Among the many highlights of our official ANA World’s Fair of Money auction to be held in Philadelphia in August, we are very pleased to offer a very diverse selection of pattern coins from many different sources. Patterns are a fascinating area of specialization, unlike any other in American numismatics, featuring a wide range of designs struck from 1792 to the 1960s and struck in many different types of metals. Unlike series like Indian cents or Walking Liberty half dollars, where completeness is a goal of collectors, due to the rarity of many of the issues, a complete collection by “Judd” number is impossible. Because of this, collectors will often collect patterns that are related to a “mainstream” series — such as Seated Liberty quarters struck in copper and aluminum alongside a collection of Seated Liberty quarters. Other collectors will collect “trophy” coins, popular, famous, and rare types (such as the 1877 Half Union or 1872 Amazonian issues). Among over 130 pattern lots in the main sale and our Rarities Night session, we have examples that fit into both categories.
We are proud to offer the Hoosier Flyer Collection pattern small cents, which form an interesting display illustrating the evolution of the small cent from 1850-1859. This short sub-set of the pattern field offers an intriguing look at the Mint’s efforts to reduce the cost of producing our one-cent coins (something our government is still grappling with).
The “nickel” five-cent coin began circulating in 1866. Due to the toughness of the metal and the original shield design, the Mint struggled to find a design that would not shatter the dies. Many designs were suggested in the 1860s and we have a diverse offering of these nickel patterns. Of these we are offering several “Washington nickels” and among the other five-cent patterns is one of my favorite pattern types: Longacre’s 1867 Indian Princess Judd-561 (lot 12089).
Our Rarities Night sale will feature several rare and desirable pattern issues, famous even among non-pattern specialists. We are proud to present the Queller/Lemus 1872 Amazonian pattern half dollar (Lot 11608) and a lovely Gem 1879 Washlady half dollar pattern (Lot 11615). And while not listed with the patterns, among the Just Having Fun Collection of Standing Liberty Quarters is a lightly circulated 1916 pattern quarter, J-1988, in Proof-50 (PCGS), is unique in collector hands (Lot 11364).
Among the pattern issues in the main session of the ANA sale, aside from the aforementioned nickel patterns, are other popular types, including a deeply toned 1836 pattern gold dollar (lot 12065), assorted “Standard Silver” issues, and a lovely toned Morgan dime in copper (lot 12128). The selection ends with two Martha Washington dollar patterns circa 1999, struck to test the composition of the Sacagawea dollar (lots 12142 and 12143).
A wide range of these numismatic treasures awaits you in Philadelphia. Whether you specifically collect patterns, or want to add one or two coins that relate to your series of interest, there is likely something in this sale for you. Be sure to take advantage of our “bicoastal” lot viewing opportunities, viewing either in Irvine or New York prior to the general lot viewing in Philadelphia. If any lots are of interest, be sure to view and prepare to bid. Our expert numismatists are on call in both offices if you have any questions about any of these fabulous coins.