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NYINC 2017 update - the D. Moore auction

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Once Christmas and New Year is over and done with all numismatic eyes are turned to New York for the New York International Numismatic Convention. This will be the last time the convention is held at the renowned Waldorf Astoria, as it has apparently been sold off to Chinese investors and will be turned into luxury apartments.

Heritage Auctions kicked off the tight auction schedule already on Sunday 8th, at 3pm. Session 1 and 2 weren’t very exciting as they have saved the best coins for the ‘Platinum Night’ session on Monday 9th. On Monday afternoon was also the D. Moore Collection of ‘Exemplary Gem World coins’. This auction requires a bit of attention, as it highlights how the top-end of the market continues to perform exceedingly well.

D. Moore collection

Whoever D. Moore is (interestingly there is no information about neither him nor the collection as an undertaking in the auction catalogue) he must be congratulated on an extraordinary achievement. Assembling such a wide-ranging collection of outstanding quality must have taken a lifetime and surely involved much prudence. Of course, as one would expect, dealing with such quality must create a blind eye with the graders and cataloguers at times; some coins seem to have ended up in MS66 or MS67 (or why not 68?) holders a bit too easily and every coin is described as if they are the only specimen in the world of such never-seen beauty. But hey, we’re in New York City (as the pretty Heritage auctioneer ladies were keen to remind us numerous times) and some of the biggest coin spenders in the world are in the room, or else are waiting for the call.

Off for a slow start, the Bolivia Charles III 8 Reales 1774 PTS-JR in MS66 sold for a modest $4,200 hammer, indicating perhaps that someone has been a bit overexcited in making this coin the ‘finest 8 reales of Charles III period’ as no other coins exist in MS66. Nevertheless, an impressive coin!


By the time we reach France the room is starting to warm up and with some incredibly beautiful Napoleon I coins we start our take-off. An 1807 Franc MS67 sells for $4,800 (start $500) and the 2 Francs same year and grade $13,000. On to the 5 Francs (these were truly astonishing with lovely toning): an An-12 A MS65 $14,000, 1806-A MS65 $13,000 and 1807-A MS65 $48,000!


Germany also saw very strong results, with the top lot being the German New Guinea Proof 5 Mark 1894-A, NGC PR66. By many World coin collectors considered being the most beautiful design extant, the coin was fiercely bid up by two Asian room bidders. When bidding came to an end at $32,000 the auctioneer said ‘Great bidding, Sir!” Yes, great bidding indeed.


Great Britain next, where the most obvious featured coin was the 1893 £5, graded PR67* Ultra Cameo by NGC. The coin just before, an 1893 proof sovereign in PR68 ultra cameo gave an indication where this was headed when it sold for $26,000. The five pounds have been very hot in 2016 and this one selling for $140,000 (remember: plus 17.5 % premium!) will certainly increase the price tag on 1893 proof sets for 2017 and perhaps even to other £5 coins. Of course, the buyer was a Japanese room bidder. Some other British coins worth mentioning was an 1830 gold sovereign in MS65 (hammer $14,000), an 1845 Crown in MS65 ($17,000), 1847 Gothic Crown in PR65 ($26,000) and an 1893 Crown in MS65+ ($2200). The £5 proofs 1911 and 1937 (both PR66 Cameo) sold for $34,000 and $26,000, respectively.



The 1853 MS67 Shield sovereign was the best I have seen. It sold for $14,000. 

I had to take a break after the British coins. In many ways the auction peaked with the 1893 £5 and after Great Britain the overall price level dropped. It is interesting how the build-up with France and Germany, then the peak at Great Britain is served randomly by the alphabet and yet from both a numismatic and entertainment point of view the order seems completely appropriate.

Making my way back to the hotel room after the Norwegian coins (Norway is usually dominated by one buyer, who on this occasion was shaking his head in astonishment as he quickly left the room after not winning a single lot!) I figured to bid on some Swedish coins. With the hype on all the high value lots and Sweden being a small country conveniently situated at the end of the auction catalogue I was hoping to get either the 1559 Mark in MS64 or the 4 Mark 1737 MS64 for a decent price. But this auction was not for me: after a quick laptop restart prompted by some Windows error message I managed to just miss the 1559 Mark. Next was the 1737 4 Mark and lo and behold, it opened at just $1900! (Value $5,000-$6,000 in Sweden) There seemed to be no interest and as we hit the ‘fair warning’ I hit the Bid button hard. Then comes a cut bid, giving me hopes up that this coin is indeed for me. And what a price! Just have to Bid one last time… I press the button hard. And nothing happens. Again. ‘Internet disconnected’. There we go. Great start to the week. As they say: things can only pick up from here.


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