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Rare Money Blog

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

​Our November 2019 Baltimore Auction offers an incredible parade of treasures for specialists in Numismatic Americana, among which is a pair of rare field worn Indian Peace Medals of particularly desirable types. Included is a 1798 Washington Seasons Medal in silver and a 1799 Draped Bust dollar, both holed for suspension, as distributed by Lewis and Clark circa 1804. These two Indian Peace Medals are invaluable historic artifacts of virtually equal significance. The lifecycle of one is somewhat conventional and as intended, while the other was employed in a fashion that its creators would never have envisioned. Individually they are significant, but as a pair they testify to the narrative of our earliest efforts in diplomacy with the Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest.

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

​United States Presidential Inaugural medals been official issued since William McKinley's took the oath of office in 1901. For the past 118 years these medals have marked the change of administrations, and can conjure nostalgia or bitterness depending on the events of the four years in-between. Among the rarest issues from this series are those from the 1921 inauguration of Warren G. Harding.  Just two were struck in gold and fewer than 10 each are known in silver and bronze.

​The Telford medal is the pinnacle of awards in the field of engineering and this particular example has strong ties to a major development in a major American city.  We are delighted to be offering it in our November 2019 Baltimore Auction, where it will be accompanied by several significant gold medals.

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

​​The Noe-13 1652 Oak Tree shilling is among the scarcest varieties from the Massachusetts silver series.  It is typically found in heavily worn condition and often with surfaces problems. We are delighted to feature one of the very finest known Noe-13 Oak Tree shillings in our November 2019 Baltimore Auction. Graded AU-50 (PCGS), it offers a remarkable provenance stretching back over 130 years.

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

​Featured in our November 2019 Baltimore Auction is a remarkable 1652 Pine Tree shilling with an infamous counterstamp that has captured the attention of specialists for nearly 150 years.  Placed just below the roots of the tree on the obverse is an inverted counterstamp of the monogram NE, imitating the authentic NE punch used on the eponymous shillings of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  Close study reveals that the counterstamp is triple struck, and only the very bottom portion of the E is visible at the edge. The corresponding area on the reverse shows a slightly rough texture that obscures the rosette.

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

​​Our Winter Baltimore sales are well-known for their exceptional selections of colonial and early American issues. However, they also include impressive rarities from many other series of United States coinage. Included in our November 2019 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo is an incredible Superb Gem 1863 three-dollar gold piece certified MS-67 by NGC.

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

​​The Peace silver dollar struck from 1921 through 1935 has always been one of the most popular United States coins series. Struck to commemorate the end of World War I, it is a relatively short series but a few of the issues present significant challenges in high grades. While the finest examples regularly exceed the six-figure mark at auction, like this Superb Gem 1921 in our August 2018 ANA Auction, the legendary Proof issues from 1921 and 1922 have earned over $300,000, including this example from our August 2014 ANA Auction.

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

​​The 1795 Sheldon-78 variety is one of the most available cent varieties of the year. However it is a decidedly scarce marriage in Mint State. Featured in our November 2019 Baltimore Auction is a delightful MS-63 (PCGS) example that also offers a pedigree traceable back more than a century.

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