By Steve Roach
On July 31
Heritage Auction Galleries offered the Steven
Duckor Collection of
Barber quarter dollars.
While incomplete it was missing two key
issues: the 1901-S and 1896-S coins it more
than made up for that deficiency with the
originality and quality of the rest.
Barber quarter dollar series is a popular
set for collectors and can be completed in About
Good (for the keys) to Extremely Fine (for the
common issues) condition for around $10,000. The
undisputed key is the 1901-S quarter dollar,
with a low mintage of just 72,664, and the
1896-S and 1913-S coins are noble semi-keys.
By all accounts the Duckor Collection was
exceptional and many of the coins display
impressive toning and have an appearance best
characterized as "original," meaning that the
coins were not dipped bright white.
Certified Acceptance Corp. agreed that the coins
represented unusually high quality and placed
its green sticker on nearly all of the coins.
This sticker means that CAC agrees that the
coins are good for their certified grade.
The most expensive coin was the 1913-S quarter
dollar, graded MS-67 by PCGS, which realized
$60,375. The sole coin graded PCGS MS-68
realized $86,250 in May.
When a collection like this crosses the block,
often the sum is more than the parts, and the
attention that the group brings lifts even the
coins on the lower end of the value scale. Most
of the issues sold for stronger prices than
recently seen for comparable coins.
For example, the least expensive coin, an 1893
quarter dollar graded PCGS MS-65 with a CAC
sticker sold for $1,725 substantially above
the $1,300 or so that this issue has sold for
recently at auction. The other coin that sold
for $1,725, a 1908 piece graded PCGS MS-66, sold
for an amount consistent with expectations. That
it was one of the handful of pieces lacking a
CAC sticker certainly did not help its cause.
Perhaps collectors were wondering what latent
deficiency caused it to not receive a sticker?
In the Duckor Collection, collectors responded
to a group put together with an eye toward
quality and originality, and bidders were
prepared to pay a premium for that