NLG, Reynolds has shared or won outright the annual award for ‘Best All-Around Portfolio’ a record seven times. Greg is available for private consultations and analyses, especially regarding rarities and auctions.

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