A Bag Full of Pennies

Some months ago, I had a client come in with a large group of $20 gold coins for which he needed an appraisal.  Once we got through the group and provided the requested information, he informed me that there was another, larger group of “common coins” at his home which he had inherited and wanted to sell at auction, if appropriate.  He invited me to come by and pick them up for evaluation.

As I went through the bins back at the gallery in Philadelphia, it became obvious that a family member had been dissecting old Whitman albums and just dumping the contents into bags, with no regard for what they contained.  I found a bag of (mostly) Indian Heads cents and started to go through them. Right away I found and set aside an 1877, a nice red Uncirculated die-struck counterfeit.  I soon found some later date Uncirculated examples, and this gave me hope that there could be something better hiding in there.  An 1856 Flying Eagle cent, perhaps?  Probably not, but I took the time to look and see.  I was stunned to see there was a worn 1856!  All the diagnostics matched up as they should, and I asked a few associates their opinion and got differing answers.  I decided to send it in for grading and put it into auction.

The coin came back from PCGS graded Proof-12, and it’s featured in our upcoming Spring Showcase Auction as lot 5034.  This coin will be a perfect addition to a collection of small cents for some lucky bidder.  It proves the value, once again, that we provide to our clients.  We look at everything, because you never know what’s hidden, unseen and unrecognized.

If you would like to make an appointment to come into our Philadelphia gallery, call 267.609.1804 or email [email protected].

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