The Liberty Cap Collection of Early U. S. Coins

Douglas Winter Numismatics is proud to announce that we have been chosen to sell yet another high quality collection of United States coins. This assemblage, formed by an astute specialist in Texas, is known as the Liberty Cap Collection of early United States coins. It features exactly twenty different coins (plus one early American medal) ranging in value from a few hundred dollars to over $50,000. The collection is being imaged and cataloged by DWN and is expected to be posted on the website around November 18, 2008. The collection is known as the Liberty Cap Collection because of the fact that a number of the coins have designs that feature a prominent Liberty Cap. Examples of coins in this collection with a prominent Liberty Cap design include a rare 1783 Libertas Americana medal in Copper (Betts-615) graded MS62 by NGC, an 1836 Pattern Gold Dollar (Judd-67) graded PR66 Ultra Cameo and an extensive date run of branch mint Classic Head quarter eagles and half eagles.

There are many highlights in this collection but I’d like to focus on three that I think are especially worthy of attention. Please note that full descriptions and images of each will be available on my website within a few days.

1838-C Half Eagle, Graded MS60 by NGC. The 1838-C is the most historically significant half eagle from the Charlotte mint. It is the only Classic Head design for this denomination and it is the very first half eagle produced in Charlotte. It is not really a rarity from the standpoint of total known but it is very rare in the higher AU grades and excessively rare in Uncirculated. Only two or three are known in Uncirculated. The finest is the superb PCGS/NGC MS63 example formerly in the Bass collection and now owned by the Pogue family. The second finest known was the NGC MS62 coin formerly owned by Paul Dingler but this coin was improperly cleaned and is no longer in a Mint State holder. This leaves two 1838-C half eagles in Uncirculated holders: an NGC MS61 that I have never seen in person and the NGC MS60 in the Liberty Cap collection.

In addition to this impressive rarity, the collection also contains a choice, original NGC MS62 example of the rare but slightly less well-known one-year type: the 1839-C half eagle.

1824/1 Quarter Eagle, Graded MS62 by PCGS. The Capped Head Left quarter eagle type was made from just 1821 to 1827. Only five single issues are known and each is very scarce. The 1824/1 is among the rarest of these with an estimated 60-70 known from the original mintage of 2,600. In fact, PCGS has only recorded twenty-one in all grades including a single example in MS61 and just three better. The finest known business strike is a single MS64 at PCGS and it is unlikely that more than ten or so exist in the various Uncirculated grades. The coin in this collection is probably within the tail end of the Condition Census and it is one of the best that I have seen with excellent color, surfaces and luster.

I have long been an advocate of the early quarter eagles as I think they represent exceptional value in the arena of early United States gold coinage. The owner of the Liberty Cap collection agreed with me and purchased some exceptional pieces in his years of collecting. Also included in the collection (and available for sale) are an 1831 in NGC MS60, an 1832 in NGC AU58 and a choice NGC AU58 1833.

There aren’t many silver coins in this collection (just one that is being sold at the present time) but it’s a doozy: a lovely 1836 Gobrecht Dollar in PCGS PR63.

1836 Gobrecht Dollar Original, Graded PR63 by PCGS. The lovely and enigmatic Gobrecht dollar has been a favorite with collectors for over a century and with good reason. The design is among the most attractive ever created on a United States coin (especially the famous starless obverse of 1836) and the limited number of coins struck has always ensured a strong demand.

After many years of speculation, research has shown just which Gobrecht dollars were made as originals in 1836 and which were restruck. In my opinion, this has made the 400 Originals produced in late 1836 the most desirable of the Gobrecht dollars.

These Originals are easily detectable by the alignment of the dies (the head of Liberty is aligned opposite the O in DOLLAR) and the lack of a die scratch above the top wing on the reverse.

In my experience, Proof 1836 Gobrecht Dollars generally come one of two ways: either dipped-out and Impaired or well-preserved but with funky and/or unappealing coloration. The coin in the Liberty Cap Collection is remarkable in that it is exactly how you’d want a PR63 Gobrecht Dollar to look: fully reflective, attractively (and originally) toned and free of significant numismatic or non-numismatic impairments. The collector who assembled the Liberty Cap collection was extremely picky and particular when it came to acquiring a Gobrecht Dollar and his patience paid off when it came to this lovely piece.

If you’d like more information on the coins in the Liberty Cap Collection, please feel free to call me before the collection is posted on my website around November 18, 2008. I can be reached at (214) 675-9897.