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Stack’s Nashville Coin Auction Preview
By Stacks

On May 21, 2010, Stack’s will present the Nashville Sale in conjunction with the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Nashville Expo that will be held on May 20-22. The sale will feature U.S. coins and will also present the Q. David Bowers Reference Collection of Confederate States of America bonds. Rarities abound, as do other interesting and more affordable pieces.

U.S. coins begin the sale, and Colonial and early Federal coins get things rolling. Half cents feature an impressive 1793 C-3 example in MS-60 BN (NGC), a rich chestnut brown coin with smooth, evenly struck surfaces. Large cents include a decent example of the popular 1793 Chain cent that retains the details of an EF-45 coin, though some surface granularity is noted. This coin represents a good chance to acquire a sharp 1793 Chain cent at a much more affordable level than otherwise encountered! Other large cent rarities include a Fair-2 (PCGS) (CAC) example of the famous 1794 Sheldon-48 Starred Reverse example. One of the most popular and desirable varieties of early large cents, owning a Starred Reverse in any grade is a mark of distinction for any large cent collector. The present example is another chance for the serious collector to affordably add a significant rarity to their cabinet!

Minor coinage presents several beautiful Indian Head cents, the first a Gem 1867 example, a lovely representative of this semi-key date graded MS-65 RD by PCGS. The second coin is a gorgeous super Gem 1883 example in MS-67 RD (NGC), the finest certified by NGC in any color designation. Three cent nickels feature a splendid Gem Cameo Proof 1865 example, a coin tied for the finest certified by NGC in the lofty grade of Proof-67 Cameo.

U.S. nickels are highlighted by an exceptional 1919-S in the impressive grade of MS-66 (NGC). With none certified as finer, this important coin is surely destined for an advanced cabinet. Dimes do not disappoint either, and early issues come to the fore in this sale. A Choice Uncirculated 1796 JR-6 example graded MS-63 by NGC is a notable specimen, as is a splendid 1805 JR-2 4 Berries example. This amazing coin exhibits beautiful lustre and is essentially mark-free and, in the grade of MS-66 (NGC), will be a fabulous addition to any collection of high quality coins.
The section of U.S. half dollars contains several important rarities, the first of which is the classic 1797 example. This O-101a variety is housed in an AU Details (NGC) holder due to a past cleaning, but the significance of the piece cannot be overstated. This is without any question the rarest type of the entire American silver series, and is frequently omitted from even advanced type sets. When it is included, it is often seen in wretched or holed condition. Draped Bust half dollars feature a spectacular 1807 O-110 example, a delightfully lustrous coin certified as MS-63 by PCGS and awarded a green CAC sticker. Another important offering among half dollars is an outstanding 1815/2 O-101a graded MS-64 by NGC. One of the finest coins of this variety that we have ever offered, this piece is boldly struck and lustrous with warm toning on both sides, a true beauty.

Silver dollars boast a fabulous and rare 1836 Gobrecht dollar, a Judd-68, Rarity-6 variety graded an impressive Proof-64 by NGC. Only three pieces have been certified as finer by that service, and the present coin can only be described as a rare prize for an advanced collection. Seated dollars showcase a nice array of pieces including an 1855 MS-61 (NGC), an Uncirculated 1856 example graded MS-62 by PCGS, and a colorfully toned 1869 in MS-64 (NGC). Morgan dollars lead off with a condition rarity 1878 7 Tailfeathers, 3rd Reverse example. This sparkling, satiny beauty is tied for finest certified by NGC at MS-66

U.S. commemoratives showcase a modest run of high quality coins, and gold issues are highlighted by an impressive pair of 1915-S Panama-Pacific $50 slugs. The first is a stellar near-gem Octagonal example, an MS-64 (NGC) coin from the famous King Farouk Palace Collection. The mate to this coin is the following lot-a satiny and impressive Round example in the same grade. Both of these coins exhibit fantastic eye appeal as a result of the rich lustre and the excellent states of preservation.

Pattern coins spotlight a lovely 1838 pattern half dollar, a Judd-73, Rarity-5 coin graded Proof-64 by NGC that is partially brilliant with swaths of orange-gold iridescence and wisps of violet toning. Also featured here is a glittering Proof-65 (PCGS) (CAC) example of the 1859 transitional dime. The surviving population of this Judd-233 variety is probably no more than 20 pieces, and only a fraction of those are as beautifully preserved as the present specimen

Territorial coins follow the Patterns, and several pieces of note are offered here. First is an 1855 Wass, Molitor, & Co. $50 slug housed in a Genuine (PCGS) holder. While the coin has been lightly cleaned and there is some evidence of minor rim filing, the coin retains the details of an AU-50 piece. These large Wass, Molitor & Co. slugs do not appear with the same regularity of the Humbert or Assay Office issues, and are generally scarcer and therefore always in demand. The coin is not perfect, but it has much to offer in terms of sharpness, lustre, and general eye appeal, as well as its nature as a highly coveted piece.

A small section of miscellaneous tokens and medals paves the way into the U.S. gold denominations. Important items here include the amazing pair of 1796 quarter eagles. The first is the famous 1796 No Stars rarity, one of the most respected rarities of American numismatics. The coin is graded AU-50 by PCGS and is bright yellow gold and somewhat prooflike in the fields. The obvious mate to this coin is the 1796 With Stars $2.50, offered immediately after this lot. This delicately toned coin is graded AU-53 by PCGS and retains some original mint frost in the protected areas in addition to its extremely sharp strike. At least twice as rare as its No Stars cousin, research suggests that there are likely no more than 50 survivors of this type in all grades!

Completing the U.S. gold series is the famed 1879 Flowing Hair $4 Stella that appears in this sale as Lot 4323. This Proof-62 Cameo (NGC) coin is a gorgeous, two-tone example of one of the most sought-after denominations of American coins. U.S. half eagles lead off with a beautifully toned and very rare 1798 BD-2 example in AU-53 (ANACS), an important coin as only an estimated 50-70 pieces survive. Following this coin is a glittering 1807 Capped Bust Left half eagle, a BD-8, MS-64 (NGC) coin that is sharply struck, highly lustrous, and near the top of the census. Later half eagles include a splendid Sandblast Proof 1908 Indian in Proof-66 (NGC)

U.S. eagles are highlighted by a fabulous run of early issues, embodied by a Choice Uncirculated 1799 Small Stars graded MS-63 (NGC). This BD-2 coin exhibits great surfaces, lustre, and eye appeal and is a Rarity-5 to boot! Following this impressive lot is a lustrous 1800 BD-1, Rarity-3+ example. A sharply struck, pleasingly lustrous and somewhat prooflike coin, this example weighs in at MS-62 (NGC). A third impressive early $10 is an attractive 1801 BD-2 example in AU-58 (NGC) that is bright and lustrous with heavy cameo contrast on the reverse.

Double eagles finish out the U.S. coin portion of this sale, and include important highlights like the 1903 Proof-64 (PCGS) example. Maybe half of the tiny 158-piece mintage can be accounted for today, and few of those extant can compete with the eye appeal offered by the present specimen. Saint-Gaudens types are represented by coins like the 1908-S graded MS-63 by PCGS and awarded a Secure Plus sticker and the frosty 1915 example graded MS-65 (NGC) that exudes warm velvety lustre and a bold strike. Later date issues spotlight an elusive and beautiful 1926-S example certified as MS-65 by PCGS.

Highlights Include:

Lot 4003
1793 half cent. C-3, B-3. Rarity-3. MS-60 BN (NGC).

Lot 4048
1865 three cent nickel. Proof-67 CAMEO (NGC).

Lot 4064
1919-S nickel. MS-66 (NGC)

Lot 4150
1815/2 half dollar. O-101a. Rarity-3. MS-64 (NGC).

Lot 4176
1836 Gobrecht dollar. Judd-58, Name in Field. Restrike. Proof-64 (NGC).

Lot 4264
1915-S Panama-Pacific $50. Round. MS-64 (NGC).

Lot 4273
1859 transitional dime. Judd-233,Rarity-6+. Proof-65 (PCGS) (CAC).

Lot 4277
1855 Wass, Molitor, & Co. $50 gold. K-9. Rarity-5. Genuine (PCGS).

Lot 4301
1796 quarter eagle. BD-2. Rarity-4. No Stars. AU-50 (PCGS).

Lot 4302
1796 quarter eagle. BD-3. Rarity-5+. With Stars. AU-53 (PCGS).

Lot 4323
1879 $4 Stella. Flowing Hair. J-1635, Rarity-3. Proof-62 Cameo (NGC).

Lot 4341
1799 eagle. BD-2, T-14. Rarity-5+. Small Obverse Stars. MS-63 (NGC)

Lot 4354
1903 double eagle. Proof-64 (PCGS).


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