The 1872-CC remains one of the two Carson City half eagles that is unknown in Uncirculated (the other is the 1878-CC). Despite gradeflation and the sale of some high quality pieces in the Bass sale a decade ago, the 1872-CC is very rare in any AU grade and nearly impossible to locate above AU55. This example is one of the best 1872-CC half eagles that I have seen. It is original and very lustrous with lovely rich natural orange-gold color. There is very little actual wear noted and the strike is better than average with good detail seen at the centers.
There have been two small hoards of high grade this date: the first was found around 20 years ago; the second just a few years back. This particular coin comes from the second group and it is an amazing quality Charlotte half eagle. I owned all four coins from this second group (two in MS63 and two in MS64) and this is clearly among the best of the four. It is literally "as struck" with incredible thick, frosty luster and splendid rich orange-gold and lemon colors seen on the obverse and reverse. What is most impressive about this coin is its total originality.
One of around three dozen examples known of this die variety; earlier die state than the Bass Foundation plate coin but with a noticeable obverse crack from the rim through the right side of the first 8 and up through the portrait to the top of the obverse near 1:00. The surfaces are fresh and choice with just a few minor scuffs. This is an issue that is nearly always found with very choppy surfaces and this piece is very clean for the issue. The 1808/7 is the rarest date in the Bust Left half eagle series in higher grades. It is scarce in MS60 to MS62 but extremely rare in MS63 and virtually unknown above this.
Brilliant Proof Liberty Head gold coinage is almost never seen anymore. Most examples have been dipped and/or conserved in an attempt to generate higher grades from the third-party services and in order to receive Ultra Cameo designations. In the 2011 FUN auction, Heritage sold a number of superb quality Proof gold coins from the Miller collection that were notable for having natural coloration. These coins were purchased in the 1970’s and 1980’s; back when collectors knew what original proof gold looked like and it was appreciated for what it was. This 1880 double eagle was from that sale and collection.
The 1847-C is easily the most obtainable Charlotte quarter eagle and there are as many as three to four dozen known in Uncirculated. However, there are no Gems and probably no more than five or six MS64's of which this piece, which has been off the market for a number of years, is probably the second best that I have seen. The quality of strike is amazing with detail that would typically be equated with the Philadelphia mint and the luster is pillowy and full. The color is totally "right" for the issue with intense yellow-gold shades turning slightly to orange at the left obverse border.
The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added to the double eagle in 1866 but not before 120,000 examples were struck in San Francisco without the motto. This created an interesting transitional issue and the only other time that this occurred in the double eagle denomination is 1907 when both the Liberty Head and St. Gaudens design were made. The 1866-S With Motto double eagle is typically seen in EF40 to AU50 grades. It is scarce in the higher AU grades and rare in Uncirculated with an estimated dozen to dozen-and-a-half known. Almost all grade MS60 to MS61 and I have only seen two pieces higher than this (both in MS62).
Every now and then, DWN handles a great early copper coin and this 1793 half cent certainly qualifies as such. It is well struck on a hard, medium brown planchet. This is the first year of issue for this denomination and nice pieces of this caliber are very hard to locate.
I'm not certain if I've ever handled a more attractive early gold coin than this. It has sensational deep orange-gold and coppery-reddish colors on the obverse and reverse. I consider this the "poster child" for originality when it comes to early gold.
This is one of the rarest early quarter eagles with only thirty or so known in all grades. The estimated mintage is just 760 pieces and only a handful are known in grades above AU55. This piece has nice color and surfaces and excellent overall detail.