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MB 47 -- The Home Stretch

August 9, 2018

This is written as I pack for the trip to Philadelphia.  Many of you will be doing the same over the weekend.  The sale closes Wednesday night at 6 PM EDT.  That's just 6 days away.  Yikes!
By now you've had time to scroll through the bust halves appearing in the upcoming Heritage and Stack's/Bowers sales.  May I humbly suggest that for quantity and quality of collector-grade coins the major auction house offerings do not compare to those in MB 47.  And, hey, my buyer's fee is 10%, not 20%.
I'll be by my phone and computer all weekend, ready to answer your questions about the coins or bidding.  You'll find me at the Bust Half Nut Club "Corn Roast" Monday afternoon and evening.  Yes, the auction lots will be there as well, ready for preview.  Lot preview continues at my bourse tables (1022-1024) Tuesday and Wednesday.
Descriptions and photos of all 114 lots await your examination.  It you tap the BID button by a lot you get another page, with information about current high bids, bidding increments and a little box for you to enter your maximum bid.  Is the bid already too high for your taste?  Hit the back button and look for another morsel to consider.
If you registered to bid in my past auctions, you're good to go in this one.  If you've not yet registered use the link (top right) to take care of that little detail.
Here's hoping that MB 47 adds to the enjoyment of your hobby.
Kind regards -- and Good Luck,

Mail Bid Sale No. 47 is Live!

July 27, 2018

Photos, descriptions, estimates and opening bids are now posted on the Active Auction page.  If you have yet to register as an authorized bidder please do so.  Just go to the Home Page and follow the link, top right corner.  As soon as I send you an approval you may enter bids in the auction.  The simplest way to do so is to tap the BID button, check the opening or current bid, then enter your maximum bid.   You are also welcome to call or send an email to me with your bids.  I’ll enter them for you.

Hard copies of the catalog went in the mail today.  If you’ve been an active buyer or bidder in recent auctions look for a copy in your mailbox.  If you’re new to my sales and intend to bid I will be happy to send you a complimentary copy of the catalog.  Just ask.  Library copies for non-bidders are available at my cost, $10.

You may download PDF copies of the 23-page Catalog, the Terms of Sale, the Catalog Cover and the Bid Sheet by clicking these links:
MB 47 Catalog
Terms of Sale
Catalog Cover
Bid Sheet.

There are 114 bust half-dollars in the sale.  It is chock-full of coins with lovely toning.  When accepting consignments my watchword is Eye Appeal.  I avoid dealer consignments of over-graded, unattractive coins.  The upshot is an amazing assortment of rare and high grade busties.  Pay special attention to coins from the Cape Cod Collection.  There are more than 50 of them, all graded by PCGS.  For two decades the consignor focused on the acquisition of AU and UNC Capped Bust Halves with superior eye appeal.  These “fresh to the market” coins are a treasure chest.  You will also find selections from the cabinets of Keith Davignon and Dr. Charles Link.  I needn’t remind of you of the quality that accompanies the Davignon and Link provenances.

The Sale closes at 6:00 PM EDT Wednesday August 15.  If you cannot make it to Philadelphia, mark your calendar and get your bids entered before the deadline.  Prices Realized are generally posted on my web site about 2-hours after the close of the sale.  Invoices will be emailed in the days following.  Lot pickup at the Convention Center begins at 11 AM Thursday Aug. 16.

MB 46 Closes in 6 Days

December 30, 2017

Just a reminder.  MB 46 closes in 6 days.  Please email, phone or enter bids on my web site before 6:30 PM EST Thursday Jan. 4, 2018.  Bid sheets may also be dropped off at my bourse table in Tampa on Wednesday or Thursday.  My Table No. is 517.
Enjoy your weekend.  Here's hoping you find time to view the descriptions and pretty pictures on my web site. If you've bid in my prior auctions, just log in and have at it.  If this is your first time bidding then complete the registration process found in the little box, top right of the Home Page.
A collector called my attention to a typo in the hard-copy catalogue.  Lot 84 is Keith Davignon's 1835 O.103.  It is shown as "PCGS MS 63" in the catalogue  The correct grade appears on this web site: "PCGS MS 62 CAC."

A second error found its way into the catalogue.   The photo for lot 25 is NOT the 1812 O.105a PCGS AU 58.  A gremlin crept into my computer and inserted the photo of a fancy 1825 half-dollar.  The correct photo may be found with the lot description on this site.

Six collectors remain in the running for the $100 credit offered to the first wining bid entered Dec. 17, the day the auction went "live."  What if all their bids are exceeded before the auction closes?  Then the hundred bucks goes to the first winning bid entered after 12:01 AM EST Monday Jan. 1, 2018.  Happy New Year!Tada

Mail Bid Sale No. 46 is Live!

December 17, 2017

At 2 PM PST today Mail Bid Sale No. 46, the Tampa FUN Show Sale, will “go live.”  Perhaps you already used the “Preview” mode to examine photos of the lots.  In a short time you will be able to read descriptions of each coin and enter bids.

If you have bid in my past auctions you will not need to register to bid in MB 46.  Just login with your username and password.  If you are new to my auctions please click on the “register” icon, top right of the Home page.  In short order I’ll see that you become an approved bidder.

The 88-lot sale is entirely bust halves, 1795 through 1836.  I was, as usual, finicky about consignments offered for the sale.  If a coin did not appeal to me or a suggested reserve was too high, I rejected the offering.  The happy result is an auction that is loaded with eye-appealing coins, many with CAC stickers.  One consignor sent me 10 coins, asking that I submit them to CAC.  All 10 received a little green bean, a remarkable testament to the consignor’s eye for quality.  Keith Davignon was kind enough to part with 10 more lovely coins from his renowned collection.

As an inducement to bid early I will grant a $100 auction credit to the first bidder that enters a winning bid today, Dec. 17, 2017.

Hard copies of the MB 46 Catalog will be mailed this week by my printer.  If you’ve been a recent bidder you are on the mailing list.  If you plan to bid in the auction and have not been receiving catalogs please let me know.  I’ll be glad to send you a complimentary copy.  If you do not expect to participate in the auction but would like a copy of the catalog for your library the cost is $10 plus $3 first-class postage.

You may download pdf versions of the catalog and related documents now.  Just follow these links: 1. MB 46 catalog 2. MB 46 catalog cover 3. MB 46 Bid Sheet 4. MB 46 Terms of Sale.  Note that the Sale closes Thursday Jan. 4, 2018 at 6:30 Eastern time.

Lots are now available for preview via overnight US Priority Express Mail or Fed Ex.  I have insurance.  You pay the shipping.  Do not delay your preview request.  All lots must be returned to me by December 29, 2017.  I leave for Tampa Jan. 2.  The lots may be previewed at my bourse table Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 3 and 4, 2018.  Never hesitate to email or call me if you have a question.

Here’s a Pop Quiz.   How does one use the One-Lot-Only and Maximum Expenditure options in this Sale?  When will your bids be entered if you use one or both of these Conditional Bidding features?  For answers, review the Terms of Sale.

Have fun at FUN and enjoy the auction.  Prices realized will be posted on my web site approximately 2 hours after the sale closes.

MB 45 is Live!

July 14, 2017

Bidding is now open.  When you click on the "BID" button you will see a photo of the coin, the full catalog description and either the opening bid  (fixed by the cataloguer) or the current high bid of another collector.  You may then bid your maximum for the lot or go "back" to the lot list, without entering a bid.  Remember, all lots in the sale are reserved by consignors (just 4 lots in this sale) or the cataloguer (the remaining 113 lots).  "Opening bids" are usually at or slightly less than the reserve.

If you are using the Maximum Expenditure or One-Lot-Only options you must email your bids to me.  They will be entered immediately after Internet bidding closes, Wednesday Aug. 2, 2017 at 6:00 PM MDT.  Review the Terms of Sale for a further explanation.

MB 45 Catalog and Cover

July 13, 2017

The catalog for Mail Bid Sale 45 is off to the printer.  It will go in the mail this coming week.  You may download a pdf version here (26 pages with lots of pretty photos).  If you'd like to put a cover on your catalog try this.  

Live bidding will start in a day or two.  Stay tuned.


June 9, 2017

MB 45 is on the way.  Lots are available for preview on the Active Auction page.  Bidding will not commence until descriptions are posted and the catalogue is issued in July.  The auction will close at 6 PM MDT Wednesday August 2, 2017, the second day of the ANA Convention in Denver.

Keith Davignon has again provided a remarkable consignment of mouthwatering Capped Bust Half Dollars.  Lots 1 through 49 carry the Davignon provenance.  Only when a collection assembled over several decades comes to market do we see coins of such uniform quality and staggering eye appeal.  This is Keith’s third consignment to my auctions, each a notch finer than the previous consignment.

With 117 lots in the sale, there is something for everyone.
Lance Keigwin’s photos are superb.  If you prefer to preview lots in the comfort of your home or office, just ask.  I will arrange preview via overnight mail or Fed Ex.  Your best option, of course, is to reserve your flight and hotel for a visit to Denver.  The auction lots will be available for preview at my bourse table all day Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 1-2.

Do you have the latest version of Steve Herrman’s AMBPR?  I have just two copies of the March 2017 edition.  This invaluable pricing tool is available for $32 plus postage.

MB 44 - The FUN Show Sale - One Week Away

December 29, 2016

We are one week away from the close of MB 44, the 2017 FUN Show Sale.  The sale closes at 6 PM EST, Thursday January 5, 2017.  Preview by mail is now closed.  Thanks to all of you who took the time to preview coins from this remarkable sale. 

Recent and frequent bidders should now have their catalogues.  Check with me by email if you expected one and it has not arrived.  Everyone may download a hard copy by following this link:

If you missed preview-by-mail and will not be at the FUN Show, do not be alarmed.  Lance Keigwin’s photos are both sharp and accurate.  Check them out as you scroll down the 103 auction lots here:  You might also consider asking a collecting friend or dealer attending the Show to preview the coins on your behalf.

It was great fun to catalog this sale.  I did not resist the impulse to incorporate vignettes and memories, triggered by so many familiar and important coins.  I hope you enjoy these tidbits.  Rarities abound, including several high-grade examples of R.4 and R.5 die pairs.  Provenances of the coins are a frequent part of the descriptions.  With so many of the coins having passed through important collections, you are assured of their quality and eye appeal.

Be sure to write or call if you have any questions or difficulty registering and bidding on-line.  If you prefer, I'm happy to take care of these details for you.  Let me know.

Good luck in the Sale! 

Kind regards and a Happy New Year to all, 

Mail Bid Sale 44, the 2017 FUN Show auction, is now live!

December 20, 2016

Descriptions are up. You may enter bids from now until the auction closes, Thursday Jan. 5, 2017 at 6:00 PM EST. If you are happy bidding via the Internet, have at it. If you registered to bid in previous auction, you’re set to go. If not, it’s a snap to become an approved bidder. Go to the Home page, click on the box in the top right corner and fill in the blanks. I’ll take it from there.

If you prefer bidding the old-fashioned way, no problem. Send me your bids by email. Or give me a phone call. I’ll get them entered for you. You should read the Terms of Sale before bidding. Be sure to note the Buyer’s Premium, only 10%. Review the procedures for One-Lot-Only bidding and for limiting your total purchases in the sale.

Hard copies of the 22-page catalog will be mailed by my printer December 22, two weeks before the sale closes. If you can’t wait to see it, no problem. Here are the links to download the catalogue, the cover, and a bid sheet.

Never hesitate to call if something appears awry or confusing. Good luck in the Sale. There are some remarkable coins looking for new homes. Good luck!

Lot Preview Now Available for Mail Bid Sale No. 44 - the 2017 FUN Sale -

December 9, 2016

Mail Bid Sale No. 44, my 2017 FUN Show Sale, fast approaches.  You may preview photos of the lots on the Auction Page.  Descriptions of each lot are underway and will be posted later this month.  The closing date is Thursday Jan. 5, 2017, 6 PM EST.

There are 103 bust half-dollars in the sale.  The quality of the coins rivals past offerings from the Farley, Prouty, Meyer, Solomon and Nomura collections.  Special thanks goes to Keith Davignon for digging into his collection a third time and finding over 40 coins with exceptional eye appeal.  All but 2 of the coins in this sale are housed in PCGS holders.  More than half visited CAC and received a “green bean” seal of approval.  For those unable to attend the FUN Show and preview lots at my bourse table, Jan. 4-5 in Ft. Lauderdale, please accept an invitation to examine the coins at your home or office via overnight U.S. Express Mail or Fed Ex.  Write or call for details.

On-line and email bidding will commence once all lot descriptions are posted on my web site.    


August 2, 2016

Live Internet bidding is underway.  Be sure to note the closing date and time, Wednesday Aug. 10, 2016, 6 PM PDT.  Hard copies of the auction catalog were mailed a few days ago.  If you were not a recent bidder and did not order a catalog, no problem.  The 17 page, full color catalog is available here.  If you’d like to have the cover, click here.  The Terms of Sale are important.  Be sure to read them.  Open and download a copy here.  A handy bid sheet is available here.   

I’ve moved up my arrival date in Anaheim to Saturday Aug. 6.  This will allow me to preview the Heritage and Stack’s-Bowers auction lots on Sunday.  If you already asked for assistance in lot preview, valuation and bidding you can expect a phone call Sunday afternoon or evening.  I remain available to assist collectors with their bids in the Heritage and S/B auctions.  The fee for such representation is 5% of the hammer price of the lots you win.  No fee if you fail to win a lot.  I will attend the floor sessions and can bid “live” for you.  If you prefer to bid online that is fine too.  

There will be a Quiz on use of the One-Lot-Only and Maximum Expenditure options.  Bone up now.  Read the Terms of Sale.

Mail Bid Sale No. 43 Preview Now Available

July 15, 2016

The ANA’s World’s Fair of Money in Anaheim, CA is less than a month away.  As usual I will have a nifty “mail bid” auction.  Preview the lot list and photos now. The sale closes Wednesday August 10 2016 at 6 PM PDT, day 2 of the Convention.  Descriptions are in progress and will be posted later.  I’ll issue an alert when Internet bidding opens.  In the meantime, if you did not do so in the past, please register to bid.  

Most offerings in the sale have been graded by PCGS and are in the XF 45 through MS 62 range.  Choice XF and AU R.5’s abound!   Collectors of overdates and other Red Book varieties will think they’ve landed in nearby Disneyland!  There are AU examples of the 1807 50/20, 1814/3, 1817/3, 181.7 punctuated date, 1819/8, 1820/19, 1822/1, 1823 broken AND ugly 3, 1824/1, 1827/6, etc.   Not to mention an XF 1807 early die state “bearded goddess.”  What fun!  A softback version of the catalog will be printed and mailed to active bidders later in the month.

Many clients have wondered about the “Hamilton Collection,” to be sold by Heritage during the ANA Convention.  George H. Hamilton lived in a suburb of Chicago and was one of my favorite customers from the late 1980’s until shortly after my sale of Gehring Prouty’s coins at the 2000 ANA Convention in Philadelphia.  Health issues began to plague him about then.  He passed away in 2004.  His wife, Helen, died last year.  George loved early bust coinage.  He was not much interested in die varieties.  He focused on dates and “eyeball” Red Book varieties.  In time he developed a good eye, regularly picking off attractive offerings in my mail bid and fixed price offerings.  If you cannot make it to Anaheim I will be happy to preview, consult and bid for you on any lots in the Heritage auction.  George’s coins, purchased in the infant and adolescent days of PCGS and NGC, especially deserve on-site inspection.

I look forward to seeing many of you in Anaheim.  Look for me at tables 730 and 732, Tuesday through Saturday, August 9-13.


December 30, 2015

The clock is ticking!  At this writing just 8 days remain to formulate and enter your bids.  Photos and descriptions of all 113 lots are available on the Active Auction page.  If you haven't done so, please take a minute to register, using the links in the upper right corner of this and other pages on the web site.

Some of you have already entered bids.  Terrific!  You have captured the bidding increments that match your maximum bids.  Many more will bid after reserve prices are entered this weekend.  If form holds, about half of you will wait until the last day to post your bids.  No problem.  There are advantages to both approaches to Internet auction bidding.

When you are on the Active Auction page be sure to pause and read the Terms of Sale.  Among other things, you will see that you don't have to bid on-line.  You are welcome to enter bids the same way you have in my previous 41 sales.  You may submit bids via the telephone or email or simply hand me a bid sheet at the FUN Show in Tampa.

If you plan to use the familiar One-Lot-Only or Maximum Expenditure options you must let me enter your bids.  The auction closes this coming Thursday at 6 PM EST.  Final results will be available as soon as I finish entering last-minute bids that arrive via email, phone or at my table.

I have printed a few hard copies of the 29 page catalog.  They will be available at my bourse table in Tampa.  You might find it convenient to print the catalog at home.  Nothing to it!  Here are links to the catalog (PDF format), the Front Cover and a Bid Sheet.

Catalog Cover
Bid Sheet.

I welcome any questions you have regarding the auction, though I'll be hard to catch this coming Tuesday.  That is my travel day from San Francisco to Tampa.  This Internet bidding format is new to me as well.  So your comments and suggestions are also welcome.  To my chagrin, I always find typos in the catalog.  You proofreaders should let me know when you spot one. They are easy to fix.

Have fun with the auction and good luck to all!



November 21, 2015

Welcome!  Glad you found your way here.  This new site was created to provide you with a user-friendly environment.  Parts remain under construction, notably a listing of coins for my upcoming FUN Show Sale, MB 42.  A Lot List, with dates, varieties, rarities and grades, will be posted by the end of the month.  (Complete descriptions and a soft cover catalogue will come later.)  The Sale will close Thursday evening, January 7, 2016, during the FUN Show in Tampa.  Along with offerings of bust half-dollars from such notables as Dr. Charles Link and Keith Davignon the Sale will include an enticing group of contemporary counterfeit half-dollars, duplicates from the unrivaled reference collection of Mark Glazer.  You will also be treated to an offering of bust halves bearing the coveted Houck’s Panacea counterstamp.  


     1795 O.102 PCGS AU 55                     “1878” D-3B                    1814 O.105 Houck’s Panacea

To participate in the Sale you must take a moment to register.  Please do so now by following the link at the top of this page.

In the meantime be sure to click on the Active Sales link.  You will find a fresh and revitalized Fixed Price List.  Many new coins are there.  Items that lingered after the posting of my June 2015 FPL remain available, all at reduced prices.  Orders will be accepted via phone or email, commencing at 10:00 AM PST Sunday November 22, 2015.

I look forward to seeing many of you in January.

Happy Holidays to All!


Sheridan Downey, Numismatist
Oakland, California
(510) 479-1585

©2018 Sheridan Downey