By Christopher Maisano – Numismatist, Stack’s Bower Galleries ……
Rainbow Proof Barber Quarter
Proof Barber quarters are known for low mintages, as well as their beauty and desirability. Although produced in small numbers, Barber quarters come on the market more often than one would expect, and Cameo contrast, Gem grades, and brilliant or nicely toned examples can be found with moderate effort. Usually, toned coins feature a range from dusty rose-gold to a dark hue and display the slightest remnant of a rainbow only at a particular angle. Finding an extraordinarily toned example that stands out from the rest is far more difficult.
In the June Stack’s Bowers Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Summer Expo, we are thrilled to present a stunning example that is a strong contender for the title “Most Attractive Proof 1907 Quarter Known.” Graded Proof-67+ by PCGS and with CAC approval, this colorful Gem is absolutely beautiful and displays incredible toning. The obverse and reverse are both enveloped in vivid, radiating rainbows that require no special light or tilt of the coin to appreciate. The colors are somewhat target-like from the rims to the centers, a feature that toning enthusiasts find very appealing. The coin is fully struck, and the surfaces are serene.
We anticipate this coin will attract strong bids from advanced type collectors, toning enthusiasts, and Proof Barber quarter specialists. Price guides, population reports, and past auction records should fall by the wayside when this distinctive beauty crosses the auction block during our June 2022 Rarities Night Session.
Extremely High Grade 1879-S Morgan Dollar
Morgan dollars are very collectible and popular, attracting enthusiasts from beginners to high rollers. Overall, Morgan dollars are not exceedingly rare, which adds to their perennial desirability. Common dates are readily available in midrange Mint State condition, although they become far scarcer at the MS-67 level. Beyond that, things change dramatically, as rarity and value spike when these coins reach the Ultra-Gem grade of MS-68.
In our June 2022 Showcase auction, we are pleased to be offering just such an Ultra-Gem – an 1879-S graded MS-68 by NGC. This is certainly a widely available date, but it is also one that becomes much more difficult to locate at this lofty grade level. The PCGS Survival Estimate for this San Francisco Mint issue in grades of MS-65 and finer is 291,000, yet only a few hundred have earned the MS-68 rating, with none finer than MS-68+.
The example offered in our June sale is well-deserving of this designation, with fields that are mark-free and the cheek as full as it was when it was struck in 1879. The details in the ear, the hair, and the eagle’s chest are incredible as the strike is 100% complete. This ultra-gem stunner is magnificent in every way, enhanced by light peripheral rose-gold toning and overall premium iridescence. We expect this prime example to attract strong bids from advanced collectors as it crosses the auction block in our Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Summer Expo.
Condition Rarity Liberty Head Eagle
The 1901-S Liberty Head eagle is one of the more common issues in its series. Today, however, we present a truly rare exception. Gold condition rarities are always exciting, and this coin does not disappoint. It is virtually pristine and seemingly earmarked for a high-quality gold type set. Both sides of this lovely coin are fully struck with razor-sharp detail from the rims to the centers. Exhibiting satiny mint luster and vivid reddish-orange color, one cannot help but admire this coin’s advanced technical quality and outstanding eye appeal.
Graded MS-67 by NGC, the example to be offered in our Whitman Coin & Collectibles Summer Expo Auction is among a relatively tiny group of Superb Gem survivors from a mintage of more than 2.8 million coins. There is no evidence of any plus graded 67s, or anything else finer at PCGS or NGC, making this beauty perfect for collectors building finest-known sets.
Deep Cameo Liberty Head Eagle
Classic Proof gold coinage is always desirable and rare. The rarity and desirability skyrocket with higher denominations and cameo surfaces, as found on this beautiful 1897 $10 example which will be featured in our June 2022 Showcase Auction. This Near Gem possesses deep, glossy fields with emerging legends and devices that are completely frosted. The obverse is bold and radiant with orange peel surfaces while the reverse is more sedate and free of any detracting blemishes. The Deep Cameo designation is well deserved, although the MS-64 grade seems conservative. Any imperfections are not worthy of mention and this fact, when coupled with the incredible eye appeal, creates a highly premium example for the grade – one with the look of a true Gem. This opinion is confirmed by the CAC sticker of approval. In fact, CAC has only approved one finer example and PCGS has just graded two Deep Cameo pieces higher. When this coin crosses the auction block in June, it will be just the second PCGS-certified and CAC-approved Deep Cameo 1897 to become available at auction in recent memory. It will be a significant opportunity to acquire a coin that belongs in an outstanding numismatic cabinet and will create a lot of excitement among bidders.
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For more information about the Stack’s Bowers Galleries June 2022 auction visit StacksBowers.com. To consign your coins or paper money to one of our Showcase auctions or to our Collectors Choice Online auctions call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected].