As I write these words most eyes in the numismatic world are on our March 2012 auction in Baltimore, Maryland, where much of our staff is hard at work bringing great numismatic items – coins, medals, paper money, tokens, and the like – to the public in what promises to be one of the “hottest” auctions of the year. As a cataloger, however, my thoughts are always on the future, keeping me wondering from day to day what new treasure I may have the opportunity to catalog.
I expect to be in our Irvine, California office for several weeks in April writing catalog descriptions for our upcoming June 2012 Baltimore Auction event, but though the excitement of another trip to sunny California looms, I can’t help but jump even further ahead to our August 2012 official auction of the ANA World’s Fair of Money to be held in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. Anchoring that sale will be the Battle Born Collection – which takes its name from Nevada’s state motto – a complete set of all silver and gold coinage of the Carson City Mint! No doubt between now and the time of the sale, reams of verbiage will find their way into print regarding the unique 1873-CC No Arrows dime, a classic rarity in every sense of the word, along with the 1870-CC double eagle rarity, two of the most famous highlights from that mint to be offered.
Not to be outdone, however, is another important star in the Carson City firmament, the 1873-CC No Arrows quarter, of which just five examples can be traced with any certainty. The gorgeous PCGS MS-64 example we will offer in Philadelphia is the second finest known of the five extant pieces, and its pedigree is as impressive as the coin itself. John W. Haseltine was its first owner of note in the late 1800s, with the coin later adorning the cabinets of Harold M. Budd, Abe Kosoff and Abner Kreisberg, Ben Stack, and Ambassador and Mrs. R. Henry Norweb; we sold the coin in 1988 as part of the fabled Norweb Collection. It then made its way to the William Greene Collection and the Nevada Collection before finding its way into the Battle Born Collection, where it has reposed for well over a decade.
The Battle Born Collection may well represent the only opportunity to obtain this important rarity for many years to come. If history serves as a marker, the 1873-CC No Arrows quarter will almost certainly end up in an advanced U.S. coin cabinet for a decade or more. If you are an appreciative collector of Carson City coinage or simply a collector who enjoys the “rarest of the rare,” your window of opportunity to add this beauty to your cabinet will stretch just a moment or so from start to finish when the bidding on this lot begins and ends, so plan your bidding activity accordingly – and good fortune to you!