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Sheridan Downey Numismatist - Coins

Mail Bid Auction 55

Auction ended on January 6, 2023

Lot Number 11

Click coin to enlarge

1806 Pt.6, Stem -  O.126,T-26 R.7- PCGS AU 53

But for lot 6, the 1806 Knob 6, No Stem, this would be the most important coin in the sale.  Pre-turb specialist Paul Munson discovered the variety (on a holed specimen) in the 1970s, after Overton published his 2nd edition.  If your BHNC membership number is lower than 70 you remember the variety as “1806 PM-1.”  The Meyer coin is head and shoulders above other examples.  Curt Biebel’s lovely XF appeared in MB 17 (May 1996), bringing $18,150; it remains second in line.  Another nine or ten examples range from VG to VF.  De Olden’s PCGS VF 20, ex Michael Summers, is considered third finest known.  It brought $11,500 in Heritage’s 2008 FUN sale (lot 1397).  

The Meyer “Wonder Coin” comes with a great story.  It surfaced at one of Art Kagin’s auctions in the mid-1970s, not long after Munson identified the variety.  Kagin reserved it too high and the coin did not sell.  He tried again: same reserve, same result.  He offered it a third time, on January 25, 1979.  A cynical group of die variety collectors, anticipating another unrealistic reserve, boycotted the auction.  Meyer, however, persisted – giving his agent a bid that was four times the bargain price at which he won the lot.  It hammered at $1,150!  His BHNC colleagues were slack-jawed and green with envy.  

The coin was dipped to full brilliance 40 or 50 years ago.  It has retained its flash while donning a delicate silver patina.  The semi-prooflike surfaces show modest signs of brief circulation, and the coin is weakly struck along the left wing and ribbon, a characteristic of the die pair.  PCGS probably docked the coin a few grading points for these peccadilloes.  

The Overton Collection lacked the 1806 O.126.   When Don Parsley prepared the 1990 3rd edition of Overton’s standard reference he looked elsewhere for a plate coin.  Charlton Meyer was happy to help.  The photo was reused in the 4th and 5th editions.  After Meyer passed away I offered the coin in MB 34, Aug. 2009, lot 4, where Chris Merrill prevailed at $19,600.  Merrill consigned his notable die variety collection to Heritage in early 2018.  Heritage offered it in its Central States auction, April 26, 2018.  Lot 4254 inexplicably sold for $9,600, barely double the price of a generic 1806.  Steve Nomura was dumbfounded and thrilled.  Estimate: $15,000 and up

Auction Ended

High Bid Maximum Bid Total Price
Reserve met
$16,500 $17,710

Sheridan Downey, Numismatist
4400 Keller Ave., Suite 140, PMB 398
Oakland, California 94605
(510) 479-1585

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