Flipping a coin: rare U.S. coin market hits records

Sun Mar 8, 2015 10:27am EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A rare five-dollar gold piece and a prized silver dollar each could fetch $10 million or more in upcoming auctions, making the American rare coin market as attractive, though not nearly as glamorous, as fine art.

Sales of rare U.S. coins reached a record of nearly $536 million last year, and now collectors are turning to the D. Brent Pogue Collection, which could boost it higher.

Gathered over more than 30 years by Texas property developer A. Mack Pogue and his son, D. Brent, it is considered the most valuable collection of federal American coins dating from the 1790s to the late 1830s in private hands.

An 1822 Half Eagle five-dollar gold piece, one of only three known to exist, and an 1804 Silver Dollar dubbed the "King of American Coins" are expected to be among the top lots when the collection is sold in a series of auctions in New York beginning in May and continuing into 2017.

"These two coins in particular, we think, have a possibility of being up around that $10 million mark," Brian Kendrella, the president of Stack's Bowers Galleries, told Reuters.

The rare coin and currency auctioneer, which is handling the sales with Sotheby's, believes the coins could shatter the $10 million record set in 2013 for a 1794 Silver Dollar.

Although jaw-dropping prices for contemporary art grabbed headlines in 2014, rare coins also had a banner year and are among the biggest collectibles behind art and antiques.


An 1822 Half Eagle five-dollar gold piece, one of only three known to exist, is seen in an undated handout photo courtesy of PCGS. REUTERS/Photo courtesy of PCGS/Handout via Reuters