Stack’s Bowers is hosting its June 2023 Showcase Auction at its Costa Mesa, California, showrooms.
The sessions are the official auctions of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Summer Expo held the week before in Baltimore.
Leading the June 13 Rarities Night session are some always-popular rarities like an 1879 Flowing Hair Stella gold $4 pattern graded Proof 61 by Professional Coin Grading Service.
Additionally, collectors will get their pick between two Very Fine 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain cents from the George Henry Carman Collection.
The first, graded PCGS Very Fine 30, represents the Sheldon 1 die marriage with the legend abbreviated AMERI.
The 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain cents were struck in relatively low relief when compared with the Flowing Hair, Wreath reverse cents produced later that year. Stack’s Bowers praises this offered example’s “boldness of detail and superior eye appeal” for the grade, writing, “Richly and evenly toned surfaces are bathed in medium copper-brown with a tinge of light olive.” The obverse has some fine pin scratches “that will require persistence to discern,” though the date is clear and the reverse’s chain is particularly strongly defined.
Following it, another S-1 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain cent, is graded VF-25 by PCGS. The cataloger notes it compares favorably to the sale’s VF-30 example, showcasing “warmer toning in even autumn-brown,” and praising its “hard, frosty texture and pleasing appearance.” The date exhibits some weakness in the first two digits, and there are a few “old, dull marks” on both sides, but the lot entry concludes, “This coin comes highly recommended for inclusion in a circulated type set or specialized early copper cabinet.”
The auction house continues to develop the market for physical cryptocurrency in collectible, numismatic formats, and a special June 14 session marks the firm’s seventh offering since it entered this market in 2021.
Stack’s Bowers is particularly excited about a 2013 Series 3 Casascius “Gold Rim” silver 1-Bitcoin piece that is loaded with one BTC, graded Proof 69 Deep Cameo by PCGS. It is from a production of just 700 “Gold Rim” examples, produced with an ounce of .999 fine silver.
Stack’s Bowers explains, “This issue represents the culmination of this denomination that began with the brass Series 1 in 2011. By 2013, the production quality and security features of these coins had been perfected, providing an ideal self-storage solution with a sophisticated and attractive finish. Unfortunately, production of the Casascius series was ended in 2013 and the opportunity for a Series 4 was never realized. Nearly a decade later, the silver Series 3 remains heavily prized by both crypto enthusiasts and traditional numismatic specialists.”
The obverse depicts the Bitcoin currency symbol, and “an entrancing binary code decorates the border on the reverse, set against mirrored fields.”
Also graded Proof 69 Deep Cameo by PCGS is a loaded 2013 Lealana “Gold B” 1-Bitcoin piece that is “one of the key issues to the entire physical cryptocurrency series.” Stack’s Bowers points potential bidders looking for pricing guidance to a similar example of the type sold for $108,000 in its April 2022 auction and cites researcher Elias Ahonen, who wrote in his Encyclopedia of Physical Bitcoins and Crypto-Currencies that just 290 of the variety were produced. Consistent with the auction house’s Bitcoin lots, loaded cryptocurrency coins are reserved at their intrinsic cryptocurrency value on the day of the sale.