The sole independently held 1822 Capped Bust gold 5 half eagle sold for $8.4 million on March 25 at Stack’s Bowers Galleries, demonstrating a strong rare coin market continues, particularly at top levels.
“It is now the most precious U.S. Mint gold coin that has sold at auction, also has surpassed the greatest prices paid for a 1913 Liberty nickel, 1804 silver dollar, or 1933 double eagle,” the firm said.
The marketplace will find another evaluation that summer as Sotheby’s again offers the only legal 1933 Saint-Gaudens gold $20 double eagle at auction, which it last sold in 2002 for $7,590,020.
Prior to this record-setting Rarities Night market in Las Vegas, the famed 1822 half eagle had just three associates: Virgil Brand acquired it in 1899, and it entered the group of Louis Eliasberg Sr. in 1945, later selling to D. Brent Pogue in a 1982 auction of Eliasberg’s gold coins, for $687,500. It was formerly offered at Part IV of Sotheby’s and Stack’s Bowers’ sales of the Pogue Collection where it did not meet its reserve, passing at $6.4 million. Had it found a bidder at the level, together with the 17.5 percent buyer’s fee in the moment, it might have realized $7.52 million.
Auctioneer Chris Ortega led spirited bid on March 25, with bids moving fast from $3.6 million to a final bid of $7 million, and that, including the current 20 percent buyer’s fee, made the entire price realized $8.4 million.
The cataloger clarified that, despite its rarity and multimillion-dollar price label,”This is not a stone, nor does it shine like a stone. This bit displays antiquity. It shows use and wear. Its surfaces suggest its life before collectors and cabinets and fame. Inside the shadows of contrast between a coin worth $ a coin worth countless this coin hides a story whose earliest details will forever remain unknown.”
The description added that, in absence of U.S. Mint records documenting the exact mintage,”The three surviving 1822 half eagles might, instead of representing an historical fluke that generated an extreme rarity, constitute the anticipated variety of specimens staying from a mintage of a few hundred bits, given typical survivorship probabilities.”
Half dollar record re-set
Also cracking the seven-figure price level and improving on a previous look at the auctioneer’s podium has been Pogue’s 1797 Draped Bust, Small Eagle half dollar, representing the 15 Obverse Stars Overton 101a variety, that sold for $1,680,000. Graded Mint State 66 by PCGS and carrying a green Certified Acceptance Corp. decal, it formerly sold at the first Pogue auction in May 2015 for $1,527,500, and it set a record for a half dollar at auction at both this and that appearance.
The cataloger praised the first half buck’s enormous eye appeal, writing,”Both sides are alive with colour, the obverse luminous gold and violet framed in light blue and champagne, the reverse blue and lavender suffused with pale gold”
Of the roughly 10 Mint State survivors known,”Many observers believe this coin the best known by a slim margin,” Stack’s Bowers stated.
The matter is well-known as a short-lived type minted in only 1796 and 1797, with the Little Eagle reverse found on the prior issues and the Draped Bust obverse found on later issues. Of the two decades, the 1797 half bucks are more evasive, and the type is coveted in all grades.