Bidders miss minimums for two rare U.S. coins at auction

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two legendary U.S. coins, one of which is over 200 years old, that were at auction in New York on Tuesday failed to sell after bidders failed to meet minimum reserved prices, according to Sotheby’s .

A bid of $10,575,000, the highest ever for a coin, was placed over the phone for an 1804 Draped Bust silver dollar, but it fell short of the sender’s reserve price, said auction house Sotheby’s in a press release.

A telephone bid of $7,285,000 was placed on an extremely rare 1822 half-eagle, but it also fell short of the shipper’s reserve price, Sotheby’s said.

The coins were the highlights of the fourth round of coin auctions from the D. Brent Pogue Collection, which works in conjunction with the auction house and Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

Some 61 pieces from the Pogue collection, which in recent years has become the most valuable auction series in history, sold for more than $16.7 million at the auction at Sotheby’s headquarters in New York.

The collection focused on non-machine-made coinage between 1793 and the 1830s, said David Tripp, Sotheby’s global senior numismatic consultant.

“All the coins in the Pogue collection were minted and produced in those early years when things were really handmade and so there are all kinds of quirks,” Tripp told Reuters TV.

The 1804 silver dollar, which was originally owned by the Sultan of Muscat in 1835 and subsequently in the Childs Family Collection for over 50 years, was purchased by D. Brent Pogue in 1999 for $4 million.

One of the five most valuable coins in the world, the silver dollar features blue and gold tones and a portrait of American Lady Liberty looking skyward, with stars lining the edges of the coin.

It is in such good condition that it has been given a Proof-68 rating by the Professional Coin Grading Service. It is one of the highest standards on the PCGS grading scale.

The Pogue Collection acquired the 1822 Half Eagle coin in 1982 from the Eliasberg Collection. Prior to that, the part was untraceable for decades.

Tuesday’s auction marked only the second time in more than a century that collectors have had the chance to compete for the rare amber-colored piece, which also features Lady Liberty, this time donning a cape with “LIBERTY “printed on its side.

Additional reporting by Roselle Chen; Editing by Dan Grebler and Kim Coghill

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