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SBG Crypto: Our First Bitcoin Auction of the Year

With our Bitcoin Halving Sale of physical cryptocurrency now posted to our website for viewing and pre-sale bidding, I wanted to shed some light on several rarities being offered. This sale is one of firsts and lasts, as it is the first dedicated crypto offering of the new year and the first since the approval of Bitcoin spot ETFs. It also marks the last dedicated offering before the Bitcoin Halving event projected for mid-April.  The sale is presented in two separate auction sessions including Part 1 on March 28 and Part 2 on April 2.

In recognition of the historic Bitcoin Halving event, the sale has been specially curated to include several prototype, precursor or inaugural issues that represent the very beginnings of this collectible category. Well before physical bitcoins, precursor or prototype issues had long been treasured among traditional numismatists.

Perhaps the most famous inaugural issue is the 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar. In 2013, we had the honor to present a unique Specimen-66 (PCGS) CAC example which was the very earliest struck of all known examples, and very possibly the very first silver dollar struck by the United States. That coin realized an incredible $10,016,875 and set a new record at the time for the most valuable coin ever sold.

Similarly iconic are the 1792 “Pattern” issues that reflect the earliest Federal U.S. coins to be struck. The most famed of these issues is the 1792 Half Disme which was the first Federal coin to be placed into circulation. A magnificent example sold for $1,145,625 as part of the same 2013 sale as the above 1794 dollar. Another treasure among the 1792 issues is the Birch Cent; we sold a superior example for $1,175,000.

Among more modern U.S. issues, the $10 and $20 pieces designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens are regarded as some of the most beautiful coins ever produced, and the initial “prototype” varieties are particularly prized by collectors. We sold an extremely rare Ultra High-Relief example of the 1907 $20 for $2,820,000. Similarly, a Rolled Rim variant of the 1907 Indian $10 earned $1,140,000 in our 2022 sale.

This inaugural or precursor status is also valued within the physical bitcoin category, and we are proud to be featuring many such issues in our upcoming sale. Kicking off the sale is a Bitbills 1 Bitcoin card that represents the direct precursor to the entire physical bitcoin category. Formatted in a familiar “credit card” style, this is the very first Bitbills card we have handled and we anticipate it will generate tremendous excitement among collectors. Specialist Elias Ahonen remarks about this type that “their role in introducing the idea of physical Bitcoin should not be understated.”

Also featured are several examples of the 2011 Casascius 1 Bitcoin “Error” variety, which are the first physical bitcoins issued by Casascius and are consistently the most aggressively pursued by collectors. This selection is highlighted by an incredible MS-67 example that ranks among the very finest graded by PCGS. We are also presenting several later issues of the Casascius series from the Collection of Jimmy Song, the famed Bitcoin entrepreneur and educator.

Deserving of special mention is the 2013 Pattern 0.25 Bitcoin from the Lealana Series featured in the sale. Sourced directly from the Lealana Archives, this experimental issue boasts a number of innovative features that were not included on the original 2013 issues and were only implemented on Lealana coins more recently. The sale also includes additional Lealana rarities from the Mindtrip Collection, which was formed by a prominent collector in the early days of this category and has never before been offered publicly. This is but a small portion of the many rarities being presented in our Bitcoin Halving Sale, held as part of our Spring 2024 Showcase Auction. Both Part 1 and Part 2 are posted to our website and the printed catalogs are in the mail to subscribers.  To order your copy of the auction catalog, please contact our team at [email protected].

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